My Husband and I decided, years ago in our one bedroom apartment, that any animals we purchase must serve a purpose (except for Choo-our dog that passed away 2 years ago, and Fendi [adopted after Choo] who does a pretty good job chasing off those hawks). Don’t get me wrong, I am a Veterinary Technician, and want to preserve the lives of all species. However, to run a self-sufficient homestead, adding animals functioning as pets is not an option when one must consider acreage. And I can rest assured that I provide great care of the animals that are going to take care of me.
We had intended to finish the pig pen acquiring two pigs to butcher this year, but a different opportunity presented itself. Meat goats! We already have a bulk of the fencing done because we will get horses in the future, and since goats are ruminants they eat mostly grass which is what we have!
Dairy, Meat, or Both: choosing what breed to buy requires research!
Two books I borrowed from a fellow homesteader are: The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping Productive Pet Goats and Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat, and More.
As of right now, we only want goats for meat. In order to keep a dairy goat milking, they must have babies every year. And most goat breeders are looking for does that will produce 2 or more kids with each pregnancy. A herd of our own is a possibility down the road.
Meat breeds: Boer, Kiko, BoKi (combo of the former two), Kinder, Myotonic (fainting goats), Savanna. After reading a few things and seeing what breed may be available in our area we picked The Boer!
Going online and trying to find goat kids to purchase was quite a challenge. Many websites we found had written in bold, red letters “OUR GOATS ARE NOT FOR MEAT”.
Some of the challenges I ran into were:
- Websites that were no longer functioning
- Lists of personal names, but not farm/business names (not enough contact information)
- Older goats or champion goat lineage that owners wanted to sell as pets/competition goats
- Places that were just too far away (4+ hours)
- Leaving phone messages that weren’t returned- this was a big challenge
After three weeks of searching many places around the area and out-of-state, I finally found a place that will be kidding (the birth of goats) at the end of March. The great thing about the breeder we found is that they have their own Facebook page and got back to me within a day!
We are going to wait to pick up our kids until they are weaned in June/July. We are planning our own breeding program in a few years since we did have issues find some close by. In the meantime, we will prepare for our future kids!
Who can say no to this kind of face?