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Eating a goat  RSS feed

 
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Recently I was gifted a Nubian buck kid, 5 months old, to breed my doe. He is very loud and the giver doesn't want him back😉. I was thinking of keeping him with the doe until December and then having him butchered at about 7 months. He doesn't have much bucky scent. Is the meat likely to be good? One local person has told me that no unneutered buck over 3-4 months old is edible.
 
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Depends on your tolerance for strong gamey meat and also how you prepare it.  Personally I would curry it.  I would can the meat with curry spices right in the jars.  Preferably after hanging the animal or putting it somewhere cold, if the weather isn't cold enough, after skinning and gutting, to let it age for a few days....
 
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It would probably taste better if you butcher in the spring when his hormones are less excited.

Nothing wrong with male goat meat, especially if they meet a calm ending so the stress doesn't flavour the meat.  I choose a home death using a halal butcher so I know the animal is calm and relaxed, especially for adult or male animals.  This makes the meat more tender and mild.
 
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lots of good recipes from the Caribbean and the magreb for goat
 
Heather Ward
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I never thought of being able to have a butcher come to my place. I'll look into that. I have access to some very good pork belly, and thought of grinding some of the meat half and half with pork belly to make sausage. Does that have possibilities?
I've also come across a Mexican recipe for grilled goat marinated in garlic, cumin, and oil, and that might be worth trying.
 
r ranson
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Mmmm, pork and goat sausage!  Fantastic!

Goat sausage is also amazing.  Then again, even an adult goat can taste good on its own.  If the animal meets a calm end, it tastes a bit like mild beef with a hint of lamb.  

I butcher at home because the first animal we raised and sent to the abattoir, was about 100 pounds live weight.  We got 42 pounds of meat!  Up to 60% of the animal can go in the garbage at a facility, depending on all sorts of factors.  I find that disrespectful to the animal.  I decided to learn to butcher at home.  Here, the local laws say I can harvest my own animal, on my own land, for my own consumption.  It's good to check what your local laws are as this isn't always the case.  I hire someone to do the ending.  It makes me sad, but I watch because it is a life I've been responsible for and I want to be certain the ending is calm.  A home butchery gives me about 90 to 95% edible product and the rest is useful (bones, horn, hide) so that the only thing that goes to waste is some of the blood that spills during the first cut.  And the lungs.  I hate tripe!  That goes to the chickens.  

The first goat we did at home was an angry old thing.  She was about 10 years old and attacked a child.  I cull for personality and any animal of mine that attacks a human (that isn't me) doesn't get to see another sunrise.  You wouldn't believe how angry this goat was.  Think of the grumpiest goat you can imagine, and triple it.  Angry, smelly, nasty goat.  We thought no way is this meat going to be edible.  But she broke the rule so we got our friend around to slaughter her halal style.  This involves calming the goat.  He lay the goat down on the ground and stroked her until she was completely relaxed.  This can take anywhere from a minute to an hour.  For Madam Angry Goat, it took about 20 minutes.  When she was completely relaxed, she was ended with a quick slash of the knife.  A very fast death.  The meat was tender, had none of that rare meat smell you get in the grocery shop, it tasted like lamb with a hint of beef.  We expected to make sausage with her.  No need.  The meet was lovely as is.  

In the Charcuterie by Boetticher and Miller has been my favourite book - not just for cutting up the meat but also for recipes.  Their recipes are more like guidelines.  This is what you do to keep it safe, these are some ideas on how to make salami, now go forth and experiment.  


 
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Goat birria is a Mexican preparation for a whole goat that is popular for celebrations.  I had a guy butcher a goat for me once on site and prep it for birria.  It was pretty amazing to watch, just a couple parts are not used, you can guess which ones. The guys method was very similar to the halal style described.  A sort of sausage is made with the organs and everything receives a chili spice blend.  The goat once prepared is slow cooked in a tamale steamer topped with nopales/prickly pear pads if I remember correctly.
 
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When you send an animal to the slaughter house they remove the hide, head, feet and entrails which for sheep and goats is usually 55-60% of the liveweight so 42pounds from a 100 pound animal is about right. We usually worked on 42% yield on the farm I used to work on when sending lambs away
 
r ranson
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Andy Moffatt wrote:When you send an animal to the slaughter house they remove the hide, head, feet and entrails which for sheep and goats is usually 55-60% of the liveweight so 42pounds from a 100 pound animal is about right. We usually worked on 42% yield on the farm I used to work on when sending lambs away



Yes, it is pretty standard.

I think there are a lot of useful parts on an animal that we don't use anymore.  We can make headcheese from goat and sheep - it's quite nice actually.  Sometimes the facility tosses the neck which makes the best sausage.  The hide can be tanned or used as rawhide.  Fat for soap, hand cream, a lotion for oiling wooden tools, or even as grease for some mechanical tools.  Hooves make rattles or gelatin.  Bones and horns are very useful.  guts for sausage casings, stomach and pluck for haggis (goat haggis is very nice, it's like an oatmeal sausage).  I can understand why these are tossed in an abattoir as they aren't very popular with the modern pallet.  

However, I don't find that kind of waste acceptable for my own animals.  It's like cooking a meal, then tossing over half of it in the trash.  I'm very soft-hearted about my livestock and I don't feel it honours their giving their life for my subsistence if I don't make the most of it.  Also, I'm frugal and hate the idea of tossing useful things away.
 
Drew Moffatt
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Same, ask people in the street what giblets are...
It's all in our head I have recipes for calf and lambs head and brains I just haven't gone there yet, other offal is good as.
I hunt/shoot feral goats I try pick younger nannies but we've eaten some stinkies the really stinky stuff like old billies and big wild boars gets turned into tasty pickles and salamis.
You could find someone who knows how to cut him, we do it to lambs and bulls. A sharp knife is all you need and you'll have a wether.
 
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My family an I have eaten many intact billys under a year old.  We have not noticed any weird gamey flavors.

In general, I think people are overly afraid of gameyNess in animals.
 
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IF ya want your moneys worth here is my opinion, Its what ya paid for it.

I hear all the time from people that know little how this animal or that animal is "gamey" or isn't good unless this or that. HAWGWARSH! Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose. Roast that boy over an open fire and invite some friendly Greeks over, brother you will have the best time ever! Put a stick in one end and out the other and turn over hot coals for about half a day or less and when you cut into that goat it will be the best you ever tasted. Shoot, much of it also makes great hamburger meat. Grind it up and add some seasoning. MMMMMM. Im hungry just thinking about it.


On second thought, that goat will taste horrid! I wouldn't waste the time skinning him! I pay shipping and you send him down here. Ill put it to work pulling a sled or something for Santa. Yeah, you send him here. Scratch all that stupid talk I just wrote out.
 
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I've eaten a couple of young bucks easily over that 3-4 month threshold and found them quite tasty.  The whole "gamey" thing gets me.  I think a more apt term would be "flavory"--because, really, most people are so used to bland industrial meat that anything with any depth of flavor is almost over the top and thus gets denigrated as being "gamey."

That's not to say you'll like it, though.  My wife is well accustomed to "strong" (another pet term) meat--venison, boar hog, duck, guinea--but just doesn't like the flavor of goat.

I'd say eat him.  Try some minimally prepared--salt and pepper, a little fat if needed--and if you just don't like the flavor you can bury the rest of the cuts in flavorful chilis, curries, etc.
 
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Goat and Sheep have a similar chemical as does deer... the reason we call it "gamey".  Older sheep (Mutton) tastes stronger than lamb (a young sheep).  Same with goat.    We gelded a young male goat and raised him for 2 years to stock size... he butchered out at over 200 lbs dressed.  He was a Kikobo.. an Australian Kiko mixed with the Boer goat.  Best animal we owned for a bit.  But the reality is that testosterone will flavor the meat some.  But be mindful that people have eaten older goats for a long time.  It's all in how you cook and season it.  If you are planning to eat it, I think you would want to let him be with her for at least 2 breeding cycles (about 2 months.  Then I would geld him and "fatten" him.  Let him live for a few months, up to 6 to let the testosterone come out as much as possible and then you could slaughter him for max weight and flavor.  That would be what I would do if I had no desire to keep him as a breeding buck.  And you can cull for any and all particular traits... like odor, color, aggressiveness, does he have good structure that he passes on to the kids, etc.  Lots of things to consider here.

For your knowledge here's a good web site:  http://www.weedemandreap.com/goat-breeding-101/
 
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r ranson wrote:

Andy Moffatt wrote:When you send an animal to the slaughter house they remove the hide, head, feet and entrails which for sheep and goats is usually 55-60% of the liveweight so 42pounds from a 100 pound animal is about right. We usually worked on 42% yield on the farm I used to work on when sending lambs away



Yes, it is pretty standard.

I think there are a lot of useful parts on an animal that we don't use anymore.  We can make headcheese from goat and sheep - it's quite nice actually.  Sometimes the facility tosses the neck which makes the best sausage.  The hide can be tanned or used as rawhide.  Fat for soap, hand cream, a lotion for oiling wooden tools, or even as grease for some mechanical tools.  Hooves make rattles or gelatin.  Bones and horns are very useful.  guts for sausage casings, stomach and pluck for haggis (goat haggis is very nice, it's like an oatmeal sausage).  I can understand why these are tossed in an abattoir as they aren't very popular with the modern pallet.  

However, I don't find that kind of waste acceptable for my own animals.  It's like cooking a meal, then tossing over half of it in the trash.  I'm very soft-hearted about my livestock and I don't feel it honours their giving their life for my subsistence if I don't make the most of it.  Also, I'm frugal and hate the idea of tossing useful things away.




Yes, All of this! I am about to harvest our faithful lawn mower, an inexpensive boer/nubian mutt Van-goat. We will be serving him as the centerpiece to our non-profits harvest celebration.I will be slaughtering myself and would like to fully utilize him out of respect and to show our community how to live in the third way. I am scouring the internet for resources and would really appreciate any pointers or links! I have slaughtered chickens and ducks and helped with deer and pigs in the past, but never a goat nor a large animal by myself. I;ve got about three weeks to prepare.

_20170507_153919.jpg
[Thumbnail for _20170507_153919.jpg]
Van-goat a few months back
 
Drew Moffatt
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Have you seen it done before ? Cutting throats properly with a quick kill and little wastage of the meat is a skill and not for the faint of heart.
 
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Nick Milan wrote:

r ranson wrote:

Andy Moffatt wrote:When you send an animal to the slaughter house they remove the hide, head, feet and entrails which for sheep and goats is usually 55-60% of the liveweight so 42pounds from a 100 pound animal is about right. We usually worked on 42% yield on the farm I used to work on when sending lambs away



Yes, it is pretty standard.

I think there are a lot of useful parts on an animal that we don't use anymore.  We can make headcheese from goat and sheep - it's quite nice actually.  Sometimes the facility tosses the neck which makes the best sausage.  The hide can be tanned or used as rawhide.  Fat for soap, hand cream, a lotion for oiling wooden tools, or even as grease for some mechanical tools.  Hooves make rattles or gelatin.  Bones and horns are very useful.  guts for sausage casings, stomach and pluck for haggis (goat haggis is very nice, it's like an oatmeal sausage).  I can understand why these are tossed in an abattoir as they aren't very popular with the modern pallet.  

However, I don't find that kind of waste acceptable for my own animals.  It's like cooking a meal, then tossing over half of it in the trash.  I'm very soft-hearted about my livestock and I don't feel it honours their giving their life for my subsistence if I don't make the most of it.  Also, I'm frugal and hate the idea of tossing useful things away.




Yes, All of this! I am about to harvest our faithful lawn mower, an inexpensive boer/nubian mutt Van-goat. We will be serving him as the centerpiece to our non-profits harvest celebration.I will be slaughtering myself and would like to fully utilize him out of respect and to show our community how to live in the third way. I am scouring the internet for resources and would really appreciate any pointers or links! I have slaughtered chickens and ducks and helped with deer and pigs in the past, but never a goat nor a large animal by myself. I;ve got about three weeks to prepare.



The best way to kill a goat is with a twenty-two bullet to the back of the head, between the ears.  They are about the same to butcher as a deer, though usually a bit smaller (quite a bit smaller, if you are butchering a young goat).  I have Messianic Jewish friends and one year they butchered one of my goats kosher (unofficial, because there was no rabbi presiding).  Killing the animal with a knife to the throat is, in my opinion, MUCH less humane than a bullet in the brain.  So there is that to consider.
 
Wes Hunter
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Killing the animal with a knife to the throat is, in my opinion, MUCH less humane than a bullet in the brain.  So there is that to consider.



This seems reasonable, but I think it isn't necessarily the case.  The folks at Farmstead Meatsmith talk about this in reference to sheep, but I'd assume it applies to goats as well.  Apparently if one can keep the animal's feet off the ground (as one does while shearing), they actually keep calm and don't panic; the panic response happens AFTER they start running.  In other words, flight then fright.  As far as the pain involved, a good cut from a sharp knife causes only a minor amount of pain initially, so it's not as though an animal thus killed would be writhing about in agony.

So the argument then goes that it's actually MORE humane to kill them with a knife, when it's done as described.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Wes Hunter wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Killing the animal with a knife to the throat is, in my opinion, MUCH less humane than a bullet in the brain.  So there is that to consider.



This seems reasonable, but I think it isn't necessarily the case.  The folks at Farmstead Meatsmith talk about this in reference to sheep, but I'd assume it applies to goats as well.  Apparently if one can keep the animal's feet off the ground (as one does while shearing), they actually keep calm and don't panic; the panic response happens AFTER they start running.  In other words, flight then fright.  As far as the pain involved, a good cut from a sharp knife causes only a minor amount of pain initially, so it's not as though an animal thus killed would be writhing about in agony.

So the argument then goes that it's actually MORE humane to kill them with a knife, when it's done as described.



Have you ever seen it done?  Because I have, and never again unless I have no other way to butcher the animal.
 
Wes Hunter
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Have you ever seen it done?  Because I have, and never again unless I have no other way to butcher the animal.



I've seen and participated in it being done in what I'd call a less than optimal way, and while I didn't love it it wasn't terrible.  I do think it's easy to anthropomorphize, and to interpret such things as being worse than they really are.  I guess, in the end, I trust those who know more about this than I, and am content to rely on their experience and understanding.
 
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I am often given wild rabbit, goat, tahr and venison in exchange for homemade preserves and if ever in doubt about the meat, will soak overnight in a brine which helps to tenderise and minimise any gameyness.  In any event, marinating in plenty of garlic and red wine makes all meat taste better😉
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Wes Hunter wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Have you ever seen it done?  Because I have, and never again unless I have no other way to butcher the animal.



I've seen and participated in it being done in what I'd call a less than optimal way, and while I didn't love it it wasn't terrible.  I do think it's easy to anthropomorphize, and to interpret such things as being worse than they really are.  I guess, in the end, I trust those who know more about this than I, and am content to rely on their experience and understanding.



I should have added this to my comment above -- I don't tend to anthropomorphize animals.  I was raised on a homestead in Alaska; some of the earliest pictures my mother has of me are when I was a toddler, sitting on the makeshift table outdoors where she was butchering and processing salmon or caribou.  My family hunted for nearly all of our meat; my grandfather and uncle were professional trappers.  As an adult most years I've had something to butcher, whether it was just chickens or rabbits, or homegrown sheep or goats or pigs.  So normally butchering doesn't bother me a whole lot.  I don't enjoy killing animals -- I think anyone who does has mental issues.  But I am not squeamish about it, either.  And I would not butcher with a knife again unless I had absolutely no choice.  (I do butcher poultry by cutting their heads off; I drop the carcass in a five-gallon bucket so it doesn't flop all over the place.)  

 
Wes Hunter
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I didn't mean to intimate that you were guilty of anthropomorphizing, Kathleen, just throwing that out into the discussion at large.

I wonder if you find any inconsistency in your acceptance of killing poultry with just a knife and rejection of killing a goat with just a knife?

I slaughter poultry by putting them in a kill cone, piercing their brain, then cutting the arteries so that they bleed out through their mouth.  (This lack of an external wound makes the dry plucking and waxing easier.)  Sometimes, piercing the brain seems to render them immediately unconscious, and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes, for one reason or other, a bird will take longer than it ought to bleed out, and I end up whacking it on the back of the head to finish it off.  Last January, we had a pig slaughter that didn't go as planned.  It took multiple shots to finally put him down.  I feel somewhat bad about the poultry slaughters that don't go as planned, but I felt absolutely terrible about the pig.  This seems inconsistent to me, and I assume that I am, though not entirely anthropomorphizing, at least partially anthropomorphizing the pig, or generally anthropomorphizing mammals more than birds.  To some degree this seems reasonable, as I myself am a mammal, but it still bugs me.

On the other hand, I don't want to make the mistake of just assuming that all animals are the same and need to thus be treated the same, in their raising and their killing.  Maybe a slightly botched chicken slaughter simply isn't nearly as bad for the animal as a botched pig slaughter.  After all, it's stressful to chickens to try and round them up into a group, while that's what ducks do naturally.  Would it not therefore be reasonable to think that there might be a way of killing chickens that is preferable for them, and a different way of killing ducks that is preferable for them?  And would it not therefore follow that the same would be true among mammal species?
 
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Drew Moffatt wrote:Same, ask people in the street what giblets are...
It's all in our head I have recipes for calf and lambs head and brains I just haven't gone there yet, other offal is good as.
I hunt/shoot feral goats I try pick younger nannies but we've eaten some stinkies the really stinky stuff like old billies and big wild boars gets turned into tasty pickles and salamis.
You could find someone who knows how to cut him, we do it to lambs and bulls. A sharp knife is all you need and you'll have a wether.



Almost anything on an animal can be used for something. When my grandparents slaughtered a goat or pig, everything was put to some good use.

I hear some people complain about buck smell and taste, but I personally do not mind
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Wes Hunter wrote:I didn't mean to intimate that you were guilty of anthropomorphizing, Kathleen, just throwing that out into the discussion at large.

I wonder if you find any inconsistency in your acceptance of killing poultry with just a knife and rejection of killing a goat with just a knife?

I slaughter poultry by putting them in a kill cone, piercing their brain, then cutting the arteries so that they bleed out through their mouth.  (This lack of an external wound makes the dry plucking and waxing easier.)  Sometimes, piercing the brain seems to render them immediately unconscious, and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes, for one reason or other, a bird will take longer than it ought to bleed out, and I end up whacking it on the back of the head to finish it off.  Last January, we had a pig slaughter that didn't go as planned.  It took multiple shots to finally put him down.  I feel somewhat bad about the poultry slaughters that don't go as planned, but I felt absolutely terrible about the pig.  This seems inconsistent to me, and I assume that I am, though not entirely anthropomorphizing, at least partially anthropomorphizing the pig, or generally anthropomorphizing mammals more than birds.  To some degree this seems reasonable, as I myself am a mammal, but it still bugs me.

On the other hand, I don't want to make the mistake of just assuming that all animals are the same and need to thus be treated the same, in their raising and their killing.  Maybe a slightly botched chicken slaughter simply isn't nearly as bad for the animal as a botched pig slaughter.  After all, it's stressful to chickens to try and round them up into a group, while that's what ducks do naturally.  Would it not therefore be reasonable to think that there might be a way of killing chickens that is preferable for them, and a different way of killing ducks that is preferable for them?  And would it not therefore follow that the same would be true among mammal species?




I suppose that the reason it bothers me more to slaughter goats with a knife than it does to slaughter chickens is that goats are mammals with some degree of intelligence, while chickens are birds with very little brain (though lots of instinct).  And, I don't normally slaughter chickens with a knife, I chop their heads off with an axe.  So they aren't just bleeding out while still alive, they are DEAD.  And then there is the fact that I don't get attached to individual chickens (I don't keep them for pets, or make pets out of them, the way some people do).  But my goats have normally been bottle-fed from my hand for at least a couple of months, and when I butcher a former milker, I've also been hand-milking that doe twice a day, usually for years.  You get attached, even without anthropomorphizing them.  So it bothers me more to see them suffer.  I hate to see the life go out of their eyes even when I've put a .22 bullet through their brain; sitting there for many minutes watching them bleed out while still alive is HARD.  

Kathleen
 
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We were gifted two Anglo Nubian cross males at about 4 months old, we accepted to experiment and see how we got on with them...
  • It was winter so a bad decision on our part... very little browse on any trees for them
  • We underestimated the climbing ability of these youngsters - they came over 4ft 6in fencing and gate regularly
  • I think that they are dirty animals... they pee and defecate in their bedding and these two also tipped their feed out of the bucket or "hooved it" out of a trough
  • Very wasteful eaters from the manger (in my uneducated and novice opinion)
  • Once they started peeing on each other.....
  • I didn't find them entertaining, responsive or endearing as I do pigs and geese - but don't bite my head off, many people like and get on well with goats; I just realised they were not my thing

  • I had my first slaughter experience with these goats, I watched one calmly slaughtered with the knife - watching how the slaughterman held the goat, calmly restrained it and quickly dispatched it - and then I copied him very successfully and I believe humanely and respectfully.  Don't get me wrong, I may not have "liked" these goats they were well treated and I respect everything I am going to eat!

    I also agree that all parts of any livestock usually have some good uses - expected and unexpected!
  • Hooves went to the slaughterman (tradition here in Bulgaria)
  • Skins went to a gypsy family we know who cure them and sell them for a little bit of cash
  • One head went to our boar in lieu of his main meal that day
  • One head was put down for our chickens and it was clean enough to gift to a friend who collects animal heads after 3 days
  • Liver, kidneys and tenderloin from one beast was cooked over the open fire we used to heat water for cleaning the carcass (I had 2 local Bulgarians to teach me and assist) - after all was done and cleared up
  • We processed both mainly for our consumption - and we have had succulent roasts, great curries, chilli, stews, great mince for burgers, meat sauce, etc.
  • All other waste, trimmings, bones, intestines, offal was shared between our 5 dogs and two breeding sows (one was almost due to farrow and the other was feeding a litter of 12 piglets).


  • We hung the carcasses in our garage for 4 days before butchering (my first large animal butchery).

    I feel very stupid - I just realised how old the original post was - but I've typed this up now and cant be bothered to delete it LOLOL - perhaps somebody will find it interesting in the future.




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    One of the peskies
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    My son photographing them for posterity
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    Carcasses dressed and hanging in the garage for a few days
     
    Kathleen Sanderson
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    Posts: 1169
    Location: Green County, Kentucky
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    Nick, both for you and for other readers, I thought I would address a few things.

    I'm guessing your goats were intact males (had not been castrated); that's why they were peeing all over themselves.  That is typical buck behavior during breeding season (fall/winter).  If you get young goats again, castrate them and that will prevent that kind of behavior.  If they are too old to use elastrator rings, you will need help from a veterinarian or an experienced livestock man to safely castrate them with a knife.

    Goats require excellent fencing, as you have found out. I use cattle panels, and also have some no-climb horse panels (small holes, taller fence); this type of semi-rigid panel is what I've found works best after over thirty years of experience.  They are expensive, too expensive to fence a whole pasture, but are your best option for smaller pens.  Also, if you fence the side of your pasture closest to the barn/house/garden with panels, that's usually where they try to get out the most.  

    There are special designs for goat mangers to prevent them from being able to pee and poop on their food; look on-line for some ideas other people have used.  A keyhole feeder usually works well, but there are other designs that are good.  And water buckets should be kept on the outside of their pen, with a hole in the fence just big enough for them to stick their heads through (another good reason to not leave horns on kids).  Otherwise, you'll have to clean their water bucket several times a day.

    I hope this helps next time you get goats!  What I've found is that most of the problems people have with goats stem from lack of experience with them, so things aren't set up properly for these unique animals.  Once you have things set up right, they are much easier to keep and handle.

    Kathleen
     
    Nick Truscott
    Posts: 52
    Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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    Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Nick, both for you and for other readers, I thought I would address a few things.

    I'm guessing your goats were intact males (had not been castrated); that's why they were peeing all over themselves.  That is typical buck behavior during breeding season (fall/winter).  If you get young goats again, castrate them and that will prevent that kind of behavior.  If they are too old to use elastrator rings, you will need help from a veterinarian or an experienced livestock man to safely castrate them with a knife.

    Goats require excellent fencing, as you have found out. I use cattle panels, and also have some no-climb horse panels (small holes, taller fence); this type of semi-rigid panel is what I've found works best after over thirty years of experience.  They are expensive, too expensive to fence a whole pasture, but are your best option for smaller pens.  Also, if you fence the side of your pasture closest to the barn/house/garden with panels, that's usually where they try to get out the most.  

    There are special designs for goat mangers to prevent them from being able to pee and poop on their food; look on-line for some ideas other people have used.  A keyhole feeder usually works well, but there are other designs that are good.  And water buckets should be kept on the outside of their pen, with a hole in the fence just big enough for them to stick their heads through (another good reason to not leave horns on kids).  Otherwise, you'll have to clean their water bucket several times a day.

    I hope this helps next time you get goats!  What I've found is that most of the problems people have with goats stem from lack of experience with them, so things aren't set up properly for these unique animals.  Once you have things set up right, they are much easier to keep and handle.

    Kathleen



    Many thanks for posting that valuable advice Kathleen.  Very true about the lack of experience - and I certainly didn't do the amount of research or preparation that I had done before we got our first pigs!  As I said, I can't imagine I would be getting goats for us to keep again - although I do like the meat, but I can get a fresh slaughtered goat, either a older kid, 1 year old or older, for 1.5 euros a kilo (dressed and clean ready for butchering) from our pasture raised village herds, so for that species I wouldn't be prepared to make the investment in changing our pig/poultry focused infrastructure.  Many thanks again - I am sure other members will also value your advice.
     
    Kathleen Sanderson
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    That's an excellent price on the goat meat -- at that price I don't blame you for not wanting to keep goats again!  It would cost more than that here to take them to a butcher (let alone purchase price and cost to raise them), which is why I do my own butchering.

    Kathleen
     
    Nick Truscott
    Posts: 52
    Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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    Kathleen Sanderson wrote:That's an excellent price on the goat meat -- at that price I don't blame you for not wanting to keep goats again!  It would cost more than that here to take them to a butcher (let alone purchase price and cost to raise them), which is why I do my own butchering. Kathleen



    All things are relative Kathleen.  There is no comparison between the economy here in Bulgaria (in particular the micro-village economy) and more developed economies.  Here's just a few examples to illustrate the economy where we live....

    Wages....
  • Teacher: 500leva (250 euros) per month
  • Bank Clerk: 700 leva (350 euros) per month
  • Policeman: 600 leva (300 euros) per month
  • Unskilled labourer (9 hour day 30 min lunch): 25leva (12.5 euros) per day
  • Skilled labour (bricklayer, mechanic, carpenter) 9 hour day 30 mins for lunch: 50leva (25 euros) per day


  • Domestic...
  • Electricity.... 3 adults, all mod cons, 150leva (75 euros per month)
  • Water..... 3 adults, barnyard, pigs, birds, etc... 12 leva (6 euros) per month
  • Vehicle road tax - 2.4litre 4WD, petrol/LPG agricultural pickup.... 7 leva (3.5 euros) per YEAR
  • Milk (raw from village dairy herd) 1 leva (0.5 euro) per litre
  • Eggs (chooks/ducks) 0.30 leva (0.15 euro) each
  • Bread flour.... 1.5leva (0.75 euro) per kg


  • Animal feed...
  • 20kg of locally milled pig/poultry hard feed (no additives, collect from the mill) costs 12leva (6 euros)
  • 25kg of wheat bran collect from the flour mill costs 7leva (3.5 euros)
  • Maize kernel 30leva (15 euros) per 100kg (self fill bags from farm grain barn/silo)


  • Slaughterman - kill, skin, dress for hanging...
  • pig approx 100-150kg - 2 men, 3 hours, 60 leva (30 euros), plus trotters, possibly liver, possibly head
  • goat/sheep: 1 man, 90 mins, 30-40leva (15-20 euros) plus feet and head
  • cow/sheep/donkey: 3 men, half day, 75-80leva (around 40 euros) plus some offal and/or meat parts


  • Livestock....
  • Piglets at 6 weeks: 70 leva (35 euros)
  • Calf at 16 weeks): 90 leva (45 euros)
  • Sheep/goats weaned: 40 leva (20 euros)
  • Chicks 1 week old: 1 leva (0.50 euros)
  • Ducklings 1 week old: 2 leva (1 euro)
  • Goslings 1 week old: 3 leva (1.5 euros)



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