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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to seriously put pen to paper and get some numbers. so I have some questions.

1.The auction report here says "slaughter kids are prices per 100 weight" do I understand this correctly that the price of 85.00-97.00 given for 30-40lb kids is per 100lb weight of kids. meaning approx 3.3-2.5 kids at that weight, fetches 85.00-97.00?

2.Where do you most succesfully market your meat kids. Do you sell primarily through auction? If you sell off the farm how reliably can you sell the kids? how do you market them? what do yo get for them per lb off the farm?

3. Do any of you have a working relationship with a proccessor as an outlet for most of your stock? how did you come by it? what kind of regulations do you have to follow to use this sales outlet?

4. How much on average do your kids weigh at weaning?

Any insights to this market would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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1. Price is per 100 weight. So a $97 per 100 weight price means if your kid weighs 50 pounds, you get a gross price of $48.50, from which is deducted commission. Commission typically is as much as 10%, which would mean you pocket $43.65. Lest you think that's a bad deal for taking a load of 15-20 goats to the barn, just try the farm sales approach awhile, and you'll see that handling all the calls, waiting on people who don't show up, spending time talking to buyers, listening to the people who come 50 miles then tell you they won't pay more than $25 each, etc., will eat up that $4.85 pretty darned quick. It makes loading once, unloading once, and picking up a check feel better, let me tell you! 20 goats at $43.65 is $873, and then you can go to the house and have a cold one.

2. The best sales as far as GROSS money are off the farm. I regularly get $1 a pound or more, simply by putting a classified ad in the city daily newspaper. That has proven more effective than any other ad route for me. Many buyers come from 50 miles away off that ad, and buy multiple goats, for meat or for herd stock. All my bucks are wethered in the first week, which makes sweet ungamey meat but also means the are destined for the smoker. Goats sold off the farm are sold in my area by the animal, not by weight. Other areas do it differently. Kids not sold that way are sold through the auction. When I sell at auction, I do so October-January, when prices are best. July-August is worst; everyone is selling then. Auction kids should be as nicely muscled as any that a buyer picks off the farm, but they usually wind up being those not selected by farm buyers. I find most people who gripe about auction prices they get either: a.) do not understand the annual auction barn price cycles, and sell when it is the worst time; and/or b.) are presenting animals that are not conformationally good or of the proper READILY VISUALLY IDENTIFIABLE breeds, and expecting top dollar for them. I love sale barns, they make everything nice and honest, because conformation is what sells and not bul---er, I mean "marketing." Watch a few sale barn sale days, and you will know the bulls-eye you need to hit with your herd to be top-notch. The BS walks and the money talks at an auction barn, where professional buyers who look at goats for a living day in and day out are the show judges, and the prize is their money.

3. There are no processors here that allow me USDA inspection. Minus USDA inspection, I cannot sell my processed meat nationally, or even across the state line that is just 5 miles from my farm gate. There are a few state inspected processors around, and I can sell that meat within the state only. Most processors I have found who do goat here, though, are the "anything ya brung" type who normally do deer and are often unregulated. Good for your own use, not good for resale. Costs I have heard run $20-$25 per goat. There is another way, and that is to offer a place for folks to slaughter on your own place once they buy, but DW forbids it, so that's out. It also may be possible to get around it by doing animal shares, where the buyer buys the goat as a kid, pays you that last installment as a ready to go goat, and you bring it to the processor. The buyer picks it up there. I am wanting to go the processed meat route later in my 5-year biz plan, having identified a hungry customer base, and there is a farm here processing whole hog sausage for sale. I need to talk to those folks some.

4. 65-70 pounds average. I market them off the farm at that. Typically by the time they hit the sale barn in fall, they are 85-100+ pounds and 8-9 months old.

Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just wanted to say thanks for the info. I'm especially glad to know that its important to have identifiable breeds. I was thinking of just getting the best structured, meaty animals I could find, but now I realize I would be eliminating some possible buyers if I were to go to the sale with meaty mutts. hmmm maybe I could make a new breed "American Meaty Mutts...." I was hoping to find a large outlet, I ran across an article describing intentions for Blue Diamond Ventures to open a proccessing facility here in oklahoma. I also have an old aquaintance who has a custom butcher business that I am going to make contact with to pick his brain. I am not looking to make alot of money but I am trying to see if its a worthwhile venture to help pay for a larger piece of property.
 

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DQ, it is fine to have mixed breed goats, but there is no doubt that the readily identifiable brown head/white body of a Boer will bring more at auction sales. Likewise, a Boer-like chunky body is desireable. If you can look at the goat from 20 yards and say, "That's a Boer," you are going to get a bit more for it. I am not saying you need pedigreed breeder stock. But like the black hair on an Angus, the brown/white and body bulk make easily identifiable Boer-cross kids bring more.

In fact, one of the cheapest ways to start is with mongrel goat does and a Boer buck who is at least 7/8. Then take the kid does out of that and breed them back to another Boer buck. Sell the bucks for meat. That first generation will make you go WHOA, but the second generation will be really nice and will mostly have the Boer coloration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
percentage boers is what I originally was thinking. right now I have 3 nubian and 2 percentage boer crosses. not including pets and milkers of course. I have access to 2 large :eek: full blood bucks less than 1/4 mile away, so I should get at least two generations before I need to buy a buck. then I will take the best buck out of all that I have, (and I know which doe that will come out of :) )and use him. the first time I went to look at the bucks I thought "holy crap that can't be a goat!" I hope they don't crush my girls! of course I had this all planned out and then realized my 2.5 acres isn't going to last very long if I keep all the does. so here I go trying to figure out how to buy more land. I needed a reason to justify it anyway, he he he. right now they have plenty of browse but I bet that gets used up fast as my herd grows.

 

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I would advise against using a buck that is as large as you apparently want to use, co,pared to your doe siaze. You will almost certainly invite kidding troubles. The safest way to upsize is to use moderately larger-framed bucks on each successive generation.

Now here's a little secret a lot of folks wouldn't want known: moderately sized goats usually are the most economical to raise. It's the same with cows.

Your does look perfectly acceptable as starter mamas. On the buying of land, if that is what it is going to take, it makes it hard to actually make money on meat goats when you have to buy land for them. Might be easier if you could lease some, if that's possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't have enough experience with bucks to know if they are really large or are just normal and big to me! they are larger than my does for sure, both taller and more massive, and kidding problems came to mind. the does that the owner has do not seem any larger than mine and he uses those bucks. of course if he jumped off a bridge I wouldn't follow :) . he came to look at mine and said he thought they would be fine...but...he hasn't been doing this any longer than me so.... that brings a question, how big is too big? I really don't want to learn the hard way that these guys are too big. I considered using them on the two boer does and finding something else to service the smaller framed nubians. I plan on breeding in october so I have a little time to mull it over. this board is a major source of information for me, I don't have anyone that I would feel could mentor me or give me a straight answer, everyone has every reason to tell me my does are fine for their bucks with $$ in thier eyes, and most people seem to be full of %#&* concerning at least some aspect of the conversations I've had with them.
on the other note about buying more property, I don't neccesarily want to make money, but was trying to figure out if the goats could help offset the expense of more land in any meaningful way....if I leased it, it would be money out of my pocket just as it would if I was paying for it and if
I am going to shell out any money for land I would rather buy it even if it is at greater expense, or the expense of my "profit". I want the land for more than just goats so I am not looking at it (the land) as purely a business propositon concerning the goats,...does that make any sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess another way of putting it is that I'm not looking for money in my pocket, I am looking to walk around naked in my own yard. and the meth cook next door ending a police chase with his car in a tree in my back yard after going through two of my fences a few years back really made me not want neighbors. :shrug:
 

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If the buck looks more than 20% bigger than the doe when they are side by side, I would get ready to pull kids. If the buck has a head that looks proportionately larger than the body, I would be ready to assist. If the buck's head looks smaller than it should for the body, that's a good thing.

When you run those bucks that are a third or more bigger, you will very likely be dropping 9-11 pound kids out of that dairy-cross stock that is unused to the massive bone structure, etc. in that size Boer cross kid. Now if you step it off with a 20% bigger buck, then breed those kids to a 20% bigger buck than they are, you'll get frame without the headaches. It just takes a couple years. The beauty of going in two steps like that is, you can tune them twice to your conformational desires.

I like the fact that you are looking at conversations you have with a critical eye, and not just accepting everything wholesale. That will stand you in good stead.

Cattle folks around here always breed huge bulls to their little cows, too. Kills a lot of calves and cows, yet it comes down to the same rule for cows and goats: Just because it is big at birth does not mean it will outgain smaller animals after it hits the ground.

I have a 3 1/2 month old kids that was born to a boer-dairy cross (bony girl, too) that is now as big as she is. Born small, no birthing problems, unassisted. That makes sense to me. That is not my only one like that, either.

On the land, if you use your goats to clean up the land for you, that's a good thing, too. Not everyone is in it for profit, but using goats to keep the land cleared saves you money on fuel and equipment, and your time, even if you don't profit off the enterprise. If you buy overgrown land and fence it, and they clean it up for you, they are also increasing its value.

That's what I am doing. I seek to profit from the goats, but I also am using them to clean up land that will one day be a subdivision I plan for my retirement years.
 

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Here's my 2 cents worth:

Remember that you are breeding to the genotype and not the phenotype. That means, for example, that if you use a smallish buckling of only a few months of age, his kids will be the same size they would be as when he is several years old and weights hundreds of pounds. The genes are what counts and not the actual size of the buck. You could more safely use a huge buck who throws tiny kids than a young small buck who throws big ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will be going to take care of these bucks for the next few days, while owner is on vacation I was going to trade that for a few coverings, I think I will take some pics next to me and take some of my girls too so that you guys can tell me if you think I'd be nuts to use them, or if I just need to be extra vigilant about being there for the kidding. I suppose I would want to be careful about feeding them during gestation too and make sure they get just what they need and no more. I need to ask if he has had much kidding problems, I remember him telling me he had to pull one last year, and said something about a c-section on one too. but two problems out of approx 50 births hmmmm. I'm glad you guys are here to make me really think critically about this. I know its difficult to determine what problems are caused by managment and what is a genetic predisposition to problems. and managment could be an issue here..without getting into too many details. I need to dig around and try to weedle out some more info from him....time to break out the booze and wear a low cut shirt :p
 

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DQ, yer my kinda girl! LOL. And to think, I have been giving out all this info without benefit of the booze or the low-cut shirt. :)

I's say C-section is a bad sign. I touched none of my goats as they delivered into the pasture last year. Only one I actually saw was just cuz I was out there at the time. Oh, I like it that way! I just wander out, pick up the kids to sex them and register them in the herd book, slip a band on the bucks that have descended testicles, and that's it.

It would be nice if we regular folks had EPDs on bucks like cattle folks do. But the best we can do is size them up. Also, like I said before, moderate framed animals tend to do better in terms of actual meat produced per acre than large-framed animals...true of cows and goats. The moderate framed ones utilize forage better.

But back to the booze and the low-cut shirt... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok here are some comparison pics... Jim, sorry I forgot the low cut shirt! you would probably be terribly disapointed anyway. the booze is a neccesary part of the equation. there is one pic that I am standing behind them a ways that makes them look especially huge, thats the best shot I could get of the darker caped one, they would barely stop rough housing to get anything decent. Keep in mind that the boer does are only 8 ish months old I expect them to get more growth on them over the next few months but still they are going to be quite a bit smaller than those boys.




 
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