Raising meat goats organically

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by MtnRidgeFarm, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. MtnRidgeFarm

    MtnRidgeFarm Active Member

    109
    Dec 6, 2017
    Northern California
    Hi all!
    We own dairy goats and raise them organically (or at least as organically as possible) and my son is taking on a meat goat as a 4H project next month. We want to raise it as organically as possible also. We have access to lots of organic grains here in California. The breeder that he is getting the wether from recommended a few feeds but they are all nothing I'm interested in feeding.
    Is there anyone out there that raises meat goats organically? Any advise on what to do? I realize that because we're not feeding the "regular" feeds that the wether might not turn out like one that was fed certain foods. This will be more of a learning project for my son and we'll most likely end up eating the goat ourselves.
    We've raised pigs in the past (organically) and they don't end up looking anything like the ones at our fair that have been feed "meat maker" but they tasted great, were healthy and grew well.
    I'd appreciate any thoughts or advise. Thanks! :)
     
    Dwarf Dad likes this.
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    I appreciate your efforts and would love to hear how you feed him and how he competes just for my own curiosity!

    I would aim for his total diet to be something like 18% protein and a 2.5 to 1 calcium to phosphorus ratio and somewhere around 4% fat.

    All those fancy feeds are really just protein and fat in a very concentrated form!

    Do you mix whole grains for your dairy goats or use an organic pelleted feed?
     
    MtnRidgeFarm likes this.

  3. MtnRidgeFarm

    MtnRidgeFarm Active Member

    109
    Dec 6, 2017
    Northern California
    I mix my own grains for the dairy goats. Thanks for the tips on the %!! :) I'll let you know how it all turns out!
     
  4. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Because Organic has a specific, legal meaning in this sense of the word, I don't use it. I use "as natural as possible". This doesn't just mean feed regimen. It also means if they are allowed to roam, forage, drink from "natural" water sources (my creeks), etc. And yes, that means they are exposed to chemicals in the environment that isn't allowed according the the legal, "organic" label, unfortunately.

    My alfalfa pellets are non-gmo, from Canada. But not certified "organic". I can't get certified "organic" grain here for love or money, so if I have to feed grain, it is not organic, but there isn't much of it, and it is whole grain, not a feed mix.

    All this to say, I try to go for healthful and found in the environment here. I'm not anti-organic, but I value them living well on what I can supply here on my own acres more than I value chasing a label.

    If you have better options available to you than I do, I'm really interested in how things turn out for you. I can't wait!
     
    Tyno and toth boer goats like this.
  5. MtnRidgeFarm

    MtnRidgeFarm Active Member

    109
    Dec 6, 2017
    Northern California
    In some cases, that's all I can do too. While we have lots and lots of organic grain or pellet options we don't have an organic hay source. :( And I feed chaffhaye which is only NON GMO, not organic. I want to just try to do the best I can, realizing that I can't do it ALL organic. Unfortunately, I am not comfortable feeding some of the feeds from say, Purina or Poulin. I'm hoping to find something that will work. :)
     
    mariarose likes this.
  6. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    I'd be interested to see the costs on feed. Organic...heck show feed is expensive, I can only imagine.
     
  7. MtnRidgeFarm

    MtnRidgeFarm Active Member

    109
    Dec 6, 2017
    Northern California
    Oh, it will most certainly be more expensive. Barley is anywhere from $5-$10 more per bag for organic here, just as an example. For us, it's worth the extra cost.
     
    mariarose likes this.
  8. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    We feed out goats, whole oats and bermuda grass, I dont think the are organic persay. I would be interested to know, how the organic feeds do vs NON. Weight..health..coat.etc
     
  9. MtnRidgeFarm

    MtnRidgeFarm Active Member

    109
    Dec 6, 2017
    Northern California
    I think that they would do just fine (as our pigs always did) but maybe not come out as "meaty". But that's just my guess. I guess we'll see this late summer! :)
     
    MadCatX and mariarose like this.