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Questions and Answers

Common Meat Goat Questions and Answers

What is a male goat called?
The male goat is called a Buck. Some may refer to a buck as a Billy or Billy goat. Unlike cartoons, goats do not eat tin cans!

How many goats can I run in my pasture?
As a rule of thumb, six mature goats can graze on the same area as one cow/calf unit on native Mississippi pasture.

What is a female goat called?
A female goat is called a doe. Sometimes referred to as a nanny, but properly as a Doe. A doe will normally produce between one to three kids per kidding.

What is kidding?
Kidding is the process of giving birth to babies, known as kids. Kids are normally born in the spring of the year. Goats can kid twice per year under ideal conditions. However, most producers kid only once per year.

What products come from goats?
Major items goats provide include meat, milk, cheese, and hide to be used for gloves and boots.

What is a Market Goat?
Any goat that is produced for meat and of proper market weight (typically 60 to 80 pounds is ideal) is a market goat. Any breed can be a market goat; even dairy breeds. However, most market goats today are part Boer for the added growth, performance, and muscle.

What is a Club Goat?
A goat that is produced especially for the 4-H or FFA exhibitor to show for the entire show year. These goats are genetically engineered to peak within a 60- to 100-pound weight range while exhibiting tremendous muscle, structural correctness, length and depth of body, high percentage of hind saddle, a combination of style and balance, and proper condition or finish.

What is a Boer goat?
The Boer goat was developed in South Africa as a breed meant solely for meat production. It is known for rapid weight gain and heavy muscling. Since the Boer goat was selectively improved for its efficient meat production, the addition of a Boer buck to a commercial meat goat herd can improve the meat characteristics of the offspring.

What is the gestation period for goats?
(How long does it take for a doe to have kids after breeding?) - Goats will kid on average around 150 days; 70 to 80% of gestations will range between 147 to 153 days. Additionally, estrus periods run at about 20-day intervals. Females will normally produce from one to three kids (babies) per kidding depending on condition and genetics.

What grazing density is recommended for meat goats?
A good rule of thumb would be six mature goats equal to one cow/calf unit on native or improved pasture or 10 goats equal one cow unit on browse or brushy areas.

How often should I deworm and with what products?
It is recommended that a strategic, mid-winter treatment be implemented. Other treatments should be coordinated with pasture management and justified by fecal egg counts or the FAMACHA method. There are only three compounds approved for use in small ruminants; Ivomec, TBZ, and Tramisol or Levasol (trade names). It is recommended to rotate products annually or when a resistance develops.

What is flushing and why should I do it?
Flushing is the process of providing the doe with a high-energy feed prior to breeding in order to produce twins or triplets at kidding. If good management practices are followed such as flushing, kid crops can be increased substantially. Providing supplemental feed 45 days prior to breeding and continued for 45 days after breeding provides the doe with the extra energy necessary to increase conception rates and provide maximum kidding potential.

What is ketosis and how can I cure it?
The female gives a lot of her energy to produce milk for the kid. A chemical imbalance occurs that can kill her quickly. Watch the doe for signs of stress or lowered energy about a week before to a week after kidding as this is the most prevalent time for this condition to exist. If the female appears weak during this time, the therapy is simple and can save her life. A mature doe will need approximately 60cc of Propylene Glycol in a drench form three times per day until symptoms cease. In a tight, Karo syrup and water will work. This gives the animal some simple sugar into the system to restore a balance for lost energy during the kidding process.

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News

Filed Under: Goats and Sheep August 2, 2017

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Goat and sheep producers in Mississippi are invited to attend a Small Ruminant Management and FAMACHA Training workshop later this month.

FAMACHA is an acronym for the Faffa Malan Chart, a system goat and sheep producers use to treat stock against barber pole worm. The workshop, hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Lowndes County Extension office on 485 Tom Rose Road in Columbus.

Dewayne Smith checks one of his goats at his Greene County, Mississippi, farm Oct. 13, 2014. Smith is one of several Mississippi farmers diversifying their farming businesses by adding meat goats. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Goats and Sheep October 15, 2014

RAYMOND -- Goats are growing in popularity among Mississippi livestock producers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their farming business.

“Since 2012, the overall number of meat goats in the southeastern region of the state has increased,” said Mitch Newman, Greene County agricultural agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “More small farmers want to raise livestock to supplement other income, and some landowners have fragmented property, which makes raising cattle unrealistic.”

Calhoun County 4-H member Mikayla Shelton prepares her Mississippi-bred grand champion light heavyweight goat, Ready Or Not, for his turn in the show ring at the Dixie National Sale of Champions Feb. 6 in Jackson. The 44 market goats, lambs, steers and hogs brought a preliminary total of $369,150, setting a new record. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Goats and Sheep February 7, 2014

JACKSON – Young Mississippians took about 3,000 animals to Jackson to show at the Dixie National Livestock Show, but only 44 animals were judged worthy of competing in the annual Sale of Junior Champions.

Mikayla Shelton is one of hundreds of Mississippi youth who groom their goats, lambs, steers and hogs all year long in hopes they make it to the sale, and after five years of competing, the Calhoun County 4-H’er finally earned the spot she had coveted for so long.

Christian Thornton, left, shows a goat with support from Lafredrick Leggett, Dykarius Arrington and Clarke County 4-H Livestock Club member Jesse Miller during the Clarke County 4-H Special Needs Livestock Show Jan. 17 in Quitman. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: Goats and Sheep, Family January 17, 2014

QUITMAN – When January rolls around, Clarke County 4-H’ers start lining up at Christy King’s door to participate in the livestock show for 4-H members with special needs.

“It’s so popular I have a waiting list,” said King, who is an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Clarke County.

The event pairs members of the Clarke County 4-H Livestock Club with local youth who have special needs. The show began 16 years ago but ended in 2003 when the original participants became adults.

Debbie Huff and her youngest son, John Mark, prepare goat cheese in their kitchen. The Huffs' four sons show dairy goats in 4-H and also make and sell goats' milk products.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Goats and Sheep April 19, 2012

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Goats remain a niche segment of the state’s livestock production, but they have a strong fan base.

“Meat goats make up most of the goat herd in Mississippi and in the nation,” said Kipp Brown, area 4-H livestock agent and meat goat specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Bill Ryals and his son raise meat and dairy goats at the Rocking R Dairy in Tylertown.

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