Is there profit in Meat Goats?

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by HiddenHill, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    I have been researching meat goats for a while now but I am having a hard time finding info on how much profit is in it. It seems like most people raise goats as pets or for a hobby.

    We have about 3 acres of pasture that we could fence off. Is there any profit to be made with a smaller, high quality herd on 3 ish acres?

    We are thinking of focusing on a small high quality registered herd that could be sold for breeding stock, market, local Mexican population, and for our own freezer.

    Kikos really interest me, but they seem impossible to find near Ohio. The ones I have seen for sale look poor quality and rangey and overpriced. Right now we are considering both purebred Kikos, Boers and crosses of the 2.

    Also, is it true that Most Kiko herds are infected with CL, etc? I rarely see meat goat websites mention anything about disease testing in their herds and this worries me as far as being able to buy clean stock to start a clean herd.

    Thank you!
     
  2. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I don't know much about profits. My cousins have Boer goats and make nothing off of them (probably spend money on them) but they also are probably not the best of goat care-takers.

    I would look into Tennessee meat goats. Those are some powerful, meaty looking animals. If you want faster growth, then go for a mixed goat. They almost always tend to mature quicker than pure-bred. Start off with the best you can afford since they'll pay for themselves in the end. . .
     

  3. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I know some people that raise boers for meat, and for show/breeding stock. I've been told that you cull your goats with problems such as - reoccuring hoof problems, problems keeping weight on them, etc. so you don't end up paying more for the goats than what your getting out of them. I also know people who cull does that give them singles <unless they are quality offspring>.

    We are raising boers, and eventually hope to make a little $$ back on what we've paid into them. We plan on using them for 4-H and meat, or sell as pets.

    I am in Central KY, and I check craigslist at least once a week to see what's on there. Have you checked Craigslist? I know I've seen Boer and kiko's on there in the Cincy area <not sure if your near Cincy>.
    We bought 3 of our goats from craigslist, and they are very healthy, well taken care of.

    BTW, a friend raises registered boers, and they sell for about $150-200 each, the ones that don't make the cut as good offspring are sold for $50 for meat.
     
  4. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    Thanks for the info.That is the thing that has me worried - I mainly see discussions of people spending more than they make, or just breaking even but most seem to be raising milk goats and cross breeds as a hobby.

    There do seem to be some large scale commercial breeders out there who must be making a profit, but I have yet to read anything regarding profit on a smaller scale quality herd.

    Craigs list around here doesnt list too many goats and when they do its usually mini's, milkers or crossbreeds being sold for 50.00 as pets.
     
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    its hard to make a profit with a small herd because the overhead is high.

    As in anything your first few years you are lucky if you break even. THen after the 5-7th year you start to turn a profit if you do it right. Not sure if you are expecting to live off it kind of profit or something to add a bit extra income.
     
  6. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    Thanks Stacey, we figured we would be behind the game starting out because we need to pay for fencing and shelters, the animals, etc.

    I guess we may be better off starting with just a few mediocre quality animals, then breeding up the quality over time and purchasing a high quality herd sire.

    We both do work (part time and full time) so this would be for supplemental income, hopefully. We just want to research thoroughly to make sure we dont end up dumping more cash into a hobby - our dogs suck up enough cash ;)

    Wish there was more info out there about starting out with meat goats.
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I would start off with the best you can buy from a reputable breeder. Doesnt have to be top notch show stock but dont just go to a sale barn and by whatever. You will end up with more money going into them because of bad nutrition, kidding issues (either being bad moms or hard kidders) you will have to be at the vets more often and also treating for parasites and bacterial infections are likely. This is because goats at a sale barn are usually there for being nonhardy, weak producers, bad moms, or just because the people dont care enough to really take the time to care for them. (this is a general statement i know but 95% of sale barns are full of this kind of stock).

    You may not be thinking sale barn but I wanted to give you a warning just in case.
     
  8. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    We are in amish country so I have an idea of the types of animals sold at the local auctions, not pretty. I was thinking more along the lines of investing in a really good male for sure, and adding one or two medium quality females to start.

    I suppose it would be a bad idea to dump loads of cash into the highest quality we can find all around, since mistakes will be made a long the way through this learning process and I dont want those mistakes to impact such valuable animals...if that makes sense...
     
  9. Mully

    Mully New Member

    408
    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    Take a look at this site as they have a lot of good information but you have to weigh the pros with the cons.... http://www.boermeatgoats.com/
     
  10. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    oh I totally understand - just didnt want you to get someones cast offs and end up in more issues as you are learning. I guess trial by fire does work but it can be discouraging too
     
  11. Polarhug

    Polarhug New Member

    263
    Jul 1, 2010
    Southcentral Alaska
    We started out with what I like to call "Econo Does", and a Discount Buck. I wouldn't have bought them if I knew what I know now about deformed teats...

    But maybe again I would because I just love them to death, flaws and all :) They would be too hard to cull now. Except the buck, he's a jerk lol.
     
  12. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    Thx mully, that site had a good calculator on it.

    Everyone's input is much appreciated.
     
  13. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    We just started out this past spring, so I know how hard it is to find good goats, it can be frustrating, but it can be exciting too :)
    As for shelters, the cheapest way we found to make them...............PALLETS. I can't speak highly enough of using pallets! We built a 16ftx12ft mini barn out of pallets! We'll put up some OSB siding on the outside, treat it, so it's ready for winter. My husband is adding on a run in shed on the side of it, using pallets and scrap wood. Nothing fancy, but all we've put into this $$ so far is just for the barn roof/2x4's for the roof and nails. The mini barn is divided into 2 stalls. PALLETS ARE FREE!
    There are some websites if you check around with different ideas - most pallets are 40inx48in. Depending on how much time you have you can pull boards from pallets to cover the 'slits' so it's sealed and keeps the rain/snow/wind out. We ust don't have the time to do that, so that's why we are going with OSB siding. It's cheap, but if treated should last a while. We went with Ondura roofing for our barn. It probably costs about as much as doing a roof with shingles including the OSB, etc. But It took only a couple of hours to complete with Ondura <we got our Ondura sheets from Lowes>.

    I agree about the auctions. However, I haven't tried the local livestock swap meets! I live near Lexington, KY and up in Paris, KY at the stockyard once a month in the summer months they have a livestock swap meet, I hear it's a real nice turnout. The tractor supply up there has one on a different weekend - a goat swap.
    Not sure if there is anything like that up your way?

    Here's a Boer goat breeders list for Ohio, you might check out the websites and email some of them to see what they have. We bought our first 2 does from a local breeder who was on a site for our state, and we've bought 2 others from them more recently.
    If you can land some already pregnant does, I'd think that would be a great benefit. Our first 2 does were bred, and kidded almost 2 months ago to a registered buck - whom we more recently purchased.
    http://www.ohioboergoatassociation.com/ ... ctory.html
     
  14. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    Thank you Hoosier, I saw a thread somewhere showing the pallete barn construction and it looked like a great idea. I have a lot of amish tin shops nearby and we used them in the past to side our pole barn, so that may be an option for siding/roofing.

    My neighbors have a nice sized dairy herd and keep all of their bucks penned with those white poly huts ppl keep veal calfs in. Seems like a good idea but I think hey would be really hard to clean out.

    There is a TSC nearby but i have never seen any sale event go on there.
     
  15. newtopygmies

    newtopygmies New Member

    59
    May 26, 2010
    ashville alabama
    I think a lot of it depends on how much you spend on them. I don't really see much future (for me at least) in meat goats. Here in Alabama a lot of people eat goat meat. The most I have seen a goat go for at auction is 175.00 and he was a big goat. My wife estimated him at about 300 lbs. He went over 200lbs easy. The big billies seem to bring anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars usually.

    But please be advised... I don't go to many auctions...and at 100.00 per goat ...it would take ten big billies to bring in a thousand dollars. There may be more profit in chickens or quail. You can raise a lot of quail in a small area...sell the meat and the eggs. The same with chickens. Goats eat a lot...very quickly. I have pygmies and they are starving (according to them) all the time. I bought them for to clear some land for me and they have eaten practically everything. I have to fence of more pasture or buy more hay.

    Goats for profit??? Not for me!
     
  16. HiddenHill

    HiddenHill New Member

    9
    Aug 22, 2010
    Ohio
    How large of an area did you have fenced off for them and how many did you have. Just trying to get an idea here since you said they ate so much.
     
  17. newtopygmies

    newtopygmies New Member

    59
    May 26, 2010
    ashville alabama
    I have nine pygmy goats on about an acre. I have another acre fenced off because I want it to grow back. The area I am keeping them out of was so grown up when I first put them in there you could not see them from outside the fence. It was grown up with blackberry vines, honeysuckle, wisteria etc. It took eight does about two months to eat it almost to the ground. I was very happy with the results. I then fenced off another large area from my old plant nursery and let them go at it. It was also grown up. But it did have some old landscape fabric on the ground and a bunch of old nursery pots full of dirt and weeds.

    So...part of the first acre has been tilled and sown with winter forage. The rest is so covered with wisteria roots it cannot be tilled. As soon as it grows up (hopefully about November). I can let them go in that and fence the other acre off and plant forage on that. Then I should have green for them to eat well into spring.

    I have been buying hay (about three bales a week) just to make sure they always have food. I give them about one bale a week right now just to be sure they are getting enough. I also give them some goat feed every other day...to keep them friendly.
     
  18. Spear-B-Ranch

    Spear-B-Ranch New Member

    30
    Apr 25, 2014
    Is there profit in goats? Yes right on par with cattle. Here is last weeks report at the auction yard where I sell my product. I do have the land for free range and I don't feed grain. I just free feed feeder hay. At this time of year they just eat weeds, grass and sage.
    GOATS
    SMALL 10# - 40# - MEDIUM 40# - 70# -
    SMALL $25.00 - $70.00 HD - MED $75.00 - $132.50 HD -
    LARGE 70# - 100#
    LARGE $115.00 - $225.00 HD
     
  19. MsScamp

    MsScamp New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Wyoming
    Whether or not you make a profit with meat goats is going to depend on your choice of goats and how you manage them. I have been raising Kiko's for the past 7 years, I do not live in an area where goats are popular or bring high dollar amounts, but my girls have always paid their own way with some left over for me. That is all I ask because I currently have no access to pasture and have to feed hay year round. The key to making a profit on meat goats is to keep the input as low as possible without impacting your herd, keeping the herd as hardy as possible, define your goals and stick to them, and control costs where ever possible. I once had a crusty old Texas cattleman tell me that "if my cows can't maintain on grass alone, I will be swapping out the cows - not the way I feed". This same gentleman also told me that "you will never make money feeding bagged feed". He was right, and that is how I manage my girls. My wethers/bucklings get 2 to 2 1/2 lbs of a good 14% goat grower pellet from weaning until I ship them - usually at around 5 to 6 months of age. My replacement doelings get 1 lb/doeling of a the same goat grower pellet for 45 days following weaning. Other than that, no one gets grain unless the weather is totally whacked like it has been this year. Even then, they only get roughly 1 lb per doe. They have excellent quality hay(we raise our own and it is tested), very little to no grain, free choice minerals, and all the good, fresh water they can drink. Any doe that needs grain to maintain condition under normal circumstances is culled. I also cull ruthlessly for mothering instinct, size and number of kids, and milking ability. The first time a doe rejects/abandons kids is the last time she will ever do it here unless there are some serious extenuating circumstances. Because mothering ability is pretty highly heritable, I also cull her daughters. If a doe delivers a single two years running or 3 out of 5 years, she is also culled. The average doe eats 1 ton of something - either grass, forage, hay, browse, etc. - in a year. If you have to feed hay, I'm sure you know what you are paying for it per ton. In this area it takes roughly $220.00 to maintain a doe for 1 year. There is no way I will ever recoup that cost if a doe consistently produces singles. Weigh your kids at weaning and if the combined weight of the kids does not exceed the does weight, cull the doe because she is not doing her job. Keep track of your herd performance by dividing total number of live kids by total number of does that kidded and multiply by 100. Anything over 175% is good. Anything less than 175% requires your attention and rethinking your management.

    As far as "most Kiko herds being infected with CL" goes, obviously I cannot speak for the whole country, but I know of several Kiko breeders in my area that have and maintain clean herds. My herd became infected with CL through a Boer 'breeder' - and I do use the term loosely. Kiko's are no more or less susceptible to CL than Boer's, Spanish, Nubian, Pygmy's or any other breed - it is up to the breeder to test and maintain a clean herd. I will add this though, CL is a royal pain in the butt, but it is not a death sentence as far as meat goats go regardless of what you might have read on here. Personally, I would be a whole lot more concerned if my herd was infected with CAE.
     
  20. Wild Hearts Ranch

    Wild Hearts Ranch www.wildheartsranch.org

    Dec 26, 2011
    This is an OOOOOOLD thread lol.

    re: Kikos - I just bought a starter group from a closed, tested herd. I believe all of the registered breeders I've looked into around here test for everything.