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Episode 30 The Benefits of Goats

In response to the blog post on goat breeds I received a comment questioning the worth of goats.  That is a fair question, after all they aren’t the most popular homestead animal.  They look like a cross between Satan and a deer and they have a reputation for eating tin cans and escaping any pen (most of which is unfounded (I think!)).

Benefits of goats

*Meat.  Goat meat is called Chevon, Caprito is meat from younger goats.  I talk a little about the stigma with eating meat and why the year 1066 has disconnected us from the animals we eat.

*Milk/Cheese.  Goat’s milk is closer to human milk than cow’s milk.  Its a ton healthier as well.  And if you’ve ever eaten Feta (and I theorize any cheese!) you’d better thank a goat.

*Clearing Land.  Goats eat stuff that other animals won’t and can’t touch including poison ivy, wild rose and blackberries (if you consider them a weed!).

*Low Impact.  Require little feed.  Don’t compact land like cows do.

*Economic.  Regardless of how you feel about goats, other people will readily buy them from you!

Awesome article on raising goats here!

5 comments to Episode 30 The Benefits of Goats

  • Great post Jason! My husband and I are looking to buy goats for all the reasons you listed as soon as we have some property to keep them on. In regards to the “tang” of goats milk, all the research and reading we’ve done says that the “tang” only shows up in the milk when bucks are near the milking does. Apparently the hormones of the males reacts and taints the flavor of the doe’s milk. If you have does only the milk should have no “tang” or taste/smell as good or better than traditional cow’s milk! Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  • That is great information Cortney. Thanks for sharing!

    I hope your property search is going well.

    Jason

  • Linda

    Thank you for the Podcast on goats. I’m getting ready to purchase a couple Boer goats to breed and sell. One of our local Mexican restaurants always has goat meat dishes on the menu. I just registered for the forum and look forward to participating on it. Thanks for all your work on the podcasts.

  • Thanks for commenting Linda. I haven’t made up my mind which breed I’m going for once we move but Boer is on the short list.

    Jason

  • Sadie

    Great podcast! Meat goats are the fastest growing livestock niche right now. It’s really hard not to benefit in some way. Every day hundreds of thousands of pounds of goat meat are imported to meet demand of various ethnic markets because there just aren’t enough goats being produced here in the US to keep up with demand.

    With meat goats you can also rent them out as brush cutters, or to clean up weeds from a pasture. You can take extra weanlings to auction houses and sell them for slaughter animals. Raise them for production breed stock and sell the kids. Or raise them for show quality breed stock. One fertile acre will sustain six to eight does with kids. The average doe gives birth 1.5 times in 2 years and averages 1.5-2 kids per breeding with triplets and quads not uncommon. That’s an average potential of 18 kids every two years out of 6 does. Bucklings can breed as early as 3 months old. Does can kid at around 9 months old. It takes only 90 days for a kid to reach slaughter age.

    You mentioned kids for $100. It’s actually at an average of $350-400 for off farm breed stock right now. Even commodity auction houses are paying an average of $120-200 per head (per 100lb weight) for slaughter animals. In Goat Rancher magazine you will regularly see high end breedstock selling for well over $1,000 at national events. This year the show wether market is really taking off also. People are spending exaggerated amounts for castrated bucks they pamper for showing around the country. If you are a breeder and the progeny of your buck/doe wins a sanctioned show you get points applied to your parent stock. Of course if your breed stock is “ennobled” (ie many points) you can then get those exaggerated prices for your kids. The more show wethers you sell the likelier your goats will earn points and be worth more money. And considering that goats are extremely self sufficient and easy to raise it’s not a bad racket at all.

    Like other livestock industries, it’s easy to find semen from the best examples of bucks around the county. You can easily go from mediocre stock to great stock in only a few generations without ever investing in bucks, or even keeping a smelly buck at all.

    So in addition to being a great animal for personal self-sufficiency, there are many other options to explore.

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