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Anybody raising meat goats for market (direct sale or auction)?

 
J D Horn
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Goats sound like a great addition to the homestead but I'm curious as to whether anyone has experience with raising and selling meat goats, both to direct buyers and at auction. Is it profitable? What's the critical mass of herd size that generates a profit?
 
Milo Jones
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I'm not, but here are a couple of articles about people who sell goats for halal:

Amish raising goats for Muslim customers.

and

"goat farming was not how most immigrants envisioned life in the United States. "
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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We did. It wasn't.

Problems to overcome:

Fencing--they need GOOD fence to stay in and keep predators out.
Weather--they do not do well in wet weather. Lots of losses to pneumonia and just poor health (and weight loss) during the wet season.
Marketing--you need to be close to an ethnic group that like goat year-round. Just selling to holidays is difficult, especially if that means you have to be kidding in the wet season (see above).
Parasites--you need to paddock shift (including shelter) to help kill the parasite cycle.
Genetically strong stock--many goats are raised on drylot and/or doted on like pets. They are not tough enough to survive as a grazing permie livestock.
No margin for anything--a goat may sell for $100-200 (the price really fluctuates around here) at slaughter weight and 75-150 at weaning weight. That means you have $25-50 dollars to add 100 lbs and do any health management. They need to be zero input and you have to be your own vet.

We had gotten through most of those issues through generations of on-farm evolution (only the strong survive). Except the fences.

We now have a few dairy goats and will slaughter any wethers they throw, but switched to hair sheep as our meat animals.




 
J D Horn
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Thanks for the feedback - the lack of a broad market for the meat was what seemed most troubling, but if they lack resilience vs other grazing animals then that's a big negative. Top it off with meager profit margin and that seals the deal. I'd like to have a few for meat b/c I like the taste and it seems they are good for pasture health, but the more I'm researching the less appealing they are as a farmscale enterprise.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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