Hey, I'm new to the site. I have had goats all my life. I live in Georgia. What are y'all's thoughts on meat goat farming for a full time job? Can it be done profitably? I have 300 acres and would like to run 300 goats.
First, welcome, glad to have you with us!
I dont know about profit but I do know (way after the fact) that running just a few is not a money maker by any stretch of the imagination.
So, if you know goats & have lots of room for lots of goats & have a good management in place & a market it could be done.
First, is there enough feed on this 300 acres to feed that many goats most of the year? As you live in Georgia, what kinda winter do you have there? Would guess it would be fairly light and short. Which Id hope would mean your land would keep growing grass nearly all year long. So that would be the first thing to check on as most of the money put into goats is through feed. So in the same token, you will wanna check hay prices in your area. When not on pasture the average goat will eat a flack of hay a day. More if the hay is crappy. Figure there are an average of 16-18 flakes of hay per bale. Once you figure out your feeding costs, you will need to do the next thing.
Second, is there a good market in your area to sell butcher goats? What are the average prices? If there is a livestock auction roughly in your area, check to see if they have a website. If they do, they should have a previous sales day read out that will show the average $ per animal. You might also check craigslist to see what boars are selling for. So once you do this you can do some more math. Goats in good shape average twins. Pretty much a buck and a doe on average. Some years this can swing in either direction pretty heavily. So just get your average total.
At this point, do some more math and see if what the difference between your income and expenses are. AND THEN start to factor in things like vaccines for babies, boosters for adults and de wormers. Granted you can forgot any of these, and run the goats more or less free range and just kinda see how it all turns out. But keep in mind, a health goat will always bring more money then a sickly one.