Quality Kiko Goats
NORTH FLORIDA GOAT SEMINAR
Larry and Susie worked with Alachua County Extension Director Cindy Sanders to bring well known national speakers Dr. Richard Browning, goat research scientist at Tennessee State University, and Dr. Maria Leite-Browning, DVM, small ruminant research vet at Alabama A & M University as the guest speakers at an all day goat seminar in Gainesville on October 17th.
The event was well attended and very informative for goat producers of all levels. Dr. Richard Browning spoke for two sessions, one on, "Evaluation of Meat Goat Breeds". He presented the results off a five year study evaluating three meat goat breeds for producers in the southeast.
In the second session he did a very informative session on record keeping for performance evalution for meat goat producers.
Dr. Maria Leite-Browning gave a very good presentation on goat health problems confronted by goat producers. Her presentation included remedies we as goat producers could use in the field with our goats.
The program also included a display and discussion of toxic plants that are hazardous to goats.
After the presentations, the sessions were moved outside for hands on FAMACHA and hoof trimming training.
Larry gave a presentation on "Whats Killing Your Goats and What You Can Do About It"
The number one enemy of the goat producer is the Barber Pole Worm. This parasite kills more goats and puts more people out of the goat business than anything else. The presentation includes a complete explanation of the life cycle of the worm and all of the most current practices to combat this very powerful enemy.
The Power Point presentation is available here or click the picture.
Our 2016 kid crop is being born now, and should be finished before the end of March. We have had over 50 babies so far. (You can see their pics here). No major problems, we lost one of our original does(she was 12 years old) but we saved her baby. We also are bottle feeding another baby, the mother was a first time kidder and just didn't accept her baby. All the babies are now doing fine.
We are still getting lots of rain. We have lived on our farm for over 45 years and this is the wettest year that we can remember. We raise our goats without shelters so the kids are born in the pasture and must be tough from day one. Fortunately our Kikos continue to come through with flying colors.
As I've said we do not provide shelters for our goats and they must survive on their own. They mainly browse for about eight months a year and we supplement them with feed and hay in the winter months. Our Kikos kid on their own in the pastures and we have now had over 800 kids and we have not had to assist a birth yet.
Update: Just assisted our first birth. It was a first time Mom and it was a breech birth. I managed to reach in and straighten out its back legs and she pushed him right out. He's doing fine now.
Why Raise Goats?
Now seems to be the time to take advantage of the rising demand for goat meat in the United States. The meat goat industry is now the fastest growing livestock segment in the United States and the demand for goat meat is expected to double in the next 6 to 10 years. The increasing economic importance of meat goat
production in the U.S. can be attributed primarily to a strong demand for
goat meat from a fast growing ethnic population. Many ethnic groups - including Hispanic, Muslim, Caribbean and many other
people - enjoy goat meat. Goat meat is the most consumed meat in the world and with the increasing ethnic population the demand is growing rapidly in the U. S. Demand is currently about double the domestic production, so
there is ample room for expansion. Americans are now finding out the healthy atributes of goat meat and it is beginning to show up in mainstream America.
Meat goats fit in well with other enterprises, particularly cattle operations, and may be used to control noxious weeds and brush to improve pastures for other livestock.
Some breeds of meat goats can be raised with very little supplemental grain and with minimal shelter, and are generally an easy-care animal. The key management issues for a successful meat goat enterprise are fencing, parasite control, good mothering does, low kid attrition, predator control, and marketing. Breeding stock is also very important, we have chosen the Kiko breed and now after 8+ years of experience are very pleased that we did. (Click here to see why we believe Kiko's are your best choice of breeds).
goats are enjoyable to raise and can be profitable, they are not a way
to "get rich quick". As with any farming endeavor, knowledge and skills
are essential for success. Call or e-mail us, we'll be happy to discuss raising meat goats and share the experience we have gained.
The Florida Goat Ranch is owned by Larry and Susie Reeves and is conveniently located in North Central Florida near Hawthorne. We raise purebred Kiko and percentage Kiko goats for the commercial meat market and for the breeder market. Larry and Susie have been raising Kikos on their 70 acre farm for eight years. They have both attended the Florida A&M University Master Goat Breeder School.
Larry and Susie Reeves