info requested on meat goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mammawof3, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. mammawof3

    mammawof3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    We are in the process of starting out with meat goats, i raised dairy for many years-but have been without for a few years now. My questions are-we are getting a 2 yr. old and yearling percentage boers-never been bred-then 4 other does who currently have rather young kids on them, what are the chances of the first two cycleing this time of year too get bred soon, and the chances of the others recycleing shortly for another kid crop,more too our "ideals",of what we are hopeing to accomplish-we are leaving kids on the does,until what-3 monthrs? I know i only bred my dairy in the fall, and only demanded 1 kid crop a year from them, but with boers, you really need to hope for 3 kid crops in 2 years(so i have read-kids ARE your product) :) Anyone have first hand experience with meat goats, or know of a good forum specifically for meat goat questions? Thank-you, in advance, Michelle
     
  2. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA

  3. Gary

    Gary Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Commercial Goats on Yahoo is a good list for practical meat goat experience.
    Biggest challenges with meat goats is not to pay too much for stock and to keep costs down so you can make a profit. If you try to raise meat goats with lots of sack feed and other costly inputs like a lot of dairy goat folks do you'll never make a profit. Also buy stock from a commercial meat goat breeder who sell his/her goats for slaughter not a 'breeding stock breeder' .At todays meat
    prices $100 to $150 is all you can pay for a doe and expect to come out on her
    and crossbred bucks will work just as good (maybe better) than purebred
     
  4. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hi Michelle,

    We raise Boer goats for breeding stock. We leave the herd sire with the herd all year around and approach the three kiddings every two years. I haven't checked the true average in several years, but I don't think that we are quite getting that. In the percentages, different breed genetics can have an impact upon how much of the year they will go into heat.

    As Gary said, watch your costs. You want them out changing that green growing stuff into dollars and not putting dollars into the local feed store.

    I would differ with Gary some what about the stock you buy. If you buy full blood Boers, you will be in the breeding stock business because the prices are higher and if you have the papers, that is how they would be sold at the auction too. If you just use a full blood buck, the doe kids will be percentages and will get a higher price than slaughter classes.

    On a purely meat goat market aspect, you only get top dollar for the graded prime and it is by the pound. If you produce the next grade of choice and only 25 pounds lighter than prime, you could loose a considerable amount in selling price. I calculated this on our local auction prices just before Easter and you would loose about $40 to $50 per head this way. Bigger is better only if it is prime, not fat.

    I hope that this helps a little.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.

     
  5. mammawof3

    mammawof3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    Bob, Our percentage does are 88% AND 62.5%,with Nubian, would that make any difference on year round cycles? The doe kid is from a 88% doe< and sire was half nubian/boer and pure boer(buck)..we planned on buying fullblood boer buck and upgrading does, this is just starting< our ultimate goal IS breeding stock Boers, So< how much grain should we be feeding IF any? They will have woods to clear and accsess to round hay bales>
    michelle
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    In my opinion pure Boers in the SE US is not a good choice as I started with Boers believing all the hype,sales pitches etc and then after mothering problems,weak kids,need for lots of off farm inputs I got a Kiko buck and you would not believe the difference.With the over 50% Kiko blood I have had
    fewer problems with parasites,hoof trimmings are about 1/2 as often,the Kikos are great mothers with lots of natural stamina and the kids are very active and strong from day 1. Now I sell most of my goats for meat (app.95%) and run about 130 does. My market kids usually outsell the purebred Boers here in Virginia at the VDACS special sales.Really you need to decide if you're going to target selling for meat or try to sell papered breeding stock the later will make you more money now but the former will be here when the 'breeding stock' breeders are pretty much gone.Remember when Emus were selling for $10,000 for a pair now they're about $150. No animal can sell over its market price for but for so long until reality sets in.If you buy a $500 doe you will never be able to recoup your money by selling market kids you will have to sell to someone else for breeders who will have to find someone else to sell breeders to and on
    and on and that market here where I am located is saturated.I'd also suggest going to some meat goat sales in your area to see whats selling the best and what's in demand.
     
  7. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hi Michelle,

    I don't remember all the breeds and their tendencies to breed part or all year around. It hasn't been an issue because just about everything that we have is high percentage Boer or fullblood and we are going to more full bloods every year. If you research the breeds on the net, you will quickly find out which breeds tend to breed year around. I like the Nubian crosses and I also like the Boer/Saanen crosses.

    Normally we do not feed grain to the adults. They have graze and browse or hay when the time comes plus a mineral supplement designed specifically for goats - definitely not for goats and sheep. Currently we are using "Sweetlix" supplement. We also probably have a much longer growing season than you would have in Indiana. Our pastures are usually growing from sometime in February to right into December. You might have to consider some feed during the last month of pregnancy through the first month of nursing if they have been on hay for a while in the winter. I wouldn't use feed too much though because I think that it can cause heallth issues in breeding goats.

    We do feed a grower pelletized feed that we are purchasing from our co-op to the kids. Again, it isn't a large amount - about 1 pound for every 100 pounds of goat if we have them in the weaning/kid pens and they are on a lot of hay. We cut that back if they are on good pasture. Most of our kid crop is sold within 6 to 8 months so we are cutting that to a minimum too.

    Hay isn't considered nutritionally sufficient for goats under one year old and pregnant or nursing does, especially in the last month of pregnancy and the first month of nursing. With our long growing season, we normally feed as much or more hay during our spring rainy season than we do in the winter. This is probably not the case in northern climates and some feed may have to given.

    I hope this helps.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.

     
  8. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    I've been raising goats for meat and have done things a few different ways.

    I have Boer/angora crosses. They are small and not as meaty as I would prefer.

    I have Boer/spanish crosses. Same thing. Not as much meat to make things work for me.

    Then I have Boer/Nubian crosses. They throw out gorgeous large kids. They are the ones that get sold right out of the barn. They are better mothers.

    There is an excellent book that I have reffered to for years: Raising Meat Goats for Profit by Gail Bowman. I know this book inside and out and I still refer to it just to be sure there is nothing I missed.

    As far as breeding goes, every 8 months the does can be bred. However, special attention needs taken to the temperature. IF it gets too hot, then the sperm count in the buck decreases and he doesn't often want to "hassle" with all that work... If you plan things out, you can split up your does and always have some babies. Having babies almost always available to sell is excellent as you are able to reach many ethnic customers this way.

    What we don't sell or what doesn't look as desireable to sell, we have butchered and keep it for ourselves.