Raising Goats for meat

Discussion in 'Goats' started by HobbyfarmingMO, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. HobbyfarmingMO

    HobbyfarmingMO Member

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    I have some pet goats and love them dearly. Since I enjoy them so much, I am thinking about raising goats for meat. I have 8 acres going to waste. Anybody have any tips ... getting started, breeds, etc. I haven't made up my mind yet, but it can't hurt to start doing some research. Thanks!
     
  2. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    I took some web-based training here:

    http://www2.luresext.edu/goats/training/qa.html

    I also know that the Penn State Exension office offers online training.

    I joined the state meat goat association, and found some really wonderful mentors.

    Good luck! I'm just getting started too.

    T
     

  3. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I have Boers. I really like them. They are hardy, quiet and cute. They don't mind the rain and snow as much as I've seen other goats. Quiet heats, easy deliveries. Good mothers.

    I started with two pregnant does who had 5 does their first kidding. Kept 4 of them with the moms for my foundation herd.
     
  4. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Word of caution here-- raising for meat is NOT raising for enjoyment-- do you have the capability to see them go off to slaughter without crying your heart out or feeling guilty for killing them? You have to be able to distance yourself, in a way, from them. you cannot let yourself get "attached" to something that is intended to be dinner!
     
  5. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    My son raises boers for the 4H sale. I cry my eyes out on loading day...in the bathroom where no one can see.
    :Bawling: :Bawling:

     
  6. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    okay <hug>

    so many people 'think' that raising animals is all fun and enjoymenrt-- then when they see the harsher side, they can't handle it. I am enterinmg my new life fully grounded and aware-- but then, in Physiology class, I am /was the only one not grossed out by dissections! Now, I keep the kids on track with theirs--it is hard trying to train objectivity into an emotional Equine student. The students in other majors are actually better at it!!! I am 49 years old--gruesome stuff turns my stomach, but what must done out of necessity does not. go figure!
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I reccomend the Boer/Dairy crosses. I really like my Boer/Saanens and Boer/Lamanchas, but other dairy breeds work well too. They raise meaty babies fast on all that milk from the dairy side. Breed them to a good, meaty Boer buck(preferably Fullblood), stand back and watch them produce! :)
    As for the butchering side of it......you can raise and love goats and still butcher them as well. Its just a job that needs done and at least you know they were happy and healthy their entire lives, which is a lot more than you can say for any of the meat you buy. Maybe it was....but probably not. Its a job that needs done, not one I enjoy, but its just another job to do *right*. Don't love on the goats intended for butcher, don't name them(unless its *Burger* or something like that), and don't bottle raise them!! Have your pets...and your goats for meat, don't make pets out of your butcher goats. My Boer breeding does are pets, but their kids intended for slaughter are left to themselves and grow up flighty. I touch them as little as possible until butchering day. I love the Boers. I love their size, looks, temperment....everything about them. Good luck!!
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    Yes, loving them and LOVING them are too different things! We are new at farming and just had our first four pigs butchered and fortunately I had prepared myself for it by not getting attached like I have to our gilt set aside for breeding. I also adore my does and buck, because we don't plan to eat them - but still there will likely come a time to cull when they have outlived their productivity - then I will shed tears letting them go!

    I do worry a smidge about butchering goats. All I have now is 3 dairy does and one young boer buck, but when the day comes to butcher those cute babies - I need to perpare for that!

    I have a brother in law who was raised on a small farm with pigs, cows, chickens. He eats very little meat now because of how they are killed. My philosophy is the same that's been posted here - I have given them the best life they can have. Fed and sheltered them well and this is thier purpose. We agree to disagree. He does appreciate that their lives on my farm are much happier than those in a stockyard!

    kidsngarden
     
  9. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Processing animals really doesn't bother me. We do our rabbits, chickens, geese, pigs..none bothered me. But there are something about the goats that get to me. The ones I know that are going for food I try not to get too close to. The 4H goats are the worst for us because we spend more time with them than any other animal. We have to bathe and brush them, show them, etc..
    You really do develop a bond with them. My son did real well last year. He was great, not a tear. A few days after fair was over he mentioned that he kinda missed his goat, then started talking about what he wanted to do for the is years fair. I'm so proud of him! I tend to be emotional at times when I am exhausted. About the last day of fair, that's when the 4H market is held...I am beat.
     
  10. smumitson

    smumitson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the last day of fair is a kicker! My dd did dogs the last 2 years which is very labor intensive. Now all three are trying their hand at poultry - we shall see how that is.

    When you have to work with an animal a lot it is harder. We had a pig that got this huge cyst while we were feeding them out - it was so painful he was limping so we had to drain it and give him shots for a bit. It was quite the ordeal for awhile - but even that nastiness some how put us in this love hate thing with him. he was such a character that it was hard to see him get shot at butcher - but it didn't hurt quite so bad since he was a bear to get to the butcher pen!

    kidsngarden
     
  11. Sher

    Sher Well-Known Member

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    Since you said you wanted to raise meat goats..I am going to assume that you already know the "let go" junk.

    You wanted tips..Here's mine.

    I use 100% dairy does and 50/50 dairy/boer does. The milk makes those kids grow..I wean them between 2 and 3 months old. They eat hay, know what a sconche of grain is and drink water.

    I do not vaccinate or give shots unless absolutely necessary. I don't castrate..in my case the customers don't require it so I don't stress the boys by doing it.

    They have room to play..get their sunshine..nibble...and be happy.

    It's the quickest way to turn a profit from a farm animal that I have done. And the goats are great to work with.

    My herd is closed. My does remain the same. I am happy with my kids and so are the customers. Here..they want them between 35 and 60 lbs. Definitely no larger. The four 3 month olds were averageing 50 lbs. They brought $72.50 a piece. I was susrprised because I sold them the Wed. before Easter. . and the big sale of goats was the week before..3000 head...I was very satisfied.

    Hope this helps. Love seeing someone else get into meat goats...the population of ethnic peoples dictates that we need more of them raised.
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are sold at weaning, this is the best way to do it. They go directly to slaughter and do not require shots or worming most of the time. They get slaughtered at a young age so do not require being banded or cut. Less time and money put into them, the more profit you make. Thats not to say that you don't properly house and feed them for the short time you are their caretaker. But don't do unneccesary things.
     
  13. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    We home butcher our goats too. We have lamanchas for milk and Boers for milk. We also cross some Lamancha dairy goats with Boer bucks for great meat kids. Like others have said, just don't get attched to the meat kids. Distance yourself. It gets easier. You know the meat is better than from the store and had a better existance. You are in control. If at first, the whole thing doesn't go as planned, don't give up on the idea. Raising your own goat meat is a wonderful way of life. We have developed quite a taste for it and eat more goat meat than anything else. When you have so many buck kids all the time, you may as well pu them in your own freezer and not have to buy beef.
     
  14. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    This weekend I had my first taste of lamb in years because I hated it then and I still do now. I have read that goats can taste like lamb which would mean I would definetely have to just sell the buggers and keep none for myself. Does it really taste like lamb?

    kidsngarden
     
  15. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, in my opinion properly prepared goat meat tastes more like beef.....just as good too!!