Pastured goat meat

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by dannyduprey, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. dannyduprey

    dannyduprey New Member

    12
    Jun 7, 2010
    Venus, Florida
    What would be a "natural" diet for meat goats? I'm asking because I know that cattle that eat corn produce beef that has an abnormal, unhealthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats.

    Our dairy goats have access to unlimited hay, and they browse on palmetto, pine, and a bit of oak. We give them grain as well, because that's what everyone recommends for goats that are pregnant or lactating.

    Should meat goats get grain to help them grow? A little or a lot? Would too much grain be likely to produce fattier meat?
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Because I don't raise meat goats, I can't give you an answer from experience...just opinion. Grain is a good thing when it helps the goat with raising healthy kids...and for milk production as well as provinding the nutrients that may be lacking in the pasture. With any meat producing animal though, when they have to roam to find their food it will build more muscle than fat and in some breeds thats ok..in others it can lead to very tough and very dry meat.
     

  3. DPW

    DPW New Member

    92
    Mar 13, 2010
    Crow, Oregon.
    Feeding a little grain to meat goats to ensure a balanced diet is probably a good thing. If you can afford it. Having almost sixty goats right now and a limited amount of funds we only grain does in the last month of pregnancy and their first month of lactating. The kids get a bit of grain in their first month of life as well.
    They all get a good quality grass hay in the winter. The rest of the year most goats are out on pasture and browse. Of course they have access to fresh water and a loose goat mineral at all times.
    The addition of grain will not marble the meat like cattle or swine. When goats are over fed grain they put fat on around their internal organs not in their muscle.
    Goat meat is lean and needs to be cooked slowly and with liquids. The meat can become dry. Especially when grilling.
    I've heard that when cooked properly even a three or four year old buck will taste pretty good. I have no plans on testing that theory any time soon though. We've eaten meat from goats anywhere from 35 lbs to 115 lbs live weight. All has been delicious. Like all meats though some cuts are tastier than others.
    How much grain to feed would depend on age and weight of goat and what type of grain. Also what type of vegetation are they eating throughout the day. A ball park figure for a dry doe would be 1/2 -1 lb a day. Too many variables to come up with a "one size fits all" amount.
    It doesn't work to try to "finish" goats with grain.
     
  4. Itchysmom

    Itchysmom New Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington
    I'm glad you asked this question and if you don't mind, I would like to add one.

    I am under the understanding that you want the goats to develope muscle rather than fat. Is this correct?
     
  5. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Natural would be letting them find their own browse. But this would not put the weight on as opposed to graining them.
    And yes there is virtually no marbling & very little fat. Fat is what keeps your other meats moist & tender while cooking, hence the reason for adding liquid when cooking goat.
     
  6. DPW

    DPW New Member

    92
    Mar 13, 2010
    Crow, Oregon.
    Our goats go into winter very healthy after a summer of grazing and browsing alone. No grain. Right now in our area the blackberry bushes are going gangbusters. In this stage of life blackberry brambles have almost as much protien as alfalfa hay. And soon they'll be eating the berries which they also love. And are very healthy as well.
    Adding grain to their diet will get them to market weight faster but is also another expense to cut into the bottom line.
    Not everyone has the acreage to omit feeding grain during the summer and fall months to keep their goats healthy. In that respect we are lucky. On the other hand the more acreage, the more fence to keep up. Also higher chance of predation when they're out of sight. There are always pros and cons.
    Yes Itchysmom, muscle means meat. Fat in goats is stored not in muscle but around internal organs. Very unhealthy.
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    You don't want.. to put alot of fat on them... as the meat tends to get..a gamey taste and you don't want that........ :sick:
     
  8. DPW

    DPW New Member

    92
    Mar 13, 2010
    Crow, Oregon.
    Here's a link to a really good article from Onion Creek Ranch about nutrition. And one paragraph dealing with the issue of fat.

    "The producer can field test for fat by pinching the flesh where the chest wall meets the front leg. If an inch or more of flesh is "pinchable," there is a good chance that the goat is fat. Goats layer fat around vital internal organs (heart, liver, kidneys) rather than marbling fat through the meat. Excess body fat can prevent pregnancy, cause dystocia (difficulty in kidding), and a host of other health problems.


    http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/artic ... perly.html
     
  9. Taylorspruill2014

    Taylorspruill2014 New Member

    3
    May 6, 2014
  10. IFFGoats

    IFFGoats New Member

    138
    Apr 7, 2013
    Weeds and forage


    Sent from my iPad using Goat Forum
     
  11. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Ours get alfalfa & grain during growth & lactation.
     
  12. m57gonefishing

    m57gonefishing Member

    80
    Jan 25, 2012
    +1 to weeds and forage. We are to dry in the summer so we have to hay/forage, alfalfa, alfalfa pellets, BOSS. If you have the acreage and keep from really graining them then you will not only have healthier goats but healthier meat. Since you mentioned the ratios of Omegas I'm assuming the healthiness of the meat is most important to you. Look up the nutrition differences between grass finished meat and grain finished meat. It's very interesting. Red meat can be healthier then boneless, skinless chicken breast. I by no means am pushing my own ways on you. Good luck with everything.
     
  13. Taylorspruill2014

    Taylorspruill2014 New Member

    3
    May 6, 2014
    Some great points here. Thanks a lot. :)
     
  14. Taylorspruill2014

    Taylorspruill2014 New Member

    3
    May 6, 2014
    Some great points here. Thanks a lot. :)