raising wethers to eat

Discussion in 'Meat Market' started by toth boer goats, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    how does everyone raise their meat goat wethers to eat?

    I cannot seem to get it right,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I always get real gamey taste and tough............. :help:

    The first time I tasted goat,,,, it was when a breeder I bought from gave us some steaks
    to try ............man it was so good and to us ,,,,tasted very close to beef,no game taste and was
    so tender...............

    Does anyone else have goat meat that tastes good, with no game,, if so how and what do you feed to make it that way? :oops:
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
    We only had bad tasting meat when we butchered intact bucks.
    We band them within the first month of birth.
    No wether ever tasted bucky to us.

    Oh, we also keep goats for eating far away from other bucks.

    We have a kill pen. Thats sounds bad, but its a pen where the next ones for butchering go and we never mix the sexes, even if the males are wethered. Its on the other side of the property, far from all the other goats, and for the last 30 days those goats are fed green hay my mate scythes for them as they are not let out. They stay in that pen 30 days minimum then we butcher.
    We started doing that when we learned you can eat an adult buck if he is not in rut, and isolated for 30 days. We tried it and it worked. Its just easier to band and there is no chance of hitting it wrong and getting a rutty buck.

    But the isolation may play a roll. Our 6-12 month old does and wethers taste as good as old does and wethers.

    We feed finishers different too. No grain, just green hay or regular dry hay. We dont like fatty animals when we butcher. So they have to be separated from the other goats so they dont steal the food.

    Heck, maybe its the way we feed to finish them too?

    Oh tough meat..goat does seem to be tough even 6 month olds. We slow cook all our meats.
    Slow roast in the oven for hours or the slow cooker over night. The toughest meat comes out so tender, you dont need a knife. :)
    The slow cooking has become the norm here for all our home raised meats, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks. :)

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    OK thanks,,,,,,,,,what kind of hay do you use? Is it Alfalfa or....?
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
    We have a farmer friend who does our hay for us.
    30% alfalfa, then a mix of orchard grass, fescue (sp?) and weeds. :)

    With Boers I only grain when PG, nursing, weaning, and in winter during the coldest part.
    Pasture is all day in warm season, with a little hay in their pens at night for the munches.

    Minerals are all the time. A 37% protein block and selenium salt loose and all purpose loose minerals.

    We like to get our kids to 80 pounds by 5 months. We leave them with the dams that long because we like to go from teat to pan. At 3 months they are free browsing with the dams.
    4 months to 5 they are still nursing but very little.

    I found the meat and growth rate is best if kept with the dams. That little bit of milk they steal at 5 months old even sure seems to make a big difference in grow out.

    We butcher only in spring and summer and fall.

    Winter, the fat levels are to high and the dress out of actual meat is less.

    We debone too so our dress out doesnt include bone and very little fat.
    If we hit around 50% dress out, boneless, we are happy and thats what we go for.

    Our pasture is wild grown not planted. Weeds are a goats growing friend. :)
    We have a lot of marsh, orchard grasses, reeds, and rushes growing wild along with broad leaved weeds of all kinds.
    We rotate so we control what the goats eat so the weeds are never eaten to the point of stripping. We like natural growing land. It provides an abundance of variety for all the nutrition they can get.

    We balance with the sheep. The goats and sheep prefer different weeds and grasses so when goats are done with an area, we turn the sheep on it and visa versa.

    Everything gets trimmed but not stripped.:)
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    wow,,,you sure have a good system going on,,I envy you,,,,,,,,,,and thank you for the info.......

    So it is mixed hay...............staying on their dams.....................no grain................

    butcher at 5 months old or ????

    how do you feed the dams grain,, separate when the kids are around....?
  6. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
    I let kids that are on their dams sneak grain. :) They copy the dams which is fine.

    Our dams are bred at the same time, except for our one summer bred experiment, which summer births are out. I dont like it.
    So all the dams birth together in April/May and have kids close in age.

    I like the April/May kids. They go on pasture with the dams and butchering is fall.
    If a goat doesn't get butchered before the snow flies, then we wait till late spring again.
    The only thing is the dress out falls after 1 year old because the Boers get heavier in bone. Thats why I like weighing boneless, we want the the meat weight. Bone weight is deceiving.
    I have not found a 1 plus yr old that dressed out 50%...boneless. That bone gets heavy.

    My pg does get grain only in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy or in winter if it gets below 0F.

    My kill pen isnt for kids that are going from teat to pan. No need. They are perfect already and males are wethered by 4 weeks. Only ones that we hung to longer for what ever reason go to the pen. Example, a goat we thought about keeping for a breeder then changed our minds...that goat would go to the kill pen as its probably older by the time the decision is made.
    Thats how we learned about an intact buck. We have had a few we didnt wether because we thought they may be better for breeders but as they grew we didn't want them for breeding so isolation in summer, in between ruts, for that 30 days pen time.

    We have a buck now that we changed our minds on. Too late to put him in the pen as the rut is just starting here in my herd, so if we don't get him sold, he will go in the pen next summer in preparation for the freezer. Being as he is of breding age, he will be totally alone for that 30 days next summer. Any goat nearby could bring out the rut in him and we hate bucky meat. When we get bucky meat, it ends up for the dogs. They love bucky meat! :)
    And heck, the dogs have to eat too. ;)

    They get meat/bones we dont want. :)

    We have separate pens.
    One pen for breeder does and their kids.
    One for breeder bucks.
    2 pens for non breeders that we will eat or not sure what we want to do with them and then the kill pen.

    Oh and we have 2 other pens for our fiber goats. :)

    Pasture is all on rotation, and we use fencing and tethering depending on the goats at the time and location each will be browsing in. Every few days its all different and everyone is moved.
    All our goats are lead and tether trained to. :)

    I have 3 new Boers right now that are in quarantine that I am working with to get them collar, lead, and tethered trained. It usually takes about a month to get a skiddish one trained...and a lot of sweat feed to win them over. :)

    In case your wondering we have a small Boer herd right now.
    5 breeder does
    2 breeder bucks

    2 for sale or freezer, which ever comes first. And we put 14 goats in the freezer this year, some were left over pygmies.

    Oh almost forgot, 4 fiber goats. 3 Sheep.
    The sheep are raised the same as the Boers minus the minerals that have copper. :)
    With them I get fiber and meat! They're Leicesters.
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    thank you so very much for all that information it should come in handy,I have learned alot,,
    as I said before ,,,you have a real good operating system going on and I envy you.................and commend you... :stars: :thumbup:
  8. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
    Thank you but our system was just discovered through good old fashion trial and error.
    Heck, what is working for us may not for another.

    Actually, we are still deep in the trial and error period.
    We still don't have all the pens worked out to the point were we are really happy.
    We have re-did the pens 3 or 4 times now and just haven't tweaked it all out yet, but we're getting closer. :)

    I still havent figured out where we want to try to move the ram pen.
    Poor guy keeps getting moved again and again. LOL