Dairy Goat Farm Production Requirements
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is responsible for inspecting dairy goat farms both prior to the start up of a new operation and on an ongoing basis once operations have begun. These inspections determine that the operator meets all regulatory requirements under the Milk Act.
The following list is a guide for operating a goat farm in Ontario that produces safe high quality milk. The list is also the inspection criteria for OMAFRA's Dairy Goat Farm Inspection Report and is based on the Grade A requirements of Regulation 761 under the Milk Act (Ontario).
Grade A Inspection Criteria
Exterior of Milk House - Milk House - Milk House Waste - Cooling Equipment - Milking Procedure - Milking Equipment - Milking Area - Livestock Medicine - Goat Housing - Animal Condition - Exercise Yard and Pasture - Manure Storage - Goat Milk Quality - Environmental Recommendations - Building Code Requirements
Exterior of Milk House
- The dairy buildings have an adequate exterior that is in good repair and can be kept clean.
Milk House Surroundings
- The area around the milk house is clean, tidy, properly drained and free from contamination and the presence of livestock.
- The loading area has a concrete slab or stones at the entrance and under the hose port. The milk house entranceway is clean and free from debris.
- The hose port is self-closing and closed. It is in good repair and located near the bulk tank outlet.
Truck Receptacle and Switch
- An approved receptacle and cover is located outside the milk house and the on/off switch is located inside the milk house.
Every producer of Grade A goat milk requires a milk house that is a separate, enclosed room.
- The milk house must have an adequate working area that meets Grade A standards. The milk house must have at least 60 centimetres (2 feet) of clearance between the bulk tank and any wall or other permanent fixture.
Clean and Tidy
- The ceiling, walls, doors, windows, floors and drains must be in clean condition.
Absence of Unnecessary Items
- The milk house is to be used exclusively for cooling and storing milk and for cleaning, sanitizing and storing materials and equipment used in the production and handling of milk.
Doors - Closed
- The doors are to be tight fitting and closed to prevent the entry of pests, contaminants and odours.
Doors - Self Closing
- All doors in the milk house are to be equipped with functioning self closers.
- There must be a window that permits the bulk tank milk grader to observe the transfer pump compartment of the transport vehicle's tank from inside the milk house.
- All openings to the outside must be screened to prevent insect entry. Self closing and closed doors or non-opening windows need not be screened.
- The impervious floors must be washable, waterproof, free of indentations, cracks and/or crevices. They must be sloped to ensure drainage of waste water. The floor drains must be a minimum of 10 centimetres (4 inches) in diameter and equipped with traps and sanitary covers and located at least 60 centimetres (2 feet) from the bulk tank(s) outlet.
- Sink drains are to be trapped and piped directly to a sanitary drain line.
- All walls must be made of hard, smooth, washable and waterproof material that are free of indentations, cracks and crevices and painted or cleaned as necessary to remain clean.
- Ceilings must be made of hard, smooth, washable and waterproof material that is free of indentations, cracks and crevices and painted or cleaned as necessary to remain clean.
Lighting - Adequate
- There must be adequate lighting for carrying out all milk house and inspection operations.
Lighting - Protected
- All lighting fixtures and bulbs must be equipped with shatterproof covers or coatings.
Ventilation and Insulation
- The ventilation and insulation must be sufficient to keep the area free from condensation and odour at all times of the year.
Absence of Animals, Pests and Flies
- Measures must be in place at all times to ensure that the milk house is kept free of animals, pests and flies as well as any evidence of animals, pests and flies.
- Containers must be properly stored in a location and manner that will not contaminate the milk. No pesticides or other toxic products, other than those that are directly related to milk house operations, are to be stored in the milk house. Cleaners must be stored according to manufacturer's recommendations.
- Containers must be properly labelled to indicate their contents to ensure safe and proper use.
- Only approved dairy cleaners and sanitizers are to be used.
Hose and Attached Nozzle
- A hose and attached nozzle must be readily available in the milk house for rinsing the bulk milk tank and for cleaning.
Hose Properly Stored
- The hose is to be hung neatly to avoid contamination of the hose and nozzle.
Two Compartment Sink
- It is recommended that the two compartment sink be made of stainless steel and adequately sized for washing milking equipment and also to allow for hand washing.
- The hand-washing station must contain all necessary materials for washing and drying hands.
Impervious Storage Racks
- All storage racks that are used for storing pails, buckets and other milking equipment must be made of stainless steel or other impervious materials. These racks are to be maintained in a sanitary condition.
Current Wash Procedures Chart
- The current wash procedures chart must show the procedures, amounts and types of chemicals being used to effectively clean the equipment. The chart is to be updated by the dealer at least once per year.
Hot Water Supply
- An adequate supply of hot water (recommended minimum 74°C/165.2°F) must be available for cleaning and sanitation.
Adequate Water Supply
- The supply of water for use in the milk house must have adequate pressure for cleaning and sanitation purposes.
Water Supply Testing
- The potable water supply is to be tested for Coliforms and E. coli at least once per year.
Milk House Waste
- There must be a system in place to ensure that the milk house washwater and other waste is disposed of in a manner that will not pollute the environment or become a source of contamination.
Type of Milk House Waste System
- The system may be Treatment Trench; Lagoon/Manure Storage; Dry Well/Stone Pit; or Other.
Cooling Equipment (based on the primary bulk milk tank)
Current Milk Temperature
- The current milk temperature is to be maintained between 1°C and 4°C (between 33.8°F and 39.2°F).
Bulk Milk Tank Construction
- The bulk milk tank is to be made of stainless steel and kept in sound, good condition, free of rough spots, cracks, open seams, etc.
- The bulk milk tank must be sized to properly agitate the first milking without freezing.
Cooling Efficiency and Size
- Milk must cool and maintain between 1° - 4°C (between 33.8°F and 39.2°F) within 2 hours after first milking, and within 1 hour after subsequent milking. The blend temperature should not exceed 10°C (50°F).
- A thermometer must be accurate to within 1°C (1.8°F). A hand-held, stainless steel thermometer is acceptable.
Interval Agitation Timer
- An interval agitation timer must agitate milk at least 5 minutes per hour.
Outlet Valve and Cap
- The outlet valve must not leak. A cap must be installed on the outlet valve as protection from external contamination.
Long-handled Sampling Dipper
- When necessary for proper sampling, the producer is to provide an approved, clean, long-handled dipper and sanitizing solution for use by the bulk tank milk grader.
Exterior Surfaces Clean
- Exterior surfaces are to be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
Interior Surfaces Clean
- The bulk tank is to be cleaned after each shipment and sanitized before each use.
Radiator for Condenser Unit
- The radiator for the condenser unit is to be clean and free of dust and dirt.
- The milk is to be clean and free of objectionable odours and foreign substances, including ice and butterballs.
Equipment Cleaned and Sanitized
- All milking equipment is to be rinsed and washed immediately after use and sanitized before use with approved chemicals.
- Teats must be cleaned and sanitized prior to milking using approved products bearing a Drug Identification Number (DIN#). Teats are to be dried before milking.
Single Service Towels
- Paper towels are to be disposed of after each single use. Only one cloth towel is to be used per animal during udder preparation. Cloth towels must be laundered before reuse.
Post Teat Dip
- An approved (bearing a Drug Identification Number) post milking dip is to be used after each milking.
Teat Dip Container Clean
- The post teat dip container should be cleaned as often as necessary to avoid contamination.
All milk contact surfaces must be cleaned after each milking, with no visible deposits. Milking equipment and metal utensils should be constructed of stainless steel and be in good condition, free of rust and have no open seams. Plastic and rubber parts should be in good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's recommendations.
- Inflations are to be clean, in good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
- Jetter cups are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Claws and Other Parts
- Claws and other parts are to be maintained in clean, good condition, be free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Interior of Milk Hoses
- The interior of milk hoses are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Exterior of Milk Hoses
- The exterior of milk hoses are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Buckets and Lids
- All buckets and lids are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
- Milk pails are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Proper Equipment Storage
- All buckets, lids, pails and related equipment are to be cleaned, drained dry and properly stored in impervious racks or hooks in the milk house.
- The exterior of the pipeline is to be clean with sanitary welds and joints and the piping must be made of sound construction.
- The interior of the pipeline is to be clean with sanitary welds and joints and the piping must be made of sound construction.
- The milk inlets are to be located in the top half of the pipeline, minimizing vacuum fluctuations and allowing unrestricted milk flow to the receiver jar.
- All inlets must be kept clean to avoid any contamination of the pipeline contents.
- The slope of the pipeline must be sufficient for proper drainage to the receiver jar. A minimum 1 per cent slope is recommended (1 inch rise for every 100 inches in length).
- The pipeline attachment must allow for sufficient attachment points to maintain a continuous slope and to prevent excess movement during milking and cleaning operations.
- Gaskets are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
- All hoses, lines, regulators, screens, air injectors and pulsators to be clean and free from offensive odours.
Meters and Flow Sensors
- All meters and flow sensors are to be maintained in clean, good condition, free of rough spots, blisters, inking, etc., and replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.
Pipeline Safety Switch
- The pipeline safety switch must be operational and prevent the addition of water or cleaning chemicals to the bulk tank and milk loss to the drain.
Receiver Jar, Probes and Plugs
- The receiver jar, probes and plugs must be clean, of a sanitary design with probes and plugs not worn or inking.
- The sanitary trap must be clean, functional and free of offensive odours.
- All milk must be filtered by means of a single-service filter or a stainless steel mesh-type filter.
- The parlour floors must be clean and constructed of concrete or other impervious material with proper sloping for drainage.
- All ramps must be clean and constructed of concrete or other impervious material.
- All stands must be clean and constructed of concrete or other impervious material.
Parlour Adequate Drainage
- The milking area must have a trapped drain capable of keeping the area free of any liquids.
- The parlour walls are to be of sound construction using materials that are easy to clean and that co not contaminate the milk.
- The parlour ceiling is to be of sound construction using materials that are easy to clean and that do not contaminate the milk.
- The parlour lighting must be adequate for viewing udders during milking, performing milking operations, cleaning procedures and inspections.
- The ventilation must be controlled to eliminate condensation and odours that may affect the organoleptic qualities of the milk.
- The milking area must be properly insulated and heated to prevent freezing.
Parlour Fly Control
- Parlour fly control must be in place and sufficient to prevent excessive fly contamination of milk and milking equipment and the milking area.
- No pet or livestock access is permitted between milkings to prevent contamination of milking equipment and milking area.
- The parlour area is to be kept clean and walls and ceilings are to be cleaned, painted or whitened a minimum of once per year, or as often as necessary to maintain a clean condition.
- Temporary records of all treatments administered to dairy animals are recommended in order to notify and remind milking personnel to keep milk from treated animals out of the bulk tank.
- A permanent record of all treatments administered to dairy animals is recommended.
Treated Goats Identified
- Treated goats must be identified with leg bands or coloured markers to prevent contaminated milk from entering the bulk tank.
Method of Milking
- Milk from treated goats is to be handled separately to avoid any possible contamination of the bulk tank. For example, treated does must be milked last with a separate bucket and claw. Or, if milking with a pipeline, the treated does are to be milked last after the pipeline has been removed from the bulk milk tank.
New Animals Tested
- All newly purchased lactating animals should test negative for antibiotics prior to being placed in the milking herd.
Proper Medicine Storage
- All medicine must be stored in a closed cabinet or refrigerator in a manner that prevents milk contamination. Expired medicines are to be disposed of promptly and properly.
Extra Label Awareness
- When withdrawal times are unknown, milk from treated goats should be tested and inhibitor-free prior to being added to the bulk milk tank. Veterinary prescriptions should always be followed for extra label use.
Access to Inhibitor Test Kit
- Producers should have their own test kits or know where they can have their milk tested for inhibitors if the need arises. (For example, veterinarians, milk processors and/or sharing kits with other producers.)
- The housing walls must be made of sound, solid construction and maintained in good repair.
- The ceilings must be made of sound, solid construction and maintained in good repair.
- The goat house area is to be clean with walls and ceilings to be cleaned, painted or whitened a minimum of once per year or as often as necessary to maintain a clean condition.
Pens Clean and Dry
- There must be sufficient bedding to keep goats clean and dry and to minimize odour.
Sufficient Pen Space
- There must be sufficient pen space to allow animals normal movement and free space to rest without crowding.
- The mangers must be clean, smooth-surfaced, easily cleaned, absent of stale feed or other debris that could affect milk quality.
- The housing lighting must be adequate and properly distributed with sufficient artificial light available.
Ventilation and Air Quality
- The ventilation must be controlled to prevent the accumulation of odours and humidity.
Absence of Non-permitted Species
- No fowl or swine, rabbits or other non-permitted species are to be housed with goats.
Housing Fly Control
- Proper fly control must be in place to minimize the fly population.
Free of Manure Build Up
- All manure is to be removed regularly to prevent odours, run-off and pest breeding grounds.
- There must be an adequate supply of potable water available in clean containers.
Does Clean and Clipped
- All does must be free from manure, dust, dirt and loose hair and clipped when necessary.
- All goats must be in good physical condition.
- Goat hooves are to be kept trimmed.
Exercise Yard and Pasture
Proper Drainage - Yard or Pasture
- The yard and/or pasture are to be surfaced so as to maintain a hard underfooting, free from water, mud and holes, during all seasons of the year.
- All manure is to be stored away from the milk house and milking area in order to minimize the impact on milk quality via traffic, odours and flies.
Restricted Goat Access
- The manure storage area is to be fenced or located to prevent goat access to manure and run-off.
- The run-off control is to be designed and sized to properly store manure accumulations and prevent run-off.
Goat Milk Quality - Grade A Milk
In addition to meeting minimum premises standards, the following minimum standards for milk quality must be met. Grade A milk must:
- contain less than 321,000 individual bacteria cells (IBC) per millilitre using the Bactoscan method or 50,000 bacteria per millilitre by the Standard Plate Count method
- be inhibitor free
- be sweet and clean
- be free from objectionable flavour or odour
- be from healthy goats
- be free from adulteration and from contaminants.
The Bulk Tank Milk Grader grades every bulk tank of milk prior to emptying. If they determine that milk is not Grade A they will reject the milk. It is the responsibility of the producer to destroy rejected milk.
The following are not listed as Grade A requirements under the Milk Act(Ontario). However, OMAFRA recommends the following in order to be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act, as administered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
- All milking centre washwater is to be disposed of in a manner that does not pollute the environment as per Ontario Regulation 267/03 under the Nutrient Management Act.
- All below ground disposal systems for milking centre washwater must be issued a building permit by the municipality before installation, extension or alteration.
Failure to meet environmental recommendations can result in:
- the removal of your Grade A rating, due to excessive odours or contamination of the area around the milk house caused by milking centre waste and/or
- charges by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change under the Ontario Water Resources Act if pollution of the environment does occur. A Certificate of Approval does not prevent charges.
Building Code Requirements
The Ontario Building Code Act, 2006, (OBC) is the main regulation that governs farm building construction in Ontario. Buildings that are used to house animals or store manure are also regulated under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA). These regulations and others need to be considered when planning to build or renovate any farm structure. For all agricultural construction projects, the farm owner is responsible for obtaining a building permit.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300