The Kostik family are working to improve the quality of their diversified dairy goat herd
When visitors reach the top of the drive at Ark of Angels Dairy Goats in Greenfield, Mo., they are first greeted by Kristin, Angelica and Spencer Kostik.
They are then greeted by dozens of friendly bleats from their herd of Sable and grade dairy goats.
The Kostik family has always enjoyed animals, and prior to 2009 they kept a few goats around their Dade County, Mo., farm as pets. In 2009, they registered their first goat with the American Dairy Goat Association and began showing their stock. Today, their goats are recognized across the country both in the show ring and on the milk stand.
Ark of Angels currently has a herd of 34 goats. Half their herd is made up of Sables. Sables are Saanens that are not white and are a recessive expression of color derived from the white Saanens – as Kristin puts it, “Sables are Saanens with party clothes.”
Sables are accepted as their own breed by many registries. The remaining half of the Kostik’s herd are grade dairy goats – a combination of Sable, Saanen and LaMancha.
Angelica and Kristin both have a strong interest in the Sable genetics and milk production and they are moving their herd in that direction.
“Our biggest thing is perpetuating the Sables,” said Kristin.
Angelica shows many of her goats and has received multiple awards from the Missouri State Fair, the Ozarks Empire Fair and the Southwest Missouri Dairy Goat Show. Some of the honors that the Ark of Angels goats have taken home include best of breed, grand champion, reserve champion, best senior doe and best junior doe.
Ark of Angels Dairy Goats also hosts an ADGA Linear Appraisal event at their farm each year.
To keep up their condition and milk production, the Kostik milk goats are fed a good quality ration of Turbo60 dairy goat feed from MFA, mixed with oats, beet pulp and alfalfa pellets, along with Chaffhaye, mixed grass hay and forage from the farm pastures.
Growing kids and the breeding bucks are fed a show goat ration from MFA and hay.
Supplements are available to all the goats in the form of baking soda (to prevent bloat), loose goat mineral and Himalayan salt blocks. The herd is tested annually for CAE (Caprine Arthiritis Encephalitis) and receives an annual CDT (Clostridum prefringes type C+D and tetanus) shot and routine copper bolus supplements.
All the goat kids that are born on the farm are also disbudded between 3 and 10 days of age, depending on whether they are bucks or does. Breedings are planned for a January through March kidding season.
While the Kostik family is deeply dedicated to milk production in their herd, they prefer to not drink the milk or sell it. Instead all the milk from their does are fed back to the babies via a free choice lamb bar system. This results in very large, healthy kids the Kostiks’ then offer for sale to other dairy goat aficionados through their website, social media and word of mouth. Yearling does and bucks are sometimes offered for sale as well.
Kristin and Angelica plan to keep breeding for good genetics and great milk production, and to keep their focus on breeding and promoting the Sable dairy goats.