As previous publisher of a magazine for people wanting to return to nature I had read the original book many years ago. This edition is a vast improvement with some 80 pages of additional information and it has been updated to reflect current practices.
If you are considering raising dairy goats primarily for your family milk needs, or as a part-time supplemental income, this book is perfect for you.
If you want to expand later into making dairy goats your primary income, you will want to add Goat Husbandry. Goat Husbandry has two basic flaws - it is more highly technical and it is intended mostly for the UK.
Belanger's book would be more complete and would eliminate my need for Goat Husbandry if only the following two issues had been more thoroughly covered:
1 - Provide income projections for several classes of commercial dairy goat operations. Perhaps a chapter of 40 pages would be needed to do the topic justice, but if done properly, commercial dairy goats could become more accepted by the financial community and, therefore, could promote the practice.
2 - Provide a chapter showing, say, three dairies that meet the requirements of Grade A. Yes, it is a widely variable regulation even within a single state, but at least readers could gain a better understanding of the costs, design and implementation to achieve such status. Perhaps even interviews of the operators could be included in a manner similar to Gail Bowman's humorous phone chats with Annette Maze in Raising Meat Goats For Profit.
The two points above are not meant as criticism, for, as I stated, Belanger has done a great job with this book. I'm just wishing he could add the two points above so I could make room on my bookshelf by discarding Goat Husbandry. Further, although Goat Husbandry does provide some information on commercial dairying with goats, it itself is not especially thorough on the topic and, further, is so dedicated to costs and incomes in Britain that it is not very useful for North America.
Hmmm...perhaps there is yet room in the market for yet another goat book. Say, "Commercial Dairy Goats in Canada and The U.S.A." Get busy Jerry or I'll write it!
I am certainly pleased with Belanger's Raising Dairy Goats and will keep it on the same shelf as Goat Husbandry and Raising Meat Goats For Profit. With these three, my goat library is nearly complete.
Incidentally: Belanger formerly published Countryside & Small Stock Journal, perhaps the best ever magazine for small livestock farmers. It is now run, I think, by his kids and you can view it on the web.