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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am raising goats for my own consumption. Have raised two wethers over a summer a few years ago, and though they were young-ish, 8-9 mos old, ~75# each, I had about a 50% return in meat from the live weight when I took them in. They were supposedly “dairy X Boer” but, yeah, well, not so sure about that. They had not had any grain or supplements aside from loose mineral and goat blocks, just healthy grass pasture in a clean pen.

Now I have a few more goats, better but still mixed meat breed stock (Savanna, Kiko, Boer crossed w a touch of Saanen & Nubian), and I’d like to get opinions on when people generally feel is the best time to process: total weight, time of year (bucks in rut, no, rt.?), age and any other factors you generally take into consideration for a good % return as well as tasty, tender meat.

I am trying to raise my meat with the least amount of grain (corn, soy) input, least meds/chemicals, while still growing strong, healthy, tasty goats. What do folks use as good feeds to put weight on besides good quality alfalfa mix hay or pasture?

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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I am raising goats for my own consumption. Have raised two wethers over a summer a few years ago, and though they were young-ish, 8-9 mos old, ~75# each, I had about a 50% return in meat from the live weight when I took them in. They were supposedly "dairy X Boer" but, yeah, well, not so sure about that. They had not had any grain or supplements aside from loose mineral and goat blocks, just healthy grass pasture in a clean pen.

Now I have a few more goats, better but still mixed meat breed stock (Savanna, Kiko, Boer crossed w a touch of Saanen & Nubian), and I'd like to get opinions on when people generally feel is the best time to process: total weight, time of year (bucks in rut, no, rt.?), age and any other factors you generally take into consideration for a good % return as well as tasty, tender meat.

I am trying to raise my meat with the least amount of grain (corn, soy) input, least meds/chemicals, while still growing strong, healthy, tasty goats. What do folks use as good feeds to put weight on besides good quality alfalfa mix hay or pasture?

Thanks for any suggestions!
I totally missed this thread when you posted back in March!

How are your meat goats growing?

I suppose butcher time depends on whether you are willing to winter them over or not. We don't process bucks in August-November, prime rut.

Whole oats may be another feed option if you feel you need to supplement, you'd need to be careful about the balance of calcium to phosphorus in preventing urinary calculi.
 

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If you can get a boer/savanna/kiko/or myotonic mix. Any of the above mixed you can actually butcher at 6 months old. The meat is sweeter and more tender. The kiko and or myotonic breeds have more meat to bone ratio..some 75%. Boers & Savannas 65%. Any dairy you drop to 50% dress off. The myo & kiko are smaller boned. The boer & Savanna added gives faster growth. If you want to butcher at 6 months. Start at 5 months with adding a creep feed and some calf manna. You can contact a feed store/ they have calf manna off brand same ingrediants for 1/2 the cost. Just some things taught me by other . Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies!

Unfortunately, due to the corona virus closing down processing facilities locally, I am in a quandry with goat overload now (9). I'm considering doing it myself, some days I feel more "motivated" than others, but sorta kinda don't want to have to...

Everybody is looking "ok" on pasture with supplemental OG grain mix, about 16-18% protein, about 1# each adult, per day. I have lots of browse and grass, etc. but maybe kinda lazy goats as they would rather laze about the pens and beg for petting than go out to eat! lol, I am laughing, really they are very sweet and friendly, and maybe just like my company.

My Kiko Saanen X Savanna bucks are gaining, being about 14 mos old, and guessing they are 150#, maybe more I haven't hefted them latey, and don't intend to!, but still what I think of as rangey (not very muscled). As sweet as they are, I need to figure out their end game before winter. Their horns are rather huge

The 4 kids (born in mid March) are growing nicely, and the does are recovering from nursing, weaning the kids off this month. One maiden doe, a Boerx, is a chunker, and in comparison, I'd love to see more flesh on everybody else. Shirley: Kiko x Savanna, and LaVerne: Nubian x Saanen Boer, and 4 kids by the bucks above. Shirley is just a slip of a thing, very fine boned, small frame and her kids are great looking, but I will pass her to a friend as a pet since she's so tiny. Have thought about feeding them some rice bran, and flax meal, since I have it on hand for my horse, as an added fat supplement.

I'm wavering between pushing more grain for gain, or weaning off the grain to encourage more grasses and browse. They make horses seem easy, and I don't usually have problems fattening things up! I am jealous of my neighbors fat myotonic X pets who eat almost nothing, and stay fat.

My goats have constant access to Purina Goat minerals, have been copper bolussed, got Se in March, and dewormed as needed (eye lids look great)- so everyone looks pretty darned healthy to me, good hoof growth and coat quality, etc. so I am wondering about fattening for the most part as it seems I have some time on my hands before processing.
 

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Look for a Halal processor. I say this because some people are just jerks because of the halal part. So when this first started it took a bit more time for the halal processor to fill up. And even now being full with beef and lambs they are taking goats to process. Goat is done and out in a day usually.

Yes they are a different religion and they end the life differently.... but it all done with a LOT of respect to the animal. The one here are wonderful kind people and we actually get more % of meat back than two other big processors in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, the local Halal butcher was my next step, or Hmong friends of friends. I used to drive to Detroit to get goat meat, but we have a muslim butcher in town now. I just hope, hope, hope that he can help me!

Any thoughts on how to encourage more weight gain? A little later in the year I’ll be able to get big bags of carrots, apples, sugar beets... wonder if that might help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cocci might be present, if they are not gaining.
Hmm, so even at 15 mos. coccidia could still be a factor in weight gain? They have grown so much in the past 4 or 5 mos., matured a lot, and goodness, the horn growth... they are just not "plump".

With the idea of coccidia still affecting the adults as well, I am adding CoRid to everyone's water, rather than drenching each individually. It is blistering hot here this week, water consumption is up all across the board, so at least everyone is getting some level of treatment. My 3 mo old kids all had their 5 day drench at 4-6 wks, but I am pretty sure that none of the adults had been treated as kids before I brought them home last summer. Reasonable to think that they might be harboring a load, since the other dewormers that I use do not treat coccidiosis.
 

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Did you process any of them? I just saw this thread and am curious if you processed any bucks pat 8 months? If you don’t process them at 8 months, do you castrate or band them? Or is that possible at that age? I see 6-8 months is preferred processed age of the males?
 
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