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News: 150 days from birth is the average time you need to sell your pigs for slaughter and it is about 85 kgs on average.
 
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Mustang Sally Farm
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« Reply #150 on: July 02, 2012, 11:41:05 AM »



The Biology of the Goat

Milk Goiter in Goat Kids
 
Owners of Nubians, Boers and a few other breeds of goats are familiar with the large throat swellings that occur on the sides of the neck just under jaw line and sometimes including the area under the jaw in young kids. These soft swellings, called "milk goiter", will begin to appear at about a week of age, increasing in size to about 4 months of age, then will regress by the time the kid is 6 to 9 months old.
 
The explanation for these swellings most often is that milk goiter is caused by the rich milk of their dam. On the surface this makes sense since the kids have goiters while nursing then the goiters will decrease in size about the same time that they are weaned. However, milk goiter can also appear in kids raised on pasteurized goat milk or milk replacer.
 
Some owners will panic thinking these swellings could be the first sign of CL (caseous lymphadenitis) or some other infection of the lymph nodes found in the neck.
 
Others will attempt to cure milk goiters by spraying a strong iodine solution on kids' tender skin around the genital area. The suggestion is that milk goiters are enlarged thyroid glands due to an iodine deficiency in a fast growing kid. According to anecdotal reports, the swellings go away within days following this treatment, although more frequently repeated iodine treatments are required to reduce the size of the throat swellings.
 


Is milk goiter due to iodine deficiency?
 Large throat swellings called goiter in humans was and is still common in many parts of the world due to a deficiency in iodine in the diet.
 Iodine is an essential component of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. These hormones called T4 and T3 are essential for cell metabolism, and growth, maintenance of connective tissue and development of the nervous system in the fetus and newborn. If there is a deficiency of iodine in the diet, these hormones cannot be produced.
 
From its position at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland monitors the levels of hormones in the blood. If a low level of thyroid hormones is detected, the pituitary gland sends out its own hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH, which stimulates the thyroid gland to step up production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland can't do this since it's missing one essential ingredient - iodine - but the pituitary gland does not know this. It keeps secreting TSH which after a time will cause the tissue of the thyroid gland to change and the entire gland will enlarge. Surprisingly, a toxic level of iodine will also cause an enlarged thyroid and hyperthyroidism due to a malfunction of the thyroid hormone producing system.
 
The symptoms of iodine deficiency in goats are kids which are born weak, with sparse hair coat, low resistance to stress and slow growth. Even a subclinical iodine deficiency results in small, weak kids with no obvious goiter. These symptoms do not describe the typical healthy, fast growing kid with milk goiter.
 
Mild enlarged thyroid glands in the goat it is not easy to detect because the swelling is located behind the larynx which would be mostly out of our sight, and slightly below. Milk goiter is quite obvious, appearing in front of, and on both sides of the throat over the larynx.
 
True iodine deficiency is rare in our supplemented goats, but soil in the Northeast US is low in iodine so it may occur in that area in goats that are not provided a supplement. If the dam has an adequate supply of iodine, her milk will contain enough to support her nursing kids. If the dam was deficient she would exhibit common symptoms of iodine deficiency such as abortion. The fetus cannot survive to birth without adequate levels of this mineral. In fact in third world countries where iodine deficiency is a problem, the most serious sign is natural abortion.
 
On the other hand, the fetal thyroid gland is very sensitive to iodine toxicity. Kids born to dams with high levels of iodine in their system are born with obvious thyroid enlargements.
 
What is milk goiter?
 A paper published in 1988 by Geoff Pritchard in the British Goat Veterinary Society Journal[1], describes the study of throat swellings in a herd of mainly Anglo-Nubians but included a few Toggenburgs and Saanens. Over several years most kids developed throat swellings in the area of the thyroid gland from the time they were about 7 to 10 days old which persisted until they were slaughtered at 6 to 9 months of age but usually began to reduce in size at about 4 months of age. In some cases the swellings were so severe as to cause discomfort, a change in vocalization and what was described as depression. The swellings started to regress almost spontaneously at about 4 months of age leaving behind a loose flap of skin.
 Assuming that this was an iodine deficiency, the owner's veterinarian prescribed potassium iodine administered by mouth but this did not result in a response. Analysis of feed showed an adequate amount of iodine. Blood and milk samples showed that rather than a deficiency the kids and dams had a slightly higher than normal level of iodine.

 One kid was sacrificed and a necropsy was performed to determine the cause of the swellings. Results showed that the throat swelling were due to "gross enlargement of the thymus, with most of the extra thoracic portion - weighing in excess of 200 grams - being located in the upper neck region." Histologically, the thymus tissue was normal. Two other kids were also post-mortemed and showed similar thymus enlargements. In one, a 4 month old kid which had some regression, the thymus weighed nearly 170 grams, and in another younger kid the thymus enlargement was located under the lower jaw area.
 
Goats of all ages from the entire herd were screened for diseases including CAE, enzootic bovine leucosis, border disease, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, Toxoplasma gondii, and other bacteriology, virology, haematology, biochemistry and serology tests. The results of all were negative. The reason for the thymic enlargement at that time was unresolved.
 

What is the function of the thymus gland?
 
The thymus gland is located at the base of the neck, can extend to surround the heart, and in some goats a thin strand extends all the way up the neck enlarging in the area over the thyroid gland and can appear in the area under the lower jaw.
 
A type of immune cell which originates in the bone marrow is processed by the thymus gland. This immune cell, called a T-cell (thymus-dependent (T) lymphocyte), must be able to recognize the difference between a foreign invading cell and the body's own cells. These cells receive their training in the thymus gland by a process which is one of the great mysteries of science.
 
The thymus of the goat can be quite large in young animals reaching a peak in size at about 4 months of age, then begins to regress to a small size by 6 to 7 months of age. In castrated males the thymus enlargement can persist for some time longer.
 
It is known from studies of genetic diseases in which the thymus fails to develop or from surgical removal of the thymus gland in young children that the result will be permanent immuno-deficiency.
 


Do you want to cure milk goiter?
 
The thymus gland is very sensitive to stress and infection, quickly shrivelling in size if exposed. Stress produces adrenaline which is a natural steroid. Early in the 1900's injections of steroids were used to reduce the size of the thymus in children when an enlarged thymus gland was thought to be abnormal. There is some degree of burning when 7% iodine is applied to tender skin and along with catching and restraining kids all contribute to stress. This could explain why throat swellings can sometimes disappear after treatment with iodine. However, it is also possible that if iodine treatments are done around 4 months of age when the thymus normally begins to regress the treatments have nothing to do with the reduction of the throat swellings.
 
It should be noted that iodine can have toxic effects at high levels. It is easily absorbed through the skin especially if repeated over large areas of intact skin or to absorptive mucous membranes[2]. Iodine toxicity is more likely if the kid already had a normal iodine level.
 
Milk goiter is the very common, normal enlargement of the thymus gland which is part of the maturation of the immune system in nearly all juvenile mammals. Why the thymus gland is larger in some kids or children than others is not well understood. However, reducing the size at an early age could result a less efficient immune response for the life of the goat as has been shown to be the case in humans. Instead, welcome milk goiters with the understanding that the immune system is laying the foundation for your kids' healthy future.
 
References
1. Pritchard, G.C. (1988) Throat swellings in goats. Goat Vet. Soc. J., 10 (1), 34-7
2. Inchem.org

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« Reply #151 on: July 03, 2012, 12:23:29 AM »


U.S. Dairy Goat Inventory
Holds Steady

By Alan Harman


 
American milk goat numbers were unchanged last year as the national goat herd fell 4%.
 
The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service says the U.S. all goat inventory was 2.86 million head on January 1 while milk goat numbers held at 360,000.
 
The data shows the breeding goat inventory fell 4% year-on-year to 2.38 million head. Does one year old and older, at 1.78 million head, were down 3% while market goats and kids fell 5% to 487,000 head.
 
The kid crop fell 2% last year to 1.88 million head.
 
Meat and all other goats dropped 4% to 2.36 million head, while Angora goats fell 15% to 146,000 head.
 
Mohair production was 865,000 pounds from 149,000 goats and kids clipped for an average weight per clip of 5.8 pounds. Mohair price was $4.12 a pound with a value of $3.56 million.
 
NASS obtained the figures through a random sample of producers. Survey procedures ensured that all goat producers, regardless of size, had a chance to be included. Large producers were sampled more heavily than small operations.
 
About 23,000 operators were contacted during the first half of January by mail, telephone and face-to-face personal interviews to report their inventories as of January 1 and 77% of the reports were usable.
 



Milk goat inventory by state



State/Region

2011

2012

 2012 as
% of 2011

 

Alabama:

4000

3300

83

 

Arizona:

2000

3000

150

 

Arkansas:

4800

4700

98

 

California:

38000

41000

108

 

Colorado:

8200

11000

134

 

Florida:

5000

6000

120

 

Georgia:

3000

2900

97

 

Idaho:

3500

4000

114

 

Illinois:

4500

3900

87

 

Indiana:

12000

11500

96

 

Iowa:

31000

32500

105

 

Kansas:

4700

5300

113

 

Kentucky:

5500

7000

127

 

Louisiana:

1200

1300

108

 

Maryland:

1800

2300

128

 

Michigan:

10800

10000

93

 

Minnesota:

12000

11500

96

 

Mississippi:

3000

3100

103

 

Missouri:

11000

9000

82

 

Montana:

2600

2500

96

 

Nebraska:

2900

3100

107

 

New England1:

12700

11100

87

 

New Jersey:

2500

2000

80

 

New Mexico:

2800

2800

100

 

New York:

13000

12800

98

 

North Carolina:

7000

6300

90

 

Ohio:

8000

10000

125

 

Oklahoma:

6000

7000

117

 

Oregon:

9100

10700

118

 

Pennsylvania:

16000

15000

94

 

South Carolina:

2800

3000

107

 

South Dakota:

2300

2100

91

 

Tennessee:

7500

9000

120

 

Texas:

20000

20000

100

 

Utah:

2400

1800

75

 

Virginia:

5900

5200

88

 

Washington:

8500

6700

79

 

West Virginia:

2500

2500

100

 

Wisconsin:

50000

44000

88

 

Wyoming:

1400

1100

79

 

Other States2:

8100

8000

99

 

United States:

360000

360000

100

 

1 Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
 2 Unpublished states.
Source: NASS

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« Reply #152 on: July 03, 2012, 12:41:19 AM »


The High Failure Rates With Goats:

-how much does this venture really cost
-goats are labor intensive
-dairy goats require twice per day milking
-does require bucks,more breeds you house,more bucks are needed to cover them
-bills,vet,medical,disease testing,electric,water,labor,etc.etc.all cost money from your pockets,might be sometime before your goats are able to pay for themselves
-need to have your family on the same page as yourself.What happens should you be the only one caring for the goats and then one day you become sick??Teamwork on any farm is important
-too many breeds,one single breed is easier to manage over many different breeds.Not every sire goes on to become the right sire for your herd,meaning,unknown sires have the unknown factor and may not display interest from others to purchase from you.I have seen goats score in the 90s that never produced offsprings that scored in the 90s while at the same time seen goats score in the 80s that produced offsprings that scored in the 90s.Nothing is a given here.Breeding junk only leads to a bigger junk pile
-learn to cull,having an outside fulltime job at the same time can lead to more problems than its worth.Need reasons why you wish to keep the goats you own and reasons why to cull the ones that do not fit into your plans in the first place.This is a business first, not a petting zoo

Remember-failure to plan leads to failure.In truth it will take longer and more money than you first budgeted for
-most failures occur within the first 5 years of start up
-keep your numbers at a level you can manage.Never buy more than you really need including equipement
-find a market for your product,goats do not market themselves unless you are that rare top of the line breeder that is high profile and your goats sell themselves
-breeding junk leads to owning a larger junkyard and finally bankruptcy
-there will be days you really hate this business
-goats today are a growth business worldwide.Personally I have yet to see or know of anyone who went from rags to riches overnight with this side of the business.The potential is there for the right people to enter the business and make money.Goats are like many other agri. ventures,once someone becomes uninterested with the whole set up,they usually look for something else to try.Time and money seems to be two of the deciding factors why people leave this business venture.

Michael
Mustang Sally Farm
meat the need:

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« Reply #153 on: July 08, 2012, 10:27:20 AM »

Australia - Goat meat

15 Jun 2012

Australian goat meat exports dropped 23% year-on-year during May, to 2,252 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), led by a large fall in shipments to the US and the Caribbean – down 42%, to 1,247 tonnes swt and 16%, to 198 tonnes swt, respectively.
 
There was, however, good growth in some Asian markets, including Taiwan (399 tonnes swt) and Malaysia (232 tonnes swt).

In the last couple of months, with much greater supplies of lamb and mutton, and lower prices for goats relative to last year, there has reportedly been less incentive for the harvest of rangeland goats, reducing the supply available for export.

Mustang Sally's personal note:
Australia like others in the west have the luxury of free ranging their meat goats and by doing so have lower feed production costs than those of us in the Philippines.Mustang Sally's own audit showed the only realistic way of producing meat goats would be in the form of pellet feeding from forages grown on ones own land.In the beginning,added costs with equipement purchases again adds to your overhead but if looked at over time should be of real benefits for those who truely wish to become meat goat producers and having a real shot of success.In my opinion,pellet feeding will become more common in the years to come,especially given the smaller land holdings owned by most.
It took Mustang Sally 7 years of trial and error to reach the point where their operations finally became self supporting and Mustang Sally does not sell goats as breeding materials,only meat production through their own supply chain,locally.

Mustang Sally was the first to report that future export sales should be directed to other Asian countries that eat goats for meat like Malaysia.Mustang Sally was very disappointed when there was very little interest from the Philippine side to try an export program of live goats to Malaysia back around 2006.The hog export market is a good example of what happens in the business world when a market is lost,usually never ever regained.The internet today allows people to find other contacts  at their finger tips and those who fail to capitalize find themselves sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next opportunity to come along and at times is one long wait.

Mustang Sally is proud to be part of the goat industry in country and hope that information posted from background experiences will/has helped others who wish to become part of this exciting industry.Mustang Sally cannot take all the credits as we have a large pool of people in the business from other countries who have expressed their opinions to help build up this industry in country.At some point the market for meat goats will become greater than what the market can handle and exports will need a serious looking into.

 

 

 
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« Reply #154 on: July 15, 2012, 05:27:25 AM »


ADGA 2012 National Show - Nubian Results





Premier Exhibitor:

  LAKESHORE



Premier Breeder:

  SMITH, KAREN, FAUNA, TRINITY & WALTER



Premier Sire:

  WINGWOOD FARM REAL TACTITIAN - KAREN, FAUNA, TRINITY & WALTER SMITH



Total Performer:

  SGCH BLISSBERRY R ROCKIN' ROBIN - BLISSBERRY





Best Udder:

  GCH WINGWOOD FARM TAC SASHA -  KAREN, FAUNA, TRINITY & WALTER SMITH




Reserve Best Udder:

  SGCH BLISSBERRY R ROCKIN' ROBIN - BLISSBERRY






SENIOR RESULTS

 

JUNIOR RESULTS

 

GROUP RESULTS



 

NUBIAN GRAND CHAMPION

 GCH WINGWOOD FARM TAC SASHA

EXHIBITOR: KAREN SMITH & FAMILY

BREEDER: KAREN, FAUNA, TRINITY & WALTER SMITH





NUBIAN RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION

 SGCH BLISSBERRY ROCK MY WORLD

EXHIBITOR: BLISSBERRY

BREEDER: SARA KOEN-WALBERG







 

NUBIAN JUNIOR CHAMPION

 KASTDEMUR'S BODEGA BAY

EXHIBITOR: KASTDEMUR'S

BREEDER: KASTDEMUR'S DAIRY GOATS





NUBIAN RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION

 ALIZE VINO KATERINA

EXHIBITOR: LAKESHORE

BREEDER: COUGAR JONES











PRODUCTION AWARDS





HIGH INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION

 GCH BLISSBERRY CATCH ME IF YOU CAN - BLISSBERRY






HIGH INDIVIDUAL BUTTERFAT

 GCH BLISSBERRY CATCH ME IF YOU CAN - BLISSBERRY





HIGH LIFETIME PRODUCTION

 SGCH JACOBS PRIDE HOLLYWOOD STAR - JACOBS PRIDE





HIGH LIFETIME BUTTERFAT

 SG CIELITO-LINDO VIOLET - CIELITO-LINDO


 



Official 2012 National Show Photographer
 STEVE POPE
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« Reply #155 on: July 15, 2012, 05:28:50 AM »


ADGA 2012 National Show - Recorded Grade Results





Premier Exhibitor:

  CALIFORNIA



Premier Breeder:

  UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS



Premier Sire:

 



Total Performer:

  GCH HAYCREEKS SD SPRING - MORGAN ALLEN





Best Udder:

  CALIFORNIA ELANDER CATALINA - CALIFORNIA




Reserve Best Udder:

  CH PLEASANT-GROVE COBRA SLITHER - PLEASANT-GROVE






SENIOR RESULTS

 

JUNIOR RESULTS

 

GROUP RESULTS



 

RECORDED GRADE GRAND CHAMPION

 CH PLEASANT-GROVE COBRA SLITHER

EXHIBITOR: PLEASANT-GROVE

BREEDER: CRAIG KOOPMANN





RECORDED GRADE RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION

 GCH HAYCREEKS SD SPRING

EXHIBITOR: MORGAN ALLEN

BREEDER: MORGAN ALLEN







 

RECORDED GRADE JUNIOR CHAMPION

 KRISCROSS SCM'S DAKOTA

EXHIBITOR: KRISCROSS

BREEDER: KRISTEN ELLIS





RECORDED GRADE RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION

 CALIFORNIA KARMA DARLA

EXHIBITOR: CALIFORNIA

BREEDER: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS











PRODUCTION AWARDS





HIGH INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION

 THE TRISTON'S STARLIGHT - URBAN ACRES






HIGH INDIVIDUAL BUTTERFAT

 THE TRISTON'S STARLIGHT - URBAN ACRES





HIGH LIFETIME PRODUCTION

 GCH HAYCREEKS SD SPRING - MORGAN ALLEN





HIGH LIFETIME BUTTERFAT

 GCH HAYCREEKS SD SPRING - MORGAN ALLEN


 



Official 2012 National Show Photographer
 STEVE POPE
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« Reply #156 on: July 15, 2012, 05:30:19 AM »


ADGA 2012 National Show - Saanen Results





Premier Exhibitor:

  JHFARMS



Premier Breeder:

  COMPANEROS DAIRY GOATS



Premier Sire:

 SG CHERRYPINES STAND OUT - REDWOOD HILLS



Total Performer:

 SGCH COMPANEROS STAND OUT CAPRICE - REDWOOD HILLS





Best Udder:

  SARTYR KOJACK TREVI - SARTYR




Reserve Best Udder:

  SGCH DES-RUHIGESTELLE WINSEEKER - FERN & LAURIE ACTON






SENIOR RESULTS

 

JUNIOR RESULTS

 

GROUP RESULTS



 

SAANEN GRAND CHAMPION

 SARTYR KOJACK TREVI

EXHIBITOR: SARTYR

BREEDER: STEPHEN CONSIDINE





SAANEN RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION

 GCH COMPANEROS STAND OUT MELODY

EXHIBITOR: REDWOOD HILLS

BREEDER: COMPANEROS DAIRY GOATS







 

SAANEN JUNIOR CHAMPION

 NOBLE-SPRINGS CFS MONIKA

EXHIBITOR: DUSTIN NOBLE & JUSTYNE MCCOY

BREEDER: DUSTIN NOBLE & JUSTYNE MCCOY





SAANEN RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION

 JHFARMS VANILLA YAHTZEE

EXHIBITOR: JHFARMS

BREEDER: KIRK HUBBARD











PRODUCTION AWARDS





HIGH INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTION

 SG CAPRIKORN RV YGERNE - CAPRIKORN FARMS






HIGH INDIVIDUAL BUTTERFAT

 SG CAPRIKORN RV YGERNE - CAPRIKORN FARMS





HIGH LIFETIME PRODUCTION

 SGCH COMPANEROS STAND OUT CAPRICE - REDWOOD HILLS





HIGH LIFETIME BUTTERFAT

 SGCH COMPANEROS STAND OUT CAPRICE - REDWOOD HILLS


 



Official 2012 National Show Photographer
 STEVE POPE
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« Reply #157 on: July 29, 2012, 12:07:42 PM »


Stacking the Deck
Make the Most of Good Structure in the Dairy Goat Show Ring

By Shelene Costello

 
I love showing my dairy goats. It gives me a chance to evaluate my herd compared to other herds, to see how my breeding decisions have worked out. It also gives me a chance to visit with other goat breeders, and we discuss all kinds of things to do with goats, management issues, health, feeding, and genetics and structure. Taking my dairy goats into the show ring also gives me a chance to ask opinions not only of the judge, but other breeders I respect and value.
 
Over the years, I've watched how others show their goats. There are some basic techniques that help each animal look their best, and as I've shown mine, I've learned a lot about how to set a goat up and how to enhance its best qualities. I've still got a ways to go before I consider myself a master showman, but I've spent time studying the effects of how setting up, or stacking a goat can make or break how they look in the few moments a judge has to evaluate each animal in the ring.
 






I'm in the process of running my hand down Lucky's back to tickle the nerves over the loin so she'd drop her topline down and set in a bit more angles to the rear leg set.

 





I have her front legs a bit too far forward, and the back legs, one too far forward, one too far back, and holding the collar down too low.

 





I'm in the process of setting her rear legs. But I should have set the one closest to the camera(or judge) first. And I've got her front legs too far under the body,causing her to teeter a bit forward.

 





Feet are turned out and hocks turned in, the legs can be picked up and set more correctly under the goat and much straighter.

 





Front legs too far apart.

 





Too close together.

 





Legs set directly under the body, wide enough apart to show width of chest, but not too far apart.

 



Unlike at home, where I have hours every day to watch how my goats stand and move, the judge has to evaluate a bunch of animals in a timely manner to get every one judged in the time allotted. First impressions play a huge role in whether or not an individual animal will make a show ring cut or even get a second look for a more thorough evaluation in the show ring competition. For this reason, it is to every breeder's benefit to spend time working with their animals at home to practice show ring maneuvers and leg sets.
 
I spend time at home working with my animals teaching them to be set up, move in a graceful manner and be handled by someone, as they will in the course of the evaluation in the ring.
 
I make use of cameras, mirrors and other people's opinions, as to what looks best for each animal to present it in the best light possible in an efficient manner. Goats are goats, they have minds of their own and I never know for sure what they will do in public, but training really helps with my odds of presenting a pleasing picture quickly and efficiently. Most judges are forgiving of the occasional idiocy of goats, where they just won't cooperate....but to be competitive, it really helps to have goats who know what to expect so they aren't going to be so hard to evaluate.
 
A goat that is tensed up, will tighten its skin and not feel smooth and silky with loose pliable skin. A goat that isn't standing up well, or is turning one part of its body in or out, doesn't show the judge what it really may have. The judge can't know that at home the goat is fluid in motion and has a really lovely rear leg set if the goat is hunched up with its hocks turned in as it crouches down to get away.
 
At our farm, we practice setting up each goat to show off its best points, prior to the start of show season. We do it often enough that it becomes second nature, so that in the press and excitement of an actual show, it will come naturally without me having to think through each step. Same for the goat, if it knows it's going to get stacked and moved, and stacked and examined, it will be more likely to cooperate no matter what is going on around it. It is no secret that dairy goats like routine, whether in the milk room or in the show ring. So practicing a setting-up routine over and over at home will help the animal show off his or her best attributes when the same routine is performed in the show ring.
 
As I enter any official show ring, I walk in a clockwise direction, with the collar well up on the neck directly under the jaw. I move slowly and carefully, so that my goat is walking gracefully, not swinging her udder from side to side. I want the head to be up and looking alert, pointing forward if possible, so that the body is in a good position to be seen straight and true by the judge. I want her to take long fluid strides showing ease of movement and proper placement of feet as we move.
 
I walk to where the line stops and quickly set up my goat. I try to set up the side of the goat the judge is standing closest to first. For example, if the judge is behind my goat, I'll set up the rear end first. I look down to make sure the legs are set square under the doe, so that there is a straight line from the thurl to the ground when looking from behind. I make sure the hock is perpendicular to the ground, ideally set directly under the pin bones. This usually shows a balanced view of the udder and leaves plenty of room to showcase the udder from behind without extra space showing on either side of the udder between the legs, yet far enough apart that it doesn't squeeze the udder out of place.
 
Next, I'll move up to the front end and make sure the front legs are set directly under the withers, wide enough to show the proper width of the chest floor, yet not so wide as to make the goat look spraddle-legged.
 
Then I'll run my hand down the topline, and tickle the nerves above the loin so that the topline drops down a bit and pushes a bit of angle into the rear legs, making the topline look as level as I can.
 
I continue to hold the head up high if the goat's neck is set on high, or I'll hold the head out a bit more in front to make the neck blend into the shoulders and hold that topline up and level if the neck is set a bit lower. Holding the head out a bit also gives an impression of length for a slightly shorter bodied animal, and it can pull the front legs under the goat a bit more if needed.
 
I work to keep that head held straight, to keep the topline in a straight line and not throw off the profile. It's not pretty to see any animal twisted sideways, making them lean one way or another.
 
As the judge moves about the ring, I watch and keep the goat between the judge and myself at all times, so that there is an unrestricted view of the animal. Besides, no judge wants a view of my backside while I'm handling the goat.
 
My job is to continue to present the best picture of my goat, as close to the ideal dairy goat as I can present it the entire time I'm in the ring, clear through the placements and giving of reasons...no matter where I place in the class.
 
Part of sportsmanship is behaving in a sportsman-like manner the entire time in the ring, no matter if I agree with the judge or not, and no matter what else happens in the ring around us. I try to walk by or lean up and congratulate the winners, if I'm not at the front of the line that time. And if I win, I try to be as gracious as possible to the other exhibitors.
 
I pay attention to the reasons as the judge gives them, looking at each animal in the line up to see if I can make sense of the reasons and see why certain animals were placed as they were. There is a lot to be learned from other excellent showmen and the line-up at the end of each class is a great place to do just that.
 
I also watch as others show their goats throughout the day, looking to see if they are doing things that I can use to try to improve how my goats are presented.
 
When all is said and done, it is nice to head back to our pens and relax and enjoy watching the rest of the show. Dairy goat shows are great places to learn about and appreciate the breeding programs of animals from other parts of the county, state, or even country!
 
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« Reply #158 on: August 03, 2012, 09:52:27 AM »

Goat exporter opposes new rules

 Updated October 24, 2011


Photo: A goat exporter says the increased costs associated with the scheme could spell the end for small producers (Supplied)
 

Map: Broome 6725
There has been a mixed reaction to the Federal Government's decision to have all live animals exported from Australia traced and audited.

The move will standardise monitoring systems across the cattle, sheep and goat export industries.

While the feedback from cattle producers has been generally positive, concerns have been raised by some other producers about the impact on their businesses.

Goat exporter, Mick Doak, of Independent Livestock Services, says the increased costs associated with the scheme will be hard to absorb.

"It's really a death knell for the smaller producer, the smaller person like myself, and also my clients particularly in Malaysia," he said.

"On the smaller end of the scale I think it's going to be unpractical to do what they're asking us to do.

"I just feel it's another cost we'll have to bear and I kind of feel our days are numbered and I'll also say that in a lot of ways the Government and the industry bodies don't really understand the overseas markets."

Topics:trade, goat-production, broome-6725, perth-6000, wa
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« Reply #159 on: August 03, 2012, 10:41:09 AM »

Free-Range Goats Promise 12% Private-Equity Gains in Australia

By Rudy Ruitenberg


July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Free-range goat farming in rural Australia is a low-cost investment that may offer annual returns of as much as 12 percent, said Peter Hannen, chairman of private-equity firm MG Capital Plc.

MG Capital has invested about $12 million to buy 600,000 acres of land in Australia’s outback populated with 50,000 feral goats, Hannen said yesterday in an interview at the World Agri Invest Congress in London.

“Is it an industry or is it a hobby?” said Hannen, a former sugar trader and ex-chairman of Celtic Resources Holdings Ltd., the gold producer acquired by OAO Severstal in January 2008. “We’re not losing money. That’s a good start.”

Australia exported 27,000 metric tons of goat meat last year, and the U.S. is the world’s largest buyer, according to Hannen. London-based MG Capital expects to produce about 50,000 goats a year from its herd, the executive said.

The goats are harvested by fencing off watering holes that are accessible via “tiger traps” which can be shut to trap the animals, Hannen said. Land can be bought for A$10 ($7.96) an acre, and the project’s biggest investments are in fencing and water supply, he said.

“Goats being goats, basically you have a low-cost enterprise in an arid land, and the world is becoming more arid,” Hannen told the conference. “You have to keep probing at the frontiers.”

‘Startup Market’

MG Capital expects cash returns “over time” of 8 percent to 12 percent from goat farming in the outback, “in line with general farming,” Hannen said in the interview. The firm first invested in Australian goat farming three years ago, he said.

“This is a startup market,” he said. “It’ll be five years before we know if there’ll be a goat industry.”

The firm also has invested between $5 million and $6 million in farming of merino sheep in Uruguay for wool, which generated annual post-tax returns of 14 percent in the five years , according to Hannen.

“My most profitable operations in South America have been my sheep operations, and my most profitable land there has been that with the lowest productivity index,” he said. “There is life in livestock. Sheep do offer a very good investment.”
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« Reply #160 on: August 03, 2012, 10:56:52 AM »

Meet the Money Makers

 Meat goats are one of the hottest livestock properties today. Learn what the future holds for this market!
 
By Sue Weaver
 


If you'd like to turn a profit raising livestock, consider meat goats.

Established goat entrepreneurs are struggling to provide America's goat meat buyers with a ready supply of tasty, wholesome product.

It's a wide-open market and many more producers are needed.
 
Sixty-three to 65 percent of the red meat consumed globally is goat meat.

Ethnic Groups Love Goat
Americans of Hispanic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Eastern European, African, Middle Eastern and Southeastern Asian origin are clamoring for goat meat, as are a burgeoning number of health-conscious buyers who favor goat meat's lean, high-protein goodness.

However, American producers are so unable to meet those demands that a staggering amount of chevon (goat meat) is imported each year.

A case in point: Of the 16,097 metric tons of chevon exported from Australia in 2003 and 2004, 48.6 percent came to the United States and another 6 percent went to Canada. That's a lot of goat meat!
 








Courtesy Sara's Boer Goats Ranch

Meat Goat Info

MAC Goats
Drop by the MAC Goats website to access scores of meat goat industry resources and to meet the gorgeous MAC goats!

 
American Meat Goat Association/AMGA
Access informative articles, a comprehensive breeders directory, and links to the equipment and resources you'll need to break into the meat goat business at the American Meat Goat Association Website.

Boer and Meat Goat Information Center
Hundreds of articles, USDA livestock reports, show results, shipping regulations and producers directories: find 'em at the Boer and Meat Goat Information Center Web site.

International Kiko Goat Association/IKGA
Prospective meat goat entrepreneurs, no matter their favorite breed, will benefit from the IKGA's 15-page PDF bulletin, "Hints For the Inexperienced Goat Farmer." Click on “Publications” to download.

Goat Rancher - The Magazine of America's Commercial Meat Goat Industry
Goat Rancher reports the latest news about the production, health, management and marketing of meat goats. Click on “Markets” at the Goat Rancher Web site to check up-to-date prices at dozens of goat auctions throughout the United States.

TOP
 
Consider this: Cabrito, the tender flesh of 10- to 12-pound, milk-fed kids, is a delicacy among Hispanic consumers. America's Hispanic community is more than 35 million strong; by 2025, Hispanics will make up 18 percent of our population. If current growth patterns continue, by 2050, one out of every four Americans will be Hispanic; yet already Hispanic demands for quality cabrito and chevon drastically exceed supply.

According to census figures, 16.8 percent of Florida's population is Hispanic, yet 85 percent of dressed goat meat marketed in Florida is imported!
 
Muslim families also prefer goat meat. Chevon is the mainstay of religious feasts held prior to Ramadan, at ‘Id al-Fitr and at Id al-Adha, as well as at weddings and other family celebrations throughout the year. When it's available, it's enjoyed as everyday fare.
 
Americans of Caribbean descent prefer meat from mature goats for use in jerked dishes and curries; Jewish consumers buy milk-fed kids for Passover and Hanukkah; Asian buyers favor meat from older kids. The market is out there, but there are many more reasons to look into goats.

Getting Started with Goats

Feed
Goats are browsers, not grazers. Goats flourish on land that would starve a horse or a cow. They drool for blackberry canes, multiflora rose, kudzu, poison ivy and leafy spurge, and they rhapsodize over saplings, suckers and brush.

In an Australian study, the stomachs of free-ranging goats were found to contain approximately 72 percent browse and only 28 percent grass; goats pastured with grazing species (horses, cattle and sheep) don't compete for choice grasses and open brushy areas for their pasturemates to dine on.

For hundreds of years, farmers and ranchers have employed goats to clear rough land. You can, too.

Compared to most livestock ventures, entry-level commercial goat enterprise costs are modest indeed.

Breeds
Moderately-priced does of mixed meat breed ancestry are readily available. Breeds include:
 •Boer
•Kiko
•Tennessee Meat Goat
•Genemaster
•Texmaster
•Savanna
•Spanish

Purebred or high-percentage meat breed bucks cost about the same as a registered bull.
 
Besides preferring browse to prime grass, six to eight goats flourish on the hay and concentrates needed to nourish a single cow or horse.

Housing
Goat housing is the essence of simplicity: keep goats dry and out of drafts, and they thrive.

Existing farm fences can usually be goat-proofed with additional strands of barbed or electric wire. Goats are intelligent, friendly and just plain fun to have around. A passel of kids with access to climbing toys is good for more laughs than comedy TV!

Marketing Meat Goats
And there is more than one way to market meat goats.
•Successful goat entrepreneurs produce organic chevon for restaurants and other discriminating, health-conscious consumers;
•They sell commercial slaughter goats individually or as part of a chevon marketing co-op through their local sale barns or to goat brokers or meat processors, or
•They direct market live goats to ethnic buyers from their own back doors.






Meaty Myotonics
Myotonic goats (also called Fainting, Wooden Leg, Stiff, Nervous and Scare goats) are American as apple pie.

Read ALL about Myotonics!

The breed's origin traces back to the 1880s when a transient farm worker, John Tinsley, came to central Tennessee in the company of several strange goats. When startled, they stiffened and often toppled over onto their sides or backs.

Folks liked these animals. They were meatier than most goats and their peculiar condition kept them from scaling enclosures in the manner of everyday goats. When Tinsley moved on, his “fainting” goats stayed behind to found a dynasty of their own.

In the 1950s, a passel of Tennessee Fainting Goats was exported to the Texas hill country where they evolved as the Texas Wooden Leg goat.

The 1980s proved a parting of the ways for the two. One group of fanciers began selecting for meat qualities such as greater size, growth rate and reproductive efficiency; another for pronounced myotonia and reduced size.

Because of this divergence, today's myotonic goats range in weight from about 60 to 200 pounds.

The latter are Tennessee Meat Goats, a trademarked breed of large, muscular myotonics pioneered by goat author Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch in Lohn, Texas. By crossing and re-crossing her Tennessee Meat Goats on Boer and percentage Boer does, she developed a second trademarked breed, the TexMaster.

TOP
 
For those who choose not to raise goats for slaughter, a strong demand exists for quality meat-breed show and breeding stock.
 •Some producers specialize in show wethers (the meat goat division is the fastest growing segment of many states' 4-H programs);
•Others show purebred bucks and percentage does (a commercial doe for commercial herd improvement; and
•A select number in top-of-the-crop show and purebred breeding stock--among them Matt Gurn and his wife, Claudia Marcus-Gurn, of MAC Goats.

MAC Goats
Two years ago, when Claudia retired from her position as Accounting Supervisor at California's famous Folsom Prison, the Gurns packed their worldly belongings, their Boer goats, and their livestock guardian dogs and their household pets (including Cash, the Folsom Prison cat), and set off cross-country for a new life in the Missouri Ozarks.

When asked why they chose this region, Claudia laughs. "Cheap land," she says.

"And I grew up in the woods, so I wanted to live back on the deer trails again. We chose this place," she adds, gesturing out the window at their beautiful river-bottom farm, "for a special reason. Matt and I are Christians and our faith is important to us. We'd looked at other properties but they didn't suit us for one reason or another. Then we found this place. We liked it, but when I saw the aerial map of this property, I knew we'd been given a sign. From above, this property is shaped like a fish!"

Nestled in the wilderness of a lush, green valley under towering Ozark cliffs, MAC Goats is surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest.
 
The nearby Eleven Point River, one of Missouri's Ozark National Scenic Riverways, draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to the area each year. Their home was built in 1894, and though they've added on and renovated, the Gurns strive to preserve its original character. Its small, neat rooms are furnished with antiques and Claudia's own artwork; awards from prestigious Boer goat shows are frosting on the cake.

"We weren't the first Boer breeders in North America," Claudia explains, "but we were one of the first in California. We already had Nubians, but when Boers came along, they simply swept us off our feet. We were blessed when we bought our foundation stock. We've always had outstanding bucks. Our first was Chieftain. He came from South Africa to Canada as an embryo. We showed Chieftain twice, winning two Grand Champions and two Best of Shows, along with 55 points toward his Ennoblement--that's the highest honor a Boer goat can earn. Chieftain was the sweetest guy and he sired the nicest babies. He really got us off on the right foot.

"Chieftain sired Chief Forty-Five--we call him Chiefee--and Chiefee is still with us. He and his get helped us win the California Premier Breeder Award in 2001 and he's collected 70 Ennoblement points. He's the best, a real character; Chiefee is a gift from God. He's my pal and loves to rest his chin on my shoulder. Once he won an award for most popular goat at a show, based on spectator applause. He and Chieftain sired so many of our does that we don't use Chiefee much nowadays, but he'll always be a part of life at MAC Goats."

Success with Meat Goats
When asked how readers might emulate their success, Matt replies, "They need to learn everything they can before they buy. They should learn:
 •How to manage goats
•Which vaccinations to give and how to give them
•How to tell when a goat is sick
•They need to understand how to feed them
•And start small. That way they can continue learning as they expand."

"Join e-mail lists," Claudia adds. "I subscribe to 23 goat lists myself. Ask questions--goat people are so good about helping one another. If you want to sell breeding stock, you need to use popular bloodlines and expect to show. It's costly, but wins prove you're breeding good goats. And advertise! Produce a quality product and let people know that you are. Put up a Web site that encourages people to come back again and again. Our educational Web site draws hundreds of hits a day,” she continues. "People come to research a subject, then they see our MAC goats and often want to buy!”

What to Know About Slaughter Goats
If readers raise slaughter goats, do they need high-priced, pedigreed stock?

"Not at all," Matt says. "No matter what you do, you need a good buck because he has an impact on every kid you raise. A really good buck may seem expensive, but when his kids sell for more money or are marketable sooner, that quickly brings down his initial cost. You want to buy from breeders who participate in performance testing or who track weight gains. We weigh our kids at birth and again when we wean them at three months. We post the results to our Web site. Recording weight gains shows breeders--and buyers--which bucks are siring quick-maturing kids. With an average buck you might market 5-month-old kids weighing 50 pounds. At the same age, kids by a better buck might weigh 60 pounds. You can market those kids sooner, and the sooner to market, the less you'll feed them. Some of our kids weigh 90 pounds at three months! Over time these savings add up.

"Commercial producers don't need registered stock. Most will use a good meat breed buck on mixed-breed does. What's important in a commercial program is producing fast-growing, meaty kids tailored to supply a given market. To show a healthy profit, you've got to take care of your commercial breeding stock and keep it healthy, but not spend a lot of money doing it.

"And no matter what kind of goats you raise, registered or commercial, you need good does. They should have good udders, produce enough milk and want to take care of their kids. Does that produce twins work best for us since we don't like to spend a lot of time bottle feeding, but a commercial producer might want triplets or quadruplets. Bottle-raised, the extra kids mean more meat to take to market."

Looking Ahead
And what lies ahead for MAC Goats?

"Only the Lord knows for sure," says Claudia, "but we plan to keep raising Boer goats. We'll continue showing, too. Boer goats we've bred have won 101 Grand and Reserve Championships. In three months of showing, Hoss, our present herdsire, earned 105 points toward his Ennoblement and he's passed visual inspection, so we'll be showing some of his sons and daughters to finish his points. We consigned 30 of our best young goats to the Diamond Classic Sale coming and ended up with the two top-selling bucks for $2,200 a piece and the top-selling doe for $4,200. The doe, a 7-month-old Hoss daughter, had been shown four times, always at large breed shows, and had won her class every time, along with an Overall Grand Championship, a Junior Championship and a Reserve Championship. We sold her so someone else can start their herd or expand their show string with the kind of high-quality goats we were blessed with when we began. To us, that's what this business is about."
 
From show stock to meat market, the meat goat business is booming. Are there meat goats in your future?
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« Reply #161 on: August 11, 2012, 09:26:27 AM »

From what I have been told lately,expect higher livestock feed prices coming.Appears the American corn export forecast will be lower than expected and with world demand for corn as livestock feed,higher prices to follow along with general food prices also.Not good news for livestock producers who rely on commercial off the self concentrates like ourselves.Those who are in a position to form their own pellets,good for you and maybe the right timing.One of the problems with higher feed prices is that people will sell off their goats in order to save money,not good news for a entry level livestock venture like goats.
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