First things first. My big farm dream includes goats.
On the little patch of land I have right now—goats are not an option.
So let’s talk goats.
Meat? Dairy? Miniature?
I’m thinking meat. Well, goaty-friends with the option to become meat.
Because honestly, I am not likely to milk a goat every day (or twice a day) and I am not entirely sure that I would drink goat milk. Cheese, yes. Milk, eh. Maybe we’ll get there, if someone else does the milking.
I’ve never eaten goat meat. But I’d try it.
I’d also raise it to feed it to the appropriate meat-eating animals.
Goat breeds traditionally raised for meat include:
3. Tennessee Meat Goat
The thinning of the herd
Off the bat, I am throwing out numbers 3 through 5.
I don’t want to own a goat whose breed comes with a ™ sign after it.
Of the remaining contenders, I’d have to say I am most fond of the Spanish goat.
Low-input. Hardy. Scrub-goats. They breed nearly year-round, which could be nice for a few reasons: regular batches of meat, regular batches of baby goats. They have pretty colors and seem self-sufficient: parasitic resistant, less occurrence of lameness and the does are good mothers. “This breed survived for centuries with very little help from humankind, making it America’s best choice for minimal-intervention goat production programs.”
They are also on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy watch list!
Let’s make more goats!
Kiko and Boer are more common. Boer especially. Yawn.
So in my little goat dream, our first year on the farm we pick up two does and a buck. Let them get nice and randy with each other. Maybe two does and two bucks. Randy time, and nix one buck right away. After the little ones are out and we know what they are (male, female) we decide whether we keep him or kill him.
The idea being: 1 buck. Enough buck to ensure a few baby goats each season. And enough genetics to ensure we don’t have weird mutant flipper goat babies. Keep the pool swirling and the herd down to six animals or so.
Reading for later: