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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this is in the right spot... the meat market area seemed more like kids pics, etc :p

I've never raised kids for meat for myself, and I have some questions!

1) What is the best age to butcher? These will be intact buck kids, or is their growth affected at all if you wether them?

2) Should they be finished on some sort of grain like a cow? Is alfalfa based pellets better? Cob, dairy blend???

3) If I butcher them right after I wean them/still bottle or dam feeding (3 months or so) does that make a difference in flavor since a large portion of the diet would still be milk?

4) Does it need mixed with a different kind of fat? I've heard goat fat is gross.

5) How much meat yield should I expect if I butcher them at around 90-100lbs? These are Alpines, so should I expect around 20lbs of meat?

Thanks in advance!! :)
 

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We don't wether meat bucklings and have not had a problem with meat taste. We don't "finish" them like a cow, they just have their normal pasture or hay and a daily ration of grower pellet (or free choice grower/creep feeder if they are younger.) Typically we butcher about 5-6 months old but we have had much older bucks processed as well. For older bucks it is very important that the hide does not touch the meat and that a different knife is used as apparently the buck odor is transferred in this way. Our freezer is full right now of 3 year old buck, butchered in spring and I can eat it fine. However, I struggle with eating goat cheese due to what I find as a "bucky" smell/flavor.

I would expect you would get about 30 lbs of packaged meat from a 100lb alpine.

Milk fed meat is supposedly quite tender and a lighter color but we have not had them processed that young.

We have never ever mixed any additional fat into the meat we have processed. We mostly get ground meat and we use it for tacos, shepherds pie, burgers, breakfast sausage (we buy the seasoning mix and let it set in the fridge for at least 24 hours before freezing in patties). We also get some leg and shoulder roasts. We don't buy beef anymore unless we want a steak on the grill!

Also - if you are processing at home, I'm not sure if it will be different. We have a butcher just a mile from home, so we bring them there as they have the large refrigeration unit for "curing" - so the carcass hangs for 4-5 days before cut & package. I'm not sure if this makes a big difference in the tenderness, etc. as we have not had it done any other way.
 

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I can't completely answer all the questions, but I will share our experiences!

1) What is the best age to butcher? These will be intact buck kids, or is their growth affected at all if you wether them?

We have butchered ours from 7-12 month of age and they have all been good and tender. Ours have been wethers, so I can't speak to how they are versus a buck. They have had good growth rates though, based on their management.

2) Should they be finished on some sort of grain like a cow? Is alfalfa based pellets better? Cob, dairy blend???

Our wethers are raised with a creep feed though weaning, then pasture fed all summer and fall. By the time we butcher, they may have been getting supplemental alfalfa for a few weeks. They are never wanting for food though. I feel that is the biggest factor in their taste.

3) If I butcher them right after I wean them/still bottle or dam feeding (3 months or so) does that make a difference in flavor since a large portion of the diet would still be milk?

This is one, I can't help with! I have heard they are super tender when they are milk fen though!!!

4) Does it need mixed with a different kind of fat? I've heard goat fat is gross.

In our experience, goat fat IS gross. We cut as much fat off as possible but, we do keep our cuts whole, as in roasts, steaks, stir-fry-strips etc. If you were to make sausage or something, I would definitely add a different type of fat and/or meat.

5) How much meat yield should I expect if I butcher them at around 90-100lbs? These are Alpines, so should I expect around 20lbs of meat?


I have Boers, so the ratio may be different and our processing may not be the most efficient :). I would estimate that our average for the boys is around 100 lbs at butcher, and they give us about 30 lbs of meat (no bones, very little fat) (this also doesn't include edible organs)

Hopefully that helps a little. Our favorites for goat meat are stir-fry and on top of salads!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys! I think I will wether mine then, because they start rutting in august, which puts them at 4-6 months depending on when they were born, and I don't want them to be stinky when we butcher. Also about 80% of the reason I'm going to start butchering is because I want the furs, and a rutty buck fur would be disgusting! :sick:

So keeping them on alfalfa hay and creep feeding the whole way until butcher day should be fine then, right?

I think 6 months is going to be the age cap, because I still want their furs to be soft :chin: So they should be plenty tender then :)

Should be good in pulled goat tacos, fajitas and spaghetti right?
What's the flavor like for you guys?
 

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Sounds like you have a plan!

That's a good thought about the bucky smell and the hides! I was considering not wethering our boys this coming year, but I would like to tan the hides. I have three in the freezer I keep telling myself I will do!!!

I would consider the flavor between, elk and beef, and kind of like lamb...kind of hard to explain. :) We have also found that our goat meat takes on flavors really well, and it doesn't take a long time to marinate. And we like to cook it rare to medium. It seems to get gamier and tougher the more it is cooked (for us at least).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I wonder if the only grain they got was corn if they would take on more of a beef flavor :chin: Steers are generally finished on corn, so maybe? I've had no grain fed beef before, just grass fed and I thought it was awful, it tasted like cow breath, so essentially how a rumen burp smells. Corn definitely gives them that nice beef flavor.

But then again, they probably should have a higher protein grain than just corn... hmmm
 

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Never butcher a goat lol let me just say that first thing :p but I don't know if I would put them on corn. I've heard the same thing that the fat is nasty and corn really lacks the fat on. A pro can chime in on that but I think you would end up with a lot of trimming to do.
Soooo whatcha doing with the hide? If your tanning it with the hair on you gotta share how you are doing that lol
 

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This is what I do with my Lamancha kids:

I wether the bucklings that I plan to keep for freezer camp. I don't want any oopsie breedings.

I keep the wethers with mom until they are shipped. They get free choice milk from mom and concentrates from the creep feeder. I use Meat goat grower from Blue Seal in the creep with some added native oats. Plus they get hay and loose minerals with the adult goats.

I ship them that fall, so they are usually about 7 months old. The 3 times I have done this I have averaged 50-54 pounds of packaged meat from each wether.

To me, the meat tastes similar to venison. I cook it slowly, either in a crock pot or in the oven on a very low setting. You can do just about anything with it. I have it cut up in chops, roast, ground and stew. Very little fat and that fat picks up the flavor of any spices or seasoning you add to the meat while cooking. I use a lot of Rosemary, Tumerac and garlic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jessica, I'm going to make a fur cloak with all the hides, and yes, fur on ;) might even make some fur rugs, or use a sheep for that...
It's not too hard, just involved and takes a while, hardest part is working it enough to get it really supple.
 

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I tried it when I was younger with a small piece of elk hide and it was stiff as a board. My brother tried it with my buck but the hair fell out lol i lost a pretty little dapple buck last year at a week old and I'm still kicking myself for not taking the hide and trying to figure it out. I know that sounds really bad but he was so handsome!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You have to get as much fat and meat off as you possibly can and then you soak it in a salt-acid solution for a few days. The most important thing is to keep the ph between 1-2 on the 1-14 scale. And you have to agitate the hide every few hours or it will go bad, you have to agitate it to make sure the solution gets to every inch of the hide and it has to be submerged.
Then you take it out and wash it In cold water and soak it in baking soda water for a few hours to neutralize it. Wash it with dawn and hang to dry. While it's still a little damp put your tanning solution on it. Come back a day later and break it in and oil it.
 

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Ooh, I'm drinking in this information. It actually never occurred to me to tan hides but now I'm excited at the prospect. Some of my pretty roan Savanna/Boer crosses would make beautiful silver hides!

ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1450752072.644178.jpg
 

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We do the processing ourselves. If we could find someone we trusted to do the kill kindly, and then process how we like (not throw scraps away and think that all goat is for sausage), we would be very tempted to send them out...we just haven't found the right person yet.

I found a tanning recipe that uses salt and Alum. You let it set for several weeks, stirring once or twice a day. Then clean and dry it, then fold it and beat it with a baseball bat to soften. I haven't used the recipe yet, but it seems simple enough! I just haven't found the time to unfreeze my hides and scrape them clean.
 

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We have only butchered one wether that was about 1 1/2 - meat is delicious. Did a 3 yr old buck recently - mostly hamburger -little bit of stew meat. My husband added some pork fat to the hamburger and the stew meat we cooked in the pressure cooker. Was good. I like it better than venison by a lot. My husband does our butchering as we also feel that the kill must be done very humane. Moving them to a butcher would be too stressful. Goat meat is used is so many parts of the world - just here is not so popular.
 
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