Ques on sending goats for meat without feeling horrible

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by QotL, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. QotL

    QotL New Member

    May 27, 2008

    Well, I'm new to goats, and absolutely adore my two girls. We are borrowing a buck in a month to breed one of them to. He is adorable, and from good milking lines. The owner says he is very friendly. She offered to sell him to me for a very low price, but right now I don't really need/want a buck of my very own. This particular boy is headed for the Ethnic meat market unless he finds a buyer.

    So yesterday I sent her an e-mail just letting her know that my tiny 2 goat herd has not been tested. I wanted her to have this info before lending me her boy. I do not feel that there are diseases in my little herd, but I wanted to be honest (and ya never know). She e-mailed me back and said she wasn't concerned about that, since she had hoped the boy would go directly from here to the butcher :sigh:

    Now I know this is part of goat ownership.. don't get me wrong. I realize that if I want does in milk, I could very well end up with kids (especially boys, although I plan to wether so hopefully won't be as bad) who do not find homes. I had even planned to maybe use some of them for meat.

    But I'm having a hard time even thinking about this. On a very concious level I feel really guilty for not outright buying him (even though I think it would be a mistake right now). So since you guys RAISE meat goats, I'm wondering how you keep yourselves distanced from the ones headed for the dinner table? As hard as it is for me to contemplate with a strange goat I haven't met, I'm thinking it will be 1,000x harder with babies I've helped deliver.

  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    When I hae butcher kids, I care for them like any other goat, except I don't name them and I don't smooch all over them, they should be well cared for , but not loved as much as my brood does and show goats. It is kind of hard to explain, maybe someone else could say it better.

    There must be a reason he is off to the butcher shop, right?

    And by the way, great job telling her you dob't test, that could really save you the trouble if it arose.

  3. artsy_farmgirl

    artsy_farmgirl Goat Fancier

    Feb 29, 2008
    When I was a kid we had some lambs that were bought in spring to finish over the summer and went into the freezer in fall. We were not allowed to name them, and I think that made a big difference in not getting quite as attatched as we did to the goats, who did get names. We still treated them very well, just like pets, but having no names was a reminder that they were only temporary residents.. Even though it was a funny feeling seeing them go to the butcher, we knew they had a better life than a lot of other animals get to. Just my two cents, hope it helps.
  4. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.

    I am with you 100%. I could NEVER EVER send one to the freezer wether it was our freezer or someone else's. That is why we did not get in the meat goat side.

    I do not understand how you can not just fall in love with a baby, I do understand that people can do it and I am glad they do, and my hat is off to them.
  5. K-Ro

    K-Ro New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Well I don't have 'meat' goats but do raise dairy goats and we have 4 wethers that we will be processing ourselves within another month.

    I knew from the day they were born that if they did not find homes they were going in the freezer, so I didn't name them or spend as much time with them as I did the doelings. Now next year I will spend more time with them and treat them just like the rest, as it makes it very hard to handle them to trim hooves, etc.
  6. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm Guest

    Sep 18, 2008
    I can get personal with my animals, and if I keep in mind that they are either leaving or going to be butchered, I can treat them with the best of care and love and yet not get attached.
    It's weird. I can cuddle a batch of 8 puppies and wave them goodbye the next week, and after their gone it's like they've never been there. So, the key thing is love them . . .but don't get attached!!! But you know it does give me a kind of a queasy feeling at the thought of someone loving having them (the goats) on their plate . . .but then I wouldn't think about that if I were you.
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I .........still......to this day ,get a terrible sad feeling when I have to send them off to the butcher or sell them as butcher goats......................I hate it...... :tears: ..... and have to remind myself that god put them on this earth as "meat goats" and it was what they were made for........ :roll: ........... after they leave our property the feeling subsides a little more each day......................
  8. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Well, we have "meat" goats that we bred for dinner babies. When the babies came I couldn't do it to one because it was a female and when the twins were born there was the spotted one that was ooh so cute. Hubby said that the doeling was not a problem cause we would use her as a breeder, but either the boys were sold or would become our dinner. I never named them, never cuddled them - nothing. I am not attached to these two at all. I was, however able to find them pet homes and sell them. But the next breeding I know for a fact ALL boys are dinner. Girls are to be kept for breeding.

    Now with the sheep - they are not social, unable to touch, and I had NO problem sending the young ram to butcher. The butcher unloaded him from the crate, and said "don't worry, I will wait till you pull out". I told him he could do it right then, wouldn't bother me at all. We are picking up the meat tonight! Woo Hoo!

    My best advice, don't name, don't associate with them - just feed at let it be. The first one will be hard, but after that it is easy. Survival is key. And know that the kids had a "good life" prior to freezer camp.
  9. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    I name all the boys the same thing- Junior. So far my greedy tummy has outweighed my affection for them.
    Also I started raising my own meat for two reasons- one is that I thought that commerial meat raising was awful for the animals and two, I looked at a steak one day in the supermarket and thought "Was this one named Betsy?" Made me realize that if I didn't have the gumption to raise my own, being wrapped in plastic did not make it less of a personality- it just meant I was not taking responsibility for it.
    So I make it my goal to raise happy healthy animals- I give the girls a retirement plan if they have produced for me. But unless I want to stop breeding goats, the boys must go off. I don't disbud or castrate them- they have an easy life til the end.
    It helped my first goat to be sent off was totally obnoxious- mean from birth. Actually dangerous at 5 months old- you had to keep your eye on him every moment. Glad to see him go.
  10. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    The first year was the hardest. But when I took them to the processer the guy asked me if I wanted to watch.
    I figure if I was there to help birth and feed & care for them I should be there for the end.
    He said they were the nicest looking goats he'd ever seen, both live & hanging.
    It was over in a split second. Once they were down I was ok with it.
    These boys all had names & personalites, were loved on and even had a feet trim the day before, I wanted them looking their best.
    It has gotten a little easier...I do my greiving while they are still here, when they are gone they have served their purpose, feeding families.
    Now my does are a different story they do not normally go for meat. But this year I have one two yr old with a short dippy back who refused to get bred last yr and have seen no evidence of coverage this year.
    My girls have to pay their own way.
  11. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    I call them all Bar-b-Q which reminds me that they are to be eaten- Only my percentage bucks get sent to slaughter if they don't sell before 6 months. We sell a lot of meat goats off the farm. If one comes out to be sooooo gentle- I will probably give him away or sell him for $50 or so to a pet home.