How to Get Started With Raising Goat for Meat
Raising goat for meat can be profitable for small-time farmers. In fact, in the U.S., there is a high demand for goat meat referred to as Chevon.
A lot of ethnic groups living in the U.S., from Eastern European to Hispanic to Southeastern Asian, depend on goat meat for the protein source.
Raising goat for meat also engages in different decisions. Some of them are selecting the breed of goat, making sure of a strong fencing and housing, and looking for the market for your goat meat.
Also, it means giving your goat with the right forage, food, and health care.
Where to Sell Your Goat Meat
A lot of markets may have various requirements for selling meat. For example, Italians love younger goats than older ones. On the other hand, Muslims prefer lean kids with only milk teeth at a period each year.
For the Hispanic communities, the veal goat or Cabrito is famous, which feeds on milk only. So, you should make an adequate stipulation for slaughtering them. Moreover, you should know these factors because they affect the cost of the meat.
How to Raise Meat Goats
Here are some of the ways to follow:
Carry Out Enough Research
Determine the Reasons Why You Want to Raise Goats
Before you buy your goats, you have to think why you want to have them. You have to remember that raising goats is such a huge commitment to follow.
In fact, you have to you feed them every day, pay for veterinary bills and food, and make sure that they stay safe and healthy.
Select the Right Breed Based on Your Requirements
The type of goats you pick should depend on your needs, including meat, milk, and fiber. Also, you should consider your goat sizes, care requirements, and temperament before raising them. Here are some of the most famous breeds for each need:
- Dairy Goats: Alpine, Nubian, La Mancha, Sable, Saanen, and Toggenburg.
- Meat Goats: Kiko, Boer, Savannah, Spanish, Genemaster, Texmaster, and Moneymaker.
- Fiber Goats: Angora, Pygora, Cashmere, Nigora.
- Pet Goats: Dwarf breeds, including Pygmy Goats, Nigerian Dwarfs, and Kinder.
Know How Much Space You Should Take
You should have a vast outdoor space, so your goats can explore and get some exercise to remain healthy. Additionally, they will need an indoor area for shelter and rest.
So, for the rule of thumb, you have to offer at least 15 feet of space for each standard size of your adult goat. On the other hand, the small breeds will need less space.
Choose the Healthiest-looking Goats
If you want to begin raising herds of goats, it is crucial that you know your preference. The last thing you’ll want is to purchase an unhealthy goat. So, what you have to do is to search for alert and bright-eyed goats.
Also, make sure that they are active with an equal gait. Then, you have to touch the body to assess for bumps and lumps. These may indicate an abscess and other abnormalities.
Also, watch out for the goat droppings and ensure that they are firm enough.
Moreover, look for goats that have rounded bellies, big milk sacks, and wide-set hips. If you can, you should also consider milking the goats to ensure that they have excellent temperament.
That way, the milk could come so quickly too. If you are purchasing dairy goats, make sure that they are responsive. You have to establish closeness for you to milk them.
Keep Your Goats Healthy
For a useful kidding and breeding, you have to make sure that you give your goats the proper minerals, vitamins, and protein. You may choose to buy supplements and minerals on the market.
But, high-quality hay can provide them with enough roughage and protein, especially during winter. Also, they need available water in the area and the pens.
Select Does Over Bucks and Wethers
When you are just beginning, you have to buy does because they can give off milk and kids.
Determine the Age of Your Does
You have a lot of choices when it comes to purchasing does. So, it will just rely on your budget and when are you planning to make your goats produce milk or kids.
Know That Goats are Herd Animals
You have to understand that goats are herd animals. That means that they want to live in groups. So, you have to purchase a minimum of two to three goats to begin your goat farm.
Feeding and Housing of the Goats
Provide Your Goats Easy Access to Shelter
As mentioned above, your goats will need a sheltered area for feeding and sleeping. It will also serve as a protection for night-time predators and severe weather conditions.
Create a Goat-Proof Fence
Goats escape fast. They can either jump over fences, climb trees, eat tropes and fit themselves in small areas. So, it is just right that you build a sturdy fence that will keep them in the area safe and sound.
Let Your Goats to Browse
You have to take note that these animals are browsers. So, they want to consume leaves, twigs, and weeds rather than just the grass.
Give Your Goats Grain and Hay
You have to remember that your goats will not grow and develop with just the food they get from browsing. What you have to do is to provide them with high-quality hay and grains.
Provide Your Goats With Enough Water
You have to consider that your goats need constant hydration, especially during humid and dry weather. So, it still all depends on the weather condition. You have to give each of your goats at least half gallon to 4 gallons of water per day.
Breeding Your Goats
Start Breeding Your Goats When They Reach Maturity
When the does enter maturity stage, they are ready for breeding. It may occur when they reach the weight of 60 pounds, or they are six months old. Their annual heat cycles commonly start around September or August.
Settle on How You’ll Raise the Baby Goats
After the baby goats are born, you have to stroke their bodies with a soft cloth to get rid of birthing materials and blood. Also, let the mother lick them to keep them clean.
Then, you have to decide what you have to do with these kids. If you are not planning to expand your herd, you have to know what you can do with the kids.
Keep Your Goats Safe
Protect Your Goats From Night Predators
It is essential that you are aware of night predators exploring your place, so you will know how to protect your goats. The common predators include coyotes, vultures, ravens, cougars, and dogs.
So, an ideal way to keep them safe is to lock these goals in a secured area each night. You should also consider getting a guard dog to protect them day and night.
Raising goats for meat is such a profitable business to start. When you put enough focus and effort, this may be the key to your future success.
However, when you begin this industry, there are a lot of things you should consider, especially your skills and knowledge about raising and breeding them.
So, for you to have a glimpse of what you have to expect in keeping goats for meat, you have to follow the suggestions indicated above. That way, you can make sure that your business will become a success.