July 2017 Issue



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Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.


Demand for fresh goat meat far exceeds supply and will continue to do so as the ethnic population in the USA increases. Even today, 40% of the goat meat consumed in this country is imported frozen from Australia and New Zealand. Why is no one capitalizing on this tremendous opportunity to build a large-scale managed goat raising operation to meet this demand? I cannot think of another market in which demand exceeds supply like it does for goat meat.

The biggest barrier is that most people want to believe that raising goats requires little experience and no infrastructure. Historically, people have thrown goats out into dense brush, let them free-range, and rounded up what survived in the spring. This isn't a successful business model. How do you protect the goats from predators in such an environment? How do you know when does are kidding or need help with kidding? How do you know how many kids she had and how many she lost? How do you know when a goat gets sick or injured? How do you round up and move goats for de-worming, vaccinations, medications, and ear-tagging without alleyways, pens, gates, and working chutes?

This isn't management. This is survival of the fittest. The goat raiser loses half or more of his kid crop and many of his adults to predation, starvation, and illness. This might have been an acceptable way to raise goats when goats were worth $5 to $10 each, but that hasn't been the case since the early 1990's when expensive imported Boers generated interest in goats. Meaty weanling kids can bring $150 each in today's market.

You need pens and pastures with alleys and gates that allow you to move goats around easily. You need vet facilities stocked with supplies and medications for treating illnesses, injuries, birthing complications, and sick kids. You need sufficient hay and feed storage that you can buy ahead at favorable prices so you don't run out and have to make expensive emergency purchases. You need waterers, preferably automatic, that provide fresh water. You need an excellent water supply to maintain fresh clean water. Hydrated and properly fed goats tend to be healthier goats. You need multiple shelters and pastures of varying sizes so that you can move pregnant does closer to working facilities as they approach kidding dates. Dusk to dawn lights make night-time work much easier. And this is only the physical layout.

You need a business plan that targets your markets and coordinates staggered breeding and kidding to the market timeframes you are trying to serve. You need a relationship with a vet that allows you to obtain vital essential prescription medications and quality vet care.

In other words, you need to approach raising goats as a business.

You cannot "feedlot" goats, but you can, under the right conditions, operate a managed goat ranch that allows you to produce 1000 kids per year on about 300 acres. I have personally raised 600 kids per year on this property with one helper. Under the right conditions means dry land and no overcrowding. Much of the USA is too wet for goats.

When I began to build Onion Creek Ranch north of Brady Texas in 1999, I created those very facilities. As I downsize and build a goat ranch more manageable by me as I get older, I am offering this property in McCulloch County Texas to prospective buyers. While this ranch has many potential uses and certainly isn't limited to raising goats, this property has everything required to raise meat goats for large-scale managed production and nothing I built isn't absolutely necessary for such a venture. Located in goat-perfect dry west central Texas (geographic center of Texas), this ranch is ideal for the dry-land animals that goats are and is less than 100 miles from every major goat auction in Texas. A 2800 ft deep well into the Hickory Aquifer offers unlimited water in a very dry climate. The facilities are both extraordinary and essential for the large-scale organized production of meat goats. The link to the property information is www.4564cr300.com. There is a Virtual Tour of over 40 photos, some taken by drone, for a great overview of the ranch and its buildings, pens, and pastures. Click on the "house" icon for pasture layout, survey, tax valuation, etc.

I would love to see someone get serious about raising meat goats on a large scale by staggering kidding through breeding months and bringing in feeder goats during the months that does are pregnant and nursing kids. A person can make a lot of money raising meat goats utilizing a well-developed business plan and being organized in its implementation. This isn't rocket science but you do have to recognize that basic knowledge and proper facilities are critical to raising goats successfully. I can offer consulting services based upon my 28 years of experience raising goats. I can recommend what breeds to raise to produce maximum meat production.

If an individual doesn't do this soon, one of these days someone with "Big Ag" will wake up to the fact that the demand for goat meat is enormous and will buy the land and facilities to raise them. The rest of us will have missed out on the opportunity to build a profitable business when "Big Ag" vertically integrates goat meat production as they have done with cattle, hogs, and poultry. If I were 20 years younger, I would do it myself.

The Onion Creek Ranch facility in McCulloch County Texas is your opportunity to build a money-making meat goat business using already-established facilities. You cannot replicate it elsewhere for the price of this ranch. Don't miss out. View property information on www.landsoftexas.com under McCulloch County or click on www.4564cr300.com.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 7/8/17


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