Thursday, April 29, 2010

My misift goats

The goats are a crop that I tried, but really don't plan on expanding.  There is a market for goat meat, but it's limited, and they're hard for me to maintain.  Tough on fences.  My last two goats have decided that they're pigs, and they hang out with the pigs most of the time.  Here the billy goat and his nanny are sleeping in the middle of the pig herd.  It's not a bad spot -- they're pretty darned safe from coyotes there. 
I'm not sure who's smarter -- the goats or the pigs.  Part of how I measure intelligence is whether one animal can get another to do what it wants.  On that measure, the goats are smarter than the pigs.  they'll often push a 400lb sow around, or cause her to change her course ,or move away from food that the goats think is tasty.  The sows have knocked the goats down and there's been a couple of times when I was sure I'd be (or a sow would) eating goat, but so far so good. 
I do have to say that the goats are easy to keep.  They browse by choice, and eat a little bit of the pig feed from time to time, and generally don't require much maintenance.  I've got to trim their nails yearly, but that's about it. 

The market for lambs, which is what I'll be expanding in the next year, is much bigger than the market for goat.  Goat meat is tasty; I've eaten a lot of it, just don't get much interest in it.  But I get asked for lamb every week.

1 comment:

sheila said...

Chevon, cabrito, goat meat. Call it any name you what, I call it darn good eating. Too bad more people haven't tried it, they don't know what they are missing. My first taste was a free tasting sample of goat summer sausage at a farmers market. I was hooked.

Goats are a useful species, they keep the brush growth in check. They are a pain to fence though. Electric seems to be the only thing they really respect. They are also smart enough to push there herd mates into it to check and see if the fence is still hot.