March 2018 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.

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MEAT,  MILK,  AND   HAIR  GOATS

The Three Types of Goats

In the species  Caprine, there are three types of goats: meat, milk, and hair goats.  Each type serves a specific purpose.  This may seem obvious,  but   some people  apparently don't understand these distinctions because they are  using  the wrong type for the wrong purpose.

(1) Dairy goats.   You can't put meat on a dairy goat.  The goat's purpose is to produce milk and its body  utilizes protein and other nutrients to make milk, not meat.   The conformation of the dairy goat is long legged so that females  can carry  large milk-filled udders without damage from obstacles in its environment.  The dairy goat is  long bodied to accommodate long-legged fetuses in utero.   Highly  productive dairy goats are line-bred and domesticated, which makes them less able to adapt to a forage-based management program.

(2) Hair goats.   Hair goats   utilize protein to produce quality fiber.  In  America, Angoras are the best known hair goat. Forage-browse based  Angoras are known for inadequate  milk production and therefore  poor mothering abilities because  they have been selected for fine  fiber  to the detriment of milk production.    I've met Angora producers who routinely euthanized newborn Angoras   if the litter contained more than one kid because the dam could not provide enough milk in the management system in which they were being raised.  Note:   Cashmere is a type of hair, not a breed, and many breeds produce cashmere during cold weather though it  may not be  quality fiber.

(3) Meat goats.   The body  conformation is  short-legged, deep, and wide bodied with milk-on-demand udders that  are  close to the body to avoid being torn on brush  as they forage/browse.  "You don't eat what's  between the belly and the ground."     Meat goat does do just fine producing milk for their kids but not extra for milking.  Some people  think that crossing dairy does with meat bucks is necessary to provide adequate milk.  This is wrong.    Meat-goat females who receive  proper  nutrition  are able to produce milk, grow their kids, and maintain their own body weight.    Does with three or more kids need help, regardless of breed or type, since in Nature half of them die while the strong survive.  Multiple births occur in prey species  specifically so the hardy can survive predation and starvation.  A great deal of the confusion about meat goats stems from people wrongly thinking of them as the same as dairy or show goats.   In order to make money raising meat goats, management and nutrition has to be handled  differently.

Dual-purpose goats might be considered a fourth category, except there is no such thing as a successful dual-purpose breed.   Boers are South Africa's attempt to produce a dual-purpose  (meat and milk)  goat.    Boer performance since its arrival in the USA around 1992 has disproved that concept.   Successful breeding produces either meat, milk, or hair goats.

Meat, milk, and hair  goats have been developed for specific purposes.  Crossbreeding one type with another  type can dilute the genetics of the purpose for which they were originally created.   A long-term crossbreeding  program  may  result in an improved  animal with hybrid vigor, but you must really  know what you are doing and have the resources to stay in it for the long haul (decades).  Beginning  in 1995  I decided to create  a meatier goat than the   Boers that arrived in the USA by infusing Tennessee Meat Goat(tm) genetics into them.  The result is the commercial meat breed TexMaster(tm) that I've been refining  for more than two decades.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 3/1/18


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BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Examples of TexMaster™
and TexMaster™ commercial bucks
to be weaned soon.

All available for sale.

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BF Boy

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Blondie Boy

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Katie Jr Boy

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Sheezamazin Boy

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Petunia Boy

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Breeding age Myotonics, TMG’s, TexMasters™ as well as nice commercial crosses available year round. Contact us for your breeding stock needs.

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas
www.bendingtreeranch.com
bendingtreeranch@cyberback.com

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