Meat Goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by DayBird, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I originally started reading here to find out more about dairy goats. I'm still interested in that but I've become more interested in meat goats along the way. Does anyone here actually eat them?

    I still want to get some dairy does but haven't yet decided if I want a buck or not. The guy across the road from where we've bought property breeds registered boer goats. He almost laughed when I asked if he ate any. He said they're worth more as breeding stock than "freezer filler."

    He has agreed, as for now, to let us breed our dairy does to his boer buck, for a stud fee, of course. I'm thinking that the resulting kids would be larger than their dairy moms and would be good to raise for meat.

    Does anyone actually eat boer goats?
     
  2. I have eaten goat burgers before. Surprizingly they taste very similar to the some burgers served up in some fast food joints. It kind of made me wonder just what have I been eating all this time when I would visit the local burger joint. But I myself can't figure where it would be cheaper eating then beef. Some of the prices for them and for no more meat that is on them it would seem you was paying about 12-15 $ per pound of meat.
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I've eaten plenty of goat before, but it wasn't bred for the purpose at the time. I'll be breeding my nubians to boers this fall, courtesy of my neighbor, with the intention of putting the offspring in the freezer. I'm hoping to get a bit more meat on those bones that way, too.

    With the breeders market as it is now, I'll just bet no one is going to eat a goat they could potentially sell for hundreds of dollars as a breeder (what does that work out to a pound?) I imagine, with the influx of a lot of ethnic groups that prefer goat meat, that the breeders market for boers has expanded tremendously.

    However, I think it will be a temporary thing. Eventually, the market will stabilize, and the meat will be able to be purchased for a reasonable price. We have all watched how the market surges toward every 'new' thing to come along. Emus. They were going to revolutionize our diet, our skin care with the oil, and our shoe leather. But, the breeders market expanded way faster than the product market did. They forgot to create a market, and a lot of people went broke.

    That won't happen with the boers, because the market already exists. People want goat meat. But the breeders market will go bust, sooner or later. The market will only support a certain amount of product. Some folks will be left making a good living off raising meat goats, some will make good supplemental income, and a lot of folks will be left wondering what hit them.

    In the meantime, however, some folks tap into the ethnic market in a small way, by breeding meat bucks to their dairy does, and selling the butcher kids. Why not?

    Goat tastes good. Try it.

    Meg :) (one woman's opinion)
     
  4. geminigoats

    geminigoats Well-Known Member

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    Meg, you hit the nail on the head there with your thoughts and experiences with the goat meat market. I liked the comparision to the Emu market because a friend of mine back in VA raised Emu's when they first were the craze and eventually the market went bust, she lost a $20,000 investment. She raises meat goats now and sells them at the New Holland, PA market and to a buyer, she does failry well. You have to have numbers though to make a profit. There are many buyers out there and they are seking numbers of about 600 a week, its impossible for producers to combine their numbers for that many a week when most a smaller producers. Thats why the big buyers and slaughterhouses in NYC look to Texas for their numbers.

    To answer your question, "Yes, I have eaten goat meat beofre, from a dairy doe who wouldn't breed, she was about 2 and 1/2 yrs old and her meat was fatty. Why? Because she was never stressed from breeding, etc and ate well, the ground meat, goat burger was really good, only we didn't have much ground to burger. It does surpass the taste of fast food burgers like r.h. mentioned. In fact, I took some to work, samples and many of my co-workers liked it as well and ask when I will be doing another one.

    The dairy/boer cross theory about doing better for meat sales doesn't really get you the money you would on just a strictly meat goat breed. Although they do grow faster and better because there is more milk. The reason is the muscling and meat, dairy are not meaty or stocky so you loose your money when you sell because the goat is graded as prime, good, etc and dairy very rarely makes prime grade. Then there are buyers who do not want any dairy in the goat, there was a slaughterhouse here in AR for a bit that wanted meat goats strictly, no dairy or dairy mix at all. I will contradict that in a minute here with our experience this year though.

    Interestingly enough, this past year we made a PROFIT for the first time selling our dairy bucks, we managed to hit the market just right with 40 pound kids who were dam raised and grain fed, nice slick and sassy from that and good hay and minerals. Those buck kids sold for $1.10 a pound and I about fell over. But, you see, as Meg said, it depends on the market. There was a demand and the numbers were low so the prices were better. I've ben selling goats for meat every year now for almost 10 years and both dairy and a boer cross and this past yr we did really well. I hope the market holds, but it may not, seems to go in cycles. I haven't checked the USDA auction reports to see what goats are bringing now. When we sold in early June it was still holding well. As you near the holidays the price and demand gets better.

    I don't forsee a lot of income potential in the goat meat market for the reasons Meg mentioned and my involvement in the meat goat market for the past 10 yrs almost. I've seen more busts than profits. A group of meat goat producers back east, which I was one of, formed a meat goat coop and tried to help increase our prices that way when it was time to sell. Still, with those contacts in place we were all at the mercy of the market and buyers. You have to work diligently to find the right sources to make the connections, its networking and being in the right place at the right time. I too tried the Boer goat for a possible way to make a profit off raising goats and like many, found it didn't work at the time, but that was yrs ago. I think its still the same today though.

    I don't want to discourage you, just pointing out the realities there. If you want to embark down the path with raising boer goats you need to make your connections with the buyer industry and have an outlet. In NC their meat goat industry is holding well from the information a friend of mine back there said. I wish you luck, just carefully think and plan first. In any endeavor planning is the key. To make a profit you must think outside the box. Many folks will sell their pasture raised goat meat at farmer's markets, I've seen that before, and it sells for up to $8.00 a pound. But thats near a large city too. I'd suggest doing some online researcha nd talking to other folks and look at the resources and market potential in your area.

    Bernice
     
  5. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth....

    I think the advantage of freshening Dairy does with a meat buck is that you get meatier animals on larger frames (this is if you breed Saanens or Nubians)
    but more importantly, the meat is better tasting.

    We have eaten straight dairy wether and straight boer goat. the boer goat beats the dairy hands down for flavor. The carcass was also meatier--you can see that from the outside as well.

    Finally, they have done studies and the percentage animals (that's what they call the crosses) have a better average daily gain than straight meat goats.

    Hope this helps.

    Camille
     
  6. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    We're just wanting to do this for our own use. If we're going to have dairy goats anyhow, for the milk, then they'll need to be bred every year, right? If they've got to be bred every year anyhow, and unless we can sell the kids as purebred, registered, then we may as well eat the ones we can't keep as replacements. If we're going to be eating them, wouldn't it make more sense to breed the dairy does to a meat buck?

    We're only wanting to do this for our own consumption. There's a processing plant less than 2 miles from our new property. We aren't even living there yet. We have some pullets now and can't wait for them to lay eggs. Once we've moved we want some meat rabbits and some goats. Originally, we just wanted the goats for milk, but now I'm thinking about meat.

    The guys at the butcher place (I don't know the correct term) says that I can bring them the live goat and pick up wrapped and frozen meat within 24 hours. They charge $25 for a goat up to 50 pounds.

    I can no longer drink cows milk from the store and now even cheeses and sour cream are making me sick. Our 3 year old son has developed allergies to cow's milk as well. We're getting sicker and sicker with every mouthful of commercial dairy products from the store. We've bought goat's milk from a local farmer and it did not make us sick. We just can't afford his prices.

    We're wanting to try to get to the point of being able to produce all of our own meat. We're not wanting to turn a profit or even to save any money. We just want to provide our boys safe foods to eat.
     
  7. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Poor Daybird....

    Ask a simple homesteading question, and we hit you with all that stuff you didn't want/need/give a rat's patootie about.

    I'm breeding my Nubians to Boers this year and next year because 1) That's what's available to me, and 2) I'm hoping to get more meat on the kids, which I'm gonna eat.

    Now, my Nubians came from girls who have a tendency to throw triplets. If I get more kids than I want to eat, I'll tap into that ethnic market, and sell a butcher kid to a Hispanic or Middle Eastern family for their own use. Why not? (That's what I meant earlier, about tapping into the ethnic market in a small way. One or two kids a year is quite small!)

    By my third breeding season, I'll have another doe ready to breed, and enough fence up to support keeping a buck and wether, so I'll go to a Nubian buck. I'll still eat the bucklings, but any doelings I don't wish to keep, I'll offer for homesteading milkers. ( and those that aren't chosen will get eaten) If there's a tremendous difference in flavor, I may opt to breed one or two does to a boer every year. I'll make the call then.

    Good luck on your quest for healthy food.

    Meg :)
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    And here's another side. I bred my Oberhasli does to a Boer buck. Never, never again. Those kids were aggressive eaters like nothing I've ever seen. No problem, you say? Two does had triplets. The one without the teat would push at one of the ones with a teat. The one with the teat would clamp down. This resulted in teats with lacerations. On one teat was a lesion where all the skin had been removed from an area about 3/4-inch in diameter. The kids were only a month old. And the does were down to skin and bones even though I wasn't milking them. It's hard for a doe to eat when the kids won't let her have a little peace. These were high-producing does. One doe gave 12 pounds a day. Another, a first-freshener, was giving a gallon.

    Additionally, the foreudder on the best-attached udder in my herd was broken down in just one season with boer cross kids. (The foreudder attachments on the other does suffered as well.)

    So, given the choice, if I really wanted huge, meaty kids, I'd rather milk a high-percentage boer doe than have boer-cross kids tearing up my lovely dairy does. Otherwise, I'd keep my diary does full-fed on alfalfa, hay and grain, and eat the growthy dairy kids they'll produce on that diet. A little less carcass, and a lot less trouble. That's just my story, but I'm sticking to it.
     
  9. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    hmmmmm.....something I hadn't thought of. I'll still do it, but I'll be prepared with bottles if necessary, and pull the kids from the moms if I think they're taking too much out of her. I can bottle feed and still eat them.

    Geez...how much milk does a boer doe produce? Maybe we should be milking them!

    Meg :)
     
  10. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I haven't milked them myself, but I understand they produce a huge amount of very rich milk for about three months, then dry up.
     
  11. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    I eat Boer Goat meat. I started raising them for just that purpose. Of course we started with Nubians and eating the meat from them. When I was introduced to the Boer breed it just naturally fit in with my operation.

    I raise for myself first and then happened into a group of people that grew on Goat meat. The hispanic population buys anything I have to sell and that led me to the middle eastern culture and they love goat meat. It is a nice little business on the side. I am not going to get rich. I do let them butcher on my place and get $100 for a 4-6 month old kid.

    The ethnic population isn't going to go away and their desire to continue in the ways of their heritage is strong. I only see the need for more goat and lamb to increase as America continues to be that melting.
     
  12. ozarkin'it

    ozarkin'it Well-Known Member

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    I dont know if this is exactly true, but someone recently told me that Taco Bell is the biggest goat meat buyer in the world, and all taco bell meat in your burrito is goat.
     
  13. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Goat meat is really good. Goat burger, goat sausage with or without pork added. Goat BBQ after marinading. I have two bucks, a LaMancha and a Boer. I have two does for each. I am rather isolated, so it makes sense for me as I am restarting in goats after being "out of goats" for some time. I will put future dairy does in the meat herd if they are of poor milking quality. As far as the "ethnic market" I guess you better put "Texans" as an "ethnic" group because we sure do like our BBQ anything, goat included..."CABRITO! It doesn't matter what culture you're from down here!
     
  14. Westbrook---$100. dollars a head, huh. I thought I was doing good when I sold mine for $52.50 at the leach sale barn. I bought them last spring at weening age for $22.50 and just sold them back a couple of weeks ago.
     
  15. t234063

    t234063 New Member

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    The cost per pound of live goat in NY is correct. The $4 to $6 in the grocery store, I have never seen. I pay from $1.25 to $2.00 at the store. No one I know will pay that either. Yes it is cheeper to buy at the grocery than a live animal. I buy goat meat even though I have a few goats in DE. I just cant do it, and my wife said she will not eat it. We buy about once a week. Today the Pioneer grocery a few blocks from my job has if on sale for $1.49, down from $1.79. I will buy a few poundsto take home.
     
  16. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    r.h.,

    If I take a goat to auction, maybe I get $50-$70 a head. If the market is flooded that day, more like $40-50 a head. Hardly worth the effort. It is more profitable for me to sell off my farm. I have a pen with goats that are for sale and away from my personal stock. I found that if I had a meat pen in sight of my stock, people became so insistant that I sell my breeding stock! Often times there is a language barrier and I am unable to to them that that they are for breeding.

    Selling goats in my area for $100 is not unreasonable or unusal. One of the reasons we (the ranchers) can get this much for them is the buyers are able to butcher on our farms/ranches. Most of the buyers live in city and are unable to butcher in their back yards or are unable to perform their ritual Halal due to city laws. I have an area away from everything for people to butcher. When they leave they take everything, you would never even know a goat or lamb was butchered there. At the auction is everyone is there to get it cheap or find a deal.

    For those trying to find a market... advertise in a spanish and arabic newspaper! All it takes is one person that buys from you and that pays for the advertising. Then through word of mouth and you are on your way.

    I do want to add, there is also a market for small goats such as nigerian dwarf or pygmies. They are a great size for a back yard BBQ or deep pit for a small party/family.
     
  17. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Ozarkin'it,

    That is probably true since 2/3 of the world eats goat meat. But if they sell goat meat in the US they have to by law list it as goat meat. They can't say ground BEEF and sell you goat.
     
  18. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Have you butchered Pygmies? How are they for feed conversion compared with boers?

    I have some older goat books that say they're good milkers. These were both published before the Nigerian Dwarfs became available. Some of the recent things I've read say that they're both about equal in the milk department but the dwarfs are registered as dairy animals because they do better with feed conversion for milk production. If both are equal in milk production but the pygmies make good meat animals, then I may reconsider them.
     
  19. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Pygmies might make good Bar-B-Que but they really don't seem to bring the money for meat that even dairy wethers will. I was at a stock auction last weekend in Mn that ran I guess around 100+ head of adult Pygmy goats and the vast majority went for meat at $12 - $15 each. Be pretty hard to break even at those prices!
    Daybird, you mentioned you are thinking about a buck. There is no contest-
    RENT
    Breeding fees for top bucks: $20-$50. You "rent" him for 2 months, he does his job and goes home.
    BUY
    Top Bucks: $450-$16,000 (just dairy, leaving out those crazy Boer $$) You buy him, then feed, vet, trim and smell him for the other 10 months. And buy a wether to keep him company. And put up fence that is twice as high and strong as what you have now to keep him from rebreeding your does a month after they kid. After 3 years you will need to sell him and buy another buck, as he probably shouldn't be the daddy AND BOTH the grandpas of your next batch of kids! :eek: