Goats and profit, where is it?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by GentleBen, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. GentleBen

    GentleBen Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    :waa: I am beginning to feel like a dummy. I keep reading that there is a profit in goat making of milk, cheese, and yoguart. My question is how do you make a profit in goats? :yeeha: I feel like someone isn't telling all the truth. Please someone tell the truth. Making an investment into something that isn't or will not pay for themselves is stupid.
  2. WolfSoul

    WolfSoul Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2004
    Hi GB: I'm new to this too. My good friends have goats and they say it IS possible, although as a newbie, I too am confused about how. I'm sure these wonderful people out here will be able to help you. Karen


  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Ok.. I'm going to let you in on one of my absolute pet peeves... The Possibility of Profit in Small Stock Raising.

    First, let us take a moment to worship the person who has actually, OVER THE LONG HAUL pulled it off: :worship:

    Now let us take a moment to consider how they did at least part of it. First of all, they worked like dogs, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, forsaking all others and giving up a lot. Now, if you really love what you're doing, it might not seem like work. You might not mind throwing every spare dollar you have at the enterprise. "Do what you love and the money will follow," right?

    But the reality is that a good deal of their profitability comes from selling stock. To you. Or someone just like you. Or as a friend of ours who got caught up in the emu craze said when my husband asked if he'd ever turned a profit on his birds "I will if I can sell them to you." Un Hun. You've just got to think this doesn't bode well for the long term...

    So, the short answer is "no, you will not turn a profit in the short term" and short term is 5 years or more. Have another friend who went into sheep's milk cheese in a big way because it was (on paper) profitable. But the cheese has to age, and the distributor doesn't pay upon delivery, and the cash flow crunch put them out of business in 3 years at really catastrophic losses. He would tell you, however, that if he'd been able to hold on for 5 years, they probably would have made it.

    Making him one of the people who "makes money with his sheep."

    These people are like women who've had a baby... after a while they forget all the pain they endured to get where they are and they start making it sound easy.

    It wasn't, it isn't, and you need to have a lot of reserves to get there.
  4. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Hey, listen---in the 28 years I've raised dairy goats, I can count on one hand the number of people I know who made a living on them. Those singular folks had a lot of business saavy, significant financial capital to invest (and I mean *significant*) and a lot of luck.

    Most goat keepers try to break even. Some can, especially if they're talented salesmen. Most just don't look at their books very closely, simply because its a passion. And cheaper than being a cocaine addict. Although not much.

    One person with two goats for milk might make it work economically, but only if they have a handle on costs. You need to push a pencil around on a piece of paper to find out if you're one of the ones who can do that, whether you're a hobbyist, or a prospective dairyman. Don't overestimate sales. Don't underestimate costs. If you can make it work out without red ink-----well, then I'd double check my math if I were you. :)
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    I raised Meat Goats,after it was all done and said I broke even.If I was going to do it again I think I would go with Regitered Stock,but then again you have to pray you have a market for them.

    big rockpile
  6. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 8, 2002
    I haven't kept very good tabs on exactly what I have been putting out, and I have spend $$ on AI equipment and stock this year. (but that was my choice and not a necessity <g>)

    But my girls have done pretty well. Besides selling all the meat kids at an average of $1 a lb, there were several doeling sales at $90-150 each -- these were culls, not show quality. Several milkers went to the dairy at $150 to $200 each. Another family milker went for $200 (these were all yearlings)

    We also raised our family hog on milk and plain grain.

    The big one for my girls is raising calves. The last batch worked out like this -- bought 8 calves for $500.
    Bottle raised them on goat milk, some cheap grain, hay was free. Took them back to the sale @10 weeks and got a check for close to $1250.
    If I can do this 2 or 3 times a year, it's definitely worth it....I'd be dumping milk anyhow. I will get one calf as soon as the goats start to kid next year, and keep it till winter to butcher for ourselves.

    I didn't do fairs this year, but I will next year - they pay well. A friend of mine brought home $1200 from the Boise fair. Eastern Idaho fair pays $28 for 1st, and on down the line to 6th place.

    Hopefully I will have some show quality kids to sell next year, which will bring a little higher $$.

    My big advantage this year was I didn't have to pay for my hay :)

  7. geminigoats

    geminigoats Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Northern Maine
    Had a really looonnngg day today, worked til 8 tonight, so I am really tired. I have some important comments I would like to add here but am too tired. I will post them tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work. Yes, its possible to make a living, however, if you have read my recent posts, you must start small, have a plan in place, build up and watch the bottom line. Its possible, but you have to watch those pennies and take a risk, like someone said, its your passion........ so you will eat yourself, "Oodles of Noodles" if ya have to in order to survive to see the bottom line in black. More later.