Are meat goats profitable?

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by Mully, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    I am thinking about raising meat goats as I have a few dairy and not looking to sell milk. I am wondering what the group thought about the profitably of raising meat goats say a herd of 50 to 70. With the high cost of grain and hay do the meat prices fall in line? Thank you for sharing your information. Both pros and cons welcome.
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    they can be. but theres lots of work, I think it all depends on the market for goat buyers. it can take a while to reach a profit. but once your up there, raising quality animals (whether its kikos, boers, commercial,) and meeting buyer then you'll have a pool of people that will always want goat.
    you'll probably have some big start up costs which might include, buying stock, housing, feed, fencing, medications/vaccines, hoof trimmer, castrating tool, tagger and tags (if you prefer tagged).
    I'm in my 5th year of goats, and in the 5th year I've made a profit, so it just takes time, tlc for the goats, marketing.

    questions to think about:

    what breed should I raise?
    Are they going to be registered or commercial?
    Do you have enough space, and fencing?

    i can go on and you have any specific questions?

    and BTW Welcome!!! :greengrin: :dance:

  3. I agree, did want to add Myotonic and Pygmy to the breeds of meat goat. I would no matter what try to stick with a good buck. Better it be registered, in my opinion, but your buck will be 50% of your herd. I personally started out with a little bit of everything until I found what I liked. Then I replaced what I did not want with the breed I did want. In saying that, it is longer to make profit but they pay for the new stock so you break even. At least we did. please ask away but you are off to a good start.

    Oh and welcome! Glad to have you here. :wave: :clap:
  4. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    Thank you for the replies ...I want to raise boer goats for meat and not for show quality. Seems like the boer goat is a good proven meat goat. I have enough fenced land over 100 acres but needs to be hot wired as it is cattle fencing. I would like to be up and running by next spring so that gives me fall and winter to get ready. I do have enough pasture to support about 80- 100 animals. I plan on feeding mostly on pasture most of the year and supplement with hay and alfalfa pellets. I am thinking of spending my money on a good buck. Start with a number of does and work up from there.

    I live in NC and it is a good Ag state do you think it will be easy enough to find a packing house or distributor to take 30-40 animals at a time?

    Are there good mixes of boer goats that make a good meat goat?

    Are there still shortages of goat meat in the US?

    Is selling meat direct to customers something to consider?

    Thanks again
  5. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    So far we have only sold to individuals mostly word of mouth.
    Most of your ethnic community will want to slaughter thier own.
    Around here there is no local commercial operation who will butcher goats without either a disposal fee or you take home spare parts.
    The rendering trucks won't take goat.
    It sounds like you plan on running a pretty decent amount of animals where you can provide meat year round!
    This is our 4th yr and we're barely making it. But we only run 15 or 20.
    We did find we could have doubled on start up cost.
  6. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    Gwen and I have raised Boer, Boer X Nubian, and BoerXAlpine goats for 10 years. We sell show wethers, commercial and fullblood breeding stock, and meat goats. We just started to show a profit 4 years ago. Up until then, we have been spending our profits on fencing, facilities, pasture improvement, and herd improvement. We also retained the best doelings during this period. We don't feed all that much, just the billies and nannies with kids. We creep feed the kids for their first 4 months, 3 while suckling, and 1 while weaning. We provide free choice minerals, molasses lick tubs, and LOTS of grass and forbs. We bale hay off of our own 116 acres. During the winter we feed whole cottonseed as a supplement. We control parasites by rotational grazing and FAMACHA check, worming only the ones that need it. We also have a strict criteria for the nannies, they must kid in the pasture, clean up the kids, feed the newborns, and then get back to grazing. NO BARN BABIES! Any nannies that are bad momma's are culled. So are the ones that stay wormy.
    Meat Goats can be profitable if you establish a forage based feeding system, have a diverse marketing base, and keep inputs to as close to a bare minimum as possible.
    If I can be of any help then please let me know! :thumbup:
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Love that term "Barn Babies"! :thumb:

    We are probably slightly colder up here in the NW & usually have too much rain.
    My girls do get put either in stalls as soon as I see goo or in a large open bldg which works even better, as an open area is easier to clean.
    Some have gotten away with kidding outside but get brought in for a couple days out of drafts with their moms.
    One FF never showed any signs, up eating at the hay rack one minute & down to busines the next. Did it the same way on her 2nd kidding.
    What works in Texas for kidding might not work in Alaska or anywhere in beween as far as your climate, set up & management is concerned.
    One of the most important things to have is a mentor! Shop for your mentor now! :wink: (that is if you dont already have one)
    He/she will be invaluable if not greater asset than your vet.
  8. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    Sorry Nancy and all, I failed to mention that once to mama's kid we bring the new family into the pens and give her some feed and hay and her own portable shed to bond with the kids. My bad! The Bull Pen is about 4 acres and we let it go fallow from February till they start to kid, or for the fall mama's, from 1 September till they kid in Oct-Nov., so that the grass is up to have sumthin' for them to nibble on.
    Yes, everyone has different climate situations, but it is important to remain flexible and able to work things out and try to save whenever and wherever you can. We buy up stuff like pumpkins after holloween and Cotton Gin trash to supplement the feed for our goats. Use whatever you can to reduce feed costs.
    Trying to keep inputs down is important to an operations bottom line, so is providing a good product for the consumer. Breed to the big, muscular, fast growing goats in the herd and sell or cull the sparse, small, non-thrifty animals to give the buyers what they want. Keep only the best of the best offspring for your own operation and others. Out of 22 billies born this spring, only one got to retain his "maleness" for breeding, the rest got wethered. If your market in your area has a lot of Muslim or Carribean customers, then sell the billies intact, you will get more for them. But make sure you sell them for meat, not for breeding. Breed only the best and eat the rest!
    I agree with Nancy about the mentor thing, find a breeder who is successful and can help you with advise. Also find some breeders associations to join to network and learn from. There are local and area breeders associations sprouting up everywhere! In the NC area there is the Southern Goat Producers Association at
    Check them and others out and see if they fit you. I'm a big, fat networker and I belong to every message board and Yahoo group that will allow me to join. It is a great way to learn about goats.
    GOOD LUCK! :hi5: :wave:
  9. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    Thank you for all of your valuable information. I know the more information I have the better I will do in the long run. Farming anything today is not as predictable as in the old days. My neighbor just gave up dairy farming and his family has been raising cows for over 70 years. The money was just not worth the work involved for him.
  10. crow

    crow New Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    breed only the best and eat the rest. :ROFL: Ive never heard the likes of that before, that would make a interesting tattoo :ROFL: sorry folks
  11. shoutforjoy

    shoutforjoy New Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    I myself had the same question. I just got back from a one day goat camp in Arkansas and found only one person who appears to be doing this full time without another job and she has about 1000 goats.
  12. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    After posting on this site I have gained a lot of information I found this site and although they have lots of "marketing" information, take a look at their investment calculator that is listed on the left side of their home page as i found it very useful. Good luck
  13. jesse300

    jesse300 Guest

    Oct 28, 2009
    For us meat goats are profitable. We switched form breeding and feed lotting cattle to goats. We did make more money with cattle but cattle were also a lot more work. Next breeding we should be breeding about 300. We breed a commercial mutt mix of Spanish / Tennessee meat goats.

    Our sales…
    Different ethnic communities want them at different ages.
    We sell the “misfits” at the stock yard. A few weeks before birthing season we sell all the left over at the stock yard that dose not fit in the fridge.
    I have a contact in PA that will drive to VA and get withers at 11 months by the cattle trailer load.