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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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Publication Number: P2263
Publication Number: P2289
Publication Number: 5773


Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Green Industry, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables, Corn, Cotton, Nuts, Peanuts, Soybeans, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Poultry, Lawn and Garden, Forestry, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing March 7, 2018

ELLISVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University representatives met with agricultural clients in Ellisville recently to discuss research and education needs for 2018. More than 115 individuals attended this year's event.

A Mississippi State University specialist stands before a room of seated meeting participants.
Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Green Industry, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables, Nuts, Forages, Beef, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Swine February 26, 2018

Agricultural clients met with Mississippi State University personnel to discuss research and education needs during the annual Producer Advisory Council Meeting for the southwest region February 20.

Filed Under: Forages, Goats and Sheep February 15, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Those interested in running a sheep or goat operation can learn management and marketing techniques at a March 17 workshop at Mississippi State University.

Register now for the Small Ruminant Production Workshop that runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is offered by the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

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.”


Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 2:00am

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