LIVESTOCKS => Small ruminant (sheep and goat) => Topic started by: mikey on November 02, 2009, 01:26:09 AM

Title: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2009, 01:26:09 AM
I have been getting emails all week from our contacts in the Philippines telling me that the prices of boer bucks have been lowered and what does this really mean and what does  a "commercial breeding buck" really mean.

In all honestly I believe I am correct when I say if we look at all the bucks being produced from the boer breed,there appears to be an oversupply.In business its all about supply and demand.When there is an over supply and a lower demand, stocks are not moving.This translates into the business owner lowering his/her prices in order to move their stock(s) as breeders over selling them to the meat industry which brings in lower values.Strategic business move first and a good will gesture second.This is good news for those wishing to buy boer buck(s) to improve their own herds as the next wave in this industry is fattening,heavier goats bring in more pesos.The native has a higher bone to meat ratio but the boer has a higher meat to bone ratio.If one can improve their native stocks with the infusion of boer blood then the offspring has better value for the meat industry.In truth what we are talking about is ADG (average daily gain).In our research we have found at the F2 level (75%) boer blood one can realize a decent meat goat for the meat industry.

What does COMMERCIAL BOER BUCK mean.I am not sure as to what it really means,to me in english maybe different what what it means in the Philippines,so I will not comment.Talk with any breeder worldwide and they will tell you only a small percentage of bucks born on any given farm have the qualities it takes to enter a breeding program,1 in 10,1 in 20.Not all bucks are created equal.Again we are taking about genetics and ADG.At Mustang Sally Agri Farm we use only a few selected sires for our breeding program as most all of our males are shipped to Negros Occ. or Cebu for the meat trade.The golden rule here is buy the best genetics one can afford and start from there.Remember alot of the finest breeding animals worldwide have line- breeding in their pedigrees at some point in their life time.

Overall,good news for the goat industry as a whole to see prices lowered on boer bucks.I am hopeful this will add more boer bucks into the hands of those who were excluded before.This will benefit the industry for years to come.Welcome news indeed.

I was talking with one of my contacts in New Zealand about dairy New Zealand as I was told they also imported their anglo nubians from Australia and also face the same problem of lower milk yields and shorter lactation periods compared to their saanens.They have been breeding snubians also to help produce better milking goats but agree with me that the anglo nubians have better quality milk compared to the saanens and the anglo nubians are the only dairy breed which has a longer breeding cycle which allows for more kiddings.They have been selecting better quality anglo bucks to help increase their milk yields and such and have been making modest gains and believe over time with selective breeding they will be able to increase their anglo yields and lactation periods.There is hope for us all but it will take time and resources to see the project completed.

Note:an anglo nubian is called an anglo nubian because its bloodlines have english blood in its pedigree but once bred to lets say a Philippine native it now becomes known as a Nubian not ANGLO NUBIAN.

Mustang Sally Agri Farm:

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 03, 2009, 11:40:35 AM
First we saw price reductions for boer bucks and now they tell me someone is selling anglos and saanens for P15,000 each for bucks.2009 was the year for price reductions and this should go along way to help producers upgrade their stocks with better quality breeds.We should see real improvements over the next few years with this new blood in many more hands.The goat industry is on the move and lets hope it keeps up,the future looks bright.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on February 17, 2010, 04:47:51 PM
I would think we should see more boer blood in the national herd over the next few years as more people bought boer bucks for breeding into their own herd(s).Good to see.From my own experience,one has to find their own market for the product.Not always easy to do and it takes alot of networking to build up a customer base.Better prices overall as one also collects on the stomach and hide plus the muscle.

It appears the Govt. will import more dairy goats from Australia this year (2010) for different areas of the Philippines.Milk seems to be taken much more serious now as the Govt. wants to place more dairy goats into the provinces.The DA from different areas are holding classes to help educate people interested in the dairy end of this business.

I can only trace a few bloodlines of dairy goats in the country.Alaminos with their Mitra Line and Vise Gov. Many Pinol with his Lakeshore and Kastdemur"s bloodlines.There may very well be more but not advertised as of yet.Finding good quality dairy breeding bucks can still be a problem for some of us.Myself,still a long way to go before I might realize some real improvements with the anglos.Over time I am hopeful the herd will improve if I can find the right buck(s) to increase dairy in our does.

Weather will also play an important role this year as some believe the climate will be hotter this year which will cause problems for producers trying to keep their forage crops from dying.Coconut choir plowed back into the soil can help retain  moisture.China is buying lots of coconut choir from the Philippines for soil improvement in China.

It does appear the goat industry is on its way and lets hope all can do well in this industry.

Best of luck to all who will invest in this exciting industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 06, 2010, 01:51:20 PM
US producer introduces natural Halal goat
[3 March 2010] Coleman Natural Foods, the largest organic and natural meat company in the US has follwed in the footsteps of Australian and New Zealand processors, by introducing natural, Halal certified goat. This is in response to growing demand by ethnic consumers in the US and globally for Halal certified meat products.The animals are raised by pre-certified farmers, hand is animal welfare and food safety certified

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 10, 2010, 11:15:02 AM
The movement worldwide is to qualify for the label "Ethical Produced Food".The buzz word has it for those who qualify for such a label to be attached to their product(s) in this case "food products" may have greater worldwide marketing access.

1-concern for the enviroment
2-health and safety issues,cleaness
3-animal welfare issues

US consumers will pay for ‘ethical’ food
[5 March 2010] Asian suppliers to the US are likely to do well if they can assure customers that their products are produced in an ethical manner. A recent survey by San Francisco-based marketing communications firm Context Marketing revealed that 69% of consumers will pay more for 'ethically produced' foods. Bob Kenney, Context Marketing Principal said that when asked to identify what they meant by 'ethical food', more than 90% percent of respondents identified three main qualities: protects the environment, meets high quality and safety standards and treats farm animals humanely. The survey was conducted in January among 600 adults aged 20 - 64, equally representing men and women living in major US markets.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 12, 2010, 10:26:25 AM
According to our Asian contacts.China has been importing tons of copra choir from the Philippines as
a soil conditioner.The copra choir is used to help stablize slopes and helps the soil to retain moisture.During this hot dry spell we are planning to plow our copra choir back into the soil to help condition our soil and help the soil retain moisture.This might be something worthwhile for all of us to consider.It is all natural and dio-degradable.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 13, 2010, 11:05:12 AM
Something that I have been discussing with some of our contacts is about horns on goats.Every goat I have seen in a hot country has its horns but here in N.America and Europe it is a common practice to dehorn goats for safety reasons.
I feel that in the early days with goats imported from the US and Australia had their horns removed and this may have added to alot of the problems with adapting to the tropics.
Horns on a goat act the same way as a radiator with an engine,it helps to cool.
Horns on a goat help to regulate its core temperature.In a hot tropical country like the Philippines I now feel it is very important to leave the horns attached to the animal so it can adapt better to the climate.I believe a dairy goat will do better if it is horned over a goat that has been dehorned.All our goats are horned for this very reason.As a producer the welfare of your stocks should be paramount.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 14, 2010, 11:36:59 AM
The farm is also reporting fewer problems with termites where goat pee flows.I now believe goat pee can be a safe and natural means to help rid areas of ones land with this pest.Might be something for others to consider and try if you too are/have problems with termites.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 17, 2010, 09:59:47 AM
I asked our Texas counterpart if she ever heard about a shipment of Saanens that was imported into the Philippines some years back from the USA.She said no but it did not surprise her if they performed poorly and the reason she gave was this.Goats with top bloodlines are bred and do well in the environment in which they are bred in,once that same goat is placed into an environment which is completely different from the one it is bred for, it will always do poorly because of its new environment is so very different.One cannot blame the goat for doing poorly,it was those who thought in the first place that the goat would do as well in its new environment as its old environment.Short sighted on those who thought different.There was some rumors sometime back that the anglos in the Philippines are too inbred and their bloodlines watered down with all the crossbreeding,there is probably some truth too this but again its the environment in which the goat is now housed.It takes many many years to condition a goat to perform well in its new environment especially if its an imported goat in the first place.Also it takes many many good bucks to breed a decent dairy goat to perform well in any environment.True a anglo dairy goat looks different from a meat anglo goat and this is why selecting good bucks from known dairy lines is paramount for success.It will take more work and research before the anglo will have the dairyness needed to make progress for Dairy Philippines.The anglo still holds promise for a dairy operation but not today and not tomorrow but some time in the future and only if there is enough interest from those who are up to the challenge.Money and time is the main factors.

A few years back I wrote about importing semen for AI to dairy goats, because this idea was so new to the Philippines there was no guidelines or information from the powers to be in the Philippines.For those of us from N.America,time is money and we cannot wait forever for the powers to be to make a decision on this idea.I am sure at some point in the future the Govt. will put guidelines in place and allow those of us who wish to import top of the line semen,do so and help propell dairy Philippines into the next generation.In the mean time the selection for dairy anglo sires is not bright for this fast and exciting growing industry.As I wrote some years back our consultants was telling us crossbreeding had the best chances for success in the short term from the information we were providing them.Crosses like the snubian have been bred here in N.America on small dairy operations since the 1980s.Large commercial dairy operations still milk purebreeds.The anglo is still the most popular dairy goat milked in N.America.The saanen is milked in large commercial operations due to its high volume of milk produced.

True genetics has an important role in your success into the dairy market.Environment is the deciding factor first for success or failure.Do not blame the goat.

Farms like Alaminos has been making inroads in the goat industry as a whole in the Philippines and this is good news for the industry.True I have from time to time agreed to disagree with them but this is natural for any industry and we can learn from each other.The Philippine Govt. has asked for foreign investors captial along with the captial from OFWs to help with agri projects.For us foreign investors investing in the goat industry we bring knowledge and captial needed and should not be feared as we too play an important role in AGRI PHILIPPINES and its important for us for the success of the goat industry.For some of us with agri interests in other parts of the world,things like goat meat standards is nothing new as we have been dealing with this long before there was any talk about a standard for the Philippines.Do not fear us,work with us as we already know what the standard means.

True we do not always publish all of our research materials or present projects as we consider some of these to be trade secrets but we publish what we can to help others succeed.We too expect to earn profits from our commitments into the Philippine goat industry,as the old saying goes business is business.Foreign investors will help the Philippine goat industry not destroy it.

Mustang Agri Farm R-7 D-1

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on March 31, 2010, 10:59:50 AM
Goats are animals that ship poorly when they are forced to travel distances.I have noticed when goats are shipped to and from Cebu Island back to N.O. they tend be to weak from the travelling and need 24 hours of recovery.This can cause problems to any producer who ships his/her stock distances.I know that coconut water contains natural electrolytes.I am wondering if adding coconut water to the goats regular drinking water before and during travel might be of benefit to any producer who is considering shipping stock out.This is something we are looking into as a shipping aid.A dead goat is worthless and money right out of your pocket.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on April 23, 2010, 10:52:23 AM
2010 has started off well for us as we await the births of this years F1 boer crosses.The Boer goat offers superior hybrid vigor when crossed with other goats,high dressing 48-60%,meat to bone ratio of 7-1 and meat low in fat.Fast growth rates of 6.8-13.6 kg per month or 15-30 lbs per month.The Boer is well suited for the meat industry.The 3 way cross has been produced for some years now and the fattening industry seems to be the next big venture into the world of the goat meat industry.

A goat buddy in Australia was telling me they are breeding the Red Boer to Anglo does for the meat industry there,seems to produce decent kids.

We will now breed for the Snubian and exit our Anglo breeding program until we are able to acquire the Anglo dairy buck(s) from known and recorded top of the line(s) dairy goats.We hope to see some information concerning the importing of frozen goat semen in the near future.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on May 03, 2010, 10:40:21 AM
This was written by a famous Boer goat breeder in the USA.

By Jack Mauldin
June 1, 2007

Is the Boer Goat Breed too "High Maintenance"?

After 10 years of raising Boer goats, I have slowly come to the conclusion that there can be a very high maintenance price to pay for raising Boer goats. This can vary dramatically according to what part of the country you are in but regardless, I strongly believe they can be a very high maintenance breed in the U.S. and the U.S. breeders may have played a significant roll in the Boer breed being such a  high maintenance breed.
First, what do I mean by being "high maintenance"?

High maintenance can be anything that takes up your time or money in order to raise the Boer goat. Here is a list of examples:

Animals dying of un-natural causes - loss of purchase price or their potential future value
Preventative medication treatments - cost of medication plus loss of your time
Treating sick animals - cost of medication plus loss of your time
Assisting in delivery - loss of your time
Bottle Feeding - cost of milk supplement plus loss of your time
Hoof Trimming - loss of your time
Where has the "hardiness" gone in the Boer goat?

Much of the problems listed above comes from the Boer goat apparently not being as hardy in the U.S. as they were marketed to be. (see the value description of the Boer breed as defined by the South African breeders).  According to the South African breeders,

Boer goat is undoubtedly one of the hardiest small stock breeds on earth, with a great capacity for adoption
Now if you listen to the Boer goat industry talking, you will hear quite a different story.

Chat rooms are overflowing with breeders having health problems with their boers and looking for help.
Breeders will be heard saying their non-boer goats or percentages never have as much problems  as the fullbloods. It is always their "best animals" that get sick or die.
Article in recent Boer Association magazine describing how the writer spent $900 to raise an animal that ended up selling for around $90.
Another article in Goat Rancher magazine where the writer was suggesting the U.S. breeders were breeding the hardiness out of the Kiko breed. (this is the same suggestion I will be making about Boer goat breeders.)
At a recent seminar, a professor specializing in meat goats, indicated the parasite problems were so bad in the Boers goats in certain parts of the country that the breeders were having to worm with multiple type of wormers every 21 days and they were losing ground.  The professor indicated that there were no new super wormers coming.
We get bombarded weekly with emails and phone calls from breeders with health problems in their Boer goats and looking for help.
Everywhere we look, breeders are having significant problems with their Boer goats.
The industry can no longer claim that the Boer goat is a hardy animal to raise and, unless something changes, it will be difficult for commercial breeders to make a profit with Boer goats as the basis of their herd. If the commercial breeder can't rely on the Boer goat as being hardy and low maintenance, then there is no market for the Boer goat other than for showing. That will quickly dry up unless the Boer goat can be returned to the hardiness they were once known for and become low maintenance animals to raise.

Loss of Proper Focus

I believe there are several reasons why the Boer goats lost their hardiness and have become such high maintenance animals.  In order to try and correct this problem, you must look closely at the specific areas that are causing the high maintenance, prioritize the specific issues identified and determine how to correct the issues that can be corrected. First, let me state I am certainly not an expert in goats or breeding animals. I just have a personal opinion that I believe in very strongly. My background prior to raising goats was focused on analyzing business issues and resolving problems or improving the business processes.  The summary of my beliefs, as to why the Boer goats lost their hardiness and became high maintenance animals, is the U.S breeders have had a totally different focus in raising the Boers than the South African breeders did.

The South African breeders came from generations of breeders raising animals. There main long-term focus was on creating a breed that was hardy, very fertile animals with good kid raising abilities, long longevity that also looked good. The U.S. breeders have generally had a major focus on quickly producing as many animals as possible, get them winning in shows to allow premium prices and put on production sales across the country to get other people to start raising Boers. The Boer associations and the key breeders have always had a major focus on showing the animals to get ribbons and titles for marketing their animals. There is very little focus in the U.S. industry on raising hardy, low maintenance animals. The focus has been on doing the high maintenance work to make the animals look as good as possible for shows and production sales.  The more special attention given to the Boers, the less hardy they became. The breeders were trying to do whatever they could to be able to sell every animal they raised regardless of their "hardiness level".  Thus the genetics have changed from hardy to "high maintenance" because the U.S. focused on show looks rather than the hardiness of the animals.

Returning to a "hardiness breed" and low maintenance.

We are absolutely dedicated to changing our focus towards producing "low maintenance" hardy Boer goats in the future.  We will document the specifics of where we think the problems are, who caused the problems, and what our approach will be to reach our focus on "low maintenance" hardy Boer goats. 

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on May 04, 2010, 03:22:29 AM
STBF Project Culminates with Field Day at AGF
May 1, 2010
Alaminos Goat Farm hosted the field day for the Science Technology Based Farm project of PCARRD and National Dairy Authority last April 30, 2010. The big bosses at PCARRD Executive Director Patricio Faylon and NDA Administrator Orkhan Usman lend their presence to the event.
Graphical presentation of live milking of the the top performing Saanen dairy goats, AGF 1076 and AGF 6184. For the past thirty days in April record shows that AGF 6184 gave a total 134.5 kilos of milk and AGF 1076, 133.1 kilos of milk. True to form the two milkers gave a combine 5 liters of milk to the delight of the guests.The goats are milk twice a day, morning and evening at AGF.
The potential of using milk record as basis for selection for goats to be bred to produce the next generation milkers was emphasize in the presentation. The importance of nutrition was also discussed to be successful in dairying goats under tropical condition.
Dr. Gigi Salces mentioned genetics plays an important role to improve milk yields in dairy goats. Selection based on record and standard is an important factor for a breed plan to be successful. For cross breeding the best performance can be obtained from first felial generation because of hetorosis or hybrid vigour.
Dr. Edwin Villar, Livestock Research Director of PCARRD said that guests should take advantage of the presence of Dra. Gigi Salces and ask her question about genetics and breeding.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on June 21, 2010, 07:29:07 AM
The long hot drought of 2009/10 in the Philippines has been tough on most farms and I know this all too well.I believe the hot weather has taken its toll on forage feeds and this in turn has taken its toll on the goats body condition.Under conditioned goats take longer to come into heat and can produce weaker/smaller kids.I have also come to realize soil condition during drought is a real concern.Coconut choir is something we have been looking into to help hold moisture in our soil.True helps if one has his/her farm in copra growing regions to acquire the choir.Extra water holding tanks with high flow low maintenance pumps something like a modified truck water pump,belt driven to electric motors.

Our counterpart in Texas has told us we can also feed squash and pumpkins as squash seeds has more protein than grain (oats/wheat) and goats love to eat squash and pumpkins chopped up.Squash grows in country and another plant we are looking into is the fresh water fern Azolla,high in protein.Grains like oats and wheat does not grow in tropical countries so one is always on the look for alternatives to substitute for the protein needed.

Without more data coming forward concerning the Nubian as a dairy breed over meat,the breed might become less favoured as a dairy goat over its meat potential.Worldwide the Nubian plays an important role in dairy as well as for meat but in the Philippines so far has not proven itself as a viable dairy goat able to reach 305 days of lactation.The potential is there but without a solid breeding plan the breed is what it is,short on lactation better suited for meat over dairy and requires alot of work.Sad for those of us who have a vested interest in the breed in N.America and own shares in show/breeding nubians to see this beautiful breed do so poorly in the Philippines.I look forward to the day when the nubian in the Philippines will look and perform as well as any nubian in N.America or Europe,on the milk line or in the show ring.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on June 21, 2010, 07:22:43 PM
Even grass have difficulty surviving in the tough weather of 2010. In the vicinity of my workplace plant and grass are all brown in color/ their dead.  and the soil is so dry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on June 22, 2010, 04:06:31 AM
Start of the Rainy Season, Does it Impact on Goats Returning to Heat ?

The start of the rains also marked the start of the breeding season at Alaminos Goat Farm. For the past several months during the El Nino phenomenon, our breeding does were not returning to heat at an alarming proportion. We were trying to blame the poor forage available because of the prolonged dry spell.

The cool spell after the rain showers did wonders as the breeding does started returning to heat in big numbers. We would like to call the attention of our friends from the academe if we have a valid observation that the rains in addition to the cool weather resulted for the does to return to heat.
Is it the heat or the poor and insufficient forage being fed that led to this phenomenon? Hope we can get an answer so we can prepare when the next El Nino comes around.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on June 22, 2010, 04:11:49 AM

Increase in Milk STAR Goat’s Milk Production in 2011 Foreseen

Milk Star goat’s milk is gearing up to increase its milk production in 2011 to 72,000 liters. A two-tiered approach will be taken to attain our goal. Success in goat dairying means a system efficiently producing goats milk and selling the milk produced within 7 days to translate it into solid profits. Marketing and Production are working hand in hand to meet the target for 2011.

Seeing the importance of marketing in the overall picture, the Milk Star Family welcomes  fresh graduate Agnes Almeda as its new Marketing Manager. She will be in charge of coming up with the Marketing Plan to move 72,000 liters of Milk Star goat’s milk to the market in 2011.

As an initial project, the marketing department will be a conducting a survey to find out why the patrons of Milk Star Goat’s Milk drink our milk. To our Milk Star customers and milk drinkers who are interested in participating in our research, please email us in

Lastly, if you have Facebook, become a fan of Milk Star Goats Milk page which we regularly update to let you know about our daily news on latest outlets and fresh deliveries. We also post articles on goats milk and Milk Star. Click this link!

With our goats returning to heat this June we expect them to kid in November to meet our target of milk produce in January 2011.
Continue drinking fresh goats milk from Milk Star! Here in Alaminos Goat Farm and Milk Star Goat’s Milk, we offer you nothing but the best.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on June 22, 2010, 04:16:14 AM
Alaminos Goat Farm: “There’s no show like the Agrilink”

Agrilink is set to feature good farm practices and small ruminants in its show this October 7 to 9, 2010 in the World Trade Center in Manila. This year’s theme of the Agrilink could not have been more in sync with Alaminos Goat Farm’s (AGF) advocacy of promoting their own good husbandry practices in dairy goat farming.

From the time AGF started its goat operations in 2005, AGF has always believed in the importance of both GOOD NUTRITION and GOOD
GENETICS towards successful goat
dairying. Good farm practices are necessary in nurturing healthy small ruminants such as the goats in Alaminos Goat Farm.

As a Magsasaka Siyentista of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), AGF owner Art Almeda is actively involved in a couple of initiatives driven towards the development of goat dairying in the Philippines such as the small farm research giving focus to nutrition in the care of its Saanen Dairy Goats and the on-going Science and Technology Based Farm (STBF) Milk Recording Project which began in September 2009.

Experience gained from the small farm research indicates that feeding legumes and forage grass such as indigofera, centrosema, and 45-day napier grass, in addition to concentrate feeds, increase the milk production of its Saanen Goats. This is reflected in the daily milk records from the STBF project which show that AGF's milking line has produced an average of 2.42 Liters of milk per day for the past 270 days. Moreover through the same daily milk records, AGF foresees the potential of its top performing milking goats to produce 3.7 Liters of milk per day.

Alaminos Got Farm has set a 305-day lactation period and 2 Liters per day as a benchmark for a successful dairy goat farm here in the Philippines. Past experiences of AGF show that the 305-day lactation period is feasible with good husbandry practices.

Seeing the number of agriculture enthusiasts who visit the Agrilink Show every year, AGF is looking forward to sharing its experiences to those interested in this exciting and profitable business. The Agrilink Show is the most cost effective trade show that AGF has joined in the past three years towards creating awareness for the goats and value added products produced by AGF. In its 4th year participating in the Agrilink, AGF plans to showcase the outcome of their good farm practices through its Saanen Dairy Goats, Mitra Line, Alaminos Mitra Saanen Line to Boer Bucks to its Quality Products such as Goats meat, Milk Star Goats Milk, Goats Cheese and the famous Goat’s Milk Ice Cream.

So come visit the 2010 Agrilink Show and the Alaminos Goat Farm booth. Agrilink may still be in October 7 to 9 but be sure to mark your calendars. This will surely be one of the events to look forward to this 2010 in the agriculture industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on June 30, 2010, 07:58:30 AM
Well,I do not know if the drought would affect breeding.Nubians will breed at any time of the year but the Swiss breeds are more affected by daylight changes in terms of their heat cycle.Drought conditions will put more stress on forage feeds which in turn will affect the quality and flavor of the milk.Everything we know about milking goats we learned from milking cows.Dairy cattle farmers will tell you quality of the feed affects quality and flavor of the milk cows produce.Body condition will also affect goats returning to heat cycles,poorer quality feeds related to drought conditions may have an effect and in this case FLUSHING which is used on hogs,cattle and goats helps to ready the animal for their heat cycles,basically giving the animal better quality feeds to condition their bodies.With the rains the forage feeds will be less stressed and with the new growth improves the quality of the forage feeds which in turn provides better quality feeds for our animals.

Alaminos does pose an interesting question.What affect did this drought have on our animals.Was the heat related to prolonged heat cycles or related to poorer quality feeds which prolonged heat cycles.Maybe a combination of both??????????????????Good question.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on July 01, 2010, 03:16:12 AM
After the rains in June our goats returned to heat in big numbers. We have bred over a hundred does in June. We should have bred  only 60 heads to match the numbers of kidding pens in the farm but because of the long time the does were returning to heat we decided to breed every does that return to heat. By November when they start kidding, I could just imagine how busy our farm workers would be taking care of the kids and looking for kidding pens for the does.

But I guess that's how it is, you adapt to the animals you take care and find ways for solutions.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on July 10, 2010, 10:18:08 AM
Mustang Sally with consulting advice from New Zealand will attempt to breed a new goat for the Philippines.This new line will be both meat/dairy but meat will be our first attempt and dairy to follow with a selective breeding strategy.First I must say,all meat breeds of goats even the Philippine native has a higher fat and solid content,with this in mind we will produce a line from the red boer sires (kalahari reds) crossed to nubians does with black and tan colour coats.This new line will produce goats with higher fat and solids content over the swiss breeds.The nubian is a dual purpose goat meat/dairy and some boers are bred for milking goats so this combination makes sense for this new and exciting line.What we are talking about is crossing 2 dual purpose bloodlines to produce a new bloodline.This new line will have darker colour coats which will help the goat(s) adjust to the tropical heat.After the first crossing we will line-breed and follow that up later with the dairy end and hope we can produce a goat that will lactate for the standard 305 days.This new line will marketed under the trade name "MS ELITE".

True red boers or Kalahari reds are smaller than the traditional or painted boers.

Also brain storming with New Zealand is the reverse snubian.Breeding nubian sires to saanen does which is under way at present in New Zealand with some success.

As I have stated for some years now,on a personal level I feel crossbreeds show the best potential for this industry to help move it into the next level.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on July 11, 2010, 05:03:32 PM
I like the name "Ms elite".

Hoping to see pictures of your new lines in the near future.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on July 13, 2010, 11:03:27 AM
Once we get the first kids Doc will send pictures.

True the hybrid Bo-Ang is nothing new in the Philippines as I first saw this crossing back in 2005 on the island of Cebu on a co op farm there but there seemed to be no reason to breed this cross other than a experiment.Traditional and painted boer mothers are not always the best mothers and some in the industry feel the kalahari red boers make better mothers and due to the fact that the kalahari reds have a darker pigmented skin this makes them better suited for the heat. Boers like nubians have the long ears or as we say in english airplane wing ears and nubians have the nose suited for hot climates.In Australia and New Zealand but not so common in N.America there are people milking boers as milking goats not to the 305 days of lacation tho.Boers have a very high butterfat content which translates into more milk solids.Any breeding should always have a goal and plan in mind before starting out.Both the boer and nubian with their high butterfat and solids content makes for much better quality milk which in turn can give the kids a better start in life plus much better tasting milk product.To select the kalahari red boer which is now being bred for their red colour coats has been under way for some time in Africa and Australia and New Zealand and herds are now established of only this red colour and marketed as high profits and low maintenance the very same as the orginal boers were intented for.In N.America due to all the over breeding and poorly selected animals sold as breeding stocks we now see the results of people crying about how much money it is costing to keep their boers in tip top shape and poor returns on animals sold for the meat industry.As I stated this goat must be smaller than the traditional and painted boers but with most animals as long as the female that will be bred is larger than the male, the offspring will be larger also.The nubian also has the darker pigmented skin along with the airplane ears and nose structure makes this the ideal choice for this crossing,also of all the dairy breeds it is reported that the nubian has the best taste in meat.This crossing is now being marketed in Australia and New Zealand as a new breed for the meat industry.Why would the Philippines need a new meat breed?Feeding concentrates to meat goats has a negative impact on any producers bottomline and if a goat can be bred as a brush goat,meaning feeding a goat on forage feeds only will a little corn or rice bran as a supplement will go a long ways for anyone in the fattening business.Thats the bottomline,maximum profits and low maintenance.Will this dual purpose goat milk to 305 days of lacation,the answer is no.With all the interest now in the goat business,anyone, anywhere in the Philippines can and will breed a super goat,just a matter of time and there is enough breeds of goats in the Philippines to experiment with.

At this time we are also working on a future hybrid crossbreed for the dairy industry.5 hybrid does will be bred this year.The sire was a white bo-ang and 1 doe was a nubian and the other doe was a larger white native doe.The nubian kidded 2 doelings and the white native kidded 3 doelings,these 5 does will be crossed with a purebred saanen sire and crossed later with snubians,line bred as the sire is the same saanen.This new bloodline will be marketed under the name "MS ULTRA".In future we will move away from the purebreeds and concentrate on our crossbreeds for our meat and dairy goats.People will make choices as to what they wish to breed,some will breed purebreds and some will breed crossbreeds.Every farm will have to decide what is best for their own operations.I am not here to say one is better over the other.For me its a personal choice.

The future looks bright for this industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on August 07, 2010, 01:19:04 PM
The rumor mill has it,525 goats and sheep arriving from the USA to be delivered to the Visayas.What does this mean?

The hope and goal is the US Govt under an agri. program will arrange the purchase of these animals to help better the dairy goat industry in the Philippines,visayas and points south and north.This also depends on the quality of the animals in question.Poor/fair animals have little to no value in their genetics.True dairy goat genetics will help the industry, not slow it down.

The biggest problem will come from the goats themselves.Most dairy animals have their horns removed for safety reasons.I have held the belief for some time now,goats in hot tropical countries need their horns to help regulate their body from the heat.The goats will also under go a complete diet change.I am starting to believe that these imported foundation breeding herds will do poorly at first due to all the stresses on the goats themselves.The enviroment plus diet change puts alot of stress on the goats and the goat is just trying to survive in its new enviroment.The real test will come from the offsprings of these imported stocks and future generations.To adapt to its new enviroment will take time.

How many will die from a lack of good business management?These goats will need to be monitored for months to make sure they have adjusted to there new lives.There are a host of problems that can and may go wrong and some sort of backup plan needs to be in place so farmers can arrange vet visits for consultation and advice when needed.To just hand over goats with no backup plan to help the farmers is a accident looking for a place to happen.

Lets hope these animals are of high enough quality to help the industry not set it back.I see alot of poor udder attachments in goats as my own need improving.Poor toplines,high rumps.How many people actually know what shape a dairy doe should look like,standing from its side?Things like line  breeding as a strategy to help produce better animals came about in the past year from this site.How many people even understand the breed standards for the different breeds?As the industry expands and grows so will all the termination of language thats comes with the industry.I do hope these imports will help further the industry to grow, not provide some questionable breeding stocks from questionable breeders.Who makes the final decision on which animals to purchase for export,thats the real question? and the future of the industry depends on which animals have been selected.
And how many farms are really set up to manage dairy goats?Dairy goats are managed differently from meat goats.How many farms really have the capital backing to feed commercial concentrates every day,7 days a week,365 days a year????

If we look at Negros Oriental itself,Govt stats for 2009 shows-1024 heads of goats on commercial farms but over 224,000. in the backyard.Mustang Sally would account for approx.15% of the total heads in Negros Oriental on a commercial scale.Commercial scale is still very small compared to the Mom & Pop operations.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on August 11, 2010, 05:29:29 AM

Join us at the Seminar in AgriLink Show, October 7 from 3:30 to 5:30 PM
August 7, 2010
The month of October brings Alaminos Goat Farm (AGF) in the forefront in its pursuit of its  Corporate Social Responsibility program . It has chosen to help promote and create awareness for the PCARRD Rural Enterprise Development (RED) Upscaling Project in goat development. Making a move in its CSR program, AGF is sponsoring a free seminar on October 7, 2010 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM at the AgriLink Show in the World Trade Center, Manila.
The seminar will focus on the developmental effort of PCARRD Upscaling RED project in goats .Dr. Edwin Villar, Director of the Livestock Research Division of PCARRD will guide the participants about their successful RED Upscaling project.

The success story of Alaminos  Milk Star brand of fresh goat’s milk will be integrated to the seminar program to focus on the importance of science and technology in goat dairying. Alaminos Goat Farm, being a Science Technology Based Farm, is part of the PCARRD family . The transfer of doable technology like the AGF Salad Garden in goat dairying is the goal of the presentation. The Line Breeding program of our famous Mitra Line goats  will also be discussed.

Small Ruminant Center Director Dr. Emilio Cruz of CLSU will share his practical experiences in small ruminant feeding. His extensive experience in raising goats will show goat raisers the important role nutrition plays in successful goat raising.

PCARRD assisted Science Technology based Farm goat research  project in Artificial Insemination in semen collection and preservation using powder extender at Isabela State University will also be presented. Doing the presentation is ISU Dr. Jonathan Nayga.
Join us for the seminar on October 7 at the AgriLink Show  from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at the World Trade Center, Manila. The seminar  targets developmental officers of NGOs, LGUs, DA officials and goat enthusiasts as participants.  Help us create a strong advocacy for goat development with the  PCARRD Upscaling Rural Enterprise Development (RED) project in goats as center piece.

AgriLink Show 2010  Seminar Schedule
October 7, 2010 Thursday  3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
World Trade Center

Kambing  SAGOaT sa Kahirapan,  the Milk Star Experience  3:30 to 3:50

First part will be about genetics; Second will be about nutrition; And the third part will be about marketing to sum up the formula of a profitable goat dairy  enterprise. Focus on Indigofera as main legume in the SALAD GARDEN developed at AGF will be presented. The line breeding program for AGF Mitra Line will also be discussed.

Rene Almeda, Consultant, Alaminos Goat Farm
Magsasaka Siyentista, Science based Technology Farm (SBTF) of PCARRD


Making The Goats RED     3:50 to 4:20 pm

A pilot project of PCARRD in Region 1, 2, 3, 8 in goat raising called Rural Enterprise Development (RED)  Project. The progress of the Upscaling Red Project in Region 1, 2, 3 and 8 will be presented. The implementation of the Rural Enterprise Development project for goats is a bold move to develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of our farmers in the countryside.

Learning about the livelihood opportunities which the RED projects  give  to make the farmers self reliant. This is the way to go for government and NGO’s  implementing corporate  social responsibility projects for farmers in the countryside.

The PCARRD  RED project  can be a good blue print for goat development in the Philippines with the farmers in countryside in  mind.

Dr. Edwin Villar,  Livestock Research Division, Director , Philippine Council for Agriculture,  Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Developmet, PCARRD


Goat Nutrition , The Central Luzon State University SRC Experience 4:20 to 4:50 pm

The role of nutrition specifically the use of low cost forage grass and legume combination in feeding  goats will be presented. The different modules tested at Small Ruminants Center at CLSU with the farmers in mind to be profitable and sustainable in their goat enterprise.

Dr Emilio Cruz, Central Luzon State University, Small Ruminant Center, Director


Artificial Insemination in Goats   4:50 to 5:20 pm

Isabela State Univeristy AI research project in semen collection and preservation sponsored by PCARRD . The success in the use of extenders will be presented by Dr. Jonathan Nayga.

Dr. Jonathan Nayga,  Isabela State University


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on August 31, 2010, 01:25:09 PM
I have noticed from time to time the pictures taken of goats are really in poor form.To help explain what a good goat looks like go this website and study these pictures to help educate yourself as to what one looks for when choosing a good goat over a poor goat.A goat maybe a good goat but if the pose of the goat is poor when the picture is taken it will make the goat look like a poor goat rather than the good goat it might be.Also this site will show faults in poor goats.

hope this helps anyone who is interested

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on August 31, 2010, 09:55:39 PM
thanks for the post.

every link and topics are much appreciated

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 01, 2010, 11:09:05 AM
Correct me if I am wrong,but the purpose of the site is to bring people together with a common interest in goats and to help educate those who wish to venture into such a business.Also,in todays world we are all connected by a touch of a keyboard.People from all over read what is written and will correct poor information given out.

By far,this is the best site in the Philippines and one of only a few that really tries to help those who have a common interest in this exciting agri business.

As for picture taking of goats,study the pose of the site I gave and get your goat to stand just like the pictures.If a person needs to be in the picture,no head shots of the person and the person should wear white pants and a white shirt,applies to both males and females.Make sure the goat is standing on flat ground not in high grass,the hooves should always be seen.Doe shots are from the side and the next picture is from the rear showing the udder,always show the udder when full of milk.True older heavy milkers will have poorer top udder attachments.

When one considers dairy goats from Africa to India.In the 5 years when the idea of starting such a venture had possibliities,the Philippines has made great gains in such a short time frame.To be able to get 1/2 a gallon or 2 litres of milk from a doe is something to be very proud of.True the nubian has not proven itself to be able to lacatate to 305 days as of yet,Alaminos has been very successful with the saanen breed.I have stated for many years now,crossbreeding has real possibilities for Dairy Philippines.With the added top gun bloodlines coming from America,anything is possible for this exciting industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 02, 2010, 09:18:31 AM
National Goat S&T Program: The Future of Goat Production
Although chevon or goat meat is considered a delicacy, not a lot of people have tasted it. In rural areas, goat meat is regularly served as “caldereta” in birthday, wedding, and fiesta celebrations. In the metro, however, people rarely get to eat goat meat. Consumers often choose to purchase beef, pork, or chicken for their meat dishes.

However, experts from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) say that a lot of health-conscious consumers opt to eat chevon because of its lower fat content. Since the current supply does not meet the increasing demand, goat meat fetches a very high price in the market. Still, goat production must be improved to ensure a stable supply in the future.

Several factors contribute to poor goat production. First, a female goat generally only bears one to two kids per kidding. It then takes about eight months or more until a doe can produce kids, making goat breeding a slow process. Furthermore, it takes around eight months until a goat is ready to be slaughtered for its meat. Also, a goat’s slaughter weight only averages 15 kg for native goats and about 3o kg for upgrades and crosses.

Saving the goat industry
To boost goat production in the country, PCARRD developed the National Goat Science and Technology (S&T) Program, which completes in 2011. The program aims to produce a stable supply of good quality breeder and uniform slaughter goats that would meet the demand for goat products and provide livelihood for farmers.

It consists of five major programs that deal with enhancing productivity through improved genetics, proper feeding and nutrition, better health manage-ment, and enhanced processing and value-adding of meat products.

2009 PCARRD’s National Goat S&T Program achieved several milestones in 2009.
First, better genetics were infused to backyard goat farms through the joint efforts with the private sector and local government units. Generally, the goats in the project areas weighed heavier in every stage of growth compared to the figures gathered before the project was implemented. The birth, weaning, and slaughter weights averaged 2.31 kg, 13.3 kg, and 24.4 kg, respectively.

Pre-weaning deaths also decreased to an average of n.6%. Meanwhile, conception rate increased to 83%.

To improve breeding, researchers in Isabela developed semen extender mixtures in powder form. With extenders, more female goats can be inseminated with fresh or frozen semen. Even with a limited number of quality breeder male goats, the quality and number of goats in the country can be increased.

Next, researchers are developing cheaper alternatives to enhance goat health. For instance, they have generated the optimum ratio combinations for the mixture from “caimito,” “makahiya,” and “makabuhay” leaves that can be a herbal alternative to expensive synthetic dewormers.

The program also designed and fabricated a pelletizing machine that can produce 120 kg of pelletized total mixed rations (TMR) in an hour. These pellets can be stored and used as feeds during the dry season when fresh feeds are scarce. Growing goats fed with these pellets, made from “ipil-ipil” and rensoni leaves, increased in weight after 120 days.

Likewise, forage feedbanks and food-feed modules are being studied to complement the biomass requirement for TMR and leaf meal production and how feed resources can be made available under different cropping patterns year round.

In the area of processing, the slaughter and carcass yields of goats at different ages and breeds are being recorded. Likewise, meat quality is being evaluated and meat cuts are being standardized.

Rural enterprise development
To elevate goat keeping into profitable enterprises, the program also introduced innovative production systems starting December 2007 that led to the adoption of goat-based enterprises in Regions 1,2,3, and 8. Because of this, significant improvements in farmer’s internal and social competencies were seen, which translated to improved farm productivity.

Considering these significant results, the program has been upscaled in 2009 with the target areas expanded and the number of farmer-beneficiaries increased, giving priority to the returning overseas Filipino workers OFWs, displaced domestic and overseas workers, government retirees, and soon-to-retire employees.

Production of legume seedlings, urea molasses multi-nutrient blocks, and breeder goat has also been added to the goat-based enterprises on community slaughter and marketing, and buck-for-hire.

Tech-transfer initiatives
The program also developed and promoted several science-based development projects. These projects encourage farmers to adopt the practices and technologies developed by PCARRD’s goat program.

Twelve S&T based Farms (STBF) were implemented to showcase component technologies on goat production. These STBFs demonstrate the benefits of science-based interventions in goat farms.

Meanwhile, local government units in Regions 1 and 3 are implementing the “Farmer Livestock School on Integrated Goat Management” that aims to enhance the gains of the goat program at the backyard level.

Online courses on the science of goat production by PCARRD courseware developer Anna Marie P. Alo are also available via the Agricultural Training Institute–Department of Agriculture sponsored website,

By Christian Anthony T. Cangao, S&T Media Service

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on September 03, 2010, 02:42:08 AM

Milk Star Consumers Heard!
Reasons why They Prefer Goats Milk over other types of milk
For the months of July and August, Alaminos Goat Farm (AGF) marketing team headed by Agnes Almeda, conducted a short marketing research on our Milk Star (MS) consumers. The main goal of the research was to find out the reason why our consumers choose to drink goats milk.
The marketing team interviewed Milk Star direct sellers and different consumers who visited trade shows we joined, as well as regular consumers every Sunday of the Milk Star booth in the Lung Center in Quezon City. Today we share with you our findings wherein we’ve grouped our consumers into different clusters.
The most common trend we’ve seen among our MS consumers is their choice of a healthy lifestyle albeit their choice to drink goats milk. This group of our consumers is more conscious of both their choices in food and drink. One thing they prefer about Milk Star is that it is fresh, unlike the milk widely available in supermarkets which although claim to be fresh, have actually been already processed and fortified with additives.
Some consumers of people in this group have family members who have been diagnosed with cancer and was advised to take fresh milk while some are being careful about getting sick and therefore prefer to take the necessary precautions which means switching to organic, healthy unprocessed food and drink. Some of the consumers in this group have put a creative spin to drinking goats milk – using it to make healthy shakes, adding it to their food while cooking and the like.
Second trend we observed is consumers who drink MS because they suffer from slow digestion and constipation. In this cluster, we found a wide array of individuals from middle aged people to those who belong in the older generations. They say that drinking goats milk regularized and has actually improved their bowel movement.
Third trend we found is the group we classified under the lactose intolerant. Here we found mothers switching the type of milk for their children who suffer from lactose intolerance after drinking cow’s milk but are more receptive when they drank goats milk. Some of them switched because of their doctor’s recommendations while others have done their own research and became aware of this particular benefit in drinking goats milk.
Fourth, we made a separate cluster for our Chinese market (which we’ve found in Binondo area, San Juan among others). The Filipino Chinese was easy to penetrate as we found that they are the most open to drinking goats milk. The elder Chinese who originally came from China before residing here in the country know the health benefits of drinking fresh goat’s milk (as this is widely available in provinces back in Mainland China).
They say that fresh goat’s milk is a  good natural food complete with the essential vitamins and minerals that the human body needs to stay healthy. We also found that a common reason why this group drinks goats milk in is that they like the taste of goats milk and prefer it over other types of milk.
We also have a classification of MS consumers who have various other reasons for buying goats milk. Some use the milk for culinary purposes. They use milk as an ingredient to make cheese and yogurt. Some have expressed their interest in making products for personal care such as goats milk soap, lotion and body wash. Also, we have consumers who feed goats milk to their pet dogs – something which we’ve done in Alaminos Goat Farm to nurse our puppies.
Finally, we also came up with a group which we’ve significantly classified as the CURIOUS group. We personally come across this type of consumers weekly through the Sunday Market and also when we join trade shows. They are those who try the milk because they’ve heard about it vaguely or because they’ve seen other people try it.
From this group, we often receive a variety of feedbacks which we take into consideration to analyze how to further penetrate the market. Often, this group asks us the advantages of drinking goats milk over other types of milk such as carabao’s, soy and cow’s milk.
From the findings of our research, we realize that we are still left with the big sphere of those in the market who are not informed about the benefits not only of GOATS milk but also of buying natural, fresh products.
Ever since Milk Star entered the market in 2007, we have always searched for the health benefits of goats milk, reading materials from the internet as references and also reading studies, journal articles on the matter. The data and information that we’ve gathered through researching will only get us so far because most of these claims are still presently being debated upon.
The value of the marketing research we conducted this past few months is that we are able to collate data of actual Milk Star consumers and drinkers who have personal experiences of drinking goats milk. We find that these testimonials are priceless as we can share with other consumers what Milk Star Patrons like about goats milk.
Furthermore, in our personal encounters with people who have bought our milk along with the variety of their feedback and comments, we realized that even the not to positive comments like "Lasang kambing" shouldn't bring us down.
We sell goats milk. It is not unusual to find traces of this taste the first time after trying it. Maybe it's because of one's preconcieved notions or one is looking for goaty taste. But from a personal point of view and coming from someone who was initially hesitant to drink goats milk and who is always dubbed as picky eater/drinker, goat's milk has become like water for me. It tastes neither goaty nor like any animal. To me, it's just milk - a very delicious and yummy kind I drink everyday.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 07, 2010, 12:00:00 PM
Throughout the history of breeding livestocks that were imported into a new home country.We have seen that by using a different breeding strategy one can from time to time produce something that is much more adaptable to its new home country and much more productive.The American Alpine comes to mind.The initial breeding of this goat was realized from crossbreeding and the breed went on to become a powerhouse on its own.It has come to my mind,the Nubian as a purebreed appears to be more productive as a crossbreed when crossed with the Saanen or the reverse if one wishes.This may very well be the first stages of producing the Philippine Nubian.The hybrid vigor allows the goat to be much more dairy over meat and maybe the future of the Nubian as a breed in the Philippines.I feel it is safe to say this is the beginning of a Philippine Nubian for Dairy Philippines.

The offspring from such a crossing takes on the Nubian head and ears,looks like a Nubian.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 10, 2010, 10:29:42 AM
There has been so much talk about helping the farmers in the provinces.Wonder which provinces the Govt. must be talking about.Here in district 1 of Negros Oriental, where is all this so called help?No bucks for hire here or on the island of Panay where my friend lives.Makes you wonder when Central Visayas, an area that is known for goat production seems to get passed over time and time again.Is it the Govt. intention to put all the responsibility back into the hands of the few foreign investors to solve the problems of this industry in certain regions of the country.The goat industry has been better served from some good people posting their findings on sites like this one to help propel the industry into the next generation.Sites like this one has posted more related information from the private sector than any Govt. dept. that I can see.

MS has been busy with their plans to build a lower cost feed pellet machine,taken from plans found in Canada.It is hoped the machine will allow MS to make their own feed concentrates and different forage feed pellets that one day will replace the cut and carry system of fresh feeds.It is hoped the pellets can be fed year round and when forage is at their peck can be harvested and turned into pellets.In this system,the goats will be able to eat a quality fed pellet year round.Time saving measure and the past drought has given us this idea for consistent quality of our feeds.

Talking about helping the rural provincial farmer(s) is cheap and cost nothing.

I was surprised when I found out under PL 480 the RP Govt. was also importing some boers goats.Really,the country already is producing more boer bucks than the industry can absorb.Industry projections-this is when those who are connected to the industry track the industry as a whole and try and project where the indusrty is headed for.When one looks at the major breeders, Alaminos and Ketti Chua and someone on the island of Mindanno,the big 3 had been breeding boers since 2005-6.Consider the boers that were sold over this period of time, that number keeps multipling yearly.Over the course of time the industry can only absorb so many numbers and the rest are sold into the meat market,did write about fattening a few years back,the extra numbers of island born boers are now heading for the meat industry.Surplus breeding animals end up as meat animals in time.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on September 10, 2010, 12:00:07 PM
AGF Partners with BAI for Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Work in Feeding Legumes to Dairy Goats

The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) has released the funding for the commercialization in feeding Malunggay for dairy goats to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). AGF is partnering up with Remedios Acacio of the Research Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry in undertaking research work in feeding a total mixed ration of legumes and concentrate feeds to lower feed cost for dairy goats.

The commercialization of technology work aims to show and transfer the technology of replacing part of concentrate feeds with legumes in a total mixed ration in pellet form. Its goal is to show that the addition of legumes in the feed ration will lower feed costs and improve milk performance. The feeding program and daily milk recording will be an integral part of the project.

The commercialization work for the inclusion of malunggay in feeding dairy goats started in May 2009. At that time we were high in our expectation that malunggay would fit in our feeding regimen for our dairy goats. A similar project  for dairy cows by Ben Molina was also approved in Quezon  and it had very good initial results.

In September 2009, disaster struck while waiting for the approval from BAR when Typhoon  Ondoy hit Southern Tagalog. After the typhoon, the Malunggay was never the same again in our field. We asked Ben Molina and he said his Malunggay suffered the same consequence.

At the same time, we were also observing our Indigofera, mulberry, centrosema. In the small feeding trials we conducted, we observed that feeding Indigofera to our milking goats has a huge potential. Marked improvement of milk yields were observed. On top of this, among the forage we planted, Indigofera was the easiest to establish and it produced the biggest volumes of leaves. Today, Indigofera is our main forage crop in our Salad Garden. At the height of the El Nino phenomenon,  Indigofera did very well.

In our meeting with Remy Acacio we requested her to write  to BAR that we be allowed to switch to Indigofera instead of Malunggay as the main legumes in our research work. The experience of Alaminos Goat Farm pushes us in our belief that Indigofera would be a good replacement for Malunggay in small ruminant feeding. There is a huge potential of success in the commercialization of technology up to the grass root of over 2 million farmers in the countryside taking care of goats.

In closing we told Remy that here is a very doable technology ready for commercialization. If BAR does not approve this new direction we would like to pursue, it would be better to apply for a new project with Indigofera as centrepiece instead of Malunggay. It is BAR's call as we are just a partner of BAI pushing for our advocacy to help develop goat farming in the countryside through the sharing of proven technology to make it a viable and profitable industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on September 25, 2010, 06:45:52 PM
AGF in the Forefront of Goat dairying in Tropical Philippines

One of Alaminos Goat Farm biggest strength is its openness in sharing information and in welcoming visitors from all over the Philippines to learn from their successful experience in dairying goats under the tropical condition of the Philippines. It is in the area of commercializing of technology in dairying goats in the Philippines that AGF has gained a lot of respect and credibility from industry players, farmers, government and the academe.

AGF made history in Philippine agriculture with its Milk Star brand of fresh pasteurized goat’s milk hitting the supermarket trade in 2008. Having Milk Star goat’s milk in the supermarket trade has created a lot of awareness that you can indeed milk Saanen dairy goats commercially in the Philippines.

Looking back, there has been skepticism about successfully milking Saanen dairy goats under the tropical condition of the Philippines. This pessimistic outlook can be traced back to a failed government program funded by the PL 480 program of the United States in 1997. This is the same PL 480 program that is the source of funds for the dairy goats imported by the Department of Agriculture from the United States this year. That program in 1997 for dairy goat development was under the late Usec Gumercindo Lasam. Before his tragic death in 2009, he led his DA Region II team in visiting Alaminos Goat Farm to see, first hand, AGF’s success story in its goat dairying operation. The visit of Usec Gumer Lasam and his team was a testament that AGF’s work in dairying goats was getting noticed by government.

In mentioning the failed PL 480 program in 1997, we appeal to the government to carefully study the shortcomings of ‘97 program. The incoming PL 480 sponsored program in the importation of dairy goats from the United States this year would be an opportunity to correct the mistakes committed in 97 to make the  2010 program successful. Alaminos Goat Farm fully supports the government program in its Dairy Goat Development Program provided they do it right. AGF wishes for the success of government program in dairy goats.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 28, 2010, 10:04:56 AM
Alaminos Goat Farm has done a great job with their management and the results are starting to shine through now.Genetics with a sound management plan shows what can be accomplished.They believed the saanen would be the backbone of Dairy Goat framing in the Philippines and so far have proven themselves to be correct.

this is the top producing nubians from 2010 from the ADGA,shows that nubians can milk to 305 days from the chart.

                         ADGA PERFORMANCE LEADERS

                                                                                  Alpine     LaMancha   Nigerian Dwarf   Oberhasli     Saanen   Sable   Toggenburg     Experimental


       NUBIAN                              Volume #56


All-Time NUBIAN Milk Record Holder

SG SKYHILL’S ELISHA 7*M PN0904515 1996 02-09 302 5940-303/5.1-216/3.6

Bred by:  Skyhill Farms, California

All-Time Nubian Butterfat Record Holder & All-Time Breed Butterfat Record Holder

PACEM FAUN’S FOLLY 2*M PN0324844 1984 4-02 304-5160-384/7.4

Bred by: Mr. & Mrs. Max C. Prinsen, Washington



 SGCH BLISSBERRY FM ROCKSTAR 3*M --- means 3 star milker
 2-11-mean age 2 years 11 months old
 304-milked for 304 days
 3790-pounds of milk
 175-pounds of milk fat
 140-pounds of protein
 KOEHN-WALBERG, SARA-breeders name
 KOEHN-WALBERG, SARA-owners name
RECORDED GRADE-means nubian percentage, sire was a nubian mother unknown


A * indicates extreme test day values within the category

the chart maybe hard to read as printed out like this but on the first line I printed the meaning like 3 star milker,days in milk,pounds of milk,fat and protein and breeder and owners name.Proves nubians and percentages will milk to 305 days of lactation.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 30, 2010, 11:16:32 AM
Goat Milk Recipes 

Goat Milk Ice Cream
I have a great recipe, although I use half cream and half milk.

2 cups goat cream
2 cups goat milk
Scant 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place milk, sugar, vanilla and cocoa into a food processor or blender, and blend on high for approximately 3 minutes. The idea is to beat the cocoa into the milk until there are no longer any lumps of dry cocoa left.

Add 2 cups goat cream and pulse twice, just enough to stir the cream into the mixture. Add to ice cream maker.

I can absolutely assure you that you will have a new addiction in life! What's great is that your ingredients of cocoa, milk and cream are all raw and full of antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes. By not cooking your ingredients, you can at least know that there is goodness in what you're eating.

Enjoy! — Pennyanne

Cardamom Goat Cheese Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz goat cheese (chévre), softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
Additional confectioner's sugar for rolling baked cookies in (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat the butter, goat cheese and sugars together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, beating well. Stir in the cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and white pepper until well blended. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough gathers together. Add finely chopped pecans. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets (dough will be very sticky. May try dropping by spoonfuls instead).

Bake in preheated oven until bottom of cookies are light tan, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on baking sheets. Roll in confectioner's sugar (optional—they taste good either way).

— Charlotte, Bit of Color Ranch

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 30, 2010, 11:21:04 AM
Twelve Ways to Help Animals
Avoid Heat Stress

By Beverly Martin-Smith

It's been a hot summer in many parts of the country, especially in Arizona where I raise La Manchas, and we have had temperatures over 110 degrees for several weeks in a row. Though we are now heading into fall, there will still be some extreme heat to deal with. Non-sweating animals, like dairy goats, often have trouble adjusting to heat, and then when the nights cool down significantly, they again have trouble adjusting adequately to handle the change. I would like to emphasize that heat stress can kill animals. This happens because their immune systems are lowered and pneumonia can set in with deadly speed.

A watchful owner can head off disaster if they know what to look for. Dairy goats that are stressed by heat often just don't look as if they are feeling good. Their ears may droop more than usual, they pant heavily, and they will often go off feed. Last summer I spent quite a lot of time researching this topic. I would like to share what I have found and have put into use, and hopefully it will help others avoid losing precious animals due to heat stress.

Some breeds of dairy goats carry genetics to have long hair, especially over their toplines and down the hindquarters. It is important to shave these goats, and all others, when it is hot. They need to get rid of any extra weight from excess hair. Plus this will naturally take care of any exterior parasite problems that can really be stressful to dairy goats during the summer and going into fall.

Create A Shady Sand Pit
Providing a cool, damp place for the goats to rest in really helps pull the heat out of the body. I have heard of people with sprinklers on timers to sprinkle these sand pits during the day to keep these areas damp. It is my experience that dairy goats really don't like water that much, but they do enjoy pawing out a rest hole in a cool sandy area and often pick this type of place to spend the afternoon, rather than in a hot stuffy barn.

Provide A Water Tub
Again, dairy goats don't like water much, but if an animal seems to be suffering from heat stress, a quick way to cool them off is to stand them in a low-edged bathtub, metal sheep water tank, or one of those plastic child's swimming pools. The water cools the blood as it flows through their legs, cooling their internal body temperature.

Shades Or Awnings
Barns can heat up during the day and hold heat in, especially those with metal roofs or sides. Adding a pull-out shade or awning, like that on an RV, can allow the goats to rest and cool off, yet still feel safe near their own barn. Metal shades heat up during the day and hold heat down, not allowing it to escape. Shade screens allow the heat to escape, keeping it cooler under the screens. Of course, large trees are excellent for shade too, but if this is not an option, consider adding a shade to the existing facility.

Moist air doesn't necessarily have to blow right on the goats for them to benefit from misting. These can be mounted on the frame of the shades to keep the air cooler, or placed on the side where the majority of the breeze comes from. Where I live there usually is a breeze from the southwest. My pens run east/west, and I have placed the misters on the south side running east and west so when the breeze blows, it blows the mist under the shades.

I have placed fans on the ground, in the corners of my pens, blowing out into the pens. The dairy goats seem to love this air movement and lay in front of these fans. When it's hot I keep the air circulating 24-hours a day. I have one fan per animal blowing all summer long. Not only does it keep them cool, it keeps the flies from biting them as well.

Avoid putting the animals in enclosed stalls with little or no ventilation on the ground where they lay. These enclosures hold the heat and humidity in like an oven.

Types Of Feed
It is important to feed low energy feeds such as grass hay (Bermuda, Rye grass) and cool grains such as corn during times of potential heat stress. If possible, try to stay away from oats, barley and alfalfa hay which are hot feeds, they generate more body heat to digest. Better yet feed manufactured feeds. During their manufacturing they are "pre-digested" which means the animals body does not have to break them down to digest them causing less body heat to be generated.

Time Of Feeding
Sometimes with dairy animals it is impossible to stay away from "hot" feeds as they are necessary for milk production. The owner should then make sure that the largest meal is given in the morning. The body heats up while digesting the food. If fed at night the majority of the digestion is done after 3:00 a.m., during the monsoon season this is the highest humidity. This is why, in the southwest, heat stress is often experienced in the early morning hours. In our part of the country, hay should be fed in the morning so the majority of the digestion is done in the afternoon or evenings. This is probably different in other parts of the country, so adjust feed schedules accordingly, aiming for digestion when the day is the coolest.

Electrolytes In Water
To make my herd drink plenty of water in the summer, I water each pen with a five-gallon bucket with electrolytes in the water, mixed per the instructions for the electrolytes. In most cases I only need to replace the bucket once a day. Since these animals like fresh water and monitoring their water intake is needed during the summer heat, I do not use either automatic waterers or large water barrels. The water ponds they stand in usually are too filthy, and they do not drink from them.

Iodized Salt
Believe it or not, iodine in salt helps to regulate the internal body temperature. Offering salt blocks or free choice iodized salt will help the animals drink more water, plus it helps regulate internal body temperature, as stated. Do keep salt blocks and salt feeders in the shade so they will not heat up with the afternoon sun.

Thiamin (B1)
This vitamin helps the body to regulate the internal body temperature also. It may be purchased in manufactured buckets in sizes of two pounds or larger. Brewers yeast, which is high in B1, is also a good food additive when dealing with heat stress. This is a powder or crumbles which can be top-dressed over feed.

I hope that this list of suggestions will help others in their fight to keep their non-sweating animals cool during times of extreme heat. A comfortable dairy goat is a happy dairy goat, a heat-stressed dairy goat often becomes a dead dairy goat. Be sure to look for signs of heat stress in the herd and find ways to make these animals more comfortable.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on September 30, 2010, 11:28:14 AM
Extend Milk Supply
With Longer Lactations

By Shelene Costello 

Each year I consider the possibilities of year-round milk production and the varied ways to achieve it, without having a freezer dedicated to just frozen milk. Dairy goat folks are quite inventive and find many ways to get and keep that fresh goat milk year-round.

Some people stagger their breedings so that the does kid at intervals. With a normal lactation, each doe that is milking for 10 months and kidding once each year, there will be milk available all year long, by having does who kid a couple months apart with at least one doe milking at all times. Some will milk a doe past that 10-month mark if she did not breed to freshen at one year later, such as a doe that kidded in April in one year and may not kid until June of the following year. That gives a lactation of 12-13 months. Some will breed for out-of-season kiddings to get fresh milk in the fall and winter months. This may be easier to do with breeds known for year-round breeding such as Nubians and Nigerian Dwarf. Swiss breeds—Alpines, Toggenburgs, Oberhaslis, Saanens, Sables and La Manchas who come from such genetics—are harder to get to breed out of season, though it can be done.

Still others will just leave one doe or more in milk for as long as they choose, and not re-breed that doe. This eliminates the extra kids if one does not want to have more kids, and it also eliminates the risk of pregnancy and kidding problems as well. Often milk production is reduced some over time, and the overall length of lactation makes up for that drop, since the doe is never completely dry.

I have done a few of these things to keep us in fresh milk all year long, and know others who have done the rest. I freshen does over a period of several months in the spring, leaving the does who are kidding later in milk from the previous year's kiddings, while the early ones are kidding. By the time the last does kid several months later, the first ones have kids close to weaning so that we have enough milk available for other uses.

This past year, two of my older does did not breed until late winter for June kids, so both of those does stayed in milk until approximately eight weeks before their due date. That way they milked through the early March, early April and nearly up to the May kiddings, providing extra milk for the La Mancha and Nigerian kids we purchased as bottle kids, as well as table milk. Destiny, a Nigerian Dwarf, milked from early April of last year through mid-April of this year, giving her a 12-plus month lactation. Rachel, also a Nigerian Dwarf, kidded in June of last year so her lactation was simply a normal 10-month lactation. They are the two who freshened in June this year.

Some years ago I bred a Nubian/LaMancha cross doe in April when I bought her and noticed her in season shortly after buying her. I moved her into the pen with one of my LaMancha bucks whom I thought was still acting somewhat in rut, though it wasn't as strong as his fall and winter, full rut. He managed to get her bred and settled, so she kidded in September with twins, and provided some fresh milk throughout the fall and early winter. That year, her extra milk enabled me to have plenty of milk to put in the freezer for spring kiddings, besides the milk we were already using.

Mostly my bucks are seasonal breeders (including my Nigerians), and I haven't utilized the lighting programs or hormones to do out-of-season breeding on a regular basis, though I've heard of others who do, with good success. My Nigerian does tend to cycle seasonally with the LaMancha does. I do have friends who have Nigerians tell me their bucks are in rut year-round and their does cycle all year as well.

My sister has bred for fall kidding, which gave her fresh winter milk in her Nigerian herd over the years. She has milked one doe, Sierra, through without breeding her for a year and a half, milking just once per day as her schedule allowed. Her doe stayed steady in production throughout the lactation. With milking through, there may be seasonal highs and lows. Often the milk production will drop some during the dark cold months of winter and pick back up as spring gives longer days with more light and warmth, I'm told.

It takes a doe with a real will to milk to continually produce without being rebred to freshen periodically. A LaMancha doe named Tibet, from the Quixote herd in California, produced for multiple years on one lactation. I kept up with Tibet's progress as I have one of her daughters and was interested in how it went. Tibet started on her third lactation at three years of age in 2007, and milked through 2008 and 2009, only being rebred to kid for the 2010 season since they decided they wanted more kids out of her.

I've heard from other breeders that, to be successful, a lengthened lactation should be established in a doe's first year of milking, and that skipping breeding seasons may affect fertility. But Tibet proved that a good dairy doe will milk on if asked to, even following normal length lactations, and then coming back afterwards kidding normally with triplets and milking just fine.

At the moment I have a doe, Lucky, a seven-year-old Saanen/LaMancha mix, who never totally dries up. She freshened last at five years of age, was mostly dried off, and when she miscarried at six, her owners just started to milk her and brought her into enough milk for their son to show in 4-H at their local fair. Then she was dried off again, only to either not take her fall breeding, or resorb her fetus(s) when she moved here last fall. When I realized she was not going to kid, I started to milk her regularly, first once a day and then twice a day to bring her back into milk to provide some extra here to help pay for her upkeep. She picked up to just over 1/2 gallon a day after a few weeks and has maintained that production for the last few months. This doe never totally dries up, so I had to empty her udder at least once a week throughout the winter months. Her udder would fill up over time and I wanted to keep her comfortable and to keep her udder in good health. I do notice with this doe that her milk is a bit stronger flavored than the rest of the does in my herd, and I attribute that to her being "stale," that is, not having been freshened for so long. I can't really call that an extended lactation so much as a doe that just wants to milk and has the ability to do so. She has been able to provide me with extra milk when I needed it. I am thinking about extended the lactations on several more of my does however, so I can make cheese through the winter and have plenty of fresh milk as needed.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on October 06, 2010, 10:08:06 AM
The agri show will open soon in the Manila area.The interesting thing this time is goat judges from Canada and Australia to judge the purebreeds and award prizes to the winners.This will help the breeders to better understand how and what makes the breed standard and the first place winners can realize better than average prices for their offspring.Farms like myself that specialize in crossbreeding and hybreds can also enter but under Experimentials and in truth, no one  really remembers who you are once the show is ended because the value in shows is always geared towards the purebreeds as the offspring from the winners command top dollar while crossbreeds/hybreds fetch much lower values.

China has a employable population of just under 800 million people.In the next 10 years alot of these people will leave the country side and search for jobs in the cities.This translates into fewer people working the land and producing food for the masses.China will face difficult dicisions,build mega farms which produce quanity over quality and more direct imports.China has the fastest growing middle class,more personal wealth means customers will look for better quality products.The Philippines as an agriculture society is poised for a piece of this action,exports of agriculture products like goats.High quality meat products for those who are willing to pay more for higher quality meat products.With the numbers of boer bucks in country now,the Philippines might be able to carve a market for Philippine exports with eyes on the Chinese markets.Sheep farming worldwide has been in decline for some years now.My counterparts in Australia and New Zealand are telling me China is the future market for lamb and they are going after this market with real zest.The Philippines will require Govt. help to send a trade mission to countries like China to see what products, meats and vegetables the country can produce for export markets.The Philippines has every chance to find and specialize in markets for Philippine products for export.Goats is one of those specialized markets.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: neodragon0l on October 06, 2010, 12:21:01 PM
Good analysis.  Government support is required to make goat exportation successful

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on October 11, 2010, 04:21:51 PM
More Blessings @ AgriLink 2010
October 11, 2010

I cannot think of the perfect words to describe how grateful the whole Alaminos-Milk Star Team is with the number of people who visited our booth last Thursday, Friday, Saturday  (October 7-9) in the World Trade Center in Manila. We knew that AgriLink is the biggest show we participate in every year but even while we were there, attending to all the inquiries, buyers, consumers, agriculture-enthusiasts, we still couldn’t believe it. Simply stated, it was an overwhelming experience for all of us.

Visitors beat the heat by eating our goats milk ice cream which was sold out by mid-day. Our goat’s milk plain and strawberry flavors were also a crowd-favorite. Many people looked for goat’s cheese and these interested consumers bought the kesong puti and our feta cheese which is goats cheese with olive oil and herbs. Our Hungarian sausages were also well received. After people tasted the half cuts we were selling, they immediately bought the frozen sausages (including longanisa and goat meat) to be brought home. On the first day, we also sold goats meat dishes such as Papaitan and Kalderetang Kambing.

We also displayed our top breeder goats and although we were not able to sell all of them, visitors were interested in our friendly and well-pampered goats, feeding them and taking pictures with them.  AGF 001, a full bred boer goat was one of the unsold goats but he was one of our favorites. We’ve nicknamed him Bubba because of his sweet attitude towards everyone who approached him. In the goat show, Mitra Line AGF 1454 won as the  Best Anglo Nubian doeling in the goat contest.

This year, we also made a last minute decision to sell indigofera seeds and mulberry plants. A lot of visitors were very interested in these plants and seeds. In AGF, it is no secret how much we advocate feeding dairy goats with the indigofera because of its practicality and its role in increasing our milk yield.

With the positive response we once again received, we are very hopeful that there is still a big portion of the market we can capture with goats milk. It is really a matter of creating awareness about our product. Ever night as we were closing, so many people were still looking for the goats milk but it was already sold out. I hope that everyone who was able to try our goats milk during the show will remember us and eventually switch to Alaminos’ Milk Star as their milk of choice for themselves and their whole family.

Once again, we thank everyone who visited us. Each one of you inspires us to aim higher and produce more quality products so that you will never get tired of drinking goats milk and accepting all the value added products we present to you.

Last week, we prayed to God that AgriLink be a success. We never imagined God will shower us with so much blessings. We feel very loved. Drink healthy, everyone and love goats milk! A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of you.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on October 13, 2010, 11:09:26 AM
Small ruminants industry get support from government
[13 October 2010] The small ruminant industry in the Philippines is getting a much needed boost from the government, and was the focus industry of Agrilink 2010, in the Philippines. The industry, which is a source of meat, dairy and other products, is seen to help the Philippine government's drive toward food self-sufficiency. Although its potential remain largely untapped, the Philippine Department of Agriculture is pushing for its development with two new projects. The first aims to increase and upgrade the breeder base of goats by breeder stock infusion. The second aims to set up a network of genetic farms, both public and private, that will make the improved stocks available to farmers and enable them to upgrade their stocks.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on October 19, 2010, 09:02:57 AM
Australian lamb exports to Asia still high
[19 October 2010] Australian lamb exports to Southeast Asia and Greater China eased 6% to 2,525 tonnes swt in September compared with the same time last year. Despite the dip, shipments to the region during the nine months to September remained at a record high volume of 25,484 tonnes swt - up 16% year-on-year. Also impacted by high prices and the rising Australian dollar, Australian mutton exports to Southeast Asia and Greater China during September fell 34% on the same period in 2009, to 1,673 tonnes swt. Shipments to the region over the first nine months of 2010 decreased 21%, to 17,332 tonnes swt, with Malaysia (5,626 tonnes swt), Singapore (4,271 tonnes swt) and China (4,051 tonnes swt) now the largest buyers in the region.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on October 22, 2010, 09:10:15 AM
Agri department pushes for Philippine halal food standards
[22 October 2010] The Philippines is stepping up the development of halal standards for food commodities to enable the country to tap the multi-million dollar global market for halal products. Mr Sani Macabalang, Head of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Halal Food Industry Development Committee (HFIDC) and DA halal coordinator stressed the need for these standards, warning that failure to have them in place will prevent the country from competing globally. To develop the local halal industry, the HFIDC recommended the harmonisation of halal protocols and procedures by various government agencies, development of halal certification and accreditation competencies and capability-building of certifying bodies and government halal food inspectors, auditors and the like in close coordination with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.

NOTE: I remember back around 2006/07 when I was aware of inquiries out of Malaysia for the export of 10,000 heads every month from the Philippines.There seemed to be no real willingness on anyones part to try and get this export off the ground.Then one day an announcement was made that the Philippines did not think 10,000 heads was possible and Malaysia went looking elsewhere.Lost markets are extremely complicated to try and regain.Lets hope there is a real willingness this time to get this idea lauched off the ground and get the state making money from its GNP.China is another hugh market.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on October 23, 2010, 06:49:18 PM
during that time and maybe until now we are still in the infancy stage...

Unless a multinational company join the bandwagon it will be a turtle pace improvement for this sector.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: neodragon0l on October 29, 2010, 10:19:31 AM
during that time and maybe until now we are still in the infancy stage...

Unless a multinational company join the bandwagon it will be a turtle pace improvement for this sector.

I agree and that's the sad part.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2010, 08:09:31 AM
One topic not talked about much in the Philippines is guard dogs.Yes one can import guard dogs from Australia for your goats and sheep but I have a proven and cheap method.Some years ago we took the Philippine native dog and turned them into very good goat guard dogs.My relatives all laughed at me and gambled that it would fail but I had the last laugh.In order for this to work you must take puppies just weaned from its mother.Place the puppies in with baby goats  and make sure you feed the puppies well,we feed ours 3 times a day with their own bowls.You will start to see the puppies and baby goats sleeping together and the puppies will imprint on the goats and as the puppies grow believe they are goats.Once the puppies grow into grown dogs they will protect the goats.I have found the females to be more aggressive over the males.We have one female that is really aggressive and has to be tied up when the DA and vets visit the farm or she will bite any and all strangers to the farm.Imprinting works well and is a cheap way for any producer to have goat/sheep guard dogs around their farm if it is done right.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2010, 08:47:25 AM
Seems to be a rash of goat deaths so far.We have lost 14 so far and counting.Goats are dead within 48 hours and seems to be some sort of cold or flu maybe.DA and vet claims its weather related but our goats are in confinement never outside in rainy weather.More females over males are dying and some are pregnant and seems to be more related to goats with boer blood in them in our cases.Did lose my pet white native female.Selling off a number of our other goats to lessen our losses.Hell of a way to end the year.Anyone else experiencing such losses??

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on November 03, 2010, 10:51:05 AM
Washington Dairy Goat Herd Part
of Summer Philippine Export

By Tim King 

Kim and Tony Puzio, of My-Enchanted-Acres near Snohomish, Washington, recently played a small part in a large project to export live dairy goats from the United States to the Philippines, during the summer of 2010. The Puzios have a herd of nearly 40 registered Nubians that are on DHIA milk test. They also do linear appraisal annually and participate in ADGA shows throughout the Pacific Northwest. When the annual National ADGA show is in the western states, they attend and have had prominent placing does at that level as well. Their Nubian dairy goat herd came into being when their children were young and in 4-H. Though the children are grown, the Puzio's continue to raise dairy goats and horses, with attention to top quality and improving bloodlines.

"We focus on producing animals that show well but can also milk well because, after all, they are dairy goats," Kim Puzio said. "I hate to say the goats are a hobby because this is our life now. Hopefully, when we retire from our regular jobs, the goats will become our regular job. Our dream is to open a Grade A dairy."

Although the Puzios have raised dairy goats for over 20 years, they have never before been involved in an export project until this year.

"We received a call in May from a gentleman from the livestock export company," she said. "The next day he and some gentlemen from the Philippines, who were apparently representing different regions of the country, came out to our farm."

The livestock export company handling the export deal was AM-CAN, Inc., Bloomington, Illinois. AM-CAN is owned by Effingham Embree, who said he has 39 years of experience exporting live animals and equipment from the U.S. to Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Offspring of Tony and Kim Puzio's Nubian buck, My-Enchanted-Acres Discover, were selected for Philippine export, presumably because of top quality milk and show genetics.

"They were on a buying spree," Puzio said. "They contacted quite a few of us in the Pacific Northwest. They were looking for Nubian, Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg does and breeding bucks between five and 24 months of age."

The buyers were interested in the overall health, pedigree, and registration of the goats the Puzios, and others, had for sale.

"They were looking for sturdy and healthy animals," she said. "They wanted real hardy stock that could stand not only the transportation but being over in a different climate."

There were other requirements as well. The goats had to be registered with the ADGA, had to have been disbudded (no horns), and had to be proven disease free.

"We showed them the tattoos and the papers," Puzio said. "At that time they were documenting who the sire to the animal was. When they were looking at the lineage I believe they were looking at whether does out of a particular sire were good milk producers. I got the idea that they were going to put these goats into commercial dairy goat dairies to help with milk production and to build up the genetics in the Philippines."

The Filipinos were also interested in the farming practices at My-Enchanted-Acres and toured the farm, taking notice of management practices.

"There were four Filipinos from four different regions of the country," Puzio said. "I believe one was a farmer himself and the other three were representatives of farmers from their regions. They were fascinated with the way we were set up. They were interested in how we pen our animals and how our hay feeding system is set up. They also wanted to know how and why we separate our bucks from our does."

Ultimately, the buyers selected three goats from the Puzio's herd, one buck and two does. The sire of the does was My-Enchanted-Acres Discover, a prolific sire who has two permanent Grand Champion daughters and many offspring with star milker awards from ADGA and DHIR milk testing programs. After selections were made, instructions for disease testing, quarantine requirements, and delivery plans were outlined. Payment for the animals was to be made upon delivery to the shipping facility.

"They gave my husband a list of tests that we had to run," Puzio said. "We had never heard of some of the diseases but this is what the Philippine government wanted. Our vet had to draw the blood. The vet labeled two tubes with the registration number and the tattoos and sent it to two different labs. Later, they sent me an email saying all the animals were negative for all the diseases so we were ready to go."

Even the Puzio Nubians were ready for the next step in their adventure; there was a long wait for shipping construction to be completed for their journey across the ocean.

"I believe there were 1,100 animals signed up for this shipment," Puzio said. "Once all the testing was done, the money was released from the Philippine government, and the pen construction that would hold all the animals in the cargo planes was started. It was a long wait for that. We were under the impression it would be weeks, but it was actually months. It was more than two and a half months that we had to hold our three goats in quarantine."

Finally, in early August, the Puzios were told to take their three goats to a livestock facility in Roy, Washington. "We got the call saying to have them at this facility at 6:45 on Saturday morning," Puzio. "We loaded them into our little truck and my husband took them. When he got there, there were a thousand animals there that had been transported from all over the country, some from as far away as Florida and Texas. They looked good. It was obvious there was plenty of feed and water on board the semis they were hauled in. Upon arrival to the Seattle (Roy) area they were unloaded to an outstanding facility with more fresh water and feed. We were quite impressed with the care the animals were given."

All that was left was for the Puzios to get paid.

"My husband signed off on the papers and got a check," Puzio said. "The goats were shipped out of Sea-Tac (airport) on Monday morning."

Puzio said the price they received for the goats would have been fair if AM-CAN had delivered on its promise to ship the goats by mid-June.

"A few of us thought that by the time the animals were actually sent it may not have been worth it because of the quarantine and the extra feed," she said. "But I would do it again. I felt good knowing our goats were well cared for and going to do the job they were bred to do. I felt like we were helping a country out. That made it worthwhile. It was better than selling them to somebody down the street and not knowing what would happen to them."

The AM-CAN export to the Philippines is part of a larger Filipino effort to improve small ruminant genetics in that country, according to the Australian embassy in Manila, Philippines. Late in the last decade the embassy assisted with an export from Australia, to the Philippines, of 3,000 Anglo-Nubian and Saanen goats.

"The imported goats will be primarily used for cross-breeding to increase meat production and to capitalize on the rising demand for goat milk," the Australian embassy representative said. "The Anglo-Nubian and Saanen dairy goat breeds are farmed for their higher milk production capacity and adaptability to tropical environments."

In 2007 the Philippine goat herd was estimated to be approximately four million goats, the representative said. Canada has also been involved in goat exports to the Philippines.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on November 09, 2010, 05:44:42 AM
Alaminos Goat Farm Website Down

AGF website has been down the past days since last Sunday. I don’t know what our web designer have been doing the past months to reach this point of seeing the website down. Friends have been emailing asking us what the problem is why our website is down.

This year marketing decided to rebrand our Milk Star brand, focusing on redesigning the label, logos and website. We asked our former web host and web designer to redesign our website but he declined so we got a new young web designer to do our website, logo and label of Milk Star. Part of the package is the transfer of the website to a new web host. The problem started when our new web designer was not able to transfer on time to a new web host as time expired last November 4 with our former web host.

Our website is our life line with our friends in the goat industry. It has reach the four corners of the Philippines as seen by the visitors who have come to visit us in our farm in Alaminos , Laguna. The website is the window for our awareness campaign that indeed you can make money milking dairy goats under the tropical condition of the Philippines. We have made giant steps this year in promoting goat dairying culminating in a very successful seminar at AgriLink Show at the World Trade Center entitled Success in Goat Dairying, The AGF Experience.

Please bear with us sooner or later our website will be back as our web designer resolves the problem.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on November 09, 2010, 06:44:24 PM
Ask your web designer to first renew your host name . Some company will allow only 1 month for renewal and after that the name/website address will be "FREE FOR ALL" who ever register it first will be the new owner.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on November 14, 2010, 11:09:45 AM
2010  is almost gone and 2011 is almost here.It has been another exciting year for the goat in the Philippines.There appears to be a high interest in goats and this will help the industry along with the first goat show at the agri link this year will push the industry to new levels.Congrads to all the winners in the goat show as this means the value of all the winners increases due to what is known as replacement value.Also this allows the breeders to ask for a higher breeders premium also known as the stud fee.In turn these breeders will produce even better foundation stocks for future breeders.Once the movement of breeding stocks from the north is allowed to other areas of the country this will help those of us who wish to introduce new bloodlines into our herd(s).

Reports are coming in from different areas of the country relating to the numbers of goat deaths which we are told is weather related.Many fine animals have been lost so far and this loss affects all of us who have lost animals so far.With no loss insurance we are out of pocket for our losses.But these things do happen from time to time as farming is not a perfect business operation.

Pl 480 still seems to be clouded in mystery and to who or whom will receive any of these animals.What is this a state secret??I think it was Alaminos who stated 99% of the goats are in the hands of the SILENT MAJORITY aka provincial farmers and in some cases like district 1 of Negros Oriental seems to get passed over time and time again.Seems to fall on deaf ears in Manila the Govt. to apply more help to the rural areas no matter where the region is in the country.A few quality bucks will go along ways to help the silent majority with rebuilding the national herd.In truth,its the Visayas and Mindannao that ship between 4-6000 live heads monthly of 99% native goats to a handful of goat meat vendors.In truth the silent majority is doing more than their part to help build up the goat meat industry not the Federation who seems happy that we supply while they build up their own herds,talk about a double standard.Just think if we stopped suppling those heads who will pick up the slack,the federation,I do not think so.The federation seems happy with the status quo.Those who need the help the most are the ones who get the least amount of help because the silent majority is unorganized meaning disorganized and having no one to speak on their behalf.Good people like Alaminos are few and far between who have come out in the support of the silent majority and the pearls they face trying to fit in with the goat industry.Lets see what happens with PL 480 and hope the politicians do what is just and right for the industry not for a few select.

We will begin 2011 with a smaller breeding herd and start rebuilding the herd again as we have carried line breeding to our limit and will select a new nubian buck for the future but our selection for the new buck is limited with the FMD ban still in place and the breeder on Cebu supplies most of the stocks in the Visayas so our search will take us further away.We continue with our snubian breeding and hope to breed some fine animals for the future.The heat wave of 2010 was hard on all of us and lets hope this is now behind us and lets look to the future.

The very best to all of those involved in the goat industry and keep up the good work all.Best wishes to all in the industry for 2011 and lets take this business to the next level.

Farmers Feed The World:
Support your local farmers:
Mustang Sally

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 10, 2010, 09:39:22 AM
The benefits of yeast in ruminant nutrition 08 Dec 2010
Some 300 delegates went to Lille in France to attend the first European symposium organised by LeSaffre Feed Additives on “Yeast solutions – the benefit of using live yeasts in ruminant nutrition”. Five renowned speakers talked about the latest developments in this field.

A number of strategies have been used to enhance ruminal fermentation. Antibiotics and ionophores have been effective but were banned in the EU at the beginning of 2006 for safety reasons.
Direct fed microbials
To substitute these questionable ingredients biological additives have been introduced, including microorganisms, enzymes and plant products. “None of these manipulating additives has been introduced in a rational way until now”, said John Wallace, group leader of the Microbial Metabolism group at the Rowett Institute in Scotland. “Their effects were discovered only after overall benefit had been observed.”
Wallace believes direct fed microbials arguably offer the greatest potential for manipulation of ruminal fermentation. “They offer a huge spectrum of metabolic activities and enzymes as well as metabolites. They also enable selection of strains or mutants best suited for particular applications,” Wallace said.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Wallace thinks the yeast species of Saccharomyces serevisiae is an especially attractive organism in ruminants. “It is metabolically active in the rumen but does not grow, which means that its construction and activity can be readily controlled by its dietary inclusion level, ensuring maximum efficacy.”
The yeast does not grow in the rumen due to the high concentration of volatile fatty acids, but remains biochemically active. Its suggested mode of action is, amongst others, scavenging oxygen, which needs to be absent in the anaerobic environment of the rumen. “As a result we see increased bacterial viability,” Wallace said.
Redox potential
Reduction potential (also known as redox potential, oxidation / reduction potential or ORP) according to Wikipedia is a measure of the tendency of a chemical species to acquire electrons and thereby be reduced.
Reduction potential is measured in volts (V), millivolts (mV), or Eh (1 Eh = 1 mV). Each species has its own intrinsic reduction potential; the more positive the potential, the greater the species' affinity for electrons and tendency to be reduced.
Emilio Ungerfeld of Lethbridge Research Centre (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) elaborated on the biological significance of the measurement of redox potential.
In the rumen, the main electron donors are carbohydrates and some important electron acceptors are CO2, formate, oxaloacetate, fumerate, pyruvate, and others.
The main electron sinks (uptakes) are |NH3, propionate and microbial mass, and the carbon sinks are acetate, propionate, butyrate, CO2, NH3 and microbial biomass.
Ruminal competition
“Ruminal fermentation pathways compete for electrons and carbon,” Ungerfeld said. “It is of interest to understand how that competition is controlled.”
After the theoretical discussion of Ungerfeld, Corine Bayourthe from the National School of Agronomy in Toulouse, France shared more practical experiences with redox status as a promising new way to explore live yeast metabolism in the rumen.
According to Bayourthe, “the redox reductions that prevail in the gut can have a major impact on the digestion, metabolism and assimilation of ingested nutrients. The oxygen status determines whether anaerobic fermentation or aerobic oxidation of nutrients prevail.”
Earlier research had shown that the rumen contents of dry and lactating cows had a markedly negative Eh varying from -220 to -115 mV. “If the level of dry matter intake could partly explain the variation between these values, then the type of diet fed could also influence Eh,” Bayourthe said.
Research by Julien and co-workers in 2010 focused on Eh in the rumen. It was found that a fibre-rich diet is characterised by low Eh values of the ruminal content, while a high Eh is observed with a ready fermentable carbohydrates0rich diet. According to Julien the Eh directly originated from microbial activity. It reflects an environment with strong reducing potential due to the quasi-absence of oxygen, favourable to strictly anaerobic bacteria.
Role of yeast in reducing Eh
Live yeast used as a dietary feed additive for dairy cows present an intrinsic capacity to reduce the Eh level studies revealed. “Live yeast supplementation via the modulation of ruminal Eh can be a good means to stimulate adequate microflora for better digestive efficiency of the diet,” Bayourthe said.
Furthermore live yeast influences the bacterial populations in the rumen, a subject Jamie Newbold of the Aberystwyth University in Wales in the UK presented in more detail. He is intrigued by the fact that feeding live yeast at non-nutritional levels (0.5-20g/d) effects the bacterial population in the rumen. “Doing so we see an increase in microbial protein and more fibre degradation, and above all in increase in bacterial numbers, even op to 130%,” Newbold said.
Oxygen scavenging capability
Newbold suggests that yeast stimulates oxygen removal in the rumen, because oxygen slows down bacterial activity. However, not all yeasts have the same scavenging capabilities. Also different levels of yeast give different levels of bacteria.
 “We have noted that not all strains of yeast are capable of stimulating digestion in the rumen. Certain strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can help prevent the decrease in rumen pH associated with feeding a cereal based diet and this appears to be associated with a decrease in rumen lactate concentrations,” Newbold said. “However, it is not clear yet how yeast prevents the post feeding decline in rumen pH.”
Newbold concluded that S. Cerevisiae can help prevent a post feeding drop in rumen pH in animals fed concentrate diets and thus reducing the likelihood of both clinical and subclinical acidosis. “This appears to be due to the ability of the yeast to selectively stimulate the growth of lactate utilising bacteria in the rumen,” Newbold said.
Field application
As Newbold already suggested, can yeast help in prevention of acidosis. Scientists around the world give their own description and definition of acidosis, which basically originates from an accumulation of strong acids in the rumen due to the consumption of a large proportion of readily fermentable carbohydrates by the cow.
Newbold also noted that both bicarbonate and yeast simulate bacterial growth, probably due to the rise of pH. But only yeast stimulates lactic acid bacteria.
Research at LFA
Jean-Philippe Marden of LeSaffre Feed Additives (LFA) considers redox potential a valuable tool in reducing acidosis incidences. “For seven years now, LFA Ruminant research team devoted much interest in the proper measurement and interpretation of such parameters that can be applied in the rumen environment,” he said.
After the setting up of a redox measurement methodology, the gathered Eh data proved to be complementary to pH in order to better approach rumen bioenergetics and the involved mechanisms.
“The redox and bioenergetic concept coupled with evolving bio-molecular techniques allowed a better understanding in the mode of action of live yeast in ruminants,” Marden said. As an example he said that in a comparison between two different buffering agents – live yeast and bicarbonate – showed different actions on rumen physio-chemical, fermentation and fibre degradation parameters.
Further research in developments is carried out at LFA. Marden said the objectives were to find new measuring redox probes for non-cannulated and pasture-fed animals along with modelling of Eh regarding diet composition and feed additives.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 10, 2010, 09:43:29 AM
Asia drives global milk production growth 08 Dec 2010
World milk production is expected to reach 710.3 million tonnes this year, an increase of 1.6% on last year, according to the United Nation's latest figures.

The projected total represented a recovery from the low performance of last year the UN report says, but milk production remained below the average annual growth rate of 2.1% during the past decade.
"Additional output from China and India, the major contributors to the expansion of production, amount to 8.4 million tonnes, and account for 58% of the world increase," the report said.
"Brazil, the EU and the United States also play their parts by adding another 2.6 million tonnes."
Asia largest producer
According to the UN, Asia - with an output of 257 million tonnes - remains the world's biggest milk producer and boasts the highest rate of annual growth.
Lower production in Pakistan, where floods are expected to wipe off 8% of output, has led to a reduction in the initial 4% production growth forecast, to 2.6%.
Due to improved cow yields and lower slaughter rates, US production is forecast to increase 1.1% this year to 87 million tonnes. EU production is forecast to increase just 1% to 133 million tonnes.
Firm prices
On the price front, the UN's international dairy products price index has remained firm throughout this year.
While the UN said this was in contrast to the "swings" of the past two years, the index remains 20% below its early 2008 peak.
"Factors contributing to the sustained firm prices include strong demand from Asia, the Russian Federation and some oil-exporting countries and, more recently, a steady weakening of the US dollar against major currencies which increases dollar-denominated commodity prices," the report says.
"On the supply side, relatively weak growth in milk production from reduced cattle herds, particularly in some exporting regions, has under-pinned firm prices."
Feed prices suppress growth
It's expected higher feed prices would limit milk production expansion in the US next year, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released last month.
"The upward movement in feed prices will pressure producer margins and will likely curtail the modest recovery in cow numbers that began early this year," the report says.
Australia ups production
The rains which are dogging Australia's grain growers present a boon to the country's dairy farmers – a ready supply of fodder at a time when peers in some other countries face a shortage.
Australian milk production, dogged by drought for much of the last decade, is to rise by 300,000 tonnes next year to 9.7m tonnes, as the benefits of the rains help lift yields per cow near to record levels, the US Department of Agriculture's Canberra bureau said.
Source: WeeklyTimes, Australia

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 11, 2010, 07:44:01 AM
“New Zealand's dairy farms may face a second year of drought” 08 Dec 2010
New Zealand’s largest dairy-farming region may face a summer drought for a second year, slowing the nation’s economic recovery and pushing up global milk prices.

The risk of a significant drought in Waikato, the largest milk-producing province, and Northland is “very high,” with little rain forecast for the next month, Agriculture Minister David Carter said in an interview from Christchurch.
“We are heading for extremely dry conditions, probably drought,” Carter said. “It’s not hard to get a significant drought in New Zealand making a difference to GDP.”
Lower farm production could curb New Zealand’s exports, which make up about 30% of the NZ$125 billion economy, and may push up global milk prices.
Price curb
Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the largest dairy exporter, collected 4.3 percent less milk in the season ended May 31 than a year earlier because farmers halted milking early amid extremely dry conditions in Waikato.
“We’re monitoring the weather conditions closely,” a Fonterra spokesman said in a response to questions from Bloomberg. “While much of the country has had less rain than usual over the last six weeks, it’s too early to know what impact this will have on total milk production for the season.”
Farm profits
“We wonder if the weather risk is starting to be priced into the auction prices,” said Doug Steel, markets economist at Bank of New Zealand Ltd. in Wellington.
“The longer-term contracts well into next year are where the price rises occurred. I would suspect a little of that risk premium going into those longer-dated contracts now.”
As well as milk production, drought can disrupt livestock slaughter as farmers reduce stock levels earlier than normal, Steel said.
“If it doesn’t dent production itself it will put upward pressure on feed costs and profitability on farms is certainly going to decrease,” he said.
La Niña effect
New Zealand is experiencing a La Niña weather pattern, which is characterized by high early season temperatures, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
Its forecasts to January suggest below-average rainfall and soil moisture levels are likely on the nation’s South Island and average rainfall in the north.
“It’s certainly a lot drier than normal north of Taupo,” said Steel, referring to a central North Island lake.
“The risk of a drought “is starting to turn a little bit into reality and as for January, February it remains an unknown but the signs aren’t looking that good,” he said.
Source: Bloomberg

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 11, 2010, 07:57:06 AM
Yeast culture products boost cow health 08 Dec 2010
Vi-COR, a manufacturer of specialized yeast culture products for poultry, swine and dairy feed, has devoted the past 12 years to understanding yeast culture and why it offers health benefits to livestock.

This understanding has driven the company’s development of livestock products such as Celmanax, which is helping dairy producers and university veterinary schools boost the health of their cows.
"Celmanax is a non-antibiotic remedy with no fear of doing harm to the animals," says Dr. Sheila McGuirk at University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
McGuirk and Dr. Keith Poulson use this yeast culture to treat calves and cows admitted to their teaching hospital for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. It is an important part of their supportive care for these animals.
Use in working dairies
The benefits are also seen on working dairies. "We started adding the product to our calves' milk and noticed healthier, more aggressive calves," says Sutton Rucks, a dairy producer in Okeechobee, Florida.
"Our grower called and asked what we were doing differently. I told him, the only protocol change that we have made is the addition of yeast culture. His response was to keep using it."
"Celmanax is unlike any other yeast culture product on the market because it combines the benefits of yeast culture, yeast extract and hydrolyzed yeast," says Vi-COR CEO Mark Holt.
"When you buy this single product, you will see a much better return on investment than you would if buying and mixing multiple yeast products. "
Celmanax comes in three product forms:
- Dry is a granular product that is easy to handle and easy to dose for a variety of livestock.
- Liquid delivers the same benefits as dry yeast products and is specially formulated for liquid feed and milk replacer applications.
- SCP is the industry's first water-soluble yeast culture and is an ultra concentrated product.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on December 12, 2010, 04:04:38 AM
Alaminos Salad Garden, One of the Best Things that Ever Happened to Alaminos Goat Farm
Investing heavily in the Alaminos Salad Garden is one of the best business decisions Alaminos Goat Farm (AGF) has made in their goat business this year. The idea began in 2008 when friends from the academe would say that although AGF has a good system in place, their operations were too high end – meaning, it is not within the reach of the ordinary goat raisers. At the same time, the high production cost can be attributed largely with the cost of feed concentrate.
The development of the Alaminos Salad Garden became the solution to address these concerns on costs and feasibility. The salad garden would hit two birds in one stone. It would address productivity and help AGF in its corporate social responsibility program by doing a project that the farmers can replicate.
In the beginning, developing the salad garden in Alaminos was done without urgency. At that the time, the main priority was goat raising while working on the fields was done in their free time.
We asked Rene Almeda, AGF consultant on what pushed them to progressively pursue the Alaminos Salad Garden, this is what he said – “When AGF compared the 2008 and 2009 milking records of the goats, we observed that production was doubled from 24,000 liters in 2008 to 48,000 liters in 2009.  We can attribute this mainly to our decision to feed our dairy goats with highly digestible and young forage grass and legumes.”

Rene adds that they discovered the wonders of the plant indigofera as the legume preferred by the milking goats. More interesting is the fact that after feeding fresh indigofera (in addition to the concentrate feeds), there was a significant improvement in the goats’ milking performance. AGF also observed that they are able to harvest huge volumes of indigofera compared to their other plants.

This observation was supported by a research work done by Ngo van Man Nguyen van Hao & Vuon minh Tri of the Animal Nutrition Department in the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Ho Chi Min City Vietnam. According to their study, indigofera’s plant growth rate as well as its biomass yields are much higher compared to plants like leucaena, gliricidia (better known as kakuate, a. auriculiformis, a. manhium, desmodium, and flemeng

In selecting the tree legumes to be studied, they chose drought resistant species that will perform on poor soils. The soil was fertilized with goat manure and organic fertilizers during the study.
The raising milk yields of the AGF dairy goats after adding indigofera to their daily diet can also be attributed to the indigofera’s high protein level (24.8%),  the 84.8 % digestibility plus its 2.08% calcium content.
*Source from  UAF Animal Nutrition Department Laboratory

If you were to ask how one starts a salad garden, Rene has this to say, “We started pursuing this project seriously in early 2010 by purchasing a Bowa hand tractor. A full time worker was assigned for the planting of indigofera, mulberry and centrosema. During the dry spell in the time of El Nino, we installed drip irrigation and sprinklers in our pasture at great expense. The Alaminos Salad Garden has started to provide part of the forage requirement of our Boer breeders and the full requirement of our dairy goats this year.”
The Alaminos Salad Garden bannered by the tree legume indigofera has provided a positive outlook for AGF in 2011 when the garden is projected to be fully operational.

AGF has partnered with the Bureau of Animal Industry, Research Division to implement  a project funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research to commercialize the technology we have developed through our Alaminos Salad Garden. Peletized Total Mixed Ration using a mixture of indigofera and malunggay  plus feed concentrate will be fed to dairy goats in a controlled environment to show its positive effect in milk production.
Based on AGF’s experience with the Alaminos Salad Garden, this is one doable technology that can help the poor farmers raising goats in the countryside improve productivity.  Indigofera can supplement the feeding of forage and crop residue of low nutritive values to goats the farmers raise.
Watch as AGF gives focus on genetics and nutrition in 2011. The Alaminos  Salad Garden would be in the limelight as AGF commercializes the technology to improve productivity and help modernize the goat raising industry in the Philippines. Hand in hand with genetic infusion in the countryside through Artificial Insemination, there is no way but up for goat raising in the Philippine

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 17, 2010, 10:08:50 AM
I think it would be safe to say that a productive livestock producer today must also be a good forage feed producer.As time goes on the industry is learning by leaps and bounds.There is a better understanding of genetics,breeding and feeds needed to be a productive producer.With the limited information published for everyone to read the industry is growing all the time.For those willing to share their information this industry is better for it.We as a whole are learning more about forages and the different types that seem to work well for goats.It is hoped in time the agri. universities will help with providing more information about the formulation of the different forages grown in the Philippines that may help the provincial farmer.Off the shelf concentrates are still too expensive for the average provincial farmer to provide for their stocks.A forage leaf meal that meets the requirements needed and able to be harvested during the rainy season and dried and formed into a pellet form that can be stored for the dry season is a step in the right direction for the provincial farmers.

The country is still a major importer of milk products but at the same time the country is a exporter of dried milk products.With the growing interest in dairy goats this will help the country export even more products while importing less milk products over time.

The wild card here is China,China is poised to become a major importer of corn and grain products for livestock feeds.The extra pressure may force the cost of livestock feeds to increase which will affect us all.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 23, 2010, 11:59:51 AM
Over the years there has been alot of interest in goat udders and what should the udder look like.Well if we are talking about show/breeders which are really foundation stocks then the udder has to meet certain standards.The foundation doe must have a high score of PTAs that will give the breeder of the doe the knowledge needed to make a decision on which buck to use.Some bloodlines can give alot of milk and score high on udders but the PTAs might be spotty,meaning the offspring might receive decent udders or not.Some bloodlines like Hallcienda (Frost Marvin) score high on PTAs and when bred to goats of lesser quality will make major inprovements in both milk and udders.

On large commercial dairy goat farms not every goat has the perfect udder and if the doe has a poor udder but milks well she is kept as long as she is productive.The offspring might be sold off to hobby farms or the meat industry not for future breeders.Just like with humans over time with age, things start to sag and hang and as the doe becomes older she will start to loose her upper attachments.

Udders on show stock becomes much more important over a goat in a commercial dairy setting which is used for the production of milk only.Knowing which bloodline to use for the best PTAs to improve your does udder is not easy and takes research into the sires background.Not all bloodlines are created equal.

I was told someone has imported some 3 M Galexy bloodlines.Galexy is known for high milk production and good udders but its a bloodline that is better known for breeding high quality to high quality and its PTAs on poorer quality goats is not good.Frosty Marvin was known to improve any quality of goat and he was one of those rare sires that comes along only so often.

PTAs- stands for Predicted Transmitting Ability,incorporating data from production and type data of the doe,ancestors,collateral relatives and progeny.The first 3 numbers are the estimate of the pounds of milk,fat and protein to expect from each lactation of a parents furure daughter when compared to a herdmate of breed average genetic merit.The last is the PTA of change to the type score.PTA expresses the level of genetic superiorty that an animal transmits to its offspring for a given production or type trait.This value is used to rank animals based on their genetic merit.

 N ****** "data removed,for information purposes only for this site". 
(no photo) SS: ++*B GCH Hallcienda Antony

Sire: GCH ++*B Hallcienda Gusto

SD: Hallcienda Gayleen 4*M


DS: GCH *B Fra-Jac Mr Lee

Dam: GCH The Martin's Oregon Frosty Ann *M
4-0  305  2920  149/5.1%

DD: Pride of Delight

 Owner:" data removed for information purposes only for this site".

DOB: 3/31/86

Daughters are consistently tall, wide, dairy, and milky.

Use when stature and length of bone are needed. His traits tend to stay for generations.

Samuel works best on short, beefy does needing more milk, size, and sharpness.

Crosses well with linebred Frosty Marvin.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 27, 2010, 09:23:06 AM
SG SKYHILL’S ELISHA 7*M PN0904515 1996 02-09 302 5940-303/5.1-216/3.6
Skyhill Farms, California
PACEM FAUN’S FOLLY 2*M PN0324844 1984 4-02 304-5160-384/7.4
Mr. & Mrs. Max C. Prinsen, Washington

4 PN1401928 SG 2-G FARM SNOW ANGEL 2*M 1/09 305 3540 166 132 COOPER, JANET L COOPER, JANET L
7 PN1269846 GODDARD FARM BAMBI 2*M 5/10 300 3310 123 117 GODDARD, NOAH L & SUE A GODDARD, NOAH L & SUE A

5 PN1401928 SG 2-G FARM SNOW ANGEL 2*M 1/09 305 3540 166 5 COOPER, JANET L COOPER, JANET L
4 PN1401928 SG 2-G FARM SNOW ANGEL 2*M 1/09 305 3540 132 4 COOPER, JANET L COOPER, JANET L

if you look under milk production you will see Six M Galexy but not under fat,it is a good bloodline but not the best as far as records go.Blissberry scored higher on milk production and fat .Lakeshore  also scored but Blissberry scored more.It is information like this that is important to have at hand when making decisions about which goat to breed to which goat.So many talk about milk production but really have very little understanding of data needed to make future decisions on how to fix the rest of their goat(s).Like I have said,not all goats are created equal.One needs to understand what is broken before they know how to fix it. A top breeder will tell you,breeding an unknown bloodline to another unknown bloddline will result in an unknown bloodline.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 27, 2010, 09:45:34 AM
      REGISTRATION                                                                         --PREDICTED TRANSMITTING ABILITIES---
  HERD    NUMBER          Name                        SIRE    HERDS DAU EQ  LACTREL         MILK   FAT    FAT %      PROT  PROT % PCTILE

                                                                                   (%)      (LB)   (LB)     (%)      (LB)    (%)

83260049 001411278 PB LAZU2BAR RDL ELLIE MAE         001218023   2    0.0      2    47       209    5.2    -0.14      6.7   -0.00    95
84870451 001366227 PB SOUTH-FORK SWEET BREEZE        001324954   1    0.0      3    47       156   10.9     0.23      5.1    0.01    96
84870451 001402328 PB SOUTH-FORK CHALUPA CHANTILLY   001180568   1    0.0      1    39       272   10.4    -0.01      7.1   -0.07    98
91830236 001338931 PB TEXAS GIRL S ZIA               001279355   1    1.4      3    50       115    9.8     0.26      6.1    0.12    97
91830236 001367697 PB LUCKY*STAR'S AV WOMEN'S WEAR   001331454   1    0.0      2    44       231    7.8    -0.05      7.6    0.01    98

91830236 001418023 PB TEXAS GIRL  WN OPAL            001390642   1    0.0      1    36       245    7.7    -0.08      7.0   -0.03    97
91850619 001472104 AM ROCKIN-CB RY ZAZZLE            001458985   1    0.0      1    39       136   12.0     0.32      7.7    0.16    98
91850619 001472108 PB ROCKIN-CB KTL ZINNIA           001352109   1    0.0      1    43       184   10.9     0.18      6.5    0.03    98
91850632 001447963 PB ALDER*ROSE EVGENI YODEL        001380050   1    0.0      2    44        77    8.2     0.26      6.0    0.18    95
91940001 001325555 PB TEMPO KRISTI                   001168624   2    8.5      3    65       168    6.1    -0.02      7.1    0.09    96

91940001 001364699 PB LUCKY*STAR'S LOT WEDGWOOD      001290537   2    5.9      3    63       202    8.0     0.01      6.9    0.02    97
91940001 001403854 PB LUCKY*STAR'S LOT XHIBIT        001290537   1    3.1      3    59       262    7.8    -0.11      7.0   -0.06    97
91940001 001470911 PB LUCKY*STAR'S LOT ZHANNA        001290537   1    0.0      1    44       172    8.4     0.08      5.8    0.02    95
91940008 001374799 PB HARMONYS WAY LOT VELVATINA     001290537   1    4.3      2    58       254    6.8    -0.13      5.9   -0.09    95
92230636 001333426 AM MOSS-RIDGE TRAVIS APHRODITE    001301386   2    0.0      4    54       219   10.3     0.09      7.2    0.01    98

92230636 001474710 AM TEMPO GANDALF EVA              001427025   1    0.0      1    35       354   15.3     0.07     14.5    0.14    99
92700198 001369715 PB TEMPO KILLY                    001352109   1    0.0      4    53       193    7.3    -0.01      6.3    0.01    95
92700198 001405741 PB TEMPO JANICA                   001301386   1    0.0      2    49       276    7.2    -0.15      8.5   -0.01    98
92700198 001440402 PB TEMPO EVIANNA                  001352109   1    1.4      2    53       232   12.2     0.15      9.9    0.12    99
92810425 001327714 AM ALDER*ROSE TEMMPEST VERONA     001297947   1    3.8      4    53        86    9.9     0.33      6.2    0.17    97

93090193 001300620 PB LUCKY*STAR'S TR TREASURE       001220700   1    4.1      3    63       341   10.4    -0.12      7.8   -0.13    99
93090193 001484641 PB VINEYARD VIEW CASSIUS ECLAIR   001256808   1    0.0      2    48       251    6.8    -0.13      6.8   -0.05    96
93090193 001499960 PB VINEYARD VIEW CASSIUS VADA     001256808   1    0.0      1    46       227    7.8    -0.04      7.2   -0.00    97
93090247 052160617                                   001280073   1    0.0      1    40       257    8.4    -0.07      6.6   -0.07    97
93090256 001424772 PB PENNY*WISE CAMEO               001373685   1    0.0      1    37       217    6.3    -0.09      6.2   -0.03    95

93100698 001267631 PB PURPLE-SAGE-FARM *P MARIGOLD   001184233   2    5.5      4    61       237    7.0    -0.10      7.8    0.01    97
93100761 001409244 PB HEART-MT.-CARTER-KIDS CHOLENA  001366352   1    0.0      2    47       219   14.9     0.30      6.4   -0.02    99
93165001 052160401                                   001235164   1    2.2      1    48       248    6.1    -0.16      7.4   -0.02    97
93165001 053782626                                   001273492   1    2.2      1    48       210   11.1     0.14      8.2    0.07    99
93165001 053782643                                   001280073   1    0.0      1    45       229    7.4    -0.07      6.6   -0.03    96

93165001 056198006                                   001365403   1    0.0      1    40       303    5.8    -0.26      7.1   -0.11    96
93165001 056198027                                   001313040   1    0.0      1    45       346    9.8    -0.16      8.5   -0.11    99

       REGISTRATION                                                                         --PREDICTED TRANSMITTING ABILITIES---
  HERD    NUMBER          Name                        SIRE    HERDS DAU EQ  LACTREL         MILK   FAT    FAT %      PROT  PROT % PCTILE

                                                                                   (%)      (LB)   (LB)     (%)      (LB)    (%)

11175182 001333511 PB GLADSTONE'S ANSWER IN THE SKY  001269628   1    0.0      4    49       149    5.8    -0.04      7.2    0.10    95
11235100 001445569 PB KASTDEMUR'S KHM MELODY         001358094   1    0.0      2    47       124    9.3     0.20      8.2    0.20    98
21135593 001251890 AM DAWNWOOD'S EMMA                001072907   1    0.0      6    53       180    5.1    -0.13      7.8    0.07    96
21135593 001396597 AM DAWNWOOD'S COCOA               001235486   1    0.0      1    39       252   10.2    -0.04      7.8   -0.05    98
21135595 001390347 AM ROSETHYME MO VELVETEEN         001293819   1    0.0      2    41       249    9.9    -0.04      8.3   -0.02    98

32225760 32GOT0226                                   001102219   1    6.4      5    61       470   12.6    -0.33     10.0   -0.28    99
33614514 001406888 PB HAZELRIDGE-ACRES GEGE'S GERTE  001311397   1    0.0      1    32       110    9.1     0.22      9.4    0.29    98
34545501 001473514 AM COZY HAVEN MADISON'S MARIAH    001305299   1    0.0      2    40       192    6.2    -0.11      6.4   -0.02    95
41215538 001481379 PB BLISSBERRY MW VALENTINA        001442915   1    0.0      1    34       189   12.3     0.20      9.2    0.13    99
41495749 001307417 RG SPARKLING-M'S GERARD TELEPHONE 001136266   1    6.6      5    65       189    6.8    -0.07      7.4    0.04    96

41495749 001416932 RG SPARKLING-M'S SAILOR KENDALL   001284988   1    0.0      3    50       188    7.0    -0.06      5.9   -0.03    95
41495749 001416935 AM SPARKLING-M'S VOICE MAIL       001351516   1    0.0      1    43       171    9.2     0.09      7.0    0.05    97
41495749 001433217 AM SPARKLING-M'S MISS CANADA      001284987   1    1.5      3    52       198    8.2    -0.02      8.5    0.08    98
41495749 001452452 AM SPARKLING-M'S AVALANCHE        001284988   1    0.0      1    40       230    9.0    -0.05      8.9    0.04    98
41495749 001471213 AM SPARKLING-M'S SOLITARE         001351516   1    0.0      1    41       220    7.6    -0.10      6.1   -0.08    95

48245012 001303134 PB HERITAGE-SONG HENRIETTA        001252247   1    0.0      4    53       158   12.3     0.27      9.8    0.21    99
52545500 001212904 PB CHRIBRYDON MAIRE'S MERLEEN     001026248   1    4.2      2    51       232   12.2     0.10     10.3    0.11    99
52545500 001368522 PB CHRIBRYDON MERLEEN'S MARIGOLD  001187404   1    2.6      2    49       236   15.0     0.23     11.3    0.15    99
55675500 001279618 PB SIX M GALAXY ISABELLE DARLENE  001209525   1    6.0      1    53       343    9.8    -0.23      8.3   -0.17    98
55675500 001389269 PB SIX M GALAXY MICK'S SHEILA     001342223   1    0.0      1    33       246    7.3    -0.16      8.3   -0.01    98

61007000 001389279 PB SIX M GALAXY OBE'S UNIQUE      001342219   2    0.0      3    46       271    9.3    -0.12     10.0    0.02    99
61007000 001389293 PB SIX M GALAXY MIDNIGHT ANGEL    001064787   2    0.0      2    45       313    7.5    -0.28      7.6   -0.16    97
61007000 001470333 PB SIX M GALAXY ECHO'S LAUREL     001342205   1    0.0      1    36       311   10.5    -0.14      8.7   -0.10    99
61645500 001283648 PB FIDELITY HILL LADY MARODDA     001208071   1    0.3      4    46       157    8.9     0.10      5.9    0.02    96
64025174 001344130 PB JUST4GOATS ABBY                001252117   1    0.0      3    44       126   10.6     0.26      6.2    0.09    97

64025174 001433015 PB SAND ROCK ACRES FANNIE DAE     001359435   1    0.0      1    33       182    9.9     0.10      4.7   -0.08    95
64995176 001400600 PB SHAKTICAP XCELLENT CHOC CANDY  001297160   1    0.0      1    30       201   12.5     0.18     14.6    0.37    99
65007001 001361043 PB AJA-SAMMATI JB GRAND SOPHY     001288722   1    2.5      3    52       167    9.7     0.12      6.0    0.01    96
65007001 001401928 PB 2-G FARM SNOW ANGEL            001366881   1    0.0      2    38       134   12.0     0.31      6.3    0.08    97
65007001 001437214 PB 2-G FARM BILOXI RIVER ISABELLE 001366881   1    0.0      1    32       149    6.9     0.02      6.0    0.04    95

73007001 001352641 PB HILL'S ACRES WZ RECITAL        001283542   2    0.0      3    47       217    6.4    -0.15      6.9   -0.04    96
73145503 001194194 PB HILL'S ACRES CHARMING EFFECTS  001171114   1    2.8      5    57       181    7.3    -0.03      6.5    0.01    96
74007002 001413237 PB LAKESHORE SH MYSTIC ALLURE     001377200   1    0.0      1    34       175    8.9     0.06      6.5    0.02    96
82830007 001304696 PB BEDOUIN DARK CRYSTAL           001300591   1    1.2      1    42       194    8.7     0.01      7.4    0.03    97
82840138 001336110 PB SAND-BUR-KIDS SLT INDEPENDENCE 001311769   1    0.0      2    46        81   13.4     0.51      6.9    0.21    98

82840138 001379509 PB IRON-OWL JEEPERS CREEPERS      001356149   1    1.3      2    43       118   13.7     0.44      5.8    0.08    98
82840138 001383193 PB IRON-OWL TOWHEE                001336530   1    0.0      2    38       158   10.2     0.16      8.3    0.14    98
82840138 001478518 PB IRON-OWL CROW'S NEST           001442781   1    0.0      1    22       192    7.7    -0.03      8.2    0.07    97
82840138 001479471 PB IRON-OWL FLYING DRAGON         001442781   1    0.0      1    25       215   13.4     0.20     10.6    0.15    99
82840143 001463988 PB OZNAYIM WSB EVE                001184217   1    0.0      1    30       193    4.1    -0.21     12.3    0.27    99

82845091 001308157 PB CHINOOK MEADOWS CO JEWEL       001273413   1    0.0      2    40       128    8.3     0.14      7.3    0.14    97
84870056 001412927 PB GOLDTHWAITE B'LOU ANGEL        001364666   1    1.5      2    46       129   10.5     0.25     12.3    0.40    99
84870056 001462185 PB GOLDTHWAITE ANGEL GABRIEL      001431971   1    0.0      1    35       244   22.4     0.56     25.8    0.82    99

       REGISTRATION                                                                         --PREDICTED TRANSMITTING ABILITIES---
  HERD    NUMBER          Name                        SIRE    HERDS DAU EQ  LACTREL         MILK   FAT    FAT %      PROT  PROT % PCTILE

                                                                                   (%)      (LB)   (LB)     (%)      (LB)    (%)

86011313 001508016 PB CROW'S DAIRY CHAR'S ONDREA     001458782   1    0.0      1    36       226    9.9     0.01      7.3   -0.03    98
86011313 001508042 PB CROW'S DAIRY KATHY'S MICHELLE  001458782   1    0.0      1    31       239   10.9     0.02      9.5    0.06    99
86019919 001313985 PB AZ APACHE VALLEY PRIDE AND JOY 001226923   1    2.2      2    45       230   10.8     0.04      8.5    0.02    98
86019975 001467846 PB BLACK MESA PARKER'S PERI       001430408   1    0.0      2    44       159   10.8     0.20      6.3    0.04    97
86019975 001477005 PB REUEL SAMIEL'S MIC MARIAH      001413410   1    0.0      1    41        82    8.8     0.27      6.3    0.18    96

87841040 001244776 AM WILLOW-LANE WISTERIA           001219780   2   13.4      6    71       153   10.2     0.18      5.6    0.02    96
87841040 001319627 AM WILLOW-LANE LIV                001219779   2   16.3      6    73       261    8.2    -0.15      9.4    0.01    98
87841040 001354642 AM WILLOW-LANE DERBY              001219780   2    3.4      4    60       158    7.9     0.05      7.8    0.11    97
87841040 001354648 AM WILLOW-LANE ONEIDA             001328280   2    0.0      2    48       175    8.2     0.03      7.7    0.08    97
87841040 001449008 AM WILLOW-LANE LUV                001335341   1    0.0      3    54       195    8.2    -0.01      7.4    0.03    97

87841040 001459383 AM WILLOW-LANE JUDITH             001328280   1    0.0      2    47       172    8.1     0.03      6.4    0.02    96
87841040 001491489 PB WILLOW-LANE GAIL               001397032   1    0.0      2    47       157    8.6     0.09      5.8    0.02    95
87841040 001502449 AM WILLOW-LANE MALDA              000515068   1    0.0      1    47       225   10.0     0.01      7.0   -0.04    97
87841040 001505696 AM WILLOW-LANE JABOE              001393692   1    0.0      1    41       217    6.9    -0.12      6.7   -0.04    96
87841040 001531614 AM WILLOW-LANE MONMOTHMA          000938687   1    0.0      1    50       244    7.5    -0.15      8.1   -0.02    98

87841040 001531615 AM WILLOW-LANE LAVENDER           000938687   1    0.0      1    50       234    6.3    -0.18      7.4   -0.04    96
91840504 001383231 PB MY-ENCHANTED-ACRES LADY BLAISE 001340357   1    0.0      3    47        82   12.4     0.46      4.5    0.08    95
91840509 001441671 PB JUST AS I AM PRECIOUS KEEPSAKE 001218464   1    0.0      2    47       120   11.0     0.29      5.0    0.04    95
91850604 001291245 PB REUEL ZEPHYR'S EK SAMIEL       000988106   1   10.6      6    68        99   10.2     0.30      7.5    0.21    98
91850604 001368198 PB REUEL SAMIEL'S EXP SHARIK      001326412   1    0.0      4    53        62    9.0     0.33      6.0    0.20    95

91850632 001447962 PB K-N-H RANCH SB YARROW          001412255   1    0.0      1    42        50   11.0     0.47      5.2    0.18    95
91850632 001447966 AM K-N-H RANCH SB YOSHIKANO       001412255   1    0.0      1    38        45    9.0     0.37      5.5    0.21    95
91850632 001491851 PB K-N-H RANCH SB ZSA ZSA         001412255   1    0.0      1    39        49    9.7     0.40      5.9    0.22    96
91860390 001462548 PB REMUDA SONSET TALULA           001253010   1    0.0      1    40        91    9.0     0.26      7.8    0.24    97
93090193 001241522 AM OCEAN FOGG FARMS ECHO'S CLEO   001233390   1    2.0      5    60       209   12.0     0.14      7.2   -0.00    98

93090193 001259269 AM REDWOOD HILLS SPECIAL GABI     001179133   1    0.0      5    55       272   11.1    -0.03      9.1   -0.02    99
93090193 001264555 AM REDWOOD HILLS SPECIAL DEVORA   001179133   1   15.9      6    72       260    9.7    -0.08      9.5    0.02    99
93090193 001479661 AM REDWOOD HILLS TALENTED DEMURE  001412687   1    0.0      2    50       290   17.1     0.21     10.6    0.02    99
93090193 001499119 AM REDWOOD HILLS TALENTED DANIKA  001412687   1    0.0      1    47       237   13.8     0.17      9.7    0.07    99
93090193 001499129 AM REDWOOD HILLS TALENTED DELIGHT 001412687   1    0.0      1    45       142    8.0     0.09      6.7    0.09    96

93090231 001342233 PB SIX M GALAXY NOEL'S HOLLY      001064787   1    0.0      3    48       410   13.3    -0.20     13.1   -0.05    99
93090231 001389252 PB SIX M GALAXY OBE'S BELLA       001342219   1    1.4      2    46       321    7.6    -0.29      6.7   -0.21    96
93090231 001389268 PB SIX M GALAXY MICK'S SUE        001342223   1    1.3      2    45       248    6.8    -0.19      8.3   -0.02    97
93090231 001389272 PB SIX M GALAXY HERMIONE'S TONKS  001342205   1    0.0      2    44       199    8.6    -0.00      7.5    0.03    97
93090247 052160625                                   001273492   1    0.0      1    43       370   10.8    -0.24      9.0   -0.18    99

93090247 052160647                                   001273492   1    0.0      1    37       325    8.3    -0.27      6.9   -0.21    97
93090251 001327509 PB DRY-CREEK-HOLLOW SUPER VASHTI  000293134   1    5.2      5    66       296   15.9     0.14     11.4    0.05    99
93090251 001380694 PB DRY-CREEK-HOLLOW BOY WASHOE    001351430   1    1.3      3    52       172    8.8     0.06      5.5   -0.02    95
93090251 001432122 PB OAK-GOLD MARISSA MIA           001283601   1    3.3      2    50       144    9.3     0.15      6.0    0.05    96
93090251 001435417 PB BONNIE BLUE FARM BB FOX        001202891   1    0.0      2    50       160   11.5     0.23      7.2    0.08    98

93090292 001233887 PB WINGWOOD FARM GRACEFUL TESSA   000810616   1   12.2      5    69       290   14.9     0.11     10.0   -0.01    99
93090292 001265573 PB WINGWOOD FARM KR TAIPEI        001177615   1    5.4      6    63       170   14.3     0.34      8.7    0.14    99
93090292 001442299 PB WINGWOOD FARM AD TASSAJARA     001336243   1    0.0      2    48       225   13.9     0.20      7.3   -0.03    98

in this data we see no Blissberry but see Six M Galexy for Nov.2010.There will be leaders for the whole of 2010 to be published later.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: mikey on December 29, 2010, 10:51:25 AM
Back to the topic of breeding.The main reason why I posted the information from the ADGA was to try and show that breeding is more science than anything else.Top breeders in N.America do their homework and try and select the best future breeding bucks or does to infuse into their own herds to improve their herd overall.The information we use comes from knowing many breeders and attenting goat shows and looking up information from the ADGA before making decisions on which bloodline will help produce the best for our business.

In the Philippines only Alaminos has done testing into milk production,milk fat and protein.To try and understand their PTAs,PTI and PT% is not possible do to limited information.In truth PTAs,PTIs, and PT% is not of any advantage in the Philippines until more farms are tested and more information is published.There is also ETA.In time these will become much more important when more data is published.I have posted information about this exciting industry in the Philippines to try and help people understand what we do here in N.America with our goat industry.The industry will move forward quicker with those in the know posting what knowledge they have instead of keeping this knowledge only for their own farm(s).

Language terms:
I posted what PTAs mean
PTIs-production type index-genetic indexes that combine production and type genetic evaluations into one score.First number emphasizes production over type and the second emphasizes type over production.Zero would be no change.    Example would look something like this 133    (2.1)    134 (1.2)

PT%-predicted transmitting ability percentage.Milk fat (07) and milk protein (o4).Dates are the last calculation,the first is production and the second is type.The 44R is this line is for production reliability.      Example would look like this   44R reliability   6/99   .07     .04   1/01

ETA-estimated transmitting ability,estimate of a bucks future PTAs as an index for production and type.Production is first,type is second.Zero is no change.Example would look like this       19 (production)          -29 (type)

A production pedigree gives statistical information that is available for a goat by tracking the records of all his or her close relatives that have records.

The science from breeding comes from trying to predict what is the best bloodline to breed to your bloodline and produce future offspring that will add commercial value for your dairy operation.

For those who believe breeding is more of an art,producing good looking goats that have poor milk production adds no commercial value to any dairy operation other than having a family pet of selling the offspring for the meat industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 07, 2011, 04:38:01 AM
mustang sally farm is mikey and all future postings will now be under mustang sally farm.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 08, 2011, 11:07:43 AM
According to a friend of mine from Panay,seems there is alot of questions being asked about the import order of PL480 and to who and what farm these goats have been sent to.Seems some have gone to members of the goat federation and to some others but the total numbers have not been accounted for.Also called into question is why some areas have not received any of these goats.This whole program is clouded in mystery.

As a person with years of breeding experience and owner of some fine breeding/show investment stock I can tell you one thing forsure.Placing top bloodlines in the hands of unknown breeders with unproven track records is a disaster in the making.I have seen fine bloodlines here in N.America in the hands of unexperienced breeders with poor management practices and the yearlings (12 months old) never reached the 40-45 kg weight that they should be at for that age.Here in N.America the average yearling for a nubian is 40-45kg. in 12 months for the purposes of breeding.I doubt if the RP has reached this weight class so far for a dairy breed.It will be interesting to see how these blodlines pan out,my gut feeling tells me many of these goats will never reach their full potential.I believe even the Govt. has very little experience when it comes to breeding and what it takes to breed superior animals from scratch.

I wonder if these farms will be held accountable for any deaths why under their management or will the taxpayer have to pay for any losses.Will the goat federation hold its members accountable for any losses under their care???Many,many unanswered questions and so much money to be repaid back to the US Govt. with interest.And can the RP compete with the Chinese goat market.China is the largest goat producer in Asia.So many questions and so little time.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 09, 2011, 01:31:09 PM
I have been asked about my personal opinion about PL480 and the giving out of these stocks to those who have received them.And this is my take.
When I started my farm with goats back in 2005 I brought in many,many years experience with breeding livestock and a network of people worldwide to consult with.I did not start from ground zero like many have.
-I would say that many of these stocks will be dead,sick or skin and bones within 6-12months because of the lack of proper management practices,why, because dairy animals are prone to mastitis and milk fever and many will not be able to handle this when it happens,lack of real world experience working with dairy animals.
-all of these animals are use to a diet of dried alfalfa hay,high in protein and calcium.What native feed plants in the RP can compare to alfalfa is not fully understood as of yet.I believe malunggay and mulberry shows real promise.Here in N.America we feed our stocks with bagged concentrates to give our stocks the proper protein and mineral mix along with dried hay.The cut and carry method in the RP is mostly green feeds sometimes dried for a day or so.
-the observation that I have made, is that imported animals no matter how great their lineage or bloodlines are perform poorly when moved into a climate that is so different from the one they came from.From what we know now is that these stocks become the foundation for future offsprings that when selected for the next phase of breeding have a better chance of becoming something really good.Many of these fine imported bloodlines under PL480 will never amount to anything good to speak of under some of the management practices I see going on in the RP.
-when it comes to livestock breeding,nothing is a given,sometimes only heartache and misery follows.I learned this as one of the first to line-breed nubians in the RP.After spending 5 years to improve our does the gains were so small that all the time and monies spent was not worth the little gains made.Our nubians as I reported were better suited as meat over dairy.
-the understanding in the RP as to what a dairy goat should look like is not understood by most in the country.The few foreign owned farms have a better understanding over the native owned farms in this matter.The old saying, knowing what to fix instead of putting a band aid on hoping for a tempory fix.Most of the dairy does in the RP are really in poor shape and trying to take these poor does and breed them with better bloodlines to improve milk is a tempory fix.In the real world one breeds to correct the body before thinking about milk production.
-did anyone from the da,bai,goat raiser assoc,govt. even take into account the body faults of the native nubians in country first and then go to the US and select bloodlines that can correct all the faults first before considering milk production.Experienced breeders know first hand, before milk production one needs the correct body type.Experienced breeders also know some bloodlines cross poorly when not bred with a bloodline of equal value.
-considering that for every 1000 live heads imported from the US, the RP must repay appox. P78,000,000 million in the next 10 years and the tax payer will be on the hook for this debt.
-lets hope the tax payer can realize some real value here.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 15, 2011, 01:21:49 PM
Food Index and what may be coming in the next few months.Remember the food crisis worldwide back in 2008.All reports are showing a return for 2011.
One index is the rising price of oil worldwide.This usually means a rise in transportation followed by a rise in fertilizer which means a rise in livestock feeds and finally the consumer who is left scrambling to find the best affordable protein value to feed their families with the budgets that most have when it comes to food for the table.

The customer is king and when the consumer no longer supports one section of the livestock industry the demand drops while the producers costs of operation rise but cannot realize higher prices at the gate.Demand drops and more animals become surplus,slaughter numbers drop in one section but will rise in another as the consumer is shopping shopping around for the best value.

The food index for China and India is showing almost rising daily prices along with inflation.When prices become too expensive the consumer will start to voice their concerns and no Govt. wants to see civil unrest in the streets.The added pressure on the respected Govt. to subsidize foods becomes even greater adding to more borrowing.

Will be interesting to see what happens in 2011 with respect to expected rising food prices worldwide.Could be touch and go for producers once livestock feeds become too expensive and some will be forced to close shop and ride out the wave.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2011, 08:32:10 AM
Old-Fashioned Goat Milk Soap

By Suzy Hassler 

Several years ago soap was not an item to be picked up at the local store. It was handmade on the farm, utilizing ingredients available in those days gone by. My great-grandmother in the old country would save fat from butchering hogs for a year, then clean it and use it for soap. She also made her own lye by dripping water through the ashes left from the hearth. Luckily, we can purchase fat and lye from the store, and though we can purchase ready-to-use soap there too, it's also fun and relatively easy to make soap at home, just like it used to be. Making soap can be a dangerous undertaking and young children should never be allowed in the same room where soap is being made. Lye is a caustic agent and safety procedures must be followed when making homemade soap. Be sure to use rubber gloves, eye protection, and counter protection. With precautions taken, making soap can be a fun and creative activity, and a good way to make use of extra goat milk! Homemade goat milk soaps are great for gift-giving and many people with sensitive skin find that goat milk soap can be a soothing alternative to commercially prepared products.

Supplies needed:

13 cups of fat (104 ounces)
1 pound pure lye (Rooto or similar brand) also called sodium hydroxide, 1/2 cup honey
1 cup hot water
4 cups chilled liquid (could be all goat milk, or a combination of goat milk and water or herbal tea)
Scent and coloring (optional--available at soap making suppliers)
A soap mold (available online or could be something as simple as a box lined with freezer paper--it must be something the lye won't eat through).

Prior to starting, freeze water in several plastic soda bottles. These will be used to stir the hot mixture.

Into a bowl, dissolve the honey in one cup of hot water; set aside to cool.

In a stainless steel pan in the sink, slowly add the lye to the 4 cups of cold liquid, stirring with a frozen water bottle. This should take up to 45 minutes to slowly add the whole amount of lye. This causes heat, so the water bottles will have to be changed several times.

Meanwhile, melt the fats on the stove (on low) in another stainless steel pan. For my 104 ounces, I like to use two cans of Crisco shortening, which leaves me 8 ounces to account for. I like to use something good for the skin for the additional ounces, such as olive oil.

While the fats are melting, it's time to prepare the soap molds by coating them with mineral oil. The molds can be wood, plastic, or enamel.

Add the cooled honey water into the lye pot. When all of the lye has been dissolved, and all of the oils have melted, and both pans have cooled enough to pick up bare-handed, they should be of similar temperatures to be able to combine. With a large wooden spoon, slowly stir the lye mixture into the oil pot, stirring constantly. A portable mixer or stick blender, used exclusively for soap making, is ideal. Stir in the scent and stir to trace (meaning it just starts to thicken up).

Quickly pour into the prepared molds and leave them undisturbed overnight. Clean all utensils with hot water and liquid soap. After 24 hours, unmold the soap and set out of the way to cure for six weeks. Once fully cured, the lye has been neutralized and the soap is ready for use. Now label, package and distribute!

Suzy Hassler, Sutton, Nebraska, has raised dairy goats with her husband, Butch, for over 25 years. They have been 4-H leaders and show and milk several different breeds of dairy goats. This recipe was first published in The Little Book of Goat Crafts, a fundraiser of the Nebraska Dairy Goat Association, by Betty Pecka and Suzy Hassler. The book is available at


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 27, 2011, 02:52:32 AM
The only real information from the RP showing a 305 days lactation,comes from Alaminos Goat Farm.How many others will be able to match this is an unknown?Maybe sometimes we try too hard to follow the N.American experience when it comes to dairy.At this point in time, I will say we are looking closer to the dairy industry experience in India.The dairy goats in India lactate for approx. 240-260 days average,8-8-1/2 months.This might be a more realistic goal for some of us who wish to venture into the dairy business with goats.The 5-6 months of lactation would be hard to make money at and 10 months might be out of reach for some of us,something in between seems more achievable in the long run.Maybe a good starting point and work up from there.A bloodline is only as good as the environment it is living in.Any top bloodline living in an environment that is questionable will have questionable results.On the other hand,some breeds are much more productive over other dairy breeds and crossbreeds have been known to become decent producers,but their offspring(s) command lower prices over the purebreeds.It will be interesting to follow the growth of dairy RP and see which breed(s) prove themselves in the milk lineup.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 28, 2011, 08:48:34 AM
Philippines - Sheep goata and cattle 28 Jan 2011
 The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is set to carry out a three-year Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) that may bring in 6,000 breeders of sheep and goat and 1,030 heads of cattle to be financed under PL 480.The GIP may become one of the major programs of Department of Agriculture (DA)-attached BAI as part of implementing a new roadmap that it will plan out together with the private sector.



“The private sector wants us to have a genetic improvement that will raise the quality of our breeds. We have a budget of P167 million for this for three years under PL 480,” said BAI Director Efren C. Nuestro in an interview.
The government has set on January 13 and 14 a planning session for the small and large ruminants even as two association have already filed with BAI their proposal for the growth an expansion of the industry. These are the Federation of Cattle Raisers Association of the Philippines (FCRAP) and a growers’ association for goat and sheep.
Based on the initial proposals, genetic improvement comes out to be a top priority for the private sector as this would raise the quality and volume of yield of meat from the animals. Among the possible sources of importation for breeder goats and sheep are the United States and Australia while usual breeder cattle import sources are New Zealand and Brazil. The government is intervening on genetic improvement of sheep and goat as their meats are known to be gourmet food raw materials.
Besides, government has been trying to develop new innovative cuts, recipes, and products from sheep’s lamb (chops) and from goat’s meat known as chevon or mutton.
When pushed through, the plan for breeder importation for goat and sheep for the next three years will just about match the country’s breeder importation over five years from 2005 to 2009. This totaled to 6,800 heads consisting of 5,261 heads of goats and 1,539 heads of sheep. For breeder cattle, the Philippines brought in a total of 3,919 heads from 2005 to 2009.
Nuestro said BAI will also try to consolidate plans for the hog and poultry sectors either through a proposed roadmap and through continuous consultation.
National Federation of Hog Farmers Durian Tan and United Broiler and Raisers Association Gregorio San Diego both believe government should focus its program on a strict policy on importation of pork and chicken meat and on bringing down cost of production of feeds.
Chicken meat importation soared significantly to 92 million kilos in 2010 from only 67 million kilos in 2009 and even lower at 47 million kilos in 2009, while pork importation similarly rose sharply to 172 million kilos which must have unduly hurt these farming sectors.
Broiler raisers have been asking government to abolish the Minimum Access Volume which allows for lower tariff for imported agricultural products including poultry and pork.
Nuestro said government also looks forward to potential industry expansion from the declaration of the entire Philippines as a foot and mouth disease (FMD)-free country perhaps by the second quarter of the year.
The Office International des Epizooties (OIE) just has to review final documents from the Philippines particularly the FMD-free status of Central Luzon, the last remaining area to be certified FMD-free without vaccination.
This certification should open up opportunities for the Philippines to export more hog and hog products.
Source: Google news

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on January 29, 2011, 04:28:09 PM
Why Only Now  with the Alaminos Mitra Saanen (AMS) Cross ?

Three years ago in 2008, it entered our mind to cross our Mitra Line and Saanen goats to produce a cross bred Alaminos Mitra Saanen (AMS) milking goats. Consulting our friend Dr. Synan Baguio of PCARRD, we were encouraged to proceed. The initial progenies of the AMS cross were very fast growers showing signs of heterosis. At that time a lot of things were in our mind, with the huge investment in goat raising, we have to make a business decision which would give us faster return on investment; the Boers, Saanen, the Mitra line or the AMS cross.

In their first lactation the AMS cross were just average doing 2.2 liters of milk daily. We sold most of them to friends. One satisfied customer was Nestor Non of Oyibo Goat Farm in Lian, Batangas, he was very happy with the performance of the AMS cross he got from us. This year Nestor was again looking for more AMS cross but we have to say no because we have committed to Mr. Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Tooth Paste. He is setting up a dairy project for his foundation in Laguna. His foundation is geared to help the deaf mute by providing them with education and livelihood opportunities through trainings in their school facility in Laguna..

This year an outstanding prototype for the AMS cross, AMS 001 was placed in the milking line for daily recording of milk produced. The past 30 days,  AMS 001 has been averaging over 3.5 liters per day. For a first lactating dairy goat it is quite impressive.
The decision to delay the full time breeding of the AMS cross in 2008 was a business decision based on the following reason:

1. The buckling produced out of the AMS cross would be sold for the slaughter market which   
    commands a lower price compared with the breeder buck of the Mitra Line.
2.  Need time to test milk performance and length of lactation period

Displaying the meat type  Mitra Line buckling at  the Agri Link Show in 2008 created a big break  for the Mitra Line. Zac Sarian, the Philippines  top agricultural writer  saw the Mitra Line on display at the Agri Link Show. It started his fascination with the Mitra Line. He started writing about it  regularly in his column in the Manila Bulletin and Agricultural Magazine. This created a lot of media exposure for the Mitra Line and push the demand for ML breeders at an all time high. Every where we go people were asking us ” ano ba yong Mitra Line na lagging sinusulat ni Zac Sarian sa column niya ?”

In 2009, we decided to prioritize the Mitra Line breeding program over the AMS program. The decision was well taken and proved to be very good for AGF in terms of profitability with the MITRA Line bucks being sold out every year. As a breeder the bench mark of a successful breeder operation is how fast you sell your bucks.

This year we have decided to include the AMS program in our priority. To address the problem  of economic viability we will put a premium in price for the AMS doelings sold. The AMS doelings that would pass our criteria for dairy milkers would be  tagged with an orange AMS tag and priced at Php 20,000 pesos per head. For pregnant AMS doelings an additional P 1,500 pesos would be charged. This would compensate the selling of the AMS buckling as slaughter goat for the meat market. The AMS doelings would be available on a limited basis during the last quarter.

To our friends and customers we request for a little more of your patience. It is taking us a little more time to come up with the commercial numbers of dairy milking goat for sale. The longer it takes us to start selling in commercial numbers gives us more time to test which family is better suited to the tropical environment of the Philippines.

Come 2012 we will start selling dairy goats which comes from the very same family  of dairy goats that have given us good returns in our dairy goat operation. They have provided the Metro Manila market with the highly successful Alaminos Milk Star Fresh goat’s milk for the past  three years.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 03, 2011, 02:07:18 PM
Raising meat goats, a few tips that might help those of you that are thinking about this side of the industry.One should always plan ahead the nutritional needs of the goat breeds you own on your farm.One common mistake made by newcomers or rookies is trying to produce as many litters as possible without knowing the possible disasters that might follow,high death rates of kids due to over excessive breeding,disease and other problems relating to adult goats in the herd.In turn,this might place a greater financial hardship for additional feeds,medications and vet visits.

Try and plan your kidding time,goats gestate for 5 months which is ample time to prepare everything to ensure the doe goats remain in peak condition.
Flushing,1 month before the actual mating,feed the does a richer diet intake.This is used to try and get the does to produce a higher number of kids.Before mating, a good practice to follow is to deworm and vaccinate the does in the hope they will carry their pregnancies to full term.Abortions have been known due to heavy worm loads.

Some goat meat producers try and make the does raise 2 litters within the mating period.First you would need to breed early and wean the first kids early on to encourage the does to return to heat again.In most cases,the 2nd litters usually produce fewer kids.Always remember,the health of the baby goats is paramount.One decision one has to face,the culling of sick kids,ask yourself,is it really worth it to me to try and restore the health of sickly kids,or is it just throwing good money after bad.Sometimes tough decisions must be made to protect the producers best interest.Always check to make sure the does are in good health and in good body condition.Always seperate your pregnant does from dry does.Expecting does should have their own kidding pens.Check to make sure the kids suckle so they may acquire the necessary antibodies from their dams.

This is a good start,best of luck with your new venture,you too are now a goat meat producer.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 18, 2011, 12:00:20 PM
The topic of forage feeds is an ongoing subject.Once the meat goat producers get a better handle of which forages will have a positive effect on our goats, this will go along ways to help the meat producers lower our overhead when it comes to feed costs.With the rising lndex,concentrates will become even more expensive as time goes by.This is not good news for those of us who depend on concentrates to keep our stock healthy.I hope in time,some more studies will be done which will allow us producers to have the understanding on which plants will help us the most.The size of the bag might be important if using the vacuum cleaner to pull the air out before sealing the bag shut.In the near future,looks like more expences for feed and less profits for the producers.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 03, 2011, 10:30:56 AM
If country has no restrictions when it comes to registering goats back to the ABGA,American Boer Goat Assoc.I guess one would have to be a member first and follow the rules of the organization,would it be worthwhile.I understand there might be a boer register already in the Philippines.Should someone have a boer that is registered to one of the boer registeries in the US,would it make more sense to register the offspring back to a registery in the US or not.I guess the same could be said for dairy goats,would it make more sense to register the offspring back to the ADGA if the owner was a member.I was just wondering what those with paperwork will do with the offsprings that will follow.

I have had an interest in the 3 way rotational cross for a number of years now for meat goats.One needs 3 males from different breeds.I am not sure if anyone has bred a native buck to lets say a dairy breed and then bred the offspring females to another buck of a different breed and then bred those offspring females to the 3rd buck breed.A bo-ang is really a crossbreed,not sure if one could call this a breed but I think a bo-ang instead of a native buck might prove interesting.The 3 bucks are known as P1,P2 and P3.P1 could be a nubian and P2 could be a bo-ang and P3 would be a boer.The end result is still cross/hybrids but with more hybrid vigor.

I guess it would be safe to say,the 3 way cross in the Philippines would really be a 2 way rotational cross,only 2 bucks of different breeds are used to produce a meat goat.I am sure as time goes on,there will be different combinations of breeding to produce a new meat breed with better hybrid vigor over the purebreeds,hardy with good growth and good mothering ability.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 09, 2011, 03:16:50 AM
A hugh announcement was made this month from Ontario Canada.The Govt. and private sectors will team up and share research on goat production both for dairy and meat.This tells me that someone, somewhere believes goats and their related products are the new wave livestock for the future.Goat milk is much more common now and goat meat,red meat is on the rise worldwide.It is believed there are approx. 800 million heads of goats worldwide.If a country like Canada now believes that goats are a going concern for both domestic and export markets then the Philippines is in prime position to take any/all advantages for her own domestic and export markets for value added products.The west has winters and nothing grows,livestock are fed on diets of dry matter where as in the Philippines there is only the dry period but forage crops can still be produced.Alaminos has showen that a dairy goat industry is not only possible but profitable under tropical conditions with the right forage feeds and management.With the Govt. program under PL 480 and from the private sector better and better genetics are now entering the breeding programs and in time with these island born offspring coming into milking mode and with more testing the Philippines may very well become a model for dairy goat production throughout Asia.Its only a matter of time before someone or some farm  will produce milking goats designed to milk well under a tropical setting.Alaminos seems to be on the right track with their breeding program and many,many more will follow with something they too have bred for the dairy industry.The worldwide demand for goat products are there and a agriculture society like the Philippines has the potential to take advantage of any markets opened up to her.The Chinese market has a void to fill as her masses leaves the countryside for jobs in the cities,people still have to eat and we know with a rising middle class,more money to spend on better quality foods for the table.Goats seem to be the new livestock for the farming sector,require less land,food and water.As long as diseases can be managed,the potential for goats has a bright future.The same holds true for goat meat.Improvements in breeding either purebreeds or cross/hybrids are helping push this side of the industry into new heights.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 11, 2011, 12:22:18 PM
Recorded Grades Find Favor with Many Dairy Goat Breeders

By Janet Hurst 

Recorded Grade goats are defined by the International Dairy Goat Registry as: "Those goats having little or no information available on their ancestry or of their ancestry were not registered, then the goat can be recorded as Grade. The application process to register a grade animal requires identification of the breed the animal most represents, a photo and available background information on the animal. If the animal is found to conform to the breed standards for its age and gender but has no registered ancestors, it will be entered in the Grade herdbook as Recorded by Appearance."

Many breeders favor the Recorded Grades for a variety of reasons. Most notably, selective breeding for specific traits or breeding for the elimination of identified weaknesses. Silvia and Nancy Shirley have become well known for their herd consisting of Alpines, LaManchas, Grades and one Mini Mancha. The Shirleys are located in Arkansas and their herd, "Harmony Goats," has become well-known in competitive circles at Missouri and Arkansas shows.

"We want our goats to show and milk well," Silvia Shirley said. "I find the grades versatile and interesting. We have one that is half LaMancha and half Saanen. She has the LaMancha personality but milks like a Saanen. With Recorded Grades you can get the best of two breeds. Sometimes you get a better quality animal than a purebred. To me some of the grades are more productive. Also, you never know what you are going to get, colorwise or ear wise, which makes it fun."


Recorded Grade dairy goats come in a wide variety of colors and types. Silvia Shirley, Flippin, Arkansas, enjoys the freedom from breeding for specific color and ear correctness and instead likes to concentrate on pairing genetics for milk production and structure with her herd of Recorded Grade dairy goats.
Photos provided by Harmony Goats Farm, raising quality LaMancha and Grade dairy goats,


Hybrid vigor is a factor in the consideration of Recorded Grade dairy goats. "Heterosis," hybrid vigor or outbreeding enhancement, describes the increased strength of various characteristics in hybrids. As Shirley mentioned, the superior characteristics of two breeds can be combined to create one animal with traits of both breeds. Selective breeding research is currently in progress all over the world, with goats being bred for superior conformations, udder formation, stature, milk production and butterfat content. Parasite resistance is also a point of research within theses selective breeding programs. Combining the best of both breeds can result in offspring which is superior to both parents.

Silvia Shirley started with dairy goats as a 4-H project wth a Grade LaMancha. Noted traits such as "airplane ears," found in Nubian crosses, are evident in her herd. She has also found the earless appearance of LaManchas to be a dominant characteristic in her crossbred kids. However, she, like most breeders who raise Recorded Grades, feels the trade-off in the classic breed standard appearances is worth the increased production and overall increase in hardiness of the animal. It makes for an interesting kidding season as well, as one is never sure what the result of crossbreeding dairy goats might be.

The Harmony goat owners follow a strict CAE prevention program by removing the kids from their dams at birth and feeding them heat treated and pasteurized colostrum and milk. A diet of locally grown grass hay also provides nutrition. Shirley's award winning stock can be seen on her website at

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 25, 2011, 01:38:52 AM
May 2011 is suppose to be the month that the country gets her FMD status free certification.This will open the door to allow the movement of livestock from the north to the south.The added advantage of new bloodlines for those in the southern region will help produce even better breeds than what is available now.Selection of better quality breeding stocks is one of the keys for success taking into account other factors like environment,climate,management and feeds.This will also help the northern breeders to unload surplus breeding stocks.For all livestocks,the added advantage of possible exports,is attractive.Look at the Japan crisis.the country is in need of food related products to help rebuild the country and feed her people.Due to the fact the FMD ban is still in place makes exports for some livestock products much more difficult.The Japanese crisis could have been a real shot in the arm for Philippine agriculture.The lifting of the ban will help agriculture in the country for many,many years to come.The problems in Japan and South Korea might be the Philippines gain,lets hope so and try to take advantage of this opportunity.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on March 25, 2011, 06:43:40 PM
Pray that there would be no reported FMD cases in the near future so the certification will not be jeopardize

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: alaminos_goatfarm on March 26, 2011, 07:10:04 PM
It looks like its a go for the lifting of FMD Tag for Luzon after so many years. Had a short talk with LDC Director Manuel Jarmin and he said LDC is funding the documentation to be presented to the OIE meeting in May, 2011. After so many years and the FMD tag for Luzon is lifted by OIE in May  would be big for breeders of ruminants and swine. Ths would create a smooth flow of breeders from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao. Alaminos Goat Farm is excited for the possibilities it would create in helping develop the goat industry in the Philippines. We hope the Bureau of Animal Industry would come out with a guideline for the seamless shipment of breeder goats from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao.

This would be great for AGF breeder operation and would pave the way for us to invest more in better genetics. Next year we are looking at  the possibility of importing frozen semen from quality breeders of dairy goats from the United Staes.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 01, 2011, 11:16:42 AM
Ontario Develops
Goat Research Center

By Alan Harman 

A Center of Excellence for Goat Research and Innovation has begun work in Ontario, Canada, aimed at fostering new opportunities for growth and development in the sector. The center is backed by the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster, Ontario Goat Breeders Association (Ontario Goat), the Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative, Trent University, and the University of Guelph. It will use input from researchers and industry stakeholders to identify key issues to focus on. So far these include industry sustainability, market responsiveness, animal health, product development, basic research and genetics.

Ontario Goat executive director Jennifer Haley.

According to a printed statement from the innovation cluster, the vision of the center is to promote the growth and competitiveness of the goat and small ruminant sectors by servicing consumer demands for consistent, quality products in the market place. The center will facilitate the co-ordination of research activities in the goat sector and will enable economics research to support the industry's competitiveness and sustainability.

Research will be undertaken by Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, and the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, while activities will be coordinated at the innovation cluster.

It is anticipated that, as partnerships are established, additional research locations will become involved.

Ontario Goat executive director Jennifer Haley said the center doesn't have a physical location and is more a collaboration between the partners.

"The industry has grown to the point where it needs these types of resources," she said. "We need to get ourselves together, unite and come together with common goals."

Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster president & CEO Andy Mitchell said creation of the center, which will be coordinated between the two universities, made it an exciting day for the goat industry.

"The impacts of the research that will be conducted through the centre are expected to have global implications," Mitchell said. "Through leading edge research in key areas of activity the center will support the industry's competitiveness and sustainability."

Haley said the Canadian goat industry views the incorporation of the center as a huge step in the right direction.

"There is so much potential for all involved in the goat industry and this type of initiative is another important milestone in building a solid foundation towards realizing the full potential of goat milk, meat and other related products," she said.

The center will launch the Ontario and Canadian industry into several very significant opportunities.

Production-driven research will help producers and processors to become more competitive in home and export markets.

Canadian goat farms will be supported by new research and profitability studies, made feasible by the new center. Photos by Kendra Keels

The market for milk, meat and food products is becoming better served through raw material quality and finished product positioning. As the special properties of goat milk and meat are exploited for positive human health benefits, the contributions made by genetics to these breakthroughs will provide the foundation for a worldwide export market for breeding stock and genetic materials.

Trent University manager of corporate research partnerships John Knight said he was surprised by how little formal study was being done on the goat in Canada.

"The raising of these animals is all by art as opposed to science and there's very little research being done on the products that goats produce," he said.

Knight told reporters the university would use its DNA and genetics laboratories to analyze goat milk and a new masters program in sustainability studies to assist the goat center.

"There are a lot of issues that require some research on how to create better farming practices," he said. "Goat milk has a lot of health benefits."

Trent and the University of Guelph are developing a research collaboration agreement.

Haley said the center would take advantage of the different laboratories and researchers at the two universities.

"It's using existing resources and it's focusing them into the research priorities," she said. "They're already looking at the properties of goat milk, they're already looking at the different animal diseases that impact goats."

There are about 2,000 goat farmers in Ontario that produce milk, meat and fiber.

Chantelle Held of the Centre of Excellence said the aim is to promote the growth and competitiveness of the goat and small ruminant sectors by servicing consumer demands for consistent, quality products in the marketplace.

She said with the industry growing significantly in Ontario, the time was right to launch a center.

"We need that research to stand behind," she said.

Lloyd Wicks of Ontario Goat called creation of the center a great first step for the industry.

"With more than 800 million goats worldwide, that's 800 million reasons for us to get on with the business of research in this industry," he said.

New opportunities for national and international collaboration will only move that industry forward.

"We have a great product and we're going to make it a lot greater," he said.

That's where Trent and Guelph can play a valuable role, he said.

Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative official Lisa Thompson said the center would help drive the dairy, meat and fiber industry forward in Ontario.

"We need this in terms of the research and the news that will garner more awareness and profile for Ontario's goat industry and throughout Canada," she said.

Creation of the center follows a report released in 2009 that said such an initiative was both timely and feasible.


The report said there are an estimated 270 dairy herds in Ontario with farm gate sales of C$25 million annually. Central Ontario accounts for about 25 percent of the milk produced.

It said opportunities to develop the industry are growing as Ontario's population expands with recent immigrants who are predisposed to consuming goat products, such as milk and meat.

Owen Roberts, who teaches agricultural communications at the University of Guelph, wrote in the local newspaper there is no doubt in Ontario agriculture, 2010 was the Year of the Goat.

"Ontario farmers are catching up with the rest of the world by discovering the virtues of goats as livestock," he said.

"Goats don't require as much land, feed or water. They can produce meat and milk; the latter makes superb high-protein, low-fat chévre cheese that's become trendy and highly sought by well-heeled North Americans. In fact, some of the best goat milk cheese is made locally."

Meantime, in another announcement during Ontario Goat's 5th annual international goat symposium in Stratford, Ont., federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz approved about C$700,000 (US$676,375) in program funding to get an integrated dairy goat genetic improvement program under way.

The GoGen pilot project, to be overseen by Guelph-based Ontario Goat, will help the industry make genetic improvements to increase milk production and improve meat quality through superior genetics.

The funds will also be used to update, modify and bring efficiencies to goat genetic tools that are already provided to the dairy cattle industry.

The three-year program will involve 15 pilot goat farms. They'll work on developing superior genetics, production and management activities that can be adopted by goat milk producers.

Member of Parliament Gary Schellenberger said the goat industry represents one of the largest growth opportunities in Ontario agriculture today.

"This project has great potential to help goat producers become more profitable, increase sales and access new milk and meat markets," he said.

The pilot project will help determine the value and benefits of a domestic genetic improvement program specifically geared to the goat industry.

"By implementing an integrated pilot program, the Ontario goat industry can demonstrate the value that these combined programs and services can have to the entire goat industry and to the individual goat producer," Haley said.

"The GoGen project will provide a toolbox full of production management tools that will ultimately help producers become more efficient and return more dollars to their operations."

Agricultural Adaptation Council chairman Jim Rickard said the project would allow producers to learn the value of implementing goat genetic improvement programs from their peers through the use of pilot herds.

"These programs can help position the Ontario goat industry to capture future growth opportunities, both domestic and export, and remain competitive."

Haley said the project would work with several existing programs, including CanWest DHI for milk testing, for goat evaluations, and Genetic Corp. (Gencor), a leader in the cow genetics industry, on genetic evaluation and assessment of artificial insemination tools.
note:Canada now has taken this livestock, the goat very serious and is about to pump lots of money into this program to promote this livestock for both domestic and international markets.Goats have finally found their way into worldwide acceptance for the value they hold.Goats the new wave livestock for the future.The Philippines is right along with the rest of the world with their own goat programs.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 04, 2011, 10:43:59 AM
Commercial meat production or operation-produce crossbreeds and percentage grade stock with no documented heritiage but may also house purebreed breeding stock to improve your herds quality.

The four genetic traits for improved meat goat production are identified as:
-adaptability to environment
-reproductive rate
-growth rate
-carcass value

there appears to be no real set standard for meat goat production as of yet in the Philippines so Mustang Sally will adapt the Canadian standard as it guidelines.
-meat is produced from prime young stock between the ages of 6 and 18 months of age.

Canadian liveweight classes for meat goats-30lbs.(13.63 kg)-60lbs.(27.27kg)-90lbs.(40.90kg) and 150lbs.(68.18kg)
-30lbs or 13.63kgs. kids-35-49lbs. or 22.27kgs.
-60lbs. or 27.27kgs,kids-50-75lbs. or 34.09kgs.
-90lbs,or 40.90kgs.young goats
-150lbs,or 68.18kgs.

some producers will move 30lbs.or 13.63kgs. kids into the fattening setting and raise them to the 70-100lbs range for meat production while the meat is still prime and the stock still young.

There appears to be a standard for goat meat cuts but not for live goats which also needs to be addressed.Standards will need to be borrowed from countries that already have standards and tweeked to fit the Philippine goat market.I am not here to suggest to others to follow our examples but standards gives the producer a guideline to follow and an idea of what weight class to raise and a standard for livehead classes will help any produce identify prime,choice,good and fair.Better quality stocks should be recognized for the producers hard work over stocks of poorer quality and adds creditability for the consumers who support our industry.

The boer breed today is the backbone for the meat industry and the driving force behind some of the upgrades that is taking place.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 06, 2011, 12:37:29 PM

Backyard farmers to benefit in P167B program for ruminant industry

Posted on March 1, 2011 by KatarHol5


WHAT may look like obstacles are opportunities.

All that’s needed is a well-coordinated push for the ruminant animal industry to be a vibrant agribusiness, according to the Ruminant Animal Industry Road Map 2010-2034.

The government will spend P167 billion starting last year until 2034, or P7 billion annually, to kick-start the country’s moribund dairy and ruminant industry.

The aim is to increase the 3.9 million ruminants in 2010 to 6.9 million by 2034.

The output: increase in breeding stocks every generation of about five years, with corresponding increase in the production of milking animals for distribution to small farmers.

One of the perceived opportunities – instead of obstacles – is the ever-increasing demand for milk and meat due to the high population growth rate, urbanization and rising income.

Ruminants – dairy cattle, carabaos, goats and sheep – can produce high-value products such as milk.

But each year, the country imports 99 percent of milk and dairy products worth $712 million (in 2008). About 84 percent of that is in powdered form.

While it is rising ever so slowly, domestic milk production is only about 35 percent of total liquid milk supply.

With meat, local ruminants contribute only about half of the carabeef and beef.

All these because of the small local herd: less than 30,000 heads of dairy buffaloes, cattle and goats.

Ruminants are also raised basically in smallholdings; nearly all of beef cattle are raised in backyards – 98 percent of the beef cattle and 99.9 percent of buffaloes, cattle and goats.

The formula to correct the dire situation, as charted by the road map, is simple enough: raise more ruminants by using crop by-products and idle lands.

The added attraction is that ruminants also play key roles in improving health, nutrition and poverty; most poor households are in rural areas with large tracts of idle land.

The idea is to invigorate the rural economy by promoting enterprises along the value chain; develop high-value dairy and meat products, including those for exports; and improve nutrition at the same time.

The Ruminant Animal Industry Road Map is built upon key strategies: increasing the number of ruminants; genetic improvement; and investment in support services and infrastructure like dairy processing facilities.

The government will retain ownership of breeding animals; pricing will be market-driven where transfer price of offspring includes amortization of breeders cost and financing charges; and livestock leasing instead of doling it out through dispersals.

The road map envisions self-sufficiency in ready-to-drink milk, increase red meat consumption per person by half in the long term; and increase animal productivity for the first six years by 5 percent and 10 percent for the succeeding six years.

Targets include increasing cattle and carabao heads by 2 percent, goat by 5 percent and sheep by 10 percent.

An initial massive importation of breeding animals is expected to produce succeeding generations of breeding animals.

All to increase the average daily family income of smallholders at least twice the minimum wage, with 10 percent of them evolving into entrepreneurs.

Enterprise development – which gets half of the budget over 24 years – involves making available to about 104,000 smallholders the milking animals produced from the contract breeding of imported ruminants.

Each beneficiary will receive at least one pregnant buffalo or cattle heifer or 10 pregnant goats. Recipients should have prior experience in raising livestock, reliable source of forage and potable water and willing to put up an animal shed.

They are expected to retain the female offspring as replacement and as expansion of the milking herd; only the male offspring shall be sold for meat.

As soon as the herd reaches the maximum carrying capacity of available forage, the smallholders can engage neighbors as contract growers, herders or forage suppliers.

Interested livestock farmers with enough backyard herds will be supported to become private artificial insemination technicians.

Successful smallholders can then expand into commercial production of milk and meat and employ other workers.

Ultimately, the share of local milk production will reach 73 percent; that of meat will be 22 percent.

The immediate benefits are increased income or employment; some 1.3 million farm workers are expected to gain employment over 24 years. About 632,000 farm families will benefit from livestock distribution, including milking animals.

Another 625,000 rural folks will have additional employment as artificial insemination technicians, calf and kid rearers, forage producers, contract caretakers and milkers.

The expected increase in dairy herd will utilize at least 600,000 hectares under coconut – or 20 percent of the 3 million hectares planted to coconuts.

The road map was drawn in consultation with academe and major stakeholders that included the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines, Federation of Cattle Raisers of the Philippines, Large Animal Raisers of Mindanao, Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers Association of the Philippines, United Small Ruminant Raisers Association, Philippine Association of Meat Processors and the Meat Importers and Traders Association.

The government was represented by the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Carabao Center, National Daily Authority, Livestock Development Council, Bureau of Animal Industry and the National Meat Inspection Service.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 14, 2011, 11:25:16 AM
Milk produced from high quality land will have higher mineral content.At the same time,it is known if the water supply is high in iron this can interfere with the calcium absorption of dairy animals.Magnesium is added to help the absorption of calcium in dairy animals along with humans.Dairy goats in general need, 1000 units of vitamin A,500 units of vitamin D and 3 units of vitamin E, per pound or 454 grams of grain or concentrates to remain in good health.

Something called Rumen Buffers are sometimes given to dairy animals to improve feed efficiency and increase milk production usually by about 3.5% for reasons of
-hot weather or heat stress
-fat depression occurs
-feeding high grain rations
-feeding predominantly corn silage as forage
-rations high in moisture
Temperature also plays an important role in milk production.Generally speaking,comfort zone for dairy goats is between 55 and 70 degress fahrenhert.Non sweating animals are much less sensitive to declining temperatures than to rising temperatures.Milk production,feed consumption and comfort are not  affected by temperatures between 0 and 55 degrees fahrenhert,but temperatures over 80 degrees fahrenhert can seriously reduce feed intake and milk output.It is not how to keep your goats warm in the rainy season but how to keep them cool in the dry season.

Most pneumonia problems with dairy goats can be traced to poor ventilation.Proper ventilation during the dry season may require moving 150-200 cubic feet of air per minute per animals to keep them comfortable and productive.

The producer is most likely to be concerned about milk quantity or availability while the consumer is more likely to be concerned about the taste or flavor.Your  customers, need to be aware that taste is often a result of feed changes as well as speed of cooling and does not necessarily indicate contamination.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 21, 2011, 04:10:04 AM
Commercial Meat Production:Lessons Learned

-55 doe head level requires a barn of 1,100 sq.ft. or a barn of 20x55
-consider the size of the goats.Larger goats require more floor space and feeder space and more food
-make sure you have adequate feeder space for all he goats in the pen to eat at the same time.this can greatly reduce the chance of injuriies and miscarriage
-making use of pasture and browse will cut down on your feed bill.Soil quality is in direct relationship to the quality of forages grown,better soil equals better forages with higher protein and mineral content
-the average doe will eat approx. 1 ton of forages per year.Concentrates and minerals will help keep them healthier and produce better.Fat goats require less concentrates while thin does require more.
-show quality goats in general do poorly as pasture goats
-start cheap,better to make mistakes on less expensive goats than your high dollar breeding stock
-do not buy on pedigree alone,its the performance of the goat that counts,not the papers that come with it
-capital,are the goats going to be the sole support of the family,or will there be off farm income.Regardless,your goat enterprise should be sustainable within 3-5 years.Finances are individual,one cannot give much advice here.One needs to carefully evaluate your financial resources before starting a goat enterprise.Much more difficult to market your goats if you do not have a profitable outlet for them.One needs to have a business plan,commercial slaughter goats,breeding stocks either commercial or registered or show goats.
-rememver,do you realize that raising livestock is a 24/7/365 commitment,no matter the weather,time of day or other family,social or work obligations.Is your family supportive of your decision to raise goats
-all goats are amazingly adaptable.Using different breeds and systems you can set and meet your production goals.The goals you set will depend on your resources,management abilities,the ability of the goats and the products you hope to produce
-in order to make profits,your does need to get pregnant on their exposure to the buck(s),give birth to twins at least,raise the kids to weaning

Welcome to commercial meat goat production 101

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 03, 2011, 06:51:38 AM
Ruminant Mineral
Management Thoughts
Presented at OSU Workshop

By Rory Lewandowski
Extension Educator, AG/NR
Athens County And Buckeye Hills EERA
Ohio State University Newsletter March 2011 

At our recent Athens Beef School, Francis Fluharty gave an in-depth presentation on management approaches to mineral supplementation. Francis is an OSU ruminant nutritionist and researcher located at OARDC in Wooster. Even though his presentation was geared towards beef cattle, the principles he covered apply to all ruminant livestock, sheep and goats included. Important points that I took away from the presentation include mineral absorption, effects of mineral deficiencies, and some common mismanagement errors associated with mineral feeding. Let's look at each of these in a little more detail.

There are several important factors that affect mineral absorption. One of the most important is the source of the mineral. Oxide forms of minerals tend to be the cheapest minerals on the market. Francis said that with the exception of magnesium oxide, there is no other mineral that should ever be fed in the oxide form because of the low absorption of oxide minerals. Organic mineral forms, sometimes called chelated minerals have the highest absorption followed by sulfate (SO4) or carbonate (CO3) forms. Another factor that affects mineral absorption is interactions with other minerals. For example, high potassium reduces magnesium absorption, high levels of zinc reduce copper absorption and low copper levels reduce iron absorption. Grinding can help to increase mineral absorption. Finally, age and nutritional status of the animal will influence absorption. Young animals absorb minerals better than adults.

What happens if we do not provide minerals for our animals and/or minerals are deficient in the diet? Well, probably nothing as drastic as death of the animal. Hopefully it doesn't take something so drastic to get the attention of a livestock owner, but what is known is that sub clinical trace mineral deficiencies occur more frequently than what is actually recognized by livestock owners. A mineral deficiency or inadequate intake of minerals can result in such things as: reduced forage intake, lower reproductive efficiency, poor disease immunity, slower daily gains, and poorer feed conversion. Unless you are keeping records and tracking trends, none of these production factors may be obvious, and yet each one affects the profitability of your operation.

Francis went over some common mismanagement approaches to mineral feeding that I thought offered some excellent insight. He asked a series of questions that all began with: "Have you ever..." and included:

• "Cut" mineral with salt?

• Switched to a cheaper mineral because cattle (or read sheep or goats) "rushed" high-priced mineral?

• Claimed deer don't need minerals (as a rationale for why farm livestock doesn't need minerals).

• Blamed a bull for not breeding your cows (buck not servicing does properly)?

• Switched to salt blocks because they last longer?

• Wondered why feedlots don't have mineral deficiencies?

Francis spent some time describing the management error in each of these approaches and a thorough summary of all his comments is beyond the scope of this article, so I will highlight a couple of key points that struck me that are centered around the salt and amount of mineral consumed issues.

Anyone who has ever played around with adding salt to a mineral mix knows that the amount of salt has a significant impact on mineral intake. Francis said that salt is the only mineral that cattle (again think also sheep and goats) will try to control their intake of. The reason for adding salt, or switching to a cheaper mineral or switching to salt blocks is because the livestock owner thinks that his animals are over consuming minerals and increasing production costs excessively. Adding salt will decrease consumption. Francis said this is a management error. First and foremost, the goal of providing minerals is to get animals to consume the mineral. Consumption is a good thing. Second, Francis said that mineral consumption can vary not only daily but also seasonally. He advised regularly monitoring and recording mineral consumption plus recording the total number of animals over a year period of time before making statements about over consumption.

There are a couple of reasons for this monitoring and record keeping. If animals are being switched to a higher quality, more available or more readily absorbed mineral following a low quality mineral program, or possibly no mineral program, then the livestock owner must recognize that it can take up to nine months for an animal to "catch up" from the deficiency created by that type of former mineral program. Secondly, take into account the fact that when a high quality mineral is offered, not only the adult, but also the young animals are consuming. Francis said that he had consulted with many cattlemen who complained about over consumption of mineral because they only figured in the number of adult cows when they did their calculations. Young stock (calves, kids, lambs) must be taken into account based on their percentage of the adult's weight. Multiply that additional weight by the expected mineral intake. You may very well find that there is not an over consumption issue.

Francis concluded his presentation by reminding livestock owners that often mineral deficiencies go undetected, resulting in decreased livestock performance. Mineral requirements change with the stage of production and environmental conditions. Minerals have complex interactions and mineral antagonisms exist, so that an unbalanced mineral program may also result in mineral deficiency. Finally, Francis said to remember that a mineral program is just one part of an overall farm management program.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 04, 2011, 11:14:41 AM
Toplines Hold a Lot of Weight

By Shelene Costello 

Dairy goats are usually, though not always, bred once a year to bring them into milk. They are then expected to hold that milk production for 10 months of the year. The weight of the full rumen and a pregnant body for several months of the year, which may get pretty heavy with multiple kids, needs a good strong topline to support it. Put on the expected capacious milky udder, and several more pounds are added to the body each day during lactation. Any weakness of the topline, especially in the loin area, may lead to break-down over time, leading to the conclusion that strength over the topline is a very, very important point of structure in the dairy goat. Breeders who expect any kind of longevity in their herds must understand how the components of the topline work, in order to evaluate their strength in each breeding program.

When I consider the topline, I usually look at the neck as the first point of topline consideration. How the neck is set and carried affects the way the whole back works. Necks in dairy goats are a necessary part of function. A good dairy goat needs a neck long enough to reach down to graze (no matter how tall or short the goat), and stretchy enough to reach up to higher set leaves and browse. A neck that is long, straight, somewhat elegant, set on and carried high is desirable as it adds to dairy character. A short thick neck usually comes with a shorter thicker body that lacks refinement and often is found on a goat that is putting more food into her body fat rather than into making milk. The length in the neck often carries back to the length of the topline, which in turn affects overall balance.

The next three parts to the topline can be memorized in descending order: the chine, the loin, and the rump. Each of these sections should be approximately one third of the length of the total topline, excluding the neck. The whole topline should be relatively level from shoulders to hips with a slight incline on the rump from hips to tail.

The chine is the area from behind the top of the shoulders, also known as the withers, to the end of the ribcage. The loin is the area from the end of the ribcage to the hips. The rump is the pelvic area, sometimes referred to as from hooks to pins (bones).

Ideally, the chine is level and strong, though in the interest of functionality, a chine with a bit of a dip behind the shoulders can still be functional in a long-lived and productive doe. The chine has a bit of support from the ribcage, because even though it adds weight, it also adds stability. Too tightly set shoulder blades or shoulder blades that are too far angled back can cause a dip in the chine, as can a neck which is set a bit low, when it is lifted up. Strength or weakness in this area is mostly genetically influenced, but condition of the goat can also be a factor.

The loin must be strong and well held up, with good lean muscling to help support it. I consider the loin to be rather like a suspension bridge holding up that wide barrel bridging from the chine and ribcage and connecting to the pelvis.

There will be variations from levelness that will stay sound, but the farther it deviates from ideal, the more weakness may show up over time. If the loin is weak and dips as a young kid, it tends to get worse as the goat ages and matures.

I have found that a roached topline, a rising up over the loin area, is stronger than one that sags. It is not as pretty as a level loin, but it can be functional and the main goal of breeding dairy goats, for me, is function first.

The rump should be long, wide, level from side to side with a slight slope from hips to tail to facilitate natural drainage of the body. Width through the rump is indicative of easy kidding, as discussed in the previous issue of Dairy Goat Journal in this structure series.

When considering what makes a goat strong and healthy, be sure to evaluate the neck, chine, loin, and rump, as putting all of these components together creates a topline that will hold up to rigors of eating plenty of food in order to produce lots of great tasting milk. Strong toplines are imperative in order for a dairy goat to be able to carry a lot of kids over time and stay sound doing it for at least 10 or more years.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 07, 2011, 10:20:15 AM
Doe replacement strategies
for working goat herds
Exploring hidden costs and various replacement strategies with emphasis on replacing dairy does in small commercial herds

By David Heininger 

While sitting out with our goats, watching the doe kids frolic and thinking about how they would soon be earning their keep as full-fledged members of our small commercial dairy herd, I began to think about the whole process of herd growth and doe replacements and wanted to learn more.

Most of this article applies to all small goat herds, though it is written primarily with production dairy herds in mind.

Why replace?
Everyone who has goats on more than a completely casual basis and who keeps them for more than a few years will have to deal with the reality of having to replace their animals periodically. There are dozens of reasons for needing, or wanting, to replace the goats in a herd and scores of considerations the well-informed herd manager will want to address along the way.

It doesn't matter if a breeder runs strings of pack goats, keeps goats primarily for showing and breeding, maintains a herd for their fine hair, or maybe (like us) has a small commercial dairy-from time to time those hard working goats will need to be replaced or augmented.

As much as many of us would like to simply keep each and every one of our goats forever, that is not a practical possibility. Even if possible, it probably would not be a wise move as we all certainly look to improve our herds in one way or another. Even in herds primarily geared towards a high rate of turnover-those where most of the herd is sold off soon after every breeding season (think meat goats), there will be a central or core main herd group that will need to be maintained and improved.

Goats leave the average herd under a variety of circumstances. If overall herd improvement is a goal, goats may be sold in order to upgrade genetics, or productivity. Animals may also leave the herd as the result of other culling criteria or death. To maintain the herd's strength and depth, suitable replacements will have to be sought out.

Herd-building is another good example of where new, fresh goats will need to be brought into a herd. While these aren't technically "replacement" does (they are usually called "expansion does") the processes and costs for bringing them into the herd is the same.

Herd replacement standards
I was unable to find any published statistics for goat dairy doe replacements but there is a lot of this type of data available for cow dairies and some for sheep as well. The published numbers, especially the culling rates and projected mortality figures, surprised me in being so high. In researching this article, I spoke with a number of other dairy goat farmers, none of whose mortality or goat replacement rates were anywhere near as severe as the ones published for cows. Despite their elevated values, the cow figures were still interesting in how they clearly showed the relationships between the major factors for replacement planning.

The cow dairy model
As David Mackenzie put it in his book Goat Husbandry (5th edition, ? Mrs. Josephine Gardner, Faber and Faber London, 1993) "...Providence has decreed that goats are very far from being miniature cows." In spite of that, here is how cow dairy people look at their replacement costs (adapted as best as possible for dairy goats).

In order to quantify the replacement needs of a particular herd, a number of factors have to be identified and examined.

Herd size
This is the basic building block to which all of the other factors relate. This is the number of milking does (or desired number in herd-building situations) one is trying to maintain.

Replacement ratio
How many does need to be replaced on an annual basis? All normal culls or deaths should be factored in.

This ties in directly to the overall condition of the herd, how long one keeps does in production, general health and productivity of the goats and their ages. An older herd will, naturally, have more expected deaths and retirements.

When herd building, if growing at a pre-determined rate, say 20% per annum, that number would be added to the loss rate to determine the corrected ratio.

If managing an aggressive herd improvement program, the cull rate might be quite high as stronger does are brought online, replacing their weaker predecessors quickly.

Replacement ratios from 30 to 35% are commonly used in the cow dairy industry. At that rate one would expect to replace their entire herd every three years. Large commercial goat dairies more commonly keep their goats a bit longer to about the age of six. Assuming an average first kidding age of 12 months, annual freshenings and keeping the goat until the end of her sixth year, the dairy would then expect six lactations from a doe before replacing her. This comes out to around a 17% replacement ratio (six lactations divided by 100). In other words, using these figures, a herd owner might plan to replace 17% of his or her herd every year-approximately one out of every six does.

Smaller, less intense operations, like ours, may keep does productive for several years longer, as long as they remain healthy and would, therefore, have a smaller replacement ratio.

Doe and kid mortality rate
Historic recorded kid and doeling mortality numbers for goats were unavailable to my research but several reference resources for cow dairies used the following calf and heifer mortality rates: 10-15% from birth to six weeks and an additional 5% after six weeks for a total of 20% mortality before the first calving. To me, these numbers sounded outrageously high. One experienced goat breeder I trust, thinks that an overall 2% mortality rate (mostly through accidents) is reasonable. I personally think anything approaching a 10% mortality rate in a modern goat herd is probably indicative of a very serious problem which needs to be addressed immediately.

Doeling cull rate
Some doelings will be culled for conformation before they are bred or later culled for failure to breed. A figure of 10% is often used in cows for this culling calculation and will vary greatly in goat operations depending on a multitude of management policies and decisions.

Replacement potential
The "replacement potential" for the goat herd is found in expected kidding rates for doelings minus the combination of mortality and culling rates. Again, there are not too many published numbers available for dairy goats (though the meat goat folks are apparently gathering some solid data to begin working with). If we look at cow dairies, we find that they work with numbers in the 25-28% range for replacement potential. In other words, a 100-cow dairy will expect to be able to produce 25 to 28 replacement heifers each year. You will notice the gap between this and the 30 to 35 they expect to need as discussed in the previous Replacement Ratio section. Further, these numbers were based on the assumption that each cow is bred every year, which is increasingly not the case these days.

Dairy goats, on the other hand, are generally bred every year and the averages lead us to expect two kids (one male and one female) from each doe giving a gross replacement potential of 100%. Factor in operator culling and mortality percentages and that will give a working replacement potential.

Example: 100% gross replacement potential minus 5% mortality, minus 20% cull rate equals 75% replacement potential. In other words, this example herd could expect to be able to replace 75% of its does from internal sources every year, if it wanted to.

Doe's age at first kidding and kidding intervals
Calving intervals are lengthening in the cow dairy industry as a whole, compounding their replacement stock difficulties. While I spoke with several goat breeders who commented on the odd goat or two who would provide decent milk for two seasons before needing to be freshened there was no indication that there is any industry-wide trend to encourage this practice. We'll continue assuming that annual freshening for each doe is the standard practice that will be used.

Age at first kidding is a hugely important factor that can significantly alter the end results of the replacement calculations. The age at first kidding doesn't effect the number of replacement kids one needs annually but it does effect the number of goats who must be in the replacement herd at any given time and, of course, the costs and risks to get each replacement doe to her first kidding. More time equals more money.

Interestingly enough, the decision on when to first breed a doeling is approached by most breeders somewhat arbitrarily, based on fiscal needs, personal preferences, or regional norms rather than on proven ideals. While opinions abound, I found little solid scientific data on the best breeding age for goats. This may be due to the distinct differences between breeds and even individual genetic lines or geographical regions.

The age of goats kept in the replacement herd, of course, translates into direct costs (feeding, housing and maintaining the additional goats for the additional time) as well as opportunity costs (the goat could have been in production earlier, making milk to sell and kids to sell or keep). Additional risks also attach during that additional time "fallow". An accident, illness or disease could take the doe before ever making a fiscal contribution to the herd operation.

The risks for breeding too early are of equal concern. Kidding complications can be expected from does bred much too young. One could lose the doe and kids during kidding, and with her, all of her potential-not just the one season's offspring missed by waiting another year. Competent medical and herd management advice and skills must all be brought together in making the best decision in any given circumstance.

Table 1 exemplifies some of the differences the application of this important management decision can make.

Summarizing the cow model
The point of all this is that there are dozens of inter-related factors, specific to each herd and management style, which need to be examined before intelligently determining the proper course for replacement strategy. It doesn't have to be the big, cumbersome process that it might sound like.

As a matter of fact, most breeders probably already know a close approximation of most of the values for the factors just discussed without having to initiate some great data-gathering process for their herd. Chances are, if a dairy goat herd is successful at all, replacement program numbers are already in use without much formal thought.

The above information was primarily provided as a management guide. Hopefully it gives those interested a place to start if they are just getting serious about replacement strategy.

Doe replacement methods
After determining the number of replacement does needed on an annual basis, the goat owner should determine how to obtain them.

There are two ways of obtaining replacement goats. First-to bring new goats into the herd from outside sources, or second-breed and raise them. The two strategies are different in approach, cost (or at least, cash-flow) and in application so we'll look at them individually.

Here's a brief comparison chart with some of the main considerations between the different methods. (See Table 2.)

Bringing new goats to the herd or raise your own?
The chart compares a few key criteria to help one decide whether to raise replacements from on-farm stock or bring in new goats. The weight given to each consideration will vary for each operation.

If the decision to bring in outside goats for your replacement needs is made, the first big consideration is, "How old do I want them to be?" Goats are available to purchase from just a few days old to seasoned, productive seniors. There are some distinct advantages to buying an adult doe in-milk but there are others in either buying a kid or rearing one of your own. The decision as to the best solution for a given situation lies in the herd needs and goals of the operation.

Let's look a little closer at some of the factors highlighted in the chart.


•Quick productivity. If the home dairy is running short on milk now, the only replacement solution that makes sense is to bring in mature, proven milkers, in lactation, with a good continued production potential.

•Known quantity. Buying a mature, in-production goat will take a lot of the guesswork out of any buying decision. There will be no question of whether she will freshen, how her udder will come in, or if she will develop the proper dairy quality sought after. It will all be there for evaluation, up-front.

•Trained. Everybody has their own herd management style and their own set of expectations for their goat's behaviors and daily rhythms. It is, by far, easier to bring a new kid up to the way of working than it is to persuade a seasoned senior goat to follow.

•They are so darned cute. What can I say? I'm a complete sucker for a cute little goat kid. How can a value be put on being able to bond with a new herd member so that she thinks I am her family?

•Breeding costs. Obviously, if buying a doe from an outside source there are no breeding costs involved. That leaves the comparison between breeding on-property and off-property servicing of the doe.
Off-property breeding will likely entail transportation costs, servicing fees, and possibly health certificates, CAE or other test costs. There is also the risk of bringing in a disease to home herd. If boarding the doe with an off-property buck for breeding is necessary, the costs can really begin to add up.

It might seem like the costs for in-house goat replacements approach nil. A little prenatal care and some extra feed may be all there is to invest to get successfully through to the birthing day, right? Well, not necessarily. There is another big cost that is sometimes overlooked: The buck(s).

Most breeders keep several bucks on premise year-'round and, if we are to be fiscally accurate, the entire year's cost of keeping each buck needs to be allocated to the does he breeds and then down to the kids he sires. If breeding only a few does to a buck that has been kept for the last year, off-site servicing fees begin to seem very inexpensive by comparison.

A.I. expenses can be easily quantified and calculated for those breeders choosing that method for their does.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 07, 2011, 10:22:35 AM

•Bad habits or other problems? Any senior goat has picked up some habits along the way and some of them may be a challenge to resolve to an acceptable way of doing things. We run a primarily free-range herd. The concept of going out and finding their own food somewhere on our 280 acres can be a tough one to get across to some of the adult does we've acquired. Those who had spent their whole lives up to that point in small pens with neat little flakes of hay presented to them to eat often had a bit of an adjustment period.

•Alter herd dynamics. Adult goats coming from other herds will also have established their proper place in their old herd. Whether it had been at the very top or the very bottom, they (and the goats they are newly joining) will all have to sort out the new pecking order. This can be disruptive to the whole herd for some time.

•Transportation. Unless new goats for the herd are coming from very near-by there will be some possibly significant transportation costs to factor in to the acquisition decision.
There is also the very real concern about travel-related stress and productivity problems for goats associated with any significant transportation of them.

•Unknown potential. Pedigree forms and DHIR reports, and linear appraisal reviews for the dam and sire do provide some background on production of such animals, but the fact is that there are no guarantees. The (on-paper) ideal breeding of the century can as easily produce a dud as produce a winner. It's not possible to accurately predict the future performance of a young kid, despite the best genetics and nurturing, so any kid acquisition or breeding plan must be undertaken with the understanding that it may not work out in the end.

•Limited genetics. Unless set up and experienced in AI, breeding completely in-house will, obviously, result in a limited gene pool with which to work to accomplish goat replacement goals. Even with does from excellent and diverse genetic backgrounds and a number of unrelated bucks, the breeding combinations after a few generations become limited before the realm of linebreeding becomes a reality. Linebreeding (the practice of intentionally breeding closely related goats in the attempt to encourage the positive traits in their offspring while hoping not to encourage the negative ones) done poorly, can result in quickly diminishing returns for the breeder.
It is joked that the difference between "linebreeding" and "inbreeding" is in the results. If the result is good, it was linebreeding. If not, it was inbreeding.

•Pregnancy/birthing and rearing risks. While most dairy goat does are, as a rule, strong during pregnancy, good, easy kidders and caring mothers that doesn't mean that accidents and complications don't happen. It's not something one needs to obsess about but it is something to factor in when trying to get a balanced view of risks and costs when discussing goat replacements.
Ditto with all of the other potential difficulties while raising a kid to maturity. Bad things don't usually happen, but they can and the possibility needs to be considered and prepared for.

•Developmental risks. Let's face it. There are inherent risks in raising goat kids. While the risk of loss (depending on individual set-up and situation) is not likely to even approach the figures quoted earlier for the cow dairy industry, they are real and need to be accounted for. Between predation, accidents, kid illnesses and parasite problems some losses must be anticipated despite best management efforts and techniques.
There are additional risks when bringing in a kid from far away. Not only are there transport-related stresses to contend with, but there is a good chance that the kid will have no immunity or resistance to the parasites and strains of diseases she will encounter at her new home.

•Rearing costs. Feed: Sometimes a good deal can be found for buying a two-week old kid but that price is going to be offset to some extent by the cost of raising her. Every operation will manage and account for rearing differently. Here, we feed our kids only pure, fresh goat milk (not replacer) which, as cheese makers, has a minimum potential value to us of about $10 per gallon. That means that a kid drinking 40 oz. a day for 84 days (12 weeks) costs us about $260 in milk alone to get to weaning.

•Medical. Even assuming no serious injury or illness, there will still be some normal and routine medical expenses incurred with a new dry doe or doeling before she becomes productive. The biggest cost-saving opportunity for this set of expenses will be for those operations capable and willing to do most of the necessary procedures themselves, calling on their herd veterinarian only in the more challenging situations.
Some of the common procedures likely to be performed on a new goat include: disbudding, vaccination series, worming procedures etc. This list will vary depending on the goat's age, geographic location, and other factors.

Testing is another potential expense. If serious about properly managing the goat herd, it is necessary to make sure that they are as healthy as possible. This will likely mean screening new replacements for certain diseases/defects like CAE or G6S (a genetic defect which can be found in some Nubian goat lines), brucellosis and TB. This screening will require certain blood tests be run by qualified laboratory staffs.

•Other. Feed, housing, medical and labor/management costs right up until a doe's first freshening all contribute to the costs that should be examined.
Summarizing a few case studies
Several commercial dairy goat operators from across the country agreed to spend some of their precious time and energy discussing the subject of doe replacements with me. Their operations varied widely not only in location but in breed, size, scope, focus and underlying goals and philosophies. Here are some of their thoughts on the process:

Redwood Hills Farm and Creamery, California
Scot Bice, the farm manager for Redwood Hills described their cheese and yogurt operation for me. They carry between 350 to 400 head of free-range Alpines, Saanens, LaManchas and Nubians on their 10 acres at any given time with 150 to 200 of them on the milk line.

They internally replace about 40 does a year. The Redwood Hills Farm replacement herd starts at about 60 doeling kids annually. Mortality from birth to six weeks: 2-3%, mortality from six weeks to weaning at 10 weeks: 2%.

Following an evaluation after weaning there is some culling for defect/confirmation issues (around 2%) at which time the replacement herd is further reduced through sales of kids. They are currently planning on increasing the replacement doe herd size to provide greater depth which will result in higher cull rates largely due to space restrictions. They rarely bring in adults for replacements.

Kids are raised on heat treated colostrum followed by pasteurized milk or excess yogurt from the creamery.

Redwood Hills Farm likes the doelings to be at least one year old before breeding. Many will freshen at two years of age. Their breeding plan looks first at the size of the goat, then the age. Unlike many commercial operations, they do not necessarily breed all their does every year with some milking two or three years.

Bice said it costs them about $300 to raise a goat from birth until she enters production.

Briarwind, Minnesota
Jeanne Leger is an experienced, conscientious and successful breeder who is also, apparently, a sharp business person who keeps her eye on costs. Some breeders I spoke with had absolutely no idea what their doe replacement costs were but Jeanne was definitely not one of those. She was able to quickly provide me with her cull and mortality rates and then articulate her strategies and costs. The herd at Briarwind is predominately Saanen.

Leger figures replacement costs two ways: What will it cost to raise a doeling to go on-line, and what would it cost to purchase a good milking doe from a clean herd? She finds that it usually costs $250 to $300 for her to raise a doeling. About $75 of the cost is for the pasteurized milk with some quality calf milk replacer added before she weans at eight weeks.

She doesn't usually purchase outside does for her milking line but, in the past, has found that they have cost from $250 to $450. With purchased does she found that she could count on recouping the purchase cost up to $350 in the first year and in some years recoup the $450. Leger has found that the milk production usually drops after moving a doe in from another location but it does a lot better the second year.

Briarwind has a very low kid mortality rate. Leger may lose one or two kids out of 160 to 200 born in a given year. She generally keeps about 25 doe kids as future replacements a year.

Because of the number of variables between different goat operations there are no magic formulas to tell all of us the "One Way" to deal with our replacement doe needs.

The best we can each do is try to be aware of as many of the contributing factors and their associated costs as possible and look at each variable on its own merits and as it applies to our individual herds and management styles. With proper understanding of the underlying factors, we can then make well informed and, hopefully, profitable decisions.

Now, seeing those same little doelings frolicking, I can appreciate that there is much more at work to their being here than simply kids at play, but it doesn't take anything away from the pure joy of watching them cavort.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 12, 2011, 08:20:51 AM
With the recent announcement that the country is now FMD free and the shipping of breeding animals may begin southbound,has to be  good news for breeders in the north looking for new markets in the south.Those in the south will now have access to different bloodlines to help them improve and build up their own herds.
It has been written that the national herd has downsized by x% while the commercial operations has increased by x%.This can very easily be explained by the fact during 2010,the country was still in a drought situtation.I would estimate not only goats would be down but other livestocks as well.In every country on this planet it has been recorded during times of uncertain weather patterns,small holders are the first to sell off their entire herd to control their expences while the larger holders will only sell off a limited number of animals.Larger holders are better suited to ride out uncertain times while the small holder does not enjoy such a luxury.There was also some sort of health related disease that was claimed to be weather related that seemed to have taken many does and doelings.Combine these 2 major events and it is not hard to see why the national herd numbers are down and the rebuilding of the numbers is already beginning.I would expect to see the number of commercial farms to increase in the future as people become interested in the world of the goat.
The rural countryside still holds the key for the production of protein,the provinces has the land mass to support large numbers but as of yet probably cannot due to limited forage supply.In the future I would expect to see numbers in the countryside supporting a meat goat industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 22, 2011, 10:37:37 AM
The question you have to ask yourself is this.Should you wish to enter the business of meat goats,will it be a hobby or a business?A hobby is a hobby and it does not matter how much money you spend or pump into your hobby,you will never expect to make a profit.Should your meat goat venture be a business,you expect to make a profit and also interest on your monies that you have funded yourself or borrowed from a bank or private lender.All businesses must have a sound business plan and time frame and some very basic business skills in order to help you reach your expections.Meat goat ventures have on average  a high failure rate due to many factors.People do not plan to fail,they fail to plan.In my experience it will take somewhere between 3-5 years to realize your dream of turning a profit.A producer must produce his/her goats at a low enough cost and have market conditions well enough to turn a profit.Having outside income will go along ways to help the producer realize success or failure.All businessess have cycles,the introduction phase,the growth phase,the maturity phase and the decline phase.Businesses do their very best to hold for as long as possible at the maturity phase,after that it can turn downwards and out.Many meat goat ventures decline and fail somewhere between the introduction and growth phase.The reasons why for failures between the 2 are many and varies because of many factors from no or poor planning,lack of capital or just lack of interest to continue with the business.Manager stress and longer than expected return on monies spent.One should never enter any business for the wrong reasons.Just because you see someone else doing it,does not mean it might be a good business venture for you.Meat goat production is an exciting business,but one should carefully consider everything before jumping into it blindly.One should also have an exit plan in case things turn for the worse and one can salvage something out of the failed venture.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 08, 2011, 10:10:35 AM
Is there a future in meat goat production in the country??Depends on many factors.The native goat but far is easier to raise without expensive concentrates and expensive housing but due to its slow growth and meat to bone ratio is not so favored over the faster growing imported stocks.One of your greatest factors in this business is your production costs and knowing your break even point.Smart producers will do what it takes to lower their overhead while maintaining the health of their stocks.Just like with any livestock venture some will find the right key for success while others will find this business too difficult to maintain and lose interest.The marketplace for live heads will become one deciding factor.Those who are able to have a greater control over pricing and other outlets other than selling to the travelling traders will benefit over those who are forced to sell at their local livestock yard to the traders.The 5hec. allowance for land will also come into play,area needed for planting and housing while allowing your stocks some room to move and stretch.Should the Govt. start taking land from those who are outside of industrial use,fewer numbers of livestocks will be housed and the chances of some just leaving farming alltogether is possible,fewer numbers means less production and with the rising numbers of people to feed might mean more expensive imported protein to pick up the slack.
No one should enter any livestock venture just because they see someone else doing it.Do your homework first and make a plan,have a backup in case things go very wrong and having other income will be of a great help until your operation is off and running providing you and your family with the added income.Goat meat is still the fastest growing red meat consumed worldwide and this trend will continue for many,many years to come.The demand still exceeds supply but its only the producers who can operate the most efficent that are the ones who will succeed while those who take the most shortcuts are the ones who will fail.So far it seems tho its the private sector that is reporting any real benefits from the different forage/legumes that seem to have the best impact on maintaining growth and maintenace of our goats for production.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: doods on July 13, 2011, 08:40:26 PM
hi everyone,
            can i feed my goats with variety of leaves everyday?(just in case i dont have napier grass around my area) part of their nutrional think it will affect their growth performance?was there any side effect?thank you and more power..

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 18, 2011, 12:26:26 AM
Napier grass is a staple in goat raising,provides the roughage needed.Goats also enjoy variety and can be very selective in what they wish to eat.Is it possible to feed only forages and legumes without supplemented concentrates,yes,there are some who raise their goats without concentrates.They also provide some sort of energy source.What you feed your goats can and will affect their overall growth performance and general health.Not sure about side effects other than they might get very skinny and sick and die if you cannot meet their nutritional needs.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 30, 2011, 09:31:06 AM
Our Philippine snubians born so far are reporting good birth weights,all singles so far and not one less than 3kg with one buckling coming in at 4kg.True singles are on average are larger over twins and triples.All does are percentage anglos with one doe a second time mother failing due to having a hard birthing time.Mulberry is increasing milk production in the percentage does allowing for better growing kids,so we hope.There are times when does will have a harder time with birthing and one really does not know the outcome until the doe/s are bred.One out of 6 so far is manageable but should that doe recover she will never be bred back to the sannen but will go on to be bred to a commercial boer buck for meat production.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 12, 2011, 11:41:26 AM

Depth of Body Important for a Fully Functional Dairy Goat

By Shelene Costello

Dairy goats are ruminants and as such, need deep wide bodies with wide open ribbing and lots of room for the rumen to expand and digest large amounts of high-fiber, lower protein feeds along with plenty of water to make lots of great tasting milk. When we add they have to have enough body to carry heavy loads of developing kids for part of the year and several pounds of milk each day, it means we need a good size body for the size of the animal. We are basically looking for that deep, wide body to be what is called a dairy wedge, being wider at the hips than the withers, wider still at the barrel behind the ribs and having a level topline with a bottom line that drops from elbow to the udder giving a wedge shape to the body from top, rear and side views.
To get this shape the dairy doe needs to have a rib cage that is deep enough at the elbow to provide plenty of space inside for organs and deeper still as it drops back to the barrel. It needs to be narrower at the front than the rear to allow the front legs to move easily around it, yet not be so narrow as to pinch those internal organs. There should be plenty of heart girth, the depth right behind the front legs and this area should be fairly flexible to provide plenty of expansion for the lungs.

Dairy goats need room for the rument to expand in order to digest large amounts of fiber.


The front of the rib cage on a nice, deep-bodied dairy doe should extend a bit in front of the point of the shoulders. It should have enough width in the chest floor between the front legs, to give those organs room to expand and do their job, yet not so wide as to interfere with efficient comfortable movement, so they can range far and wide to forage, if needed. Each rib should be of flat bone and set wide apart, angled down and back to give as much room as possible to protect the vital organs. The beginning of the stomach system in a ruminant is in the back of the rib cage with the bulk of the rumen extending behind the ribs and set under the loin. The ribs round out and down almost in an oval shape, but are more narrow at the top where they connect to the spine and wider down below, angling back into the breast bone underneath. If the ribs are close together and more vertical, they make for a short tight body that just can't carry the sheer amount of body capacity a dairy goat needs.
The loin should be wide, well muscled and able to support that deep wide barrel of the body, where the rumen pokes out and where the bulk of kids reside during pregnancy. The barrel should drop down, blending smoothly into the front of the udder, leaving plenty of room for milk making tissue in the udder, without a lot of excess body tissue where they join. The body should be relatively long in proportion to height of the animal. Plenty of that length is in the rib cage, but some will be hanging under the suspension bridge called the loin and some under the rump above the udder. Too short of a body and there is no room for the rumen to expand or for kids to be carried comfortably, other than to displace the organs. Too long, and the weight will weaken the topline over time.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and in dairy goats it wraps the whole body in a silky supple covering. A thick skin often covers a shorter-bodied rounder animal that tends to put more of its feed into weight, rather than milk. A thin silky skin tends to go with the true dairy type body. The reason we look for fine supple skin is that while they are out browsing in thick bramble and woody browse, anything that catches, causes the skin to roll. Often the point of the thorns or the tip of the branch will slide over the skin rather than digging in, ripping and tearing looser thinner skin.
The dairy scorecard, by which dairy goats are compared for judging purposes, calls for short fine hair to cover that lovely skin. Less hair and a finer texture makes it easier to milk cleanly. Owners who spend time milking find that longer hair, particularly on many Swiss-type breeds, needs clipping to remove the excess hair that gets caught and pulled while milking.
It is typical in the U.S. for most dairy goats to be clipped for show, and also for ease and cleanliness in the milking parlor. Goats with short, fine hair naturally need less maintenance that way, saving both time and extra work.
I have learned to appreciate the things that make a dairy goat body functional: the deep wide bodies, the fine silky skin, and tight short coats. And I am amazed at how varied the expressions of that body type can be—in each breed. A bit more here or there and still they fit the functional ideal.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 12, 2011, 11:47:13 AM

Carolyn's Mozzarella Pressed Cheese; Rich Chocolate Goat Milk Pudding; & Goat Milk Cream Cheese

Carolyn's Mozzarella Pressed Cheese Recipe
By Carolyn Alley

Heat two gallons goat milk (sometimes I add a bit more—no need to be right at two) to 85°F and add rennet. I use 1/2 tablet rennet dissolved in about 2 tablespoons cold water, but I'm sure liquid rennet would work. (A whole tablet will do 5 gals.) Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I use Realemon), cover and let it set until curd forms. (Usually between 45-60 minutes.) I then break up the curd with my hands and slowly heat it up to 110°F. I don't time it per se, but I think it usually takes about 20 minutes. I stir this all the time because I don't want the curd to stick together yet. When it reaches 110°F, I hold it there, continuing to stir, for 15 min. (I like the squeakiness of that amount of time.) Then I drain it in a muslin type cheesecloth lined colander, pushing out as much whey as possible. (Reserve some of the whey as the pressed cheese will go back into that later.) It then goes into the press.
Since I usually make the mozzarella cheese in the evening, I let the cheese set in the press overnight. In the morning (or whenever it comes out of the press), submerge it in the reserved whey which has been heated to 185°F. I then let it set in there until it is cool. I used to take the cheese out, wash it off with cold water, dry it off and put it in a plastic bag. But, when the room temperature cheese got to refrigerator temperature, moisture would form inside the bag and I'd have to dry it all over again. I discovered that if I put the pan of whey with the cheese still in it, in the refrigerator, the cheese gets refrigerator temperature cold and after I rinse the cheese in cold water (I just put it under the cold water out of the faucet), dry it off, moisture doesn't form inside the bag. I don't age this—use it right away.

Rich Chocolate Goat Milk Pudding
By Shere Crossman

4 cups fresh goat milk
 1-1/3 cups honey
 1/4 cup butter
3-4 squares baking chocolate
 2 teaspoons vanilla
8 tablespoons cornstarch
 2 well-beaten farm-fresh eggs
Combine honey, cornstarch, and chocolate in saucepan. Gradually add goat milk and beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Chill.
 For further enjoyment, use a graham cracker crust and layer sliced bananas with the pudding, or decorate/top with whipped cream or Cool Whip. May also top with crushed chocolate chips and almonds. This dessert can also be served frozen.
 Hint: I did try substituting the baking cocoa powder instead of the chocolate squares and it wasn't very good. Everyone here liked the baking chocolate instead!

Goat Milk Cream Cheese
By Nicci Pretti

4 cups whole goat milk
 1 cup cream
 2 tablespoons buttermilk
 Herbs (optional)
Heat milk and cream to 90°F, then stir in buttermilk. Pour into mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm area and wrap with towels; let sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours should have consistency of yogurt and not move when bowl is moved side to side. If it does move culture needs more time to develop and let it sit another 6-12 hours. Once it's firm pour into cheesecloth lined colander with catch bowl. Allow to drain 15 minutes, then fold cloth over cheese and cover colander with plastic wrap. Place colander with catch bowl in fridge for another 12 hours. Remove from cheesecloth and salt to taste and add herbs if desired.
Reshape cheese into balls and wrap them with cheesecloth. Put back in colander to drain more, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 36-48 hours depending on the firmness desired.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 18, 2011, 01:10:35 AM
What is the state of the meat goat industry in the country?That is really hard to tell because such little information can be found on the topic.There appears to be a devoted core group of people who are trying to get such a venture lifted off the ground.It would be safe to say at this point it is still at the hobby level and there is interest from others to join in but at the same time others are leaving this livestock venture.It is kind of a good news, bad news livestock venture.It comes back to the age old problem of where is your farm located,those closer to urban centres have better access to markets while those of us in the rural countryside have limited markets for our goats.Its a real catch 22 and sometimes seems not worth all the trouble one has to go through.Some areas seem to get more help from the powers to be while other areas seem to be left out of any programs that is meant to help this entry level livestock industry.Does the Goat and Sheep Federation in country support those of us in the rural countryside?What about this so called road map for the industry?The talk from the Govt. side was to have the rural countryside help launch the meat producing side of this industry because the land mass was better suited for the rural provinces or was/is it all talk and no action.The one thing the Independant Producers of the Provinces can be thankful for is the announcement that no animal can be transported from the north unless it passes all the testing needed but the one test they forget to include is testing for CL.Those of us who farm in areas that  has been always free of FMD do not want those breeders from the north to ship sick and crappy livestocks into our areas that might make our livestock sick and ruin our small but struggling goat/sheep meat industry.There has been some movement on the Govts. side to make sure those of us in the provinces will not have to worry about this problem with sick and diseased animals coming into our areas and causing real headaches for the producers who wish to get into such a livestock venture.The breeders in the north might not be happy with all this extra testing but its the same in the west here,all livestock must pass testing for known diseases before they can be moved outside of the areas they were housed from.The Philippines is just catching up with international standards that has been in place for years here in the west.The extra costs of this testing is always passed on to the customers who wish to buy and ship off to their place of farming.Really its a international standard for cloven hoof animals.Look at it as an insurance policey against diseases.This industry seems to be taking baby steps to get to where it needs to be and maybe,just maybe this is a good thing.Sometimes moving too fast only leads to trouble down the road.Ten years ago,the country was CAE and CL free,not today.If these laws were in place back then,these 2 known diseases would not be an issue today in country.Now that these 2 known diseases are in country today,how do we get rid of them for our protection.

Its a known fact that in countries like China the masses are leaving the land to get jobs in the cities.Puts more strain on the country to locate realiable sources of foods to feed their masses.In the future these countries will need to import more and more protein to feed their hungry masses.The Philippines is in a prime position to capitalize on this opportunity to supply protein to a country like China and if the laws are in place in the Philippines to have our cloven hoof animals disease free then this will only benefit our industry for future exports.Countries like the USA have already identifiied China as a country with a hugh need for protein and they will capitalize on exports if no one else will.The Philippines has a better growing season for forages and is closer to China than the west is.The wild card might be Brazil which is also has its eyes on China.Its a known fact,when people have higher income levels,they buy more protein for their daily needs.Exports markets might be available for the country and also the middle east which is known for a hugh taste for goat and sheep meat.There is also the domestic market in country that needs to be addressed.

On the surface,it now appears there is an ample supply of island born boer bucks to supply anyone who wishes to buy one for upgrading their stocks or to become a breeder themselves.The country has a good supply of boers and commercial boer bucks are more affordable than ever.There is no need to import anymore as breeders have already bred enough numbers to supply the demand as needed with Alaminos leading the way.Instead of importing more, monies would be better spent if the powers to be would supply certain rural areas with these local island born boers.

The meat goat industry is still at the hobby level over any real large business venture.It is with regret, I announce the closing of the Rizol mega goat farm located in District 1 of Negros Oriental with over 700 hybrid and a limited number of purebred boers due to in part,poor to no business plan,poor sales and high overhead as they will move into cattle production.At the same time I know of a backyard breeder with only 1 boer buck and 1 boer doe who is producing outstanding boer offsprings.Just goes to show you that even a small producer can breed some really top of the line goats.

Best of luck to all who wish to get into this side of the goat industry.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 01, 2011, 10:08:18 AM
What is the present state of the meat goat industry in country?Information is hard to come by and in its present state is still more or less in the hobby phase.

Until real major meat goat operations fire up which might be awhile because one stumbling block is the 5hec. allowance by law in country.Hard to raise any real numbers on such small acreage.This alone will put off some of the investors on the sidelines.When ones does a budget and real business plan its hard to see any real returns if the operation is relying on off the shelf concentrates over free ranging.The farmgate prices are low and if one relies on their local livestock sales yard or the travelling traders,not much to show for all your efforts and hardwork,little to be gained.

How will this industry really grow.Well with the Govts. plan to raise meat goats and sheep in the provinces under the road map plan for this industry and adding these extra numbers will boost production numbers,this is a plus but at the same time,better quality stocks require better quality feeds and off the shelf concentrates are not cheap to buy.Feeding a mediocre goat better quality feeds does not translate into a better quality goat,you will only make it fat and at added costs to you,the producer.More Govt. funding is needed to explore the different forages and grasses that will help any producer not rely on name brand concentrates to keep their herd in top shape and producing well enough see real performance that translates into real profits.A producer will need to sell x amount of goats yearly as breeding foundation will help put more monies in your pocket.

In our last reasearch into pellets or silage.Our conclusion is that one will need to produce enough feeds on their land and with the extra forages grown the costs related to pellets is very expensive compared to making silage but silage done wrong will kill your goats or any other livestock.More research from the Govt. side to educate those in the provinces how to make silage properly and a discount on the heavy duty plastic needed will be much more cost effective over the expensive outlay of cash for a pellet making machine.
The average producer in the rural countryside will find it very difficult to feed concentrates to goats when the money should be spent on their own families.Silage might have some value for meat production.

The smart producer will be the first producer to find a way to feed their goats cheaply and effectively and have their own outlet for the meat they produce over selling to traders or the local sales yard.Find your own market and build up a customer base for your product.

The future is bright as this red meat is on the rise.Like with any livestock production,some will succeed and some will fold.Do your homework and come up with a plan,failing to plan usually results in failure.

Meat the need:
Mustang Sally Farm

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 13, 2011, 09:26:23 AM
It may now appear,the so called road map for meat production in the provinces might have been overstated.The Govt. plan might be more of no plan at all for the goat and sheep small holders in the rural countryside.Consider that most of the goat and sheep raisers are in the rural country not to include this group of raisers makes no sense for this industry as a whole and will hinder rather than progress this industry into a viable livestock industry where producers have a real chance of making money from this industry.

Now rather appears,those in a position to help raise this industry into something that is viable over a hobby will have to step up to the plate and offer their respected areas help with better breeding stocks to help make their stocks more productive for the market place.This is merely buck passing at its best.The Govt. gets to wash their hands of any committment and leaves the private sector to put up stocks at their own costs with no compensation to the producer,might be a win,win for the Govt. but to a producer its just another problem he/she has to deal with on a daily bases in this industry.Rather than helping this industry progress in the rural countryside the no plan will only prolong the progress for this industry.

Lets hope all will work out in the end for those interested to become part of this exciting industry.

meat the need:
Mustang Sally Farm

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on October 14, 2011, 06:46:34 PM
sad to say political economics is also involve here.

there is less money  in goat raising compared to swine, poultry and aquaculture at the moment.

most of the government resources and private companies are  focused on earning investment / political investment..

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 21, 2011, 10:44:54 AM
The country is still importing goats and sheep.This past Oct.10-13 another shipment arrived from the USA under 300 heads from the PL480 program.The Govt. is still buying goats and sheep.True,this is a small industry compared to the hog,poultry and aquaculture industries but it has real promise as goat meat consumption rose by about 8%  last year.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 23, 2011, 09:20:52 AM
Another year will be closing soon and a new year begins.This year was the start of the foundation work for our own made in the Philippines dual purpose goat,the RP Genemaxer,breeding plan and stratergy in place long before the work started.

Group A were does taken from nubians,Group B were does taken from hybrids.Both groups bred to a purebred Saanen buck to make the Snubian.Very good birth weights for both groups.Selected line breeding will take place in 2012 and the selected does from this group will go on to be bred to an island born purebred Alpine buck,for extended lactations and higher milk fat.In 2012 we will secure an island born purebreed Alpine buck out of known dairy lines.The very last breed to enter this picture will be purebred Boer bucks to increase muscle for meat production.

Our end result will be a multi layered level or 5 breed dual purpose goat with a lacatation twice that of meat types,making to goat viable for milk production and have enough muscle to be worth its weight for meat production.It was always my belief through my years of experience and consulting with others in this industry that the goat or goats that wil perform the best in the country will come from crossbreeds or hybrids over the average purebreeds.On the other hand it takes purebreeds to make the end result.We feel confindent that we have made the right choice with our plan for a made in the Philippines dual purpose goat having value for both milk and meat.From a management point of view,easier to take care of one breed over many breeds.We look forward to our end result for the future of this industry.

Mustang Sally Farm
R7,D1 Independant Meat Goat Producers Union

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 06, 2011, 12:53:51 AM
One of the big differences between dairy goats in a tropical setting over N.America is the fact that dairy goats in milk production in the west are fed a diet of higher dry matter over fresh forages.This is something we will be looking into much more closer when we progress with our dairy goats to see if milk production will increase or not.It may very well be that a diet of dry matter might be one of the keys to producing more milk given that the genetics are already there and fine tuning their diets might hold real promise.The genetics are coming into the country but it appears there is no real breeding plan and tracking seems almost  a non issue.The truth of the matter is this,breeding top genetics to unknown lines is never a given and the outcome at times can be very disappointing.The goal should always be breeding your best to your best to produce even better than what you started out with.Mixing and matching, knowns to unknowns is a gamble at best and in fact might be placing you down a long road that will take even longer to corrrect.One must know the strenght and weaknesses in your herd and select the best for herd improvement,or it becomes a big waste of time and money.

Tracking the results allows the breeder/producer to select for even better results and without tracking the results,all a big guessing game.The industry is making progress every year and in time this industry might become a model for other tropical countries to follow and the Philippines will have the practical experience to share.

Will be very interesting in 5 years time to see if PL480 will make the improvements needed to boost this industry in something the country can be proud of and less reliant on dairy imports.Made in the Philippines looks alot better over made in some other country.

R7-D1 Independant Meat Goat Producers Union

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 12, 2011, 10:26:11 AM
Since Aug 2011, we have noticed that pre-weaned kids really love to eat rensonii.The 2 terminal triple cross bucklings in a new research project at Mustang Sally is showing an interest in rensonii at 1 week old and this is good news to any goat meat producer.Having kids on solid food at this younger age will help with their stomach developement and weaning at an earlier age.This is telling us that rensonii has potential as a forage for pre-weaned goats to move to solid foods along with indigo and mulberry as we have noticed with our first group of 1 month old kids back in Aug. of 2011.

The second group with the terminal 3 way cross meat goats will be fed only forages grown on the farm to monitor grown rates and muscle developement until the age of 1 year and then slaughtered and a close inspection on muscle growth can be examined.The meat goat producer who will find the right combination(s)of forages to feed their stocks,will be the most successful goat meat producer.Feeding off the self concentrates will not allow for successful meat goat production in the long term.Finding the right combination of mixing forages and grasses will benefit the growth of goat meat production in the countryside and should these be formed into pellets or mash form,so much the better.

Drying forages when times of the year the forages are plenty will allow the goat meat producer to have feed on inventory for the dry periods when forages are not so plenty and allowing the producer to be much more consistant with their feeding program.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: nemo on November 14, 2011, 07:14:47 PM
Sir Mikey,
post some pictures so others could appreciate your breeding program... ;D

and hopefully be adamant in these business.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 26, 2011, 01:20:37 PM
Some of the vitamins and minerals that our goats benefit from are as follows:

Various vitamins and minerals will help you make educated decisions regarding your feed and supplements.Good health and resistance to parasites and disease is helped by good nutrition.

Vitamin A:  Aids in resistance to infection and contributes to proper growth and tooth and bone formation.  Zinc is necessary for the mobilization of Vitamin A.

Vitamin D:  Plays a dual role as both a vitamin and a hormone.  It aids in absorption of calcium and phosphorous and prevents rickets.

Vitamin E:  An antioxidant, vitamin E stabilizes membranes and protects them against free radical damages.  Helps protect tissues of the skin, eye, and liver and vitalizes the testicles for improved virility.

Vitamin B1:  Protects against gastronintestinal disturbances, constipation and intestinal inflamation-thiamin,helps fuel the body by converting blood sugar into energy.

Vitamin B2:  Important in energy production and essential for normal fatty acid and amino acid synthesis.

Vitamin B3:  Aides in replacement of cells that rapidly replace themselves, especially in the skin.  Deficiencies may be seen as dermatitis and diarrhea.

Vitamin B12:  Plays a role in the activation of amino acids during protein formation.  Need for vitamin B-12 increases during pregnancy-cobalt.

The vitamin B chain is the chain of amino acids,building blocks for life.

Biotin:  Aides in the incorporation of amino acids into protein and reducing the symptoms of zinc deficiency.  Plays a major role in the production of hair/fiber.

Calcium:  Essential for proper bone development and critical to structure and strength.  Calcium absorption is vitamin D dependent.  The ratio of calcium to phosphorous is critical as high phosphorus and low calcium diets have been linked to tissue calcification and bone loss.Aso needed for milk production.

Phosphorus: Many enzymes and the B vitamins are activated only in the presence of phosphorus.  Closely tied to calcium and fluctuations in one mineral will be reflected by subsequent fluctuations in the other.  The natural ration of calcium to phosphorus in bones and teeth is 2:1.  Proper ratio also aids in the prevention of urinary calculi.

Potassium:  Used in intracellular fluid transmission.  Maintains cellular integrity and water balance.  Hot weather or stress may deplete potassium.

Iron:  Necessary for production of red blood cells.  Anemia can be aggravated by parasites.

Magnesium:  Associated with tissue breakdown and cell destruction.  Helps in formation of urea and important in removing excess ammonia from the body.  Aides in reduction of stress in hot weather.

Cobalt:  Can replace zinc in some enzymes and deficiency shows up as emaciated and anemic animals-vitamin B12

Iodine:  Deficiencies may include impared physical development of the fetus, a lower basal metabolic rate and poorly formed bones.

Copper:  Deficiency may result in low white blood cell count, kinky or poor quality hair/fiber and impaired growth.Washed out looking hair coats.

Selenium:  A trace mineral that plays a major role in normal development of the fetus during pregnancy and vitality of newborn-vitamin E

Zinc:  Functions indirectly as an antioxidant and is used in bone metabolism and plays a major role in necessary skin oil gland function.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 30, 2011, 08:04:02 AM
Do it yourself formulations that I have collected over the years.One should always consult with your local vet or someone that holds an animal science degree first:


1 Quart Water
 2 tablespoons Corn Syrup
 ½ teaspoon Salt
 ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda

Bring 1 quart water to a boil. Stir in the corn syrup, salt, and baking soda. Cool. This homemade electrolyte drink should clear up scours in 2 to 3 days.

1 part Corn Oil (do not substitute with canola or vegetable oil)
 1 part Molasses
 1 part Corn Syrup

Use this when a goat needs quick energy or known as OFF as it will provide iron.

Another Milk Replacer Formula
1 egg, ¼ cup whipping cream
 1 cup non fat dry milk
 3 cups water: makes 30 oz.

If you want to double it, it is 2 eggs,
 1/3 cup whipping cream, 6 cups water, 2 cups nonfat dry milk.Taken from the internet.

1 bottle 50% Dextrose
 20cc B Complex-multi b vitamins
 5cc B12-cobalt
 2cc 500mg/ml Thiamin-b1
 This will make a little more than 500cc of Revive.

 If this is intended for pregnancy toxemia does, you need to add a bottle of Amino Acid solution (not the concentrate, it has too much potassium), and 2 grams of Ascorbic Acid-vitamin c.

 Antidote for Poisonous plant indegestion
Lard (substitute Vegetable Oil)
 1 raw Egg

Beat egg then add 8 ounces vegetable oil. Drench. This may have to be repeated 3 or 4 times depending on how much of the poisonous plant the goat has consumed. You have now flushed the rumen; now restart it with probios.

1 part Biosol
 2 parts Pepto Bismol

Mix together. For a small kid (under 15 lbs.) we give 3cc of this mixture. For medium sized kids (to 30 lbs.) we give 6cc. For large kids (50 lbs. to 80 lbs.) we give 9cc to 12cc. For adults we give 15cc to 21cc (depending on size of goat).


1 part Dexamethazone
 1 part Gentamycin
 1 part Sterile Water

Mix in a clean spray bottle. Wash the eye area with Listerine and then spray it. May have to use for a couple of days.

1 Cup Flour
 1 Cup Sugar
 1 Cup Baking Soda

Mix together. Place in small bowls where you notice rat/mouse traffic.Safe to use around household pets. Use this one ourselves at the farm due to its pet friendly unless you are a rat or mouse.

Juice of one Lemon
 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
 1 Cup of Water

Drench the buck with 20 cc, 3 times a day the first day, 2 time a day for two days, then once a day until the urine is full and steady. Keep it up, every other day, then twice a week, if the animal is confortable and has a succesful flow.

Prevention: Ammonium Chloride added to your feed.

Feet problems? Have you tried Zinc Sulfate?

10 Gallon of water
 8 ounces (240 cc) of Soap
 8 pounds of Zinc Sulfate

 To mix, add soap (8 oz) into ten gallons of warm water. Add the Zinc Sulfate slowly to the warm soapy water, stirring the water, to get the Zinc Sulfate to dissolve in the water.

Store what is not being used in an airtight container such as bleach jug or liquid dishwashing soap bottle.

Pour the amount to be used in a container so it is as deep as the dew claws of the goats and have them stand in the solution for a minimum of 15 minutes. Change the bath with it gets dirty.
The solution is also good to use when trimming feet; you can just spray it directly on the hooves and dew claws to soak them.

Feet problems
Spiral Anaerobic Bacteria
Also Called Foot Warts
1 Cup Clorox
 3 Cups Water
 1 Package (102.4 gm) Terramycin Soluble Powder
 1 Oz. Benadine
Mix together then either spray the infected foot or dip the foot in the solution.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 09, 2011, 08:59:04 AM
It has been a very interesting year for us at Mustang Sally Farm.Our friends in N.American are not doubting us any longer as we have proven to them that we can in fact produce the 3 way cross meat goats in liveweight ranges from 20-30kg. within 6 months of age,simular to management practices for meat goats in the west.20kg in the west is considered below average but 30kg is considered average at 6 months for meat goat kids.Buck sire selection along with sound management practices allows us to begin the selling of our own goat meat product lines starting in January 2012.The addition of our new boer buckling will go on to breed with our 3 way cross does for F2 crosses, should allow us to reach 30- 40kg. at 6 months.We feel if we can produce our own protein concentrate of 21%,should realize even better liveweights over the standard concentrates now produced in country.The kids stay with their dams for 4 months (pre weaning) to give them the best chances for weight gain before entering the intensive feeding program for 60-62 days before slaughter.Kids at 1 week are allowed to interact with older kids which introduce them to forages and grasses which in turn helps with post weaning.Post weaning is very stressful for young kids and a time in their lives that weight loss is very real,the fewer surprises,the better the end results.We hope to produce nubian meat lines modeled after our success with the 3 way cross line in 2012.Slaughtering at 6 months will allow goat meat producers selling their own product lines more profits in their pockets as the kids are only feeding concentrates for shorter time frames over longer time frames.

This might only work for those who have their retail meat outlets or might be thinking of selling their own goat meat but probably has no real value for those who sell goats at liveweight prices.What works for one producer may not work as well for another.Goat meat production comes down to weight gains and time frames for market classes.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:30:39 AM
Requirements of minerals have not been established definitively for goats at either maintenance or production levels. However, some classical studies in mineral metabolism have been conducted with goats as experimental subjects. These include studies by Fingerling (1911, 1913), which addressed calcium and phosphorus requirements of lactating goats. Hart et al. (1921, 1924, 1927) and Henderson and McGee (1926) reported data on calcium metabolism in goats, which led to the discovery of the role of vitamin D in calcium absorption and metabolism. Lintzel and Radeff (1931) reported important work on iron nutrition in goats. In general, these and more recent studies support assumptions that some mineral requirements in goats are similar to those in other ruminant species; therefore, mineral requirements listed in Table 1 rely for the time being on values recommended for sheep (NRC, 1975) and dairy cattle (NRC, 1978). The literature on mineral nutrition in goats was recently reviewed (Haenlein, 1980).

In addition to the elements in organic matter (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen), seven major and nine minor minerals are considered dietary essentials for livestock. The major minerals that must be fed in relatively large amounts are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. Minor or trace minerals, required in small amounts, include iron, iodine, copper, molybdenum, zinc, manganese, cobalt, selenium, and fluorine. Others which are possibly essential at extremely low levels are chromium, nickel, vanadium, silicon, tin, and arsenic. Most of these essential or possibly essential elements occur naturally in feedstuffs at levels that do not constitute problems in nutrition. However, situations often exist when one or more minerals, especially the major ones, are sufficiently low to reduce productivity. Trace minerals in particular can be present in toxic amounts. Proper balance of minerals and bioavailability from supplements are often more important than actual levels (Miller, 1981). Functions and practical implications of various important minerals are discussed individually.

Calcium is a critical nutrient in ration formulation for all species of livestock. Although most of the calcium found in the body is in the skeleton, the element has numerous crucial functions in the soft tissues. A deficiency of calcium in young animals leads to retarded growth and development, and can predispose them to rickets. Because milk is high in calcium (Macy et al., 1953; Parkash and Jenness, 1968), rations for lactating goats need a higher calcium level. Fingerling (1911, 1913) found that if lactating goats did not receive the necessary amounts of calcium and phosphorus in their diets, they would draw from body stores of these elements without initially affecting milk yield or milk composition. If the calcium deficiency continued for weeks, the yield of milk decreased. At intakes of higher levels of calcium the goats replenished their body calcium stores and milk production increased. Changes in milk composition were not observed.

Certain minerals interact with calcium metabolism. Experiments using ligated intestinal loops in anaesthetized goats and radioactively labeled calcium injections (Gibbons et al., 1972) showed that intestinal calcium transport is enhanced by carbohydrates and by low luminal concentrations of sodium. Calcium absorption occurred principally in the duodenum, to a far lesser extent in the jejunum, and least in the lower ileum.

Under grazing conditions calcium is seldom a problem with either Angora or meat-type goats, but it can be very important for high-producing dairy goats. Low calcium diets lead to reduced milk production. Appropriate calcium levels in the diet are also important in the preven-

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:31:35 AM
tion of parturient paresis (milk fever). The calcium content of goats milk is reported to be in the range of 1.14 to 1.63 g/kg (Macy et al., 1953; Parkash and Jenness, 1968). A median value would be 1.38 g/kg, which is marginally higher than for dairy cattle. This value has been used in formulating the recommendations in Table 1. Suggested calcium supplements or sources include bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, ground limestone, and oyster shell. The percentage composition of these and other sources is found in Table 3.

Phosphorus is required for both tissue and bone development. A deficiency will result in slowed growth, depraved appetite, and unthrifty appearance; it is often accompanied by low levels of phosphorus in the blood. Fingerling (1911) showed that the general conclusions about calcium-deficient diets also applied to phosphorus. Goats were able to sustain milk production from body reserves for several weeks of negative phosphorus balances. During phosphorus deficiencies, when intake was one-fifth of normal for two months, the production of milk declined 60 percent. Supplementing the diet with P2O5 and CaO to achieve daily levels of 6 g phosphorus and 14 g calcium raised milk yields by 10 percent in two weeks and by 15 to 25 percent in four weeks, while diets remained isocaloric and isonitrogenous. The phosphorus level in goats’ milk ranges from 0.84 to 1.22 g/kg (Macy et al., 1953; Parkash and Jenness, 1968).

The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio should not drop below 1.2:1 in diets for goats, even though no unanimity exists on the importance of the ratio. The significance of the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in the genesis of urinary calculi is discussed later on.

A phosphorus deficiency in grazing goats is more likely than a calcium deficiency. It might be encountered with any type of goat grazing on phosphorus-deficient forages. Documented examples of phosphorus deficiency in grazing goats are rare, however. This can be explained by their varied habitats and tendency to browse plants that may be high in phosphorus. Formulation of rations to include adequate phosphorus will be more important with high-producing dairy goats when they are fed with harvested or formulated feedstuffs.

Sodium and Chlorine
Common salt (sodium chloride) is perhaps the mineral most commonly supplied to animals. They require both sodium and chlorine, but sodium is the mineral most likely to be lacking (Schellner, 1972). When provided free choice, goats may consume salt in excess of their requirements, but with no apparent ill effects. Animals that do not receive sufficient salt may show depraved appetites and consume soil or debris. If goats are not provided free choice, salt should be added to the feed. A recommended level would be 0.5 percent of the complete feed or proportionately higher levels in supplements.

Salt is important in several other ways. Placing it in less frequently grazed pastures may influence goats to move to those areas. Salt is also often incorporated at high levels to regulate free intake of nutritional supplements. Trace mineralized salt should not be used in this manner, however; it may lead to an oversupply of some trace elements. Goats in arid regions may have problems with the salt content of some water sources, which can reduce intake of water and feed.

Magnesium is required for many enzyme systems and for proper functioning of the nervous system. It is also closely associated with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are anorexia, excitability, and calcification of soft tissue. The most noted problem associated with hypomagnesemia is grass tetany, a malady that frequently occurs in animals grazing on lush green grass or winter cereals in pastures fertilized with nitrogen and potassium. Treatment consists of intravenous administration of calcium and magnesium in the gluconate form. Goats do have a marginal ability to compensate for low dietary magnesium by reducing the rate of its excretion (Razifard, 1971, 1972a,b). Both urinary excretion and milk flow, which contains 0.13 to 0.36 g magnesium per kg, are reduced when magnesium is low in the diet.

Potassium, though required in relatively large amounts, is usually present in roughage-based diets to the extent that it does not constitute a problem. Marginal deficiencies result in reduced feed intake, retarded growth, and reduced milk production. More severe deficiencies cause emaciation and poor muscular tone. In growing sheep the potassium requirement is considered to be 0.5 percent of the diet, whereas with lactating dairy cattle the requirement is placed at 0.8 percent of the complete ration (Ward, 1966). These levels are also postulated as the requirements of growing and lactating goats, respectively. Ration values below these are infrequently encountered, and are usually restricted to high-concentrate diets, in which the major ingredient is low in potassium, or to diets of severely weathered or winter range forage. Potassium supplements may be in chloride, bicarbonate, or sulfate form.

Sulfur is a component of all body proteins and is particularly high in goat hair, which consists of a high proportion of the sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine and cystine. Marginal deficiencies cause poor animal performance, and more extreme cases result in excessive salivation, lacrimation, and alopecia. Studies with goats fed supplemental sulfur are rare, but it appears likely that deficiencies of sulfur may be more widespread than previously believed. A recent study by Wheeler et al. (1975)

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:32:26 AM
indicates potential shortages of sulfur in forage sorghums. Another study by Gartner and Hurwood (1976) indicates that tannic-acid-containing plants such as Acacia aneura may provide inadequate amounts of available sulfur. This is of particular concern with range goats, which liberally graze and browse tannin-containing plants. Recommendations are normally expressed in terms of a sulfur-to-nitrogen ratio of 1:10. However, this ratio may be misleading if either or both sulfur and nitrogen are unavailable because of the presence of complexing substances such as tannic acid. Sulfur requirements would then range from 0.16 to 0.32 percent of the diet for ration protein values of 10 to 20 percent. Sulfates, such as sodium sulfate and ammonium sulfate, are the most available forms of sulfur for ration formulation.

Common feedstuffs may contain adequate sulfur, but shortages can occur in forages grown on certain types of soils or in rations containing a high proportion of NPN as protein supplement (Varma and Sawhusey, 1970). The high-producing Angora goat may have an elevated sulfur requirement because of mohair growth, but this possibility needs to be investigated. It has been shown that sulfur-containing amino acids, administered postruminally, stimulate fiber production (Reis and Schinkel, 1964). Although mechanisms exist, the required technology has not reached the stage of practical application.

Iron is a component of blood hemoglobin that is required for oxygen transport. It is also required for some enzyme systems. Although iron deficiency seldom occurs in mature grazing animals, it may occur in young goat kids because of their minimal body stores of iron at birth and the low iron content of milk (Jenness, 1980). The work of Lintzel and Radeff (1931) suggests that this may be more true with goats than with cattle. If iron deficiencies are observed and it is desired to continue the kids on a milk diet, injections of iron-dextran (150 mg) at two-to-three-week intervals are recommended. In a recent study (Hamada et al., 1970) acceptable tissue color was observed in animals fed a diet containing 0.03 percent ferrous iron. Thus, this value might be taken as a minimum. Ferrous sulfate and ferric citrate are more available than other sources such as ferric oxide and are recommended for ration formulation. The literature is too sparse, however, to state definite feeding requirements for iron.

Iodine is necessary for the formation of thyroxine. In states of iodine deficiency the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, a condition called goiter (Honeker, 1949). It is most frequently observed in the young at birth, especially in weak or dead kids. Iodine-deficient areas are widespread in the world, including parts of the United States. Deficiencies are readily corrected by feeding iodized salt (Sutphin et al., 1971). However, iodized salts should not be force-fed (as when salt is used as a feed limiter) because this action could lead to excessive intakes of iodine.

Goats appear to be somewhat unusual with respect to iodine metabolism (Lengemann, 1970, 1979), but no good basis for unique recommendations exists so far.

Copper and Molybdenum
Copper and molybdenum are interrelated in animal metabolism and should be considered together (Hennig et al., 1974). Levels of both can be too low or too high or the level of one can be low and the other too high. The most common problem occurs when a normal or low level of copper is accompanied by a high level of molybdenum. In this case copper is excreted and a deficiency occurs. This condition can be corrected with copper therapy.

Few studies on copper and molybdenum have included goats (NRC, 1980). It appears that sheep are sensitive to copper toxicity and resistant to molybdenosis, but it is not known whether this is also the case with goats.

Zinc deficiency symptoms include parakeratosis, stiffness, of joints, excessive salivation, swelling of the feet and horny overgrowth, small testicles, and low libido (Neathery et al., 1973). Reduced feed intake and weight loss also occurs with zinc-deficient diets. Zinc must be supplied continuously because little is stored in the body in readily available form (NRC, 1979). Minimum daily requirements for goats have not been established. Young males have developed deficiencies at levels of 4 ppm (Neathery et al., 1973); adult females developed signs on 6–7 ppm when they were lactating. There is also some evidence that males require more zinc than do females (Groppel and Hennig, 1971; Schellner, 1972). Direct and indirect evidence indicates minimum requirements of 10 ppm. Levels of 1000 ppm may be toxic.

Manganese is an essential mineral in diets for goats (Groppel, 1969; Anke et al., 1972, 1973a,b,c; Hennig et al., 1972; Schellner, 1972). Deficiency signs include reluctance to walk, deformity of the forelegs, and reduced reproductive efficiency. So far, data are inadequate to suggest optimum levels. Deficiency signs have developed on 5.5 ppm, but not on 90 ppm in the diet (Anke et al., 1973b).

Other Minerals
Fluorine and selenium can be encountered at either deficient or toxic levels in natural diets. Fluorine deficiency appears to be rare; toxic levels result largely from industrial pollution. With sheep, acute fluorine toxicity occurs at levels above 200 ppm (NRC, 1975). Selenium toxicity occurs in sheep from prolonged consumption of plants containing over 3 ppm. The classical deficiency of selenium is white muscle disease (Hebert and Cowan, 1971),

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:33:10 AM
but milder deficiencies result in reduced performance, especially reproductive efficiency. Selenium supplements may be added to salt supplementation or provided through injections.

Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12. Deficiency signs include loss of appetite, emaciation, weakness, anemia, and decreased production. In sheep an intake of 0.1 ppm is considered adequate. It is assumed that the same would apply to goats. Cobalt sulfate or cobalt chloride added at the rate of 12 g per 100 kg of salt should provide an adequate intake, but this would be indicated only in situations in which cobalt has been shown to provide a response.

A few additional references on specific mineral studies with goats can be found in the appended bibliography.

Vitamins are a group of compounds essential for normal body processes. Typical range or pasture diets of goats should contain adequate levels of vitamins or vitamin precursors to maintain normal health of the animal. Pen-fed animals, goats held on restricted diets, and high-producing animals may need a supplemental vitamin supply (Honeker, 1949). Recommendations in Table 1 for vitamin requirements of goats rely on similar values for sheep (NRC, 1975) and dairy cattle (NRC, 1978) until more specific experimental evidence for goats becomes available.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is involved in many areas of body metabolism, and as a result deficiency signs are varied. Experimental evidences of vitamin A deficiencies include keratinization of the epithelia of the respiratory, alimentary, reproductive, and urinary tracts, and of the eye. Signs include multiple infections, poor bone development, birth of abnormal offspring, and vision impairment Night blindness, the inability to see under poorly lighted conditions, is the classic deficiency sign. Experimentally produced signs of a vitamin A deficiency in goats include: loss of appetitie, loss of weight, unthrifty appearance, night blindness, and a thick nasal discharge (Schmidt, 1941).

Vitamin A is not contained in forages, but its precursors are common in plants and are usually present in proportion to plant pigments. However, not all plant pigments give rise to equal vitamin A activity. Beta-carotene is the standard form of provitamin A. One mg of beta-carotene in the diet is equivalent to approximately 400 IU of vitamin A. Other pigments, xanthophylls for example, are less active.

Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat of animals during times when intake exceeds requirements. During periods of low carotene supplies in the diet, this stored vitamin A can be mobilized and utilized without signs of a vitamin A deficiency. Eveleth et al. (1949) reported that a vitamin A deficiency in sheep is unlikely if green feed is available during one season of the year. Schmidt (1941) found the tolerance of adult sheep and Angora goats to low carotene diets to be similar. However, Angora kids were found to be more tolerant than lambs. Goats that have had access to good quality green feed can probably be held on a low carotene diet for a minimum of three months without showing signs of a vitamin A deficiency.

Typical goat diets contain adequate carotene to prevent vitamin A deficiency. The tendency of the goat to search out palatable green plant parts ensures it an advantage over other ruminant species. However, goats that are forced to consume more conventional cattle or sheep diets because of the unavailability of browse would not have an advantage (Davis, 1942; Caldas, 1961). Vitamin A deficiency in goats in the tropics would be rare except under such circumstances.

Old weathered hays are poor sources of carotene, which is readily oxidized. Green leafy hays are good sources, and dehydrated legume hays, especially pelleted, are the best natural sources. Synthetic vitamin A is readily available in feed additive and injectable forms from commercial suppliers. The newer formulations are relatively stable, but old premixes and injectables should not be used.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. In its absence, or at low levels, normal bone development is impaired. Soft, irregular shaped leg and rib bones resulting from a vitamin D deficiency are signs of “rickets.” Thus, vitamin D has been referred to as the antirachitic factor. A form of rickets can also be seen in the newborn of an adult female deficient during pregnancy. Otherwise, deficiencies in adult animals are considered rare.

Vitamin D is available to animals both through the diet and as a result of exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight acts on ergosterol, a plant sterol, and on 7-dehydrocholesterol, a sterol of animal origin, to produce compounds having antirachitic activity (vitamin D2 and D3, respectively). Thus, sun-cured hays are excellent sources of vitamin D. Animals exposed to sunlight can obtain some of their requirement directly from irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. DeLuca (1974) discovered that activation of vitamin D3 occurs in the liver and kidney of animals.

Vitamin D deficiency is unlikely under normal grazing conditions, although a form of osteodystrophia has been produced experimentally in goats. Vitamin D should be supplied to growing animals that are denied sunlight over extended periods because of cloud cover or confinement to housing.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E deficiency in sheep is commonly associated with white muscle disease, also called stiff lamb disease. This malady is seen in young nursing lambs and will improve with vitamin E therapy (Muth et al., 1958). An

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:33:53 AM
associated selenium deficiency will intensify the disease. Vitamin E is alleged to improve reproductive efficiency, but dietary supplementation experiments have not produced consistent results.

Evidence of spontaneous vitamin E deficiency signs in goats is lacking. It is suggested that the probability of lowered productivity in goats as a result of a vitamin E deficiency is remote. However, vitamin E transferred to the milk is considered important because of the antioxidant properties that aid in milk storage.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K, the blood clotting vitamin, is plentiful in a variety of feedstuffs and, in addition, is readily synthesized in the rumen. A deficiency is unlikely.

B Vitamin Complex
The B vitamins are not considered dietetically essential in adult goats because they are normally synthesized by microorganisms in the rumen. Only vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is likely to be deficient in animals having a functional rumen. Cobalt is required for synthesis of vitamin B12 and if absent or at extremely low levels in the diet of goats, a vitamin B12 deficiency will occur. The B vitamins should be included in diets of very young kids nursing their dams, animals with poorly functioning rumens, sick animals, and those with radically changed diets.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is synthesized in the body tissues in adequate quantities to satisfy requirements and under normal circumstances need not be added to diets of goats.

Water is obviously important for goats, and the amount required depends on that needed for the maintenance of normal water balance and to provide for satisfactory levels of production. The normal body water content of the goat varies with age, amount of fat in the body, and environmental temperatures. It would be expected to exceed 60 percent of the body weight and 75 percent of the nonbony tissues. Shkolnik et al. (1980) have shown that some goats, such as the black Bedouin of the Negev and Sinai deserts, have the capacity to store as much as 76 percent of their body weight. Water requirements may be met by free water consumption, but other important sources include water contained in the feed ingested and metabolic water resulting from oxidation of energy sources. Major water losses include those from urine, lactation, evaporation, and perspiration.

A safe general recommendation is to provide goats with all the clean water that they will drink (ad libitum intake). Extremes in water temperature will increase energy requirements. Taste factors will also affect normal water intake (Goatcher and Church, 1970). Although the above observations are logical, it should be remembered that a high proportion of the world’s goat population lives in areas where water requirements are not easily met. The uniqueness of goats in meeting their water requirements deserves further study. The example of the black Bedouin goat suggests that other genotypes may differ in their ability to meet water requirements. Regardless of breed, water intake must exceed milk production. In a study reported by Bergmann (1932), 3.5 kg of water was consumed for each kilogram of milk produced by dairy goats under temperate conditions. French recommendations are 145.6 g water per Wkg0.75 for maintenance and 1.43 kg water per kilogram of milk as a production requirement (Morand-Fehr and Sauvant, 1978). In the humid tropics Devendra (1967) found that penned indigenous meat goats had a mean daily free water intake of 680 g, of which 80 percent was consumed during the day.

Goats are often more sensitive and reluctant than other species to drink from foul-tasting water sources. If they are forced to drink poor quality water, the result may be infection or undesirable mineral intake. Also, in many parts of the world goats drink from impounded water, and entrapment (bogging in mud) can be a real hazard, especially with Angoras.

Goats are among the most efficient domestic animals in the use of water, approaching the camel in the low rate of water turnover per unit of body weight (Maloiy and Taylor, 1971; Macfarlane and Howard, 1972). Goats appear to be less subject to high temperature stress than other species of domestic livestock such as wooled sheep or many breeds of cattle and require less water evaporation to control body temperature. They also have the ability to conserve water by reducing losses in urine and feces. In many environments the water intake through forage may be high relative to other species because of their ability or willingness to browse. The result is that goats are less dependent on free water sources than other domestic species, but do not equal certain wild animal species in this respect.

Factors affecting the free water intake of goats are lactation level, environmental temperature, water content of forage consumed, amount of exercise, and salt and mineral content of the diet. Therefore, the daily range of free water intake may be from zero to several liters. When feeding on dry forages and when water is lacking, the efficiency of reproduction will suffer (Brown and Lynch, 1972; Lynch et al., 1972). Suboptimum water intake will result initially in reduced feed intake, then reduced performance and gradual starvation. Acute problems result when goats are unable to maintain water balance or control body temperature.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:54:16 AM
The goat is more susceptible to abortion than other species of domestic livestock. Most of the work relating to abortion in goats has been with the Angora (Van Heerden, 1963; Van Rensburg, 1971; Shelton and Groff, 1974), in which the problem is more severe. Infectious diseases such as brucellosis are also capable of causing abortion in goats (Alton, 1973). The fact that the goat is a corpus-luteum-dependent species predisposes the animal to abort whenever there is an interference with a functional corpus luteum (Wentzel et al., 1975). A low level of abortion is common with the Angora under normal production conditions, but catastrophic losses sometimes occur. Most abortions occur in response to stress between 90 and 110 days of gestation. Undernutrition during the critical stage of rapid fetal development and competition for nutrients between fetal and maternal organisms appear to be one explanation. The incidence of abortion is reduced in flocks in which replacement does are fed for proper size and development prior to the first breeding season and during gestation (Shelton and Stewart, 1973).

A series of studies from South Africa appears to provide a physiological explanation for the type of abortion observed in that country with the Angora. Parturition, either at or prior to term, is normally initiated by elevated corticosteroids of fetal or maternal origin (Wentzel and Roelofse, 1975). Two types of abortion have been identified in the Angora. One is known as stress abortion, which is triggered by low maternal blood glucose (Wentzel et al., 1976). This type is normally induced by poor nutritional condition of the doe (Wentzel et al., 1974), but other stress factors are also involved. Stress abortion is identified by the expulsion of a live or fresh fetus. Low maternal glucose appears to trigger hyperactivity of the fetal adrenal. The cause of abortion in the period 90–110 days of pregnancy is apparently explained by the fetal adrenal gland’s producing elevated levels of estrogen precursors (Wentzel et al., 1976), and estrogens are known to be potent abortifacients (Wentzel et al., 1975). After 110 days the fetal adrenal is more mature and produces corticosteroids, which are slower acting or less potent abortifacients. A second type of abortion is that by the habitual aborter. These goats can be identified by a history of abortion, and by the expulsion of a dead edematous or autolyzed fetus. This type of abortion apparently results from maternal hyperadrenalism. Both types of abortion may be triggered by undernutrition resulting in low blood glucose. Initial or stress abortions can be almost totally prevented by adequate nutrition and the elimination of stress.

It has been said with reason that it is impossible to manage a herd of good dairy goats without experiencing some incidence of enterotoxemia, also known as toxic indigestion or overeating disease (Guss, 1977). Diarrhea, depression, lack of coordination, digestive upsets, coma, and death may be observed after excessive feeding on the part of both baby kids and mature animals. Excessive feeding may occur after sudden changes in feeds; with access to palatable, readily fermentable feeds relished by hungry goats; and under conditions of calcium insufficiency and acidosis. Enterotoxemia is a toxic reaction to Clostridium perfringens type C or D, against which antitoxins and vaccination programs with toxoid or bacterins are effective. However, the best prevention in stable-fed goats is frequent feeding of milk, grain, and forage in small amounts. Large meals given once a day should be avoided. Changes of concentrates and forages in the ration should be introduced gradually over several days, especially when the protein or energy content of the diet is increased. When urea or other nonprotein nitrogen is to be part of the diet, then the gradual adaptation should take at least three weeks.

Acute indigestion with a rumen pH of less than 4.8 indicates lactic acidosis. It can follow high levels of grain feeding in early lactation and may lead to the secondary complication of enterotoxemia. Recent research with sheep and cattle on the sensitivity of Streptococcus bovis,

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:55:07 AM
the initiator of acute acidosis, to various antibiotics gives hope that powerful aids in the prevention of enterotoxemia may be available for goats (Muir et al., 1981).

Ketosis is a metabolic disorder defined by increased levels of ketone bodies (acetone, betahydroxybutyric acid, and acetoacetic acid) in blood, milk, and urine, and is associated with elevated blood plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), which are precursors of ketone bodies. Lactation ketosis is observed primarily in high-producing dairy cows and to a lesser extent in dairy goats (Leach, 1971; Mackenzie, 1973; Schultz, 1974; Guss, 1977). Late-pregnancy ketosis is encountered in sheep and goats carrying multiple fetuses. Goats appear to be more resistant than cows or ewes to ketosis. Treatment is similar to that for cows: intravenous glucose, glucocorticoid steroids, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) injections, oral drenching with sodium propionate, propylene glycol or chloral hydrate.

Experimentally, phlorizin injections in goats have simulated ketosis by causing glucosuria, hypoglycemia, ketonemia, and blood plasma NEFA level increases (Menahan, 1966). Forcing goats to go without food also results in increases of blood NEFA levels, especially in late pregnancy or during lactation. However, the fat depot is the ultimate source of ketosis, and dairy goats appear to lack the fat reserves of cows and other animals, which might explain why ketosis is unusual in goats.

Increased ketogenesis has been produced by infusion of butyric acid into the rumen of goats with phlorizin-induced hypoglycemia; the condition was corrected by intravenous injections of glucose or propionate, or intraruminal administration of propionate (Menahan, 1966). Most ketogenesis was produced, however, from butyric acid infusion into the rumen in late pregnancy and when the goats were forced to fast.

Diabetes accompanied by elevated blood NEFA levels has also been simulated in goats by the administration of intravenous alloxan (Menahan, 1966). A glucose drain during late multiple pregnancy and heavy lactation is the triggering stimulus to lipolysis and ketogenesis. A feedback effect from ketonemia in the presence of insulin appears to prevent further increases of fat mobilization and may be important to the survival of the animal.

Increased plasma NEFA levels were a more sensitive indicator of undernutrition in goats than blood ketones or blood glucose levels (Radloff, 1964). Growth hormone, epinephrine, glucocorticoid steroids, and ACTH have direct effects on and relationships to blood ketone levels in goats.

The incidence of paralysis-type conditions of this metabolic hypocalcemic disorder differs among genetic groups of dairy cattle, but is also reported for other species, including goats (Littledike, 1974; Guss, 1977). However, it is not observed as frequently in goats as in cows. Signs and treatments are similar to those for cows. Prevention has been tried with different contents of calcium in the diet during the dry period, and with hormone treatment and vitamin D therapy, but no generally accepted management practice has evolved. Parturient paresis has been related to greatly increased mammary blood flow immediately after parturition (Reynolds, 1970).

The relationship of the kinetics of calcium pool size and calcium turnover rate to dietary phosphorus levels were studied and discussed by Twardock et al. (1970) and Anderson et al. (1970). It was noted that different dietary regimes of goats, including changed calcium-to-phosphorus ratios, had significant effects on the size and biological half-life of the readily exchangeable calcium pool. It was suggested that the response time of the parathyroid hormone and the removal of calcium from the so-called nonexchangeable bone pool was too slow for the immediate calcium needs of parturition and lactation onset in goats; and when the readily exchangeable calcium pool was inadequate to meet these needs, then parturient paresis resulted. A low or high calcium diet over time may be a predisposing factor for a reduced readily exchangeable calcium pool in goats. Dietary phosphorus levels influence the effects of such diets, and also the level of intestinal calcium absorption and available calcium in goats.

Posthitis, also known as sheathrot or pizzlerot, has been reported in male goats (Shelton and Livingston, 1975). This problem has been studied extensively in Merino wethers in Australia (Osborne and Widdows, 1961; McMillan and Southcott, 1973). The causative agents are thought to be a high protein ration in combination with the presence of a urea-hydrolyzing organism such as Corynebacterium renale (McMillan and Southcott, 1973; Barajas and Biberstein, 1974; Shelton and Livingston, 1975). The problem appears to be aggravated by confinement to areas where irritation or infection are more likely to occur. The problem is not likely to be a serious one with goats, except with mature Angora wethers kept for hair production. The problem may also occur with individual breeding bucks kept in confinement.

The problem of poisonous plants is of great importance to owners of much of the world’s goat population. It is not known, nor can it be inferred, that goats are either more or less susceptible to toxic plants than other animal species. However, their grazing habits and the environment under which many of them are kept place them in wider contact with toxic plants. Many goats are found in arid areas, and

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:55:59 AM
are noted for eating a variety of plants under these conditions. Many native forage species found under arid conditions have natural protective mechanisms, including toxic principals that retard evaporation and protect against livestock. Goats are thought to be less sensitive than cattle to the toxic effects of tannic acid. Goats can live for extended periods of time on oak species with high tannic acid, whereas cattle are very susceptible to this material (Dollahite, 1961). Goats are also not bothered by bitter-weed (Hymenoxys odorata), which causes severe losses with sheep in some areas (Hardy et al. 1931). And goats have been used at times to reduce the availability of toxic plants to other animal species (Dollahite, 1972). Some references to toxic plants and their effects include Sperry et al. (1964), Kingsbury (1964), Lindahl (1972), and Keeler et al. (1978).

Urea is an important natural compound in the physiological processes of goats, but can be highly toxic if consumed in excess. Although most of the urea that is formed in the liver is excreted through the kidney, a portion passes into the rumen where it is hydrolyzed to ammonia and used by rumen microorganisms for protein synthesis (Vercoe, 1969; Hume et al., 1970). Therefore, urea is frequently included in ruminant diets to partially replace protein ingredients. Producers and feed formulators must exercise caution when feeding goats urea, since excessive amounts can result in a buildup of ammonia to toxic levels in the bloodstream (Morris and Payne, 1970; Kromann et al., 1971). It is recommended that urea supply no more than one-third of the total crude protein in forage or roughage-type diets and not more than one-half in the concentrate portion of the diet. Also, an adaptation period of at least three weeks is required for the animal to utilize urea efficiently. It is generally believed that 44 g/100 kg body weight at a single feeding will result in acute toxicity. Producers should assure that daily consumption levels at that rate do not occur.

Goats are known to be susceptible to urolithiasis (urinary calculi), and serious losses can occur when valuable breeding males are placed on calculogenic rations (Sato and Omori, 1977). It is not known whether they are more susceptible or less susceptible than other ruminant species or whether the predisposing factors are different. For the purpose of this discussion it will be assumed that goats do not differ from cattle or sheep with respect to calculus formation. Nutritional imbalances are generally considered the primary cause of stone formation, but infection has been identified as a predisposing factor with some species (Griffith et al., 1975). The problem is largely restricted to the male because his urinary tract is much more susceptible to blockage, and it is seen infrequently in grazing goats. The problem is important only in confined animals, which represent a small portion of the world’s goat population but include some of the more valuable stud bucks. The chemistry of calculus formation is complex and is not completely understood. One of the more important predisposing factors is a high phosphorus content in the diet, or a content high relative to calcium or potassium content (Rabbins et al., 1965; Hoar et al., 1970). In dry lot rations the potassium levels should be maintained at an adequate level and the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio should be maintained at 1.5:1 or greater. Additional protection may be obtained through the use of ration additives such as ammonium chloride (Crookshank, 1970) or potassium chloride (Shelton and Ellis, 1965; Crookshank, 1966), which will acidify the urine. If infection plays a part in calculus formation, it may be through its effect on pH of the urine. Using medication to combat infection with a view to preventing calculus formation is not generally recommended, but such an action may be a secondary benefit of using antibiotics in the ration for other reasons.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 08, 2012, 12:43:38 AM
During a conversation with our counterpart in Texas last year, the topic on buck health came up and one thing we found interesting was the discussion on buck health and security.Seems goats like humans can also contract and pass on STDs,sexual transmitted diseases.Depends on how many does a single buck mates with and if this buck or other bucks are allowed to breed with goats outside your own farm.Abortion Storms,meaning that in your herd,you notice 2 does or more abort within weeks of each other and was serviced by the same buck.In this case,the buck should become suspect and treated along with all your other does in your herd.Systemic shots for 5 days of any 200mg. tetracycline given subq. in the proper dose for very 100 pounds of body weight,both the bucks and does.As a preventative measure we now inject our bucks during the off breeding season for this very reason.Preventation is always better than having to deal with something very nasty happening to your goats in the first place.

Speaking of injections,one must take great caution when injecting IM,should you hit the main nerve in the rump,lucky if the goat only limps around for a few days.Worse case,you can cripple your goat for life or send it into shock and it dies.

When dealing with any livestocks,preventation is always the best cure.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 18, 2012, 03:47:55 AM
Figures this week released from the USDA is claiming higher worldwide inventories of wheat and corn.Some of the Russian states are sitting on stockpiles of surplus wheat and India has surplus wheat for export while China is holding her own in domestic corn production.All this surplus wheat and corn might mean a break in feed costs for the livestock producer but if the world price of oil should rise then the cost of transportation will also rise along with the cost of fertilizer.News like this is always a good news,bad news for the producer and lets hope the prices for our livestocks will not decline, placing even more hardships on livestock producers and our products worldwide.Another catch 22 for the year, 2012.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2012, 02:02:50 PM
The ESMGPA is not a "marketing organization." However, its membership includes numerous individuals with many years of successful marketing experience. We have collected here a number of "marketing models" that can be replicated by ESMGPA members in the Region, or on some more local scale.

Start with a working definition. Marketing: the process of locating, delivering to, and receiving payment from a buyer for a product that you have for sale. For the goat raiser, the "product" will be a live goat; even though you might deliver it as a carcass or cuts of meat. In fact, there are three main "streams" in the meat goat marketing world: (1) the "slaughter stream," and (2) "show animal" stream, and (3) the "breeding stock" stream. Producers are quite likely to market animals through all three streams.

The "Slaughter Stream"

In the "slaughter stream," market kids" is a term much used. These are castrated buck kids (wethers), intact bucklings, or doelings. They may be born any time during the year and are sold after weaning and reaching a "market weight" of 45 pounds or higher. Uncastrated buck kids up to the age of 12 months can be included in this market. Doe kids can be marketed the same way, of course; but they may be more profitably marketed as "breeding stock." Most commercial producers are selling these "market kids."

There has been historically an "Easter Kid" market in New York State. These are January or February born kids. still suckling , in the 20-45 pound range, and sold shortly before the Roman, Orthodox Greek and Russian Easters. Buyers traditionally pay a premium price for these lightweight kids.

As individuals in your herd age, have accidents, diseases , or "poor genetics' become obvious; the raiser should be "culling" unprofitable older animals. There is a market for these bucks and does over one year of  age, too.

Direct sales from the farm to the consumer can be handled in several ways. The consumer can buy the animal from you and take it home to slaughter and butcher. Or, you may provide the basic facilities for slaughter by the owner on your farm. You might accommodate the buyer by taking the animal they have purchased to a slaughter house of your mutual choice. At that point they will become responsible for paying the slaughter and cutting charges and picking up the meat from the slaughterhouse.

If you, the raiser, want to sell goat meat on the wholesale or retail basis, you will have to get the slaughtering and butchering done at a slaughter house that offers USDA meat inspection. The costs of slaughter, cutting, and wrapping will have to be built into your wholesale or retail selling price. It is difficult to market fresh goat meat unless you are selling through an outlet where there is high demand and rapid turnover. many wholesalers and retailers market frozen goat meat.

You may utilize a "middle-man" of some sort. The "middle-man" might be a licensed dealer, a company, or a cooperative, that collets animals from many sources and holds them for resale alive or slaughtered. These middle-men take your live animal and move it along to the consumer. Some dealers are located geographically near large populations of goat meat buyers. These are ethnic populations who may buy goat meat the year around, but are particularly interested in buying at certain identifiable religious holiday seasons. Some dealers will pick up live animals at your farm (planning a route to include you and other nearby raisers). many dealers will pay a premium if you bring your live animals to them. They then sell directly to consumers, or hold the animals for buyers who come from live animal markets in the city or to buyers who represent a slaughterhouse which sells to butchers in the urban areas. Some meat goat producers who live considerable distances from the urban centers have formed marketing pools. Market ready animals are collected at some central local point and then transported to a buyer in the city or a buyer may bring trucking out to pick up the animals. Some raisers have taken this a step further and formed more permanent marketing coops. In some cases the animals are slaughtered locally and their carcasses shipped to contracted restaurants or butcher shops on a regular basis and sometimes there are special shipments at ethnic holiday times.

You can take animals to area livestock auction houses. To be profitable to you, your animals need to be put up for auction on a day when there are buyers of goats present in competitive numbers. Such ad day is not always easy to identify beforehand. Local groups of raiser have negotiated with specific auction houses to have special goat sale days. On those days goat buyers are encouraged to attend and goats may be grouped by age and sold by grades. Of course you will have to provide transpiration for you animals to the auction center.

The "Show Animal" Stream

Many goat raisers enjoy the excitement, camaraderie, and competition of the "show circuit." Most youth programs, such as the 4-H goat program, involve multiple aspects of goat raising, including fitting and showing. Besides showing opportunities at local fairs and the NYS Fair, ESMGPA members participate in Regional shows, state shows, and broad regional shows. Some of these shows are sanctioned by organizations, such as the American Meat Goat Association: or by specific breed associations like the American Boer Goat Association and the International Boer Goat Association. These shows usually have open classes for market wethers as well as classes for purebred stock. Goat raisers producing high quality goats at all levels may find buyers who wish to show these animals. "Showring" is also good way to advertise your animals and your goat raising operation.

The "Breeding Stock" Stream

Whether you are raising purebred animals, registered high percentage animals, or have a quality meat goat herd; there is a market for your animals as breeding stock. Mature does and doelings are currently in high demand as raisers expand their herd and new goat raising operations get underway. There is also a regular demand for quality  full blood bucks and high % bucks and bucklings of good size, conformation, and promise. you can advertise here on this ESMGPA website. You can enroll and advertise on the Cornell University Sheep and Goat Marketing website, SRMarketing. you can advertise in farm publications such as "country Folk" (a free subscription with your membership in ESMGPA). The Farm Bureau's publication; "Gassroots," carries free ads for members. Breed journals will be happy to place an ad for you. Exhibiting at shows will give you and your animals exposure to other goat producers and will establish beneficial word-of-mouth advertising. Dealers who recognize that you are producing quality animals for slaughter or breeding may "spread the word" for you. Where there are 4-H Goat Programs occurring, market wethers and breeding does for participating youth are in demand. Purebred raisers may have annual sales or occasional "Productions Sales" that might accept animals from you. Generally speaking, more money can be made by selling animals as breeding stock than by sending them to the meat market.


A number of factors contribute to successful marketing. Some are with the procurer's control and some are not. Geographic location in relation ship to buyers (be they consumers or distributors) is important. Your ability to develop good working relationships with other producers, buyers and consumers will contribute to a profitable operation. Of course, the quality of your product will affect how much it is desired by both middle-men and the ultimate consumer. Consult with experienced raisers who have operations similar to what you are planning. but, also think "out of the box" and be creative.

You will want to explore "marketing" in greater depth than this summary provides. Look over the attached list of internet "links," think through which marketing models might work for you, and continue your research along those lines.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2012, 02:05:47 PM
Feedlot Performance and Carcass Characteristics of
                                        Tennessee Meat Goats and Boer Cross Wethers

By: Dr. Frank Pinkerton, Dr. Lou Nuti, and Dr. Ken McMillin


The information presented herein resulted from a 1997 trial conducted at Prairie View A&M University by Dr. Lou Nuti to make an early and, admittedly, exploratory evaluation of the recently introduced Boer goat as a terminal sire on dairy, Spanish and Tennessee Meat Goats (TMG). Although the small numbers and variable ages and sizes of animals available for purchase at that time made the data ineligible for publication in refereed journals, we feel current goat producers might glean useful information from the findings, particularly in light of present industry interest in “finishing” Boer crossbreds. Too, a number of dairy goat owners are now using Boer sires to try to improve carcass merit of surplus kids sold for meat.

Research Procedure

The 50 wethers used in this trial were purchased from area goat producers and transported to Prairie View in late June, 1997. They were held for seven days of pre-trial observation and pre-conditioning (de-worming, confinement handling and exposure to new pelleted feed). The trial began June 30 with 5 breed groups: TMG, Boer x Spanish, Boer x Nubian/TMG, Boer x Nubian/Alpine and Boer x Nubian. Each breed group was penned separately and fed as groups. Therefore, it was impossible to obtain individual feed intakes and, accordingly, no individual feed conversion efficiencies. Only individual daily rates of gain could be determined. Initially, there were ten animals per breed group, but, early on, one TMG and two Boer x Spanish wethers died (no reason found). Group feed intakes in those pens were then adjusted to compensate for the smaller numbers.

The sole diet fed was a commercial, pelleted ‘complete feed’ with a tag guarantee of 16% crude protein, 1.5% fat (min.), 19% crude fiber, .8-.9% calcium, .32% Phosphorus, 1.0-1.25% salt, 10ppm-20ppmcopper plus vitamins A (15,000I.U./lb) and E (3000I.U./lb). It also had Decoquinate (Decox), 27.2 grams/ton, to suppress coccidiosis. The tag indicated a composition of grains, protein feeds, molasses, and 20% roughage products (unidentified). This figure, taken with the 19% fiber guarantee, suggests the total digestible nutrient (TDN) content of this feed mixture was about 72%, as-fed basis. (For comparison, corn is 80%, oats are 70% and good alfalfa hay is about 52% TDN.) In any case, the feed composition and expected feed intake were conducive to rapid growth rate when fed ad lib (all they wanted, all the time).

At the conclusion of the 120 day trial, all animals were weighed, then held off feed for 24 hours and thereafter weighed again just prior to slaughter. They were stunned, jugular-cut and hung for bleeding, skinning and removal of viscera. Head, shanks, liver, heart and kidneys- with- fat were removed prior to washing and weighing the hot carcass. After chilling for 24 hours at 34F, the carcasses were weighed and fabricated into selected retail cuts which were weighed to calculate yields.

Results and Discussion

We have tabulated the performance and carcass data under breed-group headings and in three separate tables for reader convenience.

Readers should first remember that there were, essentially three different age and weight groups in the trial. These differences make precise comparisons of performance data impossible. However, the figures do reflect certain principles of animal growth with which producers should be acquainted. For example, pre-weaning growth rates are relatively low but become ever larger as the kid ages. After weaning, increasing average daily gain (adg) at first stabilizes around puberty (at .3 to .4 lb) and thereafter decreases with increasing age, particularly so as the animal approaches maturity. However, post-weaning kids, if fed ad lib., will continue to grow at a higher adg for a longer time, but eventually, their adg rate will slow, even in the face of higher rates of daily feed intake, because, as they grow and begin to fatten, their feed conversion efficiency declines sharply. Remember, it takes 2.25 times more feed (energy) to put on a pound of fat than it does to put on a pound of protein (muscle). The economic consequences of this physiological phenomenon are two: it increases the cost/lb of gain and, secondly, the selling price/lb of the live goat usually decreases as it becomes larger and unacceptably fatter than current markets demand.

Note also in Table 1 that, as expected, larger goats have higher daily feed intake (dfi) than smaller goats, but, when dfi is expressed as a percent of body weight, larger goats cannot eat as much, proportionately, as smaller ones. Right when the larger goat is fattening and needs ever more feed/day, it simply cannot eat enough to sustain a high adg. Essentially, the economic principle of diminishing returns is mirrored in the diminishing feed conversion efficiency (fce)---one gets ever less return (gain and income) per unit of feed eaten and feed dollar spent; sooner or later, the net selling price/lb will not cover the cost per pound of gain (and overhead). When the cost of feed and overhead for the next pound of gain exceeds the selling price of that pound, it is time to load and go.

At the conclusion of this trial in November of 1997, choice slaughter goats in the 40 to 80 pound range were selling at the San Angelo, TX. auction for $.86/lb. Referring to line 10 of Table 1, it is apparent that the feed cost/lb of gain, not to mention overhead, exceeded the selling price/lb received except for the Boer x Spanish cross group.

Readers will recognize that, if these wethers had been purchased at less than the $.86/lb selling price (e.g. $.70/lb), then a profit on the purchased weight could have been made ($.86 - $.70 = $.16/lb x pounds of purchase weight). Growing and fattening (finishing) of weanling or stocker goats in a typical, intensive feedlot environment is not for faint hearts or shallow pockets. Assuming adequate disease control and low death loss, feed-lotting can be done. However, to win, the trifecta of feed cost, fce and sale price must be sufficiently advantageous. One is somehow reminded of the dicey probability of lining up those required three fruits on a slot machine.

Turning now to carcass information, we again tabulate by breed groups. Table 2 shows gross carcass characteristics while Table 3 presents retail cut yields and values. The goats were slaughtered serially over a period of a few days following the end of the feeding trial but were again weighed just prior to slaughter. All chilled carcasses were first divided into fore and hind halves by cutting transversely between the 12th and 13th rib. Each half was then fabricated into selected retail cuts and edible scrap, with non-edible scrap/bone being the difference between cold carcass weight and saleable cuts plus edible scrap. (See Fig. 1.)

In Table 2, the characteristics measured and the average values per group found are not very different with the possible exception of the purebred TMG wethers which had appreciably higher hot and cold carcass yields (%). We will report shortly in The Goat Rancher further carcass work with TMG, Boer and Spanish purebreds.

The size of the ribeye (12th rib) muscle is of economic value and breeder interest to cattle and sheep producers and processors. However, goat processors do not seem to exhibit much concern for ribeye size, most probably because well over 90% of carcasses are sold whole to retailers who, on demand, cut and sell halves, quarters and, only rarely, smaller individual cuts. Perhaps as, and if, restaurants and supermarkets become more interested in larger (40 lb. plus) carcasses (possibly from ‘finished’ goats), they too may come to prefer larger ribeyes. Readers should note in Table 2, item 12, that when ribeye measurements of various sizes in a collection of carcasses are compared on a per/pound of cold carcass basis, the observed differences all but disappear. Accordingly, you should understand that many, if not all, of the observable differences in sizes of ribeye from goats (of various breeds, sizes, condition, etc.) are due to size of carcass, not to breeding, feeding, etc.; see Fig. 2.

Regarding Table 3, we show the saleable yields of the chosen cuts from the rear and front halves and also the non edible waste, sometimes referred to as “cutting loss”. The ratios of these items (items 15 and 18) have obvious economic consequence. Readers should especially note that, in this trial, the weights of liver, heart and kidneys were not taken nor were they assigned any dollar values in the retail sale calculation. This decision had the effect of lowering the retail yields by approximately 1.2 lb./carcass or about 3% yield (which would be now worth about $3.00).

In earlier times, slaughter plants gained revenue from the sale of non-edible offal(viscera, bone, blood, hides, etc.), but, currently, they usually have to pay additional sums for its removal. Goat hides may draw $1-$2 each, or zero, or be an offal-removal cost, depending on the operation.

Please refer briefly to Table 2, line 7, to note that the Boer crossbred’s cold carcass dressing percentages averaged 46.5% (range 45.3% to 48.1%) while the TMG yielded 53.5%, a 15% advantage (53.5% divided by 46.5 %). Urban abattoir personnel tell us that 45-47% cold carcass yields are typical for commercial goats and that 50-53% is the exception. In Table 3, lines 15 and 16 show the yield of saleable cuts, by weight and as a percentage of the cold carcasses. The retail yield for the Boer crossbreds ranged from 86.5 to 88.9% (ave. 87.8%) while the TMG average was 92.2%, a further advantage of 5.0% (92.2% divided by 87.8%) for the TMG (explained in part by its noticeably lower percentage(7.8) of non-edible scrap, line 18).

The value of retail cuts (line 19) was calculated by multiplying the weight of individual cuts by the retail price of that cut and then summing. We report the 1997 Austin, Tx retail goat meat prices as:

In this price list, the double cut/bone-in rib chops at $2.69/lb (see Fig. 3) seem to be underpriced relative to the double cut/bone-in loin chops at $5.49/lb. Think of beef rib eye steaks (chops) vs. T-bone steaks (chops). The other hind- and forequarter cuts seem to us comparably priced in terms of edible meat, but, remember, very little commercial goat meat is yet sold in urban markets as individual cuts. Thus, current retail pricing patterns are not readily available for comparing to 1997 values.

The retail value per pound of cuts for the breed groups are shown on line 20, Table 3. The Boer crossbreds averaged $2.54/lb and the TMG averaged $2.79/lb, a TMG advantage of 9.8% ($2.79 divided by $2.54). The final carcass measurement, value of retail cuts per pound of shrunk live weight (line 21), favors the TMG by 20% ($1.24/$1.03 crossbred average). This higher crucial value for the TMG is due to a combination of factors: higher cold carcass yield (53.5%, line 7, Table 2), lower cutting loss (7.8%, line 18, Table #3) and higher average value per pound of retail cuts ($2.79/lb, line 20, Table 3).

Unfortunately, we had too few animals in each breed group and, secondly, there was too much individual difference within each breed group; we cannot, therefore, say that the TMG advantage was statistically significant. But, this data and other findings soon to be reported do suggest a rationale for doing further work with larger numbers of genetically representative TMG. Anecdotal experiences with Boer x TMG crosses (50%TMG x 50%Boer and 75% Boer x 25% TMG) by the authors and others seem quite promising; perhaps a “classic cross,” 5/8 Boer x 3/8 TMG, would be commercially useful. But, readers should note in Tables 1, 2 and 3 that the Boer x TMG/Nubian crossbreds were neither better nor worse than the other non-TMG x Boer crosses in either performance or carcass data. Much caution is urged regarding small-number breed comparisons. Too, superior carcasses, even if statistically real, may not necessarily come from animals of superior productive and/or reproductive performance; proceed with skepticism as your constant companion.

One last, but very instructive observation...line 22 in Table 3 shows the auction price per head a processor would have had to pay for the shrunk goat. Subtracting these figures from the retail values per carcass (line 19) gives the gross margins the processor/wholesaler and the retailer would have had to share to cover all their expenses and profits (line 23). These breed margins ranged from $20.98 to $12.77 and averaged $17.48/hd. The processor/wholesaler would have engendered procurement/shipping, hauling shrinkage, slaughter and carcass shrinkage costs and, of course, a profit. Thereafter, the retailer would have had expenses for transporting the carcass, possibly fabricating it into cuts and merchandising them, plus his mark up (i.e., profit).

The precise costs and exact profits from processing, distribution and retailing goat meat are proprietary and, accordingly, are not likely to be deeply researched by those desiring further life expectancies. Certain costs, however, may be estimated with some accuracy and, by comparing retail prices for hanging carcasses in, say, New York City, to known live goat prices in San Angelo, one can confidently speculate that processors and retailers each profit, perhaps $3-$7/carcass, on the average, across annual ever changing supply and demand pattern; after all, who can gainsay?


None of the performance measurements were significantly different between the TMG and the various crossbred wethers.

The feed efficiencies and feed costs per lb of gain recorded herein demonstrate the economic uncertainties associated with finishing goats in intensive environments.

Although there were measurable differences in carcass characteristics between the TMG and Boer crossbreds, too few goat numbers and too much variation within breed groups made the results inconclusive, but certainly worthy of further investigations.

The gross margins between the aggregate retail sales values of the carcass components and the auction costs of the “finished” slaughter goats are sufficiently narrow to give pause to those contemplating options such as retained ownership, slaughter operations, value-added merchandising, etc. Extreme care should be exercised by those only partially informed of the perils and (presumed) profits from marketing goats beyond the farmgate.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2012, 02:09:31 PM
Marketing Slaughter Goats and Goat Meat Products in
                                        the United States

Dr. tatiana Luisa Stanton - Extension Sheep & Goat Associate
Northeast Sheep & Goat Marketing Program, Cornell University - Ithaca, NY 14853

The survivability of our US meat goat industry is dependant on improving its accessibility and desirability to the huge base of goat meat enthusiasts right here in the US. National goat meat consumption has grown sharply. The goat slaughter rate at USDA inspected facilities climbed from 207,893 goats in 1991 to 595,501 goats in 2002 and 647,000 goats in 2003. Imports from our largest importer, Australia, increased from approximately 3 million pounds in 1990 to 17 million pounds in 2003. Assuming a 40 lb carcass, which is the largest carcass popular with most importers, this equals a minimum of 425,000 more goats.

Who Is Our Customer?
Increased consumption is driven by the popularity of goat meat with the diverse ethnic groups that immigrate yearly to the US. The popularity of goat meat with immigrants is not new. In the past, many of us immigrated to the US from countries where goat meat was popular. However, the perceived scarcity of goat meat in the US and the melting pot mentality discouraged people from holding on to their goat meat traditions. In recent years, we’ve seen a switch in philosophy to one that encourages people to celebrate their diverse cultural backgrounds. The introduction of South African Boer goats into the US received major publicity and helped make city dwellers more aware of the availability of goat meat. Approximately 10% of the US population is foreign born with ~51% of these first generation immigrants coming from Latin American and a substantial percentage of the remainder identifying themselves as Muslim. Most immigrants settle initially in metropolitan areas making it relatively easy to concentrate goat meat marketing in these areas. The Northeast US accounted for only 4.5% of the total US goat population in the 2002 Agricultural Census. However, due to the high concentration of recent immigrants in Northeast cities, the same region accounted for 47.5% of the goats slaughtered in federally inspected slaughterhouses. The low income base of many newly immigrated families, particularly refugees, initially suggests that pursuing these markets will tie farmers into a low price/low value product. People on a tight income may be attracted more to cull animals and to frozen, imported goat meat.

Australian and New Zealand supply a major portion of the imported goat meat sold commercially in the US. This market has been growing at an annual rate >30% since approximately 1990 and has been able to piggy-back on Australian and NZ lamb industries. With the help of US investors, Australia and NZ have been able to develop highly professional, centralized in-country slaughterhouses specifically for lamb export purposes. Companies like Australian Meat Holdings have been able to hold farmers to a consistent product, while compulsory government health programs have helped encourage some uniformity of management. It has been easy to include goats in these same processing and marketing enterprises. Furthermore, as part of the British Commonwealth, Australia and NZ have previous experience establishing substantial goat meat export markets to other Commonwealth nations (for example, Jamaica and India). Taiwan has traditionally been the largest importer of Australian goat meat. However, goat meat exports from mainland China to Taiwan are starting to take a substantial portion of this market share. The strength of the US dollar is still sufficient to make it unlikely that we can compete profitably with Australia let alone China for these export markets. Rather, we need to ensure that locally produced goat meat is viewed as more desirable than imported product by US consumers.
It is estimated that approximately 90% of the goat meat imported from Australia is harvested from extensively managed “feral” goats. Quality may be inconsistent and these enterprises are generally not viewed as a lucrative, growing trade. Carcasses are shrouded in plastic or boxed as 6 primal cuts (“6 packs”) and frozen and transported by boat to the US. A benefit of this less expensive, year round product is that it keeps families in the habit of consuming goat meat. However, a growing portion of Australian and New Zealand goat meat is available as flown-in cryovaxed fresh carcasses and retail cuts from export slaughterhouses that have been approved for USDA federal inspection. United States goat producers need to come up with serious rationale for why our own “homegrown” consumers should choose our goat meat over fresh imported product.

Luckily, many families become upwardly mobile as they establish themselves in the US. Even people on a tight budget prefer to splurge for locally slaughtered goats for weddings, funerals, and special feasts. There is also a strong trend in the US for the consumption of farm fresh product. Much of the focus of the US goat meat industry should be on making it easier for consumers and processors to obtain the goat meat product they desire year round. We need to insure that the children of immigrants are encouraged to continue these dietary preferences. It is counterproductive if goat meat is available only sporadically, specific carcass preferences are ignored, people are made to feel unwelcome when seeking out goat meat through established channels, or if our marketing infrastructure collapses in on itself and offers all of us fewer marketing choices. We do not need to limit ourselves to seeking out only an “ethnic” market but we better make sure that we nourish and acknowledge this market as the base of our existing demand.
Improving our accessibility

How do we make product available year round? Right now, we are probably lucky to have a supply of Australian goat meat for consumers to fall back on when US meat is scarce. However, this encourages distributors to abandon the US industry completely and market exclusively imported product. If we plan on expanding our US goat herd (and as we all know, goats multiply quite easily), we need to develop a base of producers who are willing to manage their herds more intensively either through accelerated breeding cycles or staggered kiddings to provide product more reliably year round. This is hard to do. Most of us are inclined to target peak demand times such as the Easter and winter holiday seasons, and Ramadan Id al Alha with their accompanying higher (sometimes) prices.

How do we make product easy to find? The events of September 11th and subsequent compulsory check-ins for immigrant men from certain countries have inadvertently resulted in many ethnic customers maintaining a very low profile. Where people might have felt comfortable stopping unannounced at your farm to ask if those goats in the front pasture are for sale, the same families may be very reticent today. We need to be assertive about finding new ways to contact different cultures about local availability of goat meat. Visiting mosques and foreign student associations, handing out business cards at auctions, sending press releases about their farms to cultural news journals and establishing on-farm live animal markets are some actions producers have taken.

How do we provide sufficient supply even for special holidays? As producers, more of us need to group together to pool animals for sale. These groupings do not need to be formal cooperatives particularly if they are 1) targeting one particular distributor and 2) the products are live slaughter goats. In order to easily locate dealers, distributors, packers, processors and transportation, we need to encourage the accumulation of web based marketing services directories across more regions than just the Northeast US. The number of smaller USDA slaughterhouses willing to slaughter sheep and goats are decreasing at an alarming rate. Helping to publicize these USDA slaughterhouses is crucial. Having easy places for producers to find contact information for buyers also increases our accessibility. However, many producers do not have the time to seek out buyers and investigate their credit status. Many buyers are also hesitant to deal direct. The development of large, graded sales where goat kids are grouped according to weight, age, and condition for a multitude of buyers is also very important. As part of this we need more sales willing to sell goats by the pound and more sales where prices paid are put on public record by a disinterested third party.

Improving Our Desirability
Bob Herr, a popular order buyer at the New Holland Sale, likes to say that there is a customer for every goat, a goat for every customer. It is important that producers educate themselves about the types of goats that are popular for various seasons. It is also important for producers to communicate well with their buyers to make sure they are accurately representing their animals and matching the animal to the market demand. This does not mean that the market is stagnant or does not appreciate some education from producers themselves. Many of us who market direct have experienced customers who initially were leery of meatier, possibly fatter, Boer X carcasses and then became more impressed upon seeing the carcasses hung next to a dairy breed or Spanish goat carcass. Many immigrant customers desire a tender, younger meat once both the husband and wife are working and faster cooking dinners become a priority. However, knowing how to contact and communicate with buyers and getting educated about the market is a first step in meeting customer desires.

Many ethnic customers are proud of their ability to judge the carcass suitability of a live animal. New York City has a long history of live poultry markets and in recent years many of these have expanded to include small ruminants. An animal can be purchased at them and then slaughtered at the on-site custom slaughterhouse. This is one market that Australia cannot compete with us for. However, state departments of agriculture may not be aware of the importance of these markets and could subject them to excessive regulation. Organizing annual meetings between state agriculture officials and representatives from statewide lamb and goat producer associations may help these agencies stay in touch with industry priorities. Live animal markets generally provide a wide range of animals to satisfy the diverse market demands of various cultures. In states where they are permitted, they provide a way for city dwellers to insure their own quality standards.

Desirability and acceptability of goat meat products for the general US public will be improved if slaughterhouses with religious exemptions handle animals as humanely as possible. As producers, we need to exert pressure on Halal slaughterhouses to adopt humane restrainers based on Temple Grandin designs.

Marketing Strategies To Get A Bigger Piece Of The Pie
There are many marketing strategies that producers can adopt to reap more of the market share of their goats. Almost all of these require an investment in extra labor and/or capital on the part of the producer.

One of the easiest marketing strategies is pooling. This is the gathering of animals from several farms together at one centralized pick-up point to offer a buyer a sufficient supply of animals. Arrangements need to be made for one person to represent all of you in negotiating price and to assign or pay a person to insure that animals meet the quality standards of the buyer.

In fall ‘2002, the Northeast Sheep & Goat Marketing Program at Cornell University helped link a pool of producers up with a live animal market in NYC. This live animal market had its own livestock truck and was thus able to deal directly with producers. Farmers were paid $1.15/lb live weight for weaned kids weighing 55 to 100 lbs minus an estimated 4% shrink. The buyer also paid $.85/lb live weight for cull does minus 4% shrink. The arrangement was sustained through the winter and early spring but eventually folded. Problems arose because 1) producers were unable to provide sufficient quantity of consistent product year round, 2) shrinkage loss was very variable from one type of animal to another (for example, fat cull does versus recently weaned kids), 3) the buyer could not find a reliable driver and thus trucked himself and had to justify his time away from his business, 4) the marketing coordinator found it difficult to enforce quality standards if the buyer did not proactively speak out on questionable animals.

Another way to deal directly with buyers is to organize on-farm live animal markets. These work when farms are within commuting distance to metropolitan areas with large meat goat consuming populations. They are dependant on your state having a relaxed interpretation of the exemption for custom slaughtering of farmer owned livestock. Similar to the NYC live animal markets, customers come on farm, purchase an animal and have it slaughtered at the on-farm slaughterhouse. These live animal markets often need to purchase animals from other farms to meet their demand. For example, a goat producer located between Buffalo and Rochester, NY found that despite raising approximately 150 kids from his own farm, he needed to purchase 490 goats from 17 other producers in 2003 for an average price of $70.72 to meet the needs of his live market/custom slaughterhouse business. He also purchased 162 goats from local auctions averaging $55.32 per goat.

Cuisine from goat consuming cultures has grown in popularity with an increasingly cosmopolitan U.S. mainstream population. The healthy profile of goat meat is also attractive to today’s consumer. The goat cheese industry has done a lot to destroy the public’s inhibitions against goat products and many people who pride themselves on a discerning palate are interested in trying goat meat. Producers can opt to market retail cuts direct to restaurants and consumers. A disadvantage of selling particular cuts to restaurants is the need to find a use for the rest of the carcass. Many ethnic restaurants, however, prepare recipes that use the whole carcass.

Selling direct to businesses on a year round basis is very labor consuming. It is best done either by producers who raise a diverse range of products and thus save time by marketing a multitude of products to each of their customers, by large producers raising goats fulltime, or by formal cooperatives. Another option is for a group of producers to get together and market directing to a buyer for one or two particular holidays each year when demand is high and may absorb their entire kid crop. Even when done by a cooperative, it is recommended that products be identified by farm name regardless of the overall brand. Many of the restaurants and retail stores interested in buying direct from farmers want to emphasize the actual farm source. A farmer or cooperative that breaks into the retail market or markets a branded product to distributors needs to insure that the price received will compensate them for the extra time needed to coordinate slaughter, processing, transportation and regular communication with buyers.
Tables 1 through 3 show actual prices received and expenses incurred for suckling Boer cross kids in 2004 through 3 different Northeast marketing channels. Table 1 represents an informal grouping of goat producers for Easter where one producer acts as coordinator and absorbs some of the costs himself. For example, the coordinator paid for all telephone calls associated with the shipments, purchased the plastic shrouds for wrapping carcasses, and steam cleaned and lined in plastic the stock trailer and pick-up trucks used to transport the carcasses. Dressing percentages ranged from 63% to 57 % although a few animals dressed as low as 50%. Cooler shrink from slaughterhouse to retail store ranged from 6.4% to 2.6%. Average carcass weight was 21 lbs. Farmers received returns of about $1.73 to $2.00 per lb live weight for kids weighing 30 to 55 lbs respectively. This did not include their transportation costs from farm to slaughterhouse. The previous year prices received from the same buyer were $3.90/lb dressed carcass, slaughter fee was $16 and price to transport carcasses through a refrigerated trucking company averaged $5.00 per carcass.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2012, 02:10:36 PM
Value-added products are another method farmers can use to receive a higher price for their product. However, heat-and-serve meals and the introduction of goat meat and processed cuts into large-scale retail grocery stores requires substantial capital investment. Marketing trim as sausage is a simpler process but the common incorporation of pork fat excludes the Muslim or Halal market. Given our reliable customer base, it is generally important to arrange Halal certification through the Islamic Food Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) if introducing a product over a wide region.

The amount of capital needed to introduce new or branded products can often be obtained by a very large producer or a “new generation” marketing cooperative. Initial funding to help such cooperatives with their product development may be available through USDA value-added grants, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants, and state grants promoting local agriculture. Feasibility studies in areas where the demand for goat meat has already been established are probably not cost effective. However, simple surveys of price sensitivity and testing out what proposed products are of most interest to focus groups and distributors is well advised. Rarely does a co-op have the money to discard one processed product and develop another if investing initially in the wrong choice of product. Focus groups can be picked from goat cheese connoisseurs, patrons of upscale ethnic restaurants featuring lamb and goat, and representatives of goat-consuming cultures with an interest in ready-made meals. Coordination is easier if a cooperative initially forms from a small nucleus of producers that communicate well together. Extra animals can be purchased from nonmembers as long as there is a quality assurance program. The cooperative can be expanded later from this pool of reliable non-members.

The health of the goat meat industry hinges on our ability to sustain and expand a strong “cultural” market from our diverse base of US citizens rather than putting the majority of our marketing resources into trying to build an overseas export market. The interest of an increasing portion of the general public in “ethnic” foods, goat products, lean meats and farm-fresh product can build upon this strong, already-present demand.

Anything we can do to make it easier for producers and buyers to locate each other and arrange necessary market logistics will help to maintain and expand our meat goat industry. Regional marketing service directories such as the Marketing Directory at are crucial, but funding is needed to update and expand them in a timely manner. Land grant institutions, cooperative extension staff, and producer associations can help educate new farmers about market preferences for different ethnic holidays and advantages and disadvantages of different marketing channels. Finally, we may need an industry-wide association focused on goat meat marketing issues. Such an association could determine how to effectively interact with the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) on marketing and governmental regulations that impact both lamb and meat goat producers.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2012, 02:12:14 PM
Factors Affecting Dressing Percentage

Taken from research presented in “Marketing Prime Goat Kids”
 – Paul Greenwood, New South Wales Agriculture 1996

Dressing percentages (calculated as (hot carcass weight / liveweight) * 100) can vary widely for goat kids from about 35% to 55% with 45% being average for most kids with no Boer breeding. Kids with higher fat scores generally have higher dressing percentages than kids of the same liveweight with lower fat scores.
Dressing percentage is affected by:

live weight

fatness -an increase in one fat score will increase dressing percentage by about 2.5%, fatter kids also suffer less live weight and carcass weight loss from fasting prior to slaughter than do leaner kids

time off feed and water - this affects gut fill and therefore live weight. Liveweight percentage losses average 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 12% for goats off feed 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours respectively. Goats coming off lush pastures will generally have a higher dressing percentage than goats on drier feeds if live weight is calculated only a short time after animals are off feed because lush feed passes through the gut faster)

pre-slaughter fasting and stress - affects dressing percentage because of its influence on gut fill and carcass weight loss. If animals are deprived of feed for 6 or more hours, carcass weight will start to decrease and dressing percentage will actually drop even though the goat's live weight is also decreasing. Carcass weight loss is 2-2.5%, 3-4%, and 6-7% after a 12, 24, 48 hour fast, respectively. Deprivation of water results in another 2% loss in carcass weight

skin weight - determined by type of goat and shearing. Skin weight generally averages about 9% of the live weight for a short-haired or shorn goat kid, but can be as high as 15% for an unshorn angora kid

sex - doe kids tend to be slightly fatter than buck kids of the same weight in the same herd. However, this difference is so slight it rarely affects dressing percentage noticeably


weaning - weaned kids tend to have a lower dressing percentage than suckling kids of similar fatness and liveweight.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 26, 2012, 02:32:52 AM
Feeding Barley to Dairy Cattle
EB-72, December 1999

Vern Anderson, Animal Scientist, Carrington Research Extension Center
J.W. Schroeder, Livestock Specialist -- Dairy, Department of Animal and Range Sciences


Barley Grain
Nutrient Profile of Barley
Processing Barley
Using Barley in Dairy Cattle Diets
Management of Barley Diets
Growing and Bred Heifers
Literature Cited

Click here for a PDF version suitable for printing. (428KB)


Barley is a versatile feed grain used throughout the world for a wide variety of livestock species. It is grown in temperate to sub-arctic climates with varieties developed for optimum production in respective regions. Barley is the primary livestock feed grain in the areas where it is grown. Feed barley is also transported to grain-deficit areas via truck, train, and ship. Some variation in nutrient content of barley may occur due to variety, weather, and soil fertility, but generally barley provides an excellent balance of protein, energy, and fiber.

Barley is widely used in diets for all types of dairy animals, including young calves and growing animals as well as lactating and non-lactating dairy cows. Nutrient requirements for dairy cattle vary with age and stage of production. Optimum milk production results from diets with balanced proportions of "effective" fiber, protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins. Barley is the only grain used in many northern latitude dairies and supports rolling herd averages of 21,000 to 24,000 lb (7,545 to 10,909 kg). Barley is also imported and used successfully in temperate and warmer semi-arid regions as a protein and energy source for milking herds.

Barley Grain
Barley grain is described by quality criteria as "U.S. No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or Sample Grade" (Table 1). The criteria for grading barley include test weight, percent sound kernels, foreign matter, heat damage, and discoloration. Test weight is the most common quality trait used in marketing barley.

Table 1. Grading standards for barley.a
                                                    Heat     Total
                           Sound  Foreign  Broken  Damaged  Damaged  Discolored
Grade         Test Weight  Grain  Material  Grain  Kernels  Kernels    Grain
           (lb/bu) (kg/hl)  (%)     (%)      (%)     (%)      (%)       (%)
U.S. No. 1   47     60.2    97       1        5       .2       2         .5
U.S. No. 2   45     58.7    94       2       10       .3       4        1.0
U.S. No. 3   43     55.1    90       3       15       .5       6        2.0
U.S. No. 4   40     51.2    80       4       20      1.0       8        5.0
U.S. No. 5   36     46.1    70       6       30      3.0      10       10.0
U.S. Sample Grade - Barley which does not fall within the grade requirements
of the above grades or which contains more than 16% moisture, or contains stones,
or is musty, or sour, or heating, or which has any commercially objectionable
odor except of smut or garlic; or which contains a quantity of smut so great
that any one or more of the grade requirements cannot be applied accurately, or
which is otherwise of distinctly low quality.
aAdapted from the Official United States Standards for Grains, USDA, 1975.


The barley kernel is composed of the hull, endosperm, and germ. The hull is the high fiber seed coat accounting for 7 to 17% of the seed weight, depending on test weight. The multi-layer endosperm (80 to 90% of seed weight) contains primarily starch and protein. The starch (energy) content is positively related to test weight and inversely related to protein concentration in the endosperm. The germ constitutes 3% of the kernel weight and contributes nitrogen (protein) and fat.

Some barley varieties are grown for malting, but increasing emphasis is being placed on breeding varieties exclusively for livestock feed. Malting barley generally has lower protein levels (<12% crude protein) than feed barley (>12% crude protein). Several types of barley have been developed (two-row, six-row, waxy, and hull-less) and a number of adapted varieties are available in most regions for two-row and six-row (1986) fed Klages and Steptoe along with other varieties. Feeding Klages increased weight gain once, resulted in no difference three times, and decreased gain twice when compared with Steptoe. Feed efficiency did not differ between varieties.

Nutrient Profile of Barley
The National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Cattle (1989) is a useful publication for planning diets with barley. A laboratory analysis of samples from actual lots to be used in ration formulation is highly recommended. Nutrient analyses of barley presented in Table 2 are from NRC (1989) and a three-year average of Northern Plains barley samples (Harrold and Kapphahn, 1995, 1996, 1997).

Table 2. Nutrientsa in barley compared to corn.
                Dry         Crude
Item          Matter  TDN  Protein  ADF  NDF   NEM     NEG     NEL    Ca   Ph   K
                (%)   (%)    (%)    (%)  (%) (Mc/kg) (Mc/kg) (Mc/kg)  (%)  (%)  (%)
Barleyb          90         12.5     7   21
Northern Plains                                                       .05  .39  .52
Barleyc          88   84    13.5     7   19                           .05  .38  .47
Growing Cattle                                 2.06   1.40
Lactating Cows                                                1.94
Corn, crackedc   89   80    10.0     9    3                           .16  .50  .03
Growing Cattle                                 1.94   1.30
Lactating Cows                                                1.84
Corn, ground     88   85    10.0     9    3                           .16  .50  .03
Growing Cattle                                 2.10   1.43
Lactating Cows                                                1.96
aTDN = total digestible nutrients; CP = crude protein; ADF = acid detergent fiber;
NDF = neutral detergent fiber; NEM = net energy for maintenance; NEG = net energy
for gain; NEL = net energy for lactation; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorous; K = potassium.
bHarrold, R.L. and M.E. Kapphahn. 1995, 1996, 1997. Nutritional Analysis, Regional
Barley Crop Quality Report. North Dakota Barley Council, Minnesota Barley Research
and Promotion Council and North Dakota State University. (Includes all feed and
malting barley).
cNRC (Nutrient Requirements of Cattle), 1989.


The economic feed value of barley is at least equivalent to corn on a weight basis due to higher protein content in barley, despite the slightly reduced energy levels (Anderson, 1998). Nutrient content and test weight of barley can vary somewhat within an eco-region due to variation in temperature, planting date, soil fertility, rainfall, variety, and other factors. Lighter test weight barley exhibits higher protein and fiber content. No dairy studies have evaluated differences in performance due to test weight. Results of beef feedlot trials have been mixed. Grimson et al. (1987) reported no difference in steer performance with 85% barley rations at test weights of 37.3, 43.4, and 52.0 lb/bu (47.8, 55.6, 66.6 kg/hl). Other beef trials (Mathison et al., 1991) suggest a plateau effect with reduced digestibility and increased feed per gain at test weights below 46.0 lb/bu (59 kg/hl). Gains improved with heavier test weight barley according to Hinman (1978). 

Barley is 64.6% starch, compared with corn at 71.9%, wheat at 63.8%, and oats at 44.7% (Waldo, 1973). Starch is a glucan (polymer of glucose) composed of two types of molecules, amylose and amylopectin, held together by hydrogen bonds (Rooney and Pflugfelder, 1986). Rumen microbes digest starch by releasing the enzyme -amylase. This enzyme is used to rapidly reduce molecular size of starch and eventually produce glucose used for microbial energy. Much of the remainder is converted to volatile fatty acids or VFAs and used by the host (cow) as energy. Ruminal starch digestion of dry rolled barley is reported at 79.4% compared with 75.3% for corn with total tract digestibility for barley at 93.4% and corn at 92.5% (Kennelly et al., 1997). Waldo (1973) reported 94% of barley starch was digested in the rumen compared to 74% for corn starch, and Theurer (1986) reports 93% of barley starch digested in the rumen vs 73% for corn without regard to processing.

Processing Barley
Various processing techniques for cereal grains have been developed to increase utilization, improve palatability, and minimize negative effects on ruminal fermentation with the goal of improving animal performance. Rate, site, and extent of protein, fiber, and starch digestion may be affected by grain processing methods. Barley may be fed whole, rolled, tempered, steam flaked, ground (coarse to fine), roasted, pelleted or in some combinations of these processes.

Tempered rolled barley is the preferred processing method for dairy cows (Christen et al., 1996). Tempering is the addition of water to bring the moisture content of barley to 18 to 20%. Barley should be allowed to temper for 24 hours prior to rolling unless a wetting agent is used. The large number of small particles or "fines" produced by aggressive dry rolling or grinding provide more surface area for starch digestion to occur, resulting in increased rate of starch degradation. Fewer small particles are produced with tempered barley compared to dry rolling, resulting in reduced rate of fermentation. Rapid fermentation can lead to reduced pH and acidosis conditions in the rumen. Compared with dry rolled barley, tempering improved milk yield by 5%, feed efficiency 10%, apparent digestibility of dietary DM 6%, NDF 15%, ADF 12%, crude protein 10%, and starch 4% (Christen et al., 1996).

Heat treatment of grain may improve feed conversion by reducing ruminal degradation of barley resulting in increased starch digestion and utilization in the small intestine. Flame roasting barley decreased ruminal degradation of dry matter and crude protein although overall digestibility was not affected (McNiven et al., 1994). In a trial comparing flame-roasted barley with rolled barley, milk yield increased nearly 6.6 lb (3 kg)/day for cows fed roasted barley twice per day compared to rolled barley (McNiven et al., 1994).

If barley is fed whole, tempering is recommended, as whole kernel digestibility is greater than with dry grain. The rapid rate of passage in mixed diets with substantial amounts of forage allows little time for degradation of the intact kernel. Grinding barley, especially fine grinding, may increase the risk of acidosis. Ground barley should be fed in total mixed diets with forages and/or silages with the addition of a buffer recommended. Coarse grinding is strongly recommended over fine grinding. Pelleting, roasting, popping, and other processes may improve animal performance, but are more expensive.

Addition of NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate) or other buffers can mitigate acid conditions in the rumen. Addition of yeast culture to dry rolled barley based steer diets increased ruminal pH for four hours after feeding and improved digestibility of forage for 12 hours. In a companion lactation study with dry rolled barley diets, addition of yeast culture improved dry matter intake by 2.6 lb (1.2 kg)/day and milk yield by 3.2 lb (1.5 kg)/day (Williams et al., 1991).

Chemical treatment of whole barley with alkali (e.g. NaOH) has an effect similar to that of rolling or crushing in allowing access of rumen microbes and digestive enzymes to the starch (Orskov and Greenbolgh, 1997). The beneficial effects of treatment of whole barley with NaOH were slower digestion, decreased fluctuation in ruminal pH, and lower incidence of ruminitis.

Using Barley in Dairy Cattle Diets
Comparison of Grains in Lactating Cow Diets
Barley included in balanced lactation rations in comparison with corn did not affect milk yield when both grains were steam rolled (Beauchemin and Rode, 1997; Beauchemin, et al., 1997); in complete mixed cubed diets (DePeters and Taylor, 1985); when barley was dry rolled and corn was ground (Grings et al., 1992); or when both grains were ground (Marx, 1984; Moss et al., 1976; Park, 1988; Rode and Satter, 1988). Dry rolled sorghum and dry rolled barley produced similar milk yield with a tendency for improved feed efficiency with barley (Santos et al., 1997). Ground barley and rolled hull-less oat diets resulted in similar milk yield and milk protein (Fearon et al., 1996). Dry rolled barley and ground corn diets were compared with and without bovine somatotropin (bST) administration. Efficacy of bST, milk yield, composition, somatic cell count, and cow weight were similar for both grains sources (Eisenbeisz et al., 1990). Still others did notice slightly lower milk production and dry matter intake in cattle fed barley in place of corn (Casper and Schingoethe, 1989; McCarthy et al., 1989). The increase in ruminal fermentation of starch from barley can alter pH and potentially decrease cellulolytic activity of rumen bacteria. Thus, a few discrepancies can be found under certain, but undetermined, dietary or geographical factors.

Protein requirements for dairy cows are calculated as either crude protein or ruminally degradable/undegradable protein. High producing dairy cows require more ruminally undegradable protein (NRC, 1989) than previously known. Undegradable protein is protein that escapes ruminal digestion and is digested by enzymes and absorbed into the blood directly from the lower gastrointestinal tract. Any process, such as tempering or heating, that reduces the rate of ruminal fermentation enhances the feed value and undegradable portion of crude protein in barley.

High producing cows require excellent quality forage that provides "effective" fiber in the rumen. Effective fiber stimulates chewing and ruminating, critical activities for thorough digestion and maintenance of stable ruminal pH. Fiber is characterized as neutral detergent fiber (NDF) or acid detergent fiber (ADF). Use NDF as a measure of the cell wall constituents, indicating bulkiness of the diet. Application of the level of ADF is essentially an indication of the indigestible lignin and cellulose components of forage. Reduced fiber digestibility was observed with barley diets (DePeters and Taylor, 1985) and is probably caused by reduction in ruminal pH due to the rapid fermentation rate of barley.

Fiber concentrations in dairy cattle diets are variable because of the composition of concentrates (Weiss et al., 1989) and source and maturity of forages (Mertens, 1983). The NRC (1989) recommends a minimum of 25 to 28% NDF in the total diet, with 75% of the NDF fraction provided by forages. This level will maintain optimum rumen function and avoid potential milk fat depression which occurs at reduced forage levels. High barley diets may provide more NDF from grain, which could effect digestion based on the proportion of forage NDF added (Varga and Hoover, 1983).

Beauchemin and Rode (1996) suggest the minimum amount of forage should be greater for barley-based lactation diets to maintain optimum pH in the rumen. Populations of fiber-digesting bacteria and starch-digesting bacteria occur in a dynamic state in the rumen with greater growth based on proportion of preferred substrate in the diet. Both are required at some degree of equilibrium for optimum digestion. Decreased pH in the rumen changes the proportions of volatile fatty acids (VFA) by decreasing acetate, which is required for milk fat synthesis, to increasing propionate. Populations of cellulolytic (fiber digesting) bacteria can be maintained in the rumen as long as pH is maintained above 6.2. Addition of yeast cultures and tempering grain can also help stabilize ruminal pH. However, the quality and digestibility of forage are still major factors in developing diets for optimum milk production.

Management of Barley Diets
Good nutritional management is important to optimize milk production. Recommended practices include feeding tempered rolled barley in total mixed rations (TMR) or feeding small amounts several times during the day. Some dairymen feed small amounts of barley before and after each milking with research results supporting improved dry matter intake and yield of milk, protein, and lactose (Robinson and McNiven, 1994). Feeding individual cows according to milk production is the most efficient use of feed but requires added labor or automated equipment. Practices such as feeding in a total mixed ration (TMR) are very useful for feeding barley. Major ration changes should be made in small increments over a minimum of two to three weeks to allow rumen microbial populations to adapt to changing feeds.

Mineral supplementation is usually required for all lactation diets as grains are high in phosphorus and extra calcium is needed to achieve the desired calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.6 to 1. Barley has more than 10 times as much potassium as corn (Table 2) but may require slightly more calcium for the correct ratio in the complete ration.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 26, 2012, 02:33:44 AM
Growing and Bred Heifers
Protein, energy, and fiber are essential for growing calves, and barley can contribute to balanced rations for these animals. Total mixed diets with modest grain levels are often used for growing and bred replacement heifers. Starter diets with high protein barley as a replacement for soybean meal have been formulated and successfully evaluated for young calves (Munck et al., 1969). Maiga et al. (1994) found body weight gain on barley- based diets was nearly that of corn-based diets and depended on associative effects of feeds and experimental conditions. Barley is cost competitive in growing diets and simplifies ration formulation by reducing the number of other ingredients.

The only mycotoxin associated with growing barley has been deoxynivalenol (DON), commonly referred to as vomitoxin. Vomitoxin is caused by fusarium head blight (scab), which occurs in barley and wheat during periods of high moisture and humidity during the early heading stages. However, experiments suggest its presence in the grain has no effect on feed intake or milk yield of lactating cows for all levels tested (Anderson et al., 1996; Charmley et al., 1993; Ingalls, 1996).

Concentrate feeding, regardless of source, has not been implicated as a cause of lameness in production dairy cattle; however, cows fed high amounts of grain experienced greater incidence of lameness (Kelly and Leaver, 1990). High levels of ground cereals are a predisposing factor to lameness, a direct result of subclinical acidosis in the rumen. Care should be taken in feeding any ground cereal grain at high levels. Additives, such as yeasts or buffers, may be useful.

Age, stage of lactation, and milk production level are key factors when considering nutrient requirements (NRC, 1989) for dairy cattle (Table 3). Diets fed to higher producing cows are lower in fiber and more nutrient dense, resulting in increased intake and increased nutrient consumption per unit of intake. Diets fed to cows with less milk production potential should be higher in fiber and lower in energy and protein. Optimum returns occur when cow diets are formulated to meet requirements and production potential.

Table 3. Recommended nutrient concentrations in diets of
lactating dairy cattle (1300 lb [590 kg] cow producing
4.0% milkfat and gaining 0.7 lb [0.3 kg] per day).a
            - - - Milk Yield (kg/day) - -
              10    21    32    42    53      Early
            - - - Milk Yield (lb/day) - -    Dry Cow   Lactation
              23    47    70    93   117     Pregnant  (0-3 weeks)
            - - Mcal/kg of Dry Matter - -
Energy, NEL  1.43  1.52  1.61  1.72  1.72      1.25       1.67
            - - Mcal/lb of Dry Matter - -
             0.65  0.69  0.73  0.78  0.78      0.57       0.76
            - Percent of Diet Dry Matter -
  TDN         63    67    71    75    75        56         73
  CP          12    15    16    17    18        12         19
  ADF         21    21    21    19    19        27         21
  NDF         28    28    28    25    25        35         28
  Ca         0.43  0.53  0.60  0.65  0.66      0.39       0.77
  P          0.28  0.34  0.38  0.42  0.41      0.24       0.49
  Mg         0.20  0.20  0.20  0.25  0.25      0.16       0.25
  K          0.90  0.90  0.90  1.00  1.00      0.65       1.00
aAdapted from NRC Dairy, 1989.
bNEL = net energy for lactation; TDN = total digestible nutrients;
CP = crude protein; ADF = acid detergent fiber; NDF = neutral
detergent fiber; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorous; Mg = magnesium;
K = potassium.


Barley is a very useful grain source for growing, gestating, and lactating dairy cattle, providing more protein than most other grains, highly digestible starch (energy), and useful fiber. Cows fed diets with barley as the primary concentrate produce the same amount of milk as cows fed other grains. Processing barley by tempering and rolling improves digestion in the rumen, feed efficiency, and animal performance. Feeding properly processed barley with the appropriate amount and quality of forage in mixed rations maintains optimum ruminal pH and nutrient digestibility. Addition of yeast culture appears to be beneficial. Barley is an economical nutrient source that should be strongly considered in formulating rations for dairy cattle.

Literature Cited
Anderson, V. L. 1998. The feeding value of barley. N.D. Barley Council Special Publication.

Anderson, V.L., E.W. Boland, and H.H. Casper. 1996. Effects of vomitoxin (deoxynivalenol) from scab infested barley on performance of feedlot and breeding beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 74 (Suppl. 1):208(Abstr.).

Beauchemin, K.A. and L.M. Rode. 1997. Minimum versus optimum concentrations of fiber in dairy cow diets based on barley silage and concentrates of barley or corn. J. Dairy Sci. 80:1629-1639.

Beauchemin, K.A., L.M. Rode, and W.Z. Yang. 1997. Effects of non-structural carbohydrates and source of cereal grain in high concentrate diets of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 80:1640-1650.

Casper, D.P. and D.J. Schingoethe. 1989. Lactational response of dairy cows to diets varying in ruminal solubilities of carbohydrates and crude protein. J. Dairy Sci. 72:928-941.

Charmley, E,. H.L. Trenholm, B.K. Thompson, D. Vudathala, J.W.G. Nicholson, and L.L. Charmley. 1993. Influence of level of deoxynivalenol in the diet of dairy cows on feed intake, milk production and its composition. J. Dairy Sci. 76:3580-3587.

Christen, S.D., T.M. Hill, and M.S. Williams. 1996. Effects of tempered barley on milk yield, intake, and digestion kinetics of lactating Holstein cows. J. Dairy. Sci. 79:1394-1399.

DePeters, E.J. and S.J. Taylor. 1985. Effects of feeding corn or barley on composition of milk and diet digestibility. J. Dairy Sci. 68:2027-2032.

Eisenbeisz, W.A., D.J. Schingoethe, D.P. Casper, R. D. Shaver, and R.M. Cleale. 1990. Lactational evaluation of recombinant bovine somatotropin with corn and barley diets. J. Dairy Sci. 73:1269-1279.

Fearon, A.M., C.S. Mayne, and S. Marsden. 1996. The effect of inclusion of naked oats in the concentrate offered to dairy cows on milk production, milk fat composition and properties. J. Sci. Food Agric. 72:273-282.

Grimson, R.E., R.D. Weisenburger, J.A. Basarab, and R.P. Stilborn. 1987. Effects of barley volume-weight and processing method on feedlot performance of finishing steers. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 67:43-53.

Grings., E.E., R.E. Roffler, and D.P. Deitelhoff. 1992. Evaluation of corn and barley as energy sources for cows in early lactation fed alfalfa-based diets. J. Dairy Sci. 75:193.

Harrold, R.L. and M.E. Kapphahn. 1995. Nutritional Analysis, Regional Barley Crop Quality Report. North Dakota Barley Council, Minnesota Barley Research and Promotion Council and North Dakota State University.

Harrold, R.L. and M.E. Kapphahn. 1996. Nutritional Analysis, Regional Barley Crop Quality Report. North Dakota Barley Council, Minnesota Barley Research and Promotion Council and North Dakota State University.

Harrold, R.L. and M.E. Kapphahn. 1997. Nutritional Analysis, Regional Barley Crop Quality Report. North Dakota Barley Council, Minnesota Barley Research and Promotion Council and North Dakota State University.

Hinman, D. D. 1978. Influence of barley bushel weight on beef cattle performance. Proc. West. Sec. Am. Soc. Anim. Sci. 29:390.

Ingalls, J.R. 1996. Influence of deoxynivalenol on feed consumption by dairy cows. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 60:297-300.

Kelly, E.F. and J.D. Leaver. 1990. Lameness in dairy cattle and the type of concentrate given. Anim. Prod. 51:221-227.

Kennelly, J., E. Okine, and R. Khorasani. 1997. Barley as a grain and forage source for ruminants. Univ. of Alberta. [Online] Available at the following web page:

Maiga, H.A., D.J. Schingoethe, F.C. Ludens, W.L. Tucker, and D.P. Casper. 1994. Response of calves to diets that varied in amount of ruminally degradable carbohydrate and protein. J. Dairy Sci. 77:278-283.

Marx, G.D. 1984. Feeding barley to dairy cattle. Minn. Dairy Rep., Univ. of Minn. Crookston.

Mathison, B.W., R Hironaka, B.K. Kerrigan, I. Vlach, L.P. Milligan, and R.D. Weisenburger. 1991. Rate of starch degradation, apparent digestibility, and rate and efficiency of steer gain as influenced by barley grain volume-weight and processing method. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 71:867-878.

McCarthy, R.D., Jr., T.H. Klusmeyer, J.L. Vicini, and J.H. Clark. 1989. Effects of source of protein and carbohydrates on ruminal fermentation and passage of nutrients to the small intestine of lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 72:2002-2016.

McNiven, MA., R.M.G. Hamilton, P.H. Robinson, and J.W. deLeeuiwe. 1994. Effect of flame roasting on the nutritional quality of common cereal grains for ruminants and non-ruminants. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol 47:31-40.

Mertens, D.R. 1983. Using neutral detergent fiber to formulate dairy rations and estimate the net energy content of forages. Page 60 in Proc. Cornell Nutr. Conf. Feed Mfg. Syracuse, NY, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY.

Moss. B.R., C.R. Miller, and C.W. Newman. 1976. Utilization of barley varieties by dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 59:208.

Munck, L., K.E. Karlsson, and A. Hagberg. 1969. High nutritional value in cereal protein. J. Seed Assoc. 79:194.

NRC. 1989. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. Sixth Revised Edition. National Academy Press. Washington, DC.

Orkskov, E.R. and J.F.E.T Greenbolgh. 1977. Alkali treatment as a method of processing whole grain for cattle. J. Agric. Sci. (Camb) 89:253.

Park, C.S. 1988. Feeding barley to dairy cattle. North Dakota Farm Research 46:18-19.

Robinson, P.H. and M.A. McNiven. 1994. Influence of flame roasting and feeding frequency of barley on performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 77:3631:3643.

Rode, L.M. and L.D. Satter. 1988. Effect of amount and length of alfalfa hay in diets containing barley or corn on site of digestion and rumen microbial protein synthesis in dairy cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 68:445-454.

Rooney, L.W. and R.L. Pflugfelder. 1986. Factors affecting starch digestibility with special emphasis on sorghum and corn. J. Anim. Sci. 63:1607-1623.

Santos, F.A.P., J.T. Huber, C.B. Theurer, R.S. Swingle, Z. Wu, J.M. Simas, K.H. Chen, S.C. Chan, J. Santos, and E.J. DePeters. 1997. Comparison of barley and sorghum grain processed at different densities for lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 80:2098-2103.

Theurer, C.B. 1986. Grain processing effects on starch utilization by ruminants. J. Anim. Sci. 63:1649-1662.

USDA. 1997. The United States Standards for Grain. Washington, DC.

Varga, G.A. and W.H. Hoover. 1983. Rate and extent of neutral detergent fiber degradation of feedstuffs in situ. J. Dairy Sci. 66:2109-2115.

Waldo, D.R. 1973. Extent and partition of cereal grain starch digestion in ruminants. J. Anim. Sci. 37:1062-1074.

Weiss, W.P., G.R. Fisher, and G.M. Erickson. 1989. Effect of source of neutral detergent fiber and starch on nutrient utilization by dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 72:2308-2315.

Williams, P.E.V., C.A.G. Tait, G.M. Innes, and C.J. Newbold. 1991. Effects of the inclusion of yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae plus growth medium) in the diet of dairy cows on milk yield and forage degradation and fermentation patterns in the rumen of steers. J. Anim. Sci. 69:3016-3026.


 Funding support provided in part by North Dakota Barley Council
Cover barley photo: North Dakota Barley Council
Cover dairy cattle photo: Holstein Association USA

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 28, 2012, 12:31:54 PM

New animal virus takes northern Europe by surprise

Date of publication : 1/27/2012

Source : Veterinary Sciences Tomorrow

Scientists in northern Europe are scrambling to learn more about a new virus that causes fetal malformations and stillbirths in cattle, sheep, and goats. For now, they don't have a clue about the virus's origins or why it's suddenly causing an outbreak; in order to speed up the process, they want to share the virus and protocols for detecting it with anyone interested in studying the disease or developing diagnostic tools and vaccines. The virus, provisionally named "Schmallenberg virus" after the German town from which the first positive samples came, was detected in November in dairy cows that had shown signs of infection with fever and a drastic reduction in milk production. Now it has also been detected in sheep and goats, and it has shown up at dozens of farms in neighboring Netherlands and in Belgium as well. According to the European Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, cases have been detected on 20 farms in Germany, 52 in the Netherlands, and 14 in Belgium. Many more suspected cases are being investigated. "A lot of lambs are stillborn or have serious malformations," Wim van der Poel of the Dutch Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad says. "This is a serious threat to animal health in Europe."
"We are taking this very, very seriously," adds Thomas Mettenleiter, head of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), the German federal animal health lab located on the island of Riems. The virus appears to be transmitted by midges (Culicoides spp.), and infections likely occurred in summer and autumn of last year, but fetuses that were exposed to the virus in the womb are only now being born. The first cases of lambs with congenital malformations such as hydranencephaly-where parts of the brain are replaced by sacs filled with fluid-and scoliosis (a curved spine) appeared before Christmas. "Now, in some herds 20% to 50% of lambs show such malformations," Mettenleiter says. "And most of these animals are born dead." Scientists are bracing for many more cases to appear, especially in cattle, because bovine fetuses infected in summer 2011 would be expected to be born in February and March.
Virologists have made some headway since they first announced the detection of the Schmallenberg virus in November. They have been able to isolate the virus and to culture it in insect and hamster cells. Evidence that it's responsible for the observed symptoms has become stronger with its isolation from brain tissue of affected lambs. "The characteristic malformations, together with the frequent virus detection in brains of malformed animals, clearly support a causal link," FLI's Martin Beer says. In a first animal experiment, scientists at FLI also infected three cows with the virus and showed that the virus replicated in them; one developed fever and diarrhea. FLI researchers have already sequenced the genome of the new pathogen. Comparisons indicate it is a member of a group called the orthobunyaviruses. These viruses consist of three segments called S (short), M (middle), and L (long) and are mainly transmitted by mosquitoes and midges. Although the viruses are best known from Asia, some have been circulating in Europe for decades. Initially, scientists said the virus most closely resembled the Akabane virus, a pathogen that has been found in cattle, buffalo, sheep, camels, dogs, and other species, leading them to call it an "Akabane-like virus."
Now they say that at least the S segment of Schmallenberg's genome is most closely related to sequences of a different orthobunyavirus called Shamonda virus. Both Akabane and Shamonda virus belong to the so-called Simbu serogroup and are known to infect ruminants and to be transmitted by midges. But there are few orthobunyavirus sequences available with which to compare the new virus, so scientists are starting to sequence more members of the family. "Orthobunyaviruses have been neglected for a long time, and we just don't know a lot about them," says Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany. A host of questions remains unanswered. Which vector species is transmitting the disease? Can animals infect each other directly? And of course, where did the virus come from? "The problem with orthobunyaviruses is that their segmented genome makes the emergence of new combinations very easy, just like with influenza viruses," Schmidt-Chanasit says. He points to a recent outbreak of a new orthobunyavirus in Peru. The pathogen, named Iquitos virus, turned out to have combined S and L segments of a known virus called Oropouche and the M segment of a new virus.
Whether the Schmallenberg virus could sicken humans is unknown. At least 30 orthobunyaviruses have been associated with human disease; the Oropouche virus, also a member of the Simbu serogroup, causes a febrile disease often associated with headaches, dizziness, skin rash, and malaise, whereas the Iquitos virus can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. But these viruses seem to be dependent on midges to infect humans and are not known to be directly transmitted from infected farm animals. Midges are less likely to bite humans than mosquitoes, and there have been no reports of unusual human illnesses from farmers whose livestock is infected. A risk assessment by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm, issued just before Christmas, concluded that "it is unlikely that this new orthobunyavirus can cause disease in humans, but it cannot be excluded at this stage." But the experts recommended closely monitoring the health of farmers and vets.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 06, 2012, 05:50:29 AM
Nutrition & Feeding Boer Goats

Nutrition is one of the three legs upon which any successful livestock breeding is based (the other two being genetics and animal health). Below are some guidelines regarding feeding for various classes of animals.

Feeding pregnant does

Four weeks prior to kidding a throughflow protein concentrate, can be fed. The following benefits have been recorded:

 Improves kidding
Improves udder development and increases milk production.
Kids is stronger and heavier at birth.
Dam is on her feet faster after kidding, thus allowing the kid to drink earlier. This can improve the kid's survival rate by between 15% and 50%.
Reduces the chance of retained afterbirth.
Improves mothering.
Has led to increased weights in suckling kids.

 Signs that your dam may have a throughflow protein deficiency:
Dam kids with difficulty
Dam ignores kid after birth
Kid is lighter than 3,5kg (ideal weight is 3,5kg - 5kg)
Kid is yellowish in colour
Kid mortalities after birth are high
Dam produces thick, sticky colostrum
Weak udder development with low milk production

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 07, 2012, 10:57:09 AM

A Nightmare That Could Have Been Prevented

By Elaine Puckett

Dairy goats can get tetanus—a devastating disease which often results in death. One of our doelings got it last year, but she survived and we tell her story with the hopes it will prevent other dairy goat breeders from making the same little mistakes we did. I also hope the story of our little Alpine doe, Tenacity, will give others battling goat diseases the information needed for success in conquering disaster. A good veterinarian is the key to survival for many cases like ours, but some real-life information on dealing with tetanus is sure to inspire someone, somewhere, to improve or enhance their own goat management skills.
I will tell the end of our story first. At Puckett's Alpines near Council Grove, Kansas, we raise top quality, heavy milking American Alpines. Last year we had a little doeling who earned the name Tenacity, after she survived a difficult battle with a preventable disease—tetanus. She was called only Jessie's Doeling when we first realized she had a problem and took her to a veterinarian. I made some management mistakes but unfortunately I fear they are not so different from the way many of us might manage our goats. These mistakes were in the form of several small steps taken in the wrong direction and put together in the wrong order for an almost devastating result.

Step one: Horses and cattle and perhaps other animals carry tetanus in their digestive tracts. They contaminate the ground with the tetanus causing bacteria. Many dairy goat breeders often also keep other animals in or near their goat yards. This seemingly innocent practice increases the odds of having tetanus in the soil. In my case, my goats were kept in a pen that was down the hill from the neighbor's horses. These were working horses sometimes used in a feedlot situation. More than likely they shed bacteria in manure, which entered our yard through run-off after heavy rains. I have been a goat breeder on the same farm for almost 30 years and never before had a problem with tetanus. But, like I said earlier, there were a few other steps that fell into place, changing the whole situation for our one unlucky little goat.
Step two: The tetanus bacteria must enter the body. This bacterium grows best in a wound sealed over without air, anaerobic. Puncture wounds are the right anaerobic environment, so are scabbed over wounds. In Tenacity's case she was disbudded a little late. I don't write down when we disbud each kid so I can't tell an exact date. Looking back I do remember her knocking off one of the horn scabs quite early. When this happens it is usually accomplished by scratching at the horn scab with a hind foot. It bled some. However Tenacity was a dam raised kid and not tame. I tried to catch her to apply an antiseptic. She was not willing and I decided the wound would bleed worse being chased about than if I just left her alone. Next morning there was no bleeding and the wound had sealed over.
Step three: The animal must be susceptible to the germ. That is not having enough immunity so that the body does not have the ability to fight off the bacterial invasion. Immunity to tetanus is achieved by routine immunization both in animals and people. Our routine, one I feel is generally accepted practice in most dairy goat herds, was to vaccinate the pregnant doe four-to-six weeks before her due date. If this is done, then vaccinate the kids at six to eight weeks of age, again in four weeks, and annually thereafter. Further reading has uncovered the possibility that the antibody protection from colostrum may diminish by three to four weeks. This source recommends vaccinating the doe three to four weeks pre kidding. Then vaccinate kids at three-to-four weeks and again six-to-eight weeks later.
My record keeping again failed me. I feel Jessie was given her tetanus and enterotoxaemia immunization during that four-to-six week period before she kidded, but I cannot find it written down. However Jessie did not go dry, she was milked through her pregnancy. Therefore she had no colostrum. Knowing this I had frozen colostrum and fed each of the kids approximately eight ounces soon after birth. They were then left to nurse their dam. I have since visited with people about human babies and have been told that frozen colostrum may have lost much of its immunity giving properties during the freezing. Fresh colostrum is much preferred. I suspect the same is true of animal colostrum.

So there it is. Tetanus can strike if: 1) the germ is present; 2) the germ has a port of entry; and 3) the host has a poor immune system. I guess our little Tenacity struck out on all three steps and soon she was in a fight for her life.
Whenever I have a question about dairy goat management, I turn to the book Goat Medicine by Mary C. Smith and David M. Sherman as my medical reference. This is where I first began frantically looking for clues as to what could be wrong, when I first discovered Tenacity has a problem one evening when I went to do chores. She was on a slope and appeared to be tangles in some tree roots. She was crying out for help. When I went to her she was not tangled but could not get up and had slid until the roots had stopped her. When I picked her up she was stiff and when I set her on her feet she could stand and walk, but not run away from me. I noted that her dam, Jessie had not been nursed. Jessie's twins, Tenacity and Sister, each very definitely had staked out their own teat and didn't vary where they nursed. Tenacity had not nursed. Sister was fine.
I hurried through chores even though it was milk test evening. Then off to the veterinarian we went, Tenacity in my arms. It was a 45-minute drive to a veterinarian kind enough to stay open late just for us. By the time we arrived I knew it was a neurological problem and suspected it was due to the disbudding or subsequent injury to the scab. Tetanus was on my mind.
The veterinarian did a neurologic exam. She examined the horn area. Nothing appeared unusual about the scab, but the whole side of Tenacity's head was swollen. There was no wound to clean. We learned the incubation period for tetanus is usually 10-20 days. It can take as little as four days or as long as several months. If a wound is still present the veterinarian can inject the wound with tetanus antitoxin to reduce the release of pre-existing toxins into the blood stream. The wound can then be cleaned of any dead tissue and flushed with hydrogen peroxide. Once clean the wound is filled with penicillin. Our veterinarian prescribed large doses of penicillin given SQ and gave tetanus antitoxin. Off to home again, the prognosis was not good. Tenacity relaxed a little on the ride home. But each time we hit a bump, a loud noise, or I moved she stiffened up again. This is called hyperesthesia, the increased sensitivity to stimulation particularly to touch.
Once home I began to read. What was I up against and how could I care for this baby? She was just five weeks old. The name tetanus or tetany refers to a continuous tonic muscular spasm. It starts with a stiff gait and a wide base or sawhorse stance. The victim is reluctant to move and has difficulty opening its mouth. Bloat is often present. Response to a sudden loud noise is very similar to that of a fainting goat. The tetanus-affected goat does not recover from the rigidity as the fainting goat does. Hyperflexia follows with a recumbent rigid extension of all limbs and the back arched. Convulsions and death follow.
The tetanus bacterium is usually localized at the wound infection. The bacteria produce a neurotoxin that enters the blood stream. By the time the toxin produces signs and symptoms it cannot be neutralized. The toxin gradually degrades relieving symptoms. The goal of treatment is to inhibit additional toxin production, neutralize existing unbound toxin, and lessen the effects of bound toxin. Penicillin is the drug of choice to kill the bacteria ending the toxin production. Neutralization of existing unbound toxin is accomplished by injecting antitoxin. In a veterinarian hospital situation, the antitoxin could be given intravenously. The use of anticonvulsants, tranquilizers, and muscle relaxants would also be possible as indicated. Intravenous fluids and tube feedings would be used. Enemas or tubes to relieve the bloat might be necessary.
Tenacity's treatment was conservative. She was not hospitalized. Supportive treatment included dark quiet surroundings and frequent position changes. When Tenacity came home I attempted to feed her a bottle. She either would not take milk from a bottle. The weather was warm and we decided to keep Tenacity in the barn in familiar surroundings. She was placed in a large pet carrier, one large enough to lie down in her extended position. An overstuffed toy best describes how incapacitated the little goat was. I could stand her up and she stayed there in the wide square stance. I could lay her down and she stayed there—legs out straight. The upper legs did relax enough to rest on the ground but were held straight at the knees.
Next morning I again attempted to bottle feed the little goat. Still no luck. I put Jessie on the milk stand and braced the little goat's butt on the headstand and watched as she tried to nurse but could not turn her head or open her mouth enough to get on the teat. I squashed the teat flat and brought it to her mouth. She could suckle and swallow. Hooray! Four times a day I assisted Tenacity to nurse. I alternated between standing her up and laying her down. I changed her position every two hours when possible. She would stand until I laid her down or she fell down. When I laid Tenacity down I placed her on a pile of hay with her head uphill. I placed a towel under her head to prevent injury to her eyes. At night she had to lie all night on her side in the pet carrier. I alternated sides. I elevated the head end of the carrier. I had learned that death usually came from respiratory failure. So I did all I could to prevent this.
Day two showed no improvement, a little worse in fact. I returned to the local veterinarian for more antitoxin. They recommended large doses once a day for three days. I gave slightly smaller doses twice a day for five days. I also gave the penicillin twice a day at the prescribed dose. Tenacity was a pincushion, even though I rotated sites I know she hurt all over. Her condition leveled out and for four days there was no change. On day six she was a little better. Day seven her legs began to bend a little again. She actually was able to get herself to standing from the hay pile on day eight. It was daily improvement from there. Tenacity spent two weeks in the barn alleyway by day and in a pet carrier in the alley by night. Her mental capacity always seemed intact. She was an alert normal lively baby goat caught in a body that would not move. By the end of week two she could get up and lay down by herself. Her legs bent enough to assume an almost normal upright position when lying down. She was placed back in with the herd when she could again nurse on her own. At the end of a month she was running and jumping with the others.
In no time at all, we witnessed her doing the "I'm happy to be alive," baby goat dance. We were very happy she was alive too. Tenacity earned her name. She held tenaciously to life even when the going was really tough, and I learned to pay more attention to the management techniques that have always worked in the past. Tenacity's story was one of coincidence and bad luck, but I still believe it could have been prevented. I am just glad she survived and we all learned our lessons.
note:one must be very careful when mixing others livestocks with your goats.Allowing cattle/horses to graze with your goats might end up costing your trouble than its worth.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 18, 2012, 12:35:57 AM
The earthquake that struck our region has done some damage to our operation but we came out of this better than most.Some does did kid on time and we hope the worse is over and we can start the needed repairs as soon as possible.This has also delayed our plans to start selling our own goat meat product lines as this will allow us a better price margin than selling live animals and will also help to promote the benefits of eating leaner muscle protein over pork.Might be a hard sell but one has to start somewhere and be prepared for the long haul and keep promoting goat meat,inventing new goat meat dishes that will have customer appeal.It appears to me that promoting goat meat is really at the producers level as I have yet to see any promoting coming from any goat association so far in country.We have left the AMGA,(American Meat Goat Association) and hope to join the CMGA,(Canadian Meat Goat Association) this coming summer and use some of their ideas for our own operations in the country as we cannot find any ideas coming from goat associations in the Philippines at this time.Appears to us there seems to be a gap in direction for meat goats in country and this might be explained by the interest in dairy goats over meat goats.

We still plan to produce purebred boers and anglos for meat with our 3rd line, the RP Genemaxer still under construction being built on the back of the 3 way cross,still in early developement and many years away from the final product,dual breed.

Two of our properties,bloke #1,squatter area #1 and bloke #2,squatter area#2 have been declared unsafe for humans to live and the state under the direction of the President have bought a piece of land so the people will have a safe place to live.Bloke #2 is the area where the big landslide took place and many people were buried alive.Our hearts go out to all those who have been killed by this diseaster.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 21, 2012, 02:31:29 AM
Every year I wait and see what news if any is forth coming with respect to meat goat production in the country,every year pretty much the same news,no news at all.Appears on the surface to me the whole idea of meat goat production in the country is all a stand still.Seems like each producer is trying to figure what is the best direction to take for their own respected businesses due in part, there is lack of leadership coming from those who are suppose to be heading the industry as a whole.In the past the only word was,build up the national herd first.What happens when the national herd to built up to the point there will be a surplus of animals and with any surplus comes price reductions and no one is able to realize any profit coming from this end of the business?How does anyone expect to attract newcomes to this end of the goat business when there is no direction in the first place?There needs to be a plan of action,some goal set and something to look forward to or people will give up and find something else to invest into.Maybe each region,each island will have to formulate their own plan of action,something that will work for that area and see where it all leads to.Maybe those in a position will join,link up with outside assocations to borrow ideas from them and try and make some of those ideas work for their own operations because at this time in country,does not appear to be any ideas,new or old or leadership coming from those who are suppose to be leading this industry in the first place.As an outsider looking in,I see, disassociation of the association.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 24, 2012, 03:36:13 AM
Filipino Kalderetang Kambing Recipe (Goat Meat Caldereta)

 July 7, 2010 · Posted in Philippine Recipes 

Kalderetang kambing is a very common dish in the Philippines. The main ingredient is goat meat known for its tenderness and nostalgic taste. This dish is pinoys favorite pulutan and is a requisite during fiestas and any occasions too. There are plenty of restaurants in the country that serves Caldereta with their unique cooking style but one thing is for sure, they always made it a mouth-watering taste. Goat meat is a very nutritious red meat which is excellent for those watching the waistline, cholesterol levels, and needing an alternative to the average hum-drum food.
Below are simple ways on how to cook a delicious and nutritious kalderetang kambing.
•    3 lb goat meat
 •    1 c Vinegar
 •    2 Whole garlic bulbs
 •    4 siling labuyo
 •    1 lb Onions
 •    6 oz Tomato paste
 •    1 1/2 c water
 •    1/2 lb Potatoes
 •    1 Red bell pepper
 •    1/2 lb ground beef liver
 •    1/8 c quezo de bola
 •    1/2 c olive oil
 •    1 t Cooking oil
 •    1 t vetsin
 •    Dash Red pepper
 •    1 t Salt

1.    Skin and mince the garlic and combine with the vinegar in a non-reactive dish large enough to hold the goat meat and marinate for 5 hours.
 2.    When marination is nearly complete, Slice the onions, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch cubes, and julienne the bell pepper.
 3.    Fry the siling labuyo (pepper) in some cooking oil; remove from pan and set aside.
 4.    Add more cooking oil and brown the meat.
 5.    Remove meat and set aside.
 6.    In same pan, saute one tbs garlic and onions.
 7.    Return meat to pan along with the tomato paste and water and simmer until the meat is tender.
 8.    Add the tomatoes, red pepper, beef liver, quezo de bola and the fried siling labuyo.
 9.    Stir in the olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and vetsin.
 10.    Cook for 5 more minutes and serve.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 04, 2012, 05:31:36 AM

Kid Structure Can Be Used to
Make KEEP or CULL Decisions

By Shelene Costello

Every year we have all these cute little baby goats. It can be challenging to decide which of the kids we are going to keep, and which we need to sell to keep the herd numbers manageable. Figuring out how to pick and choose the right kid or kids that have the best potential of meeting our specific goals is one of the hardest things that I have to do. They are all so cute, and so many of them have qualities I've been looking for in a dairy goat. Realistically though, it is not possible to keep them all, and there are early indicators of traits I like to see in dairy goats, and a method I developed to make those painful decisions easier.
First, before we ever have kids born, I spend time looking over pedigrees and the traits that individual does in my herd have. I bred them to bucks that hopefully will produce traits we need improving on, while not losing too much of what I already like in those does. I look at the sire's female relatives, particularly, as they are going to show milking traits that just can't be seen on buck.
By the time kids are actually born, I have a general idea of what we ‘"may" produce in the breeding. What we actually get, may be entirely different sometimes, or it may be exactly what I'm looking for. Nature can be tricky that way.
As the kids are born, my first go over is to make sure everyone has the outward working body parts. Some kids are born without the proper parts to survive...I have had kids born with no opening in the anus, or without one of its legs, or with a cleft palate, etc. If anyone breeds long enough they will see plenty of oddities born, but usually they are rare.

Nigerian Dwarf, Promessa's Golden Touch, as a pale cream kid (above) and as a milker (below). She darkened up to a dark golden brown. As a kid, we can see the solid structure that supported her growing into a functional dairy goat. Her wide long body with good feet and legs, and wide open escutcheon had room for a capacious well-attached udder.


Next, I check to see what sex the new kid is, and if the proper sex organs appear where they should. I check to see if the doeling's vulva set under her tail, and if the buckling's penis and scrotum (including testicles) are properly placed and normal looking. It is very important to check for two teats of normal shape and size.
Teats will grow with the animal so spur teats and extra teats may not be visible right away. Sometimes too, testicles may not be down in the scrotum at birth but may drop a bit later. Typically in goats though, if the testicles are not down within a short time after birth, I do not expect them to drop on down.
Using my knowledge of basic goat structure and the dairy goat scorecard along with my experience with the bloodlines and individual animals I'm working with, I then begin to evaluate each kid more thoroughly.
Some things in kids can be seen and will stay very similar throughout life, others are an educated guess as to how they will develop.
The dairy goat scorecard allots 25 points to feet, legs and pasterns for junior does. That is one quarter of all points available. So it is a very important part of evaluating young kids. If the feet and legs, including the pasterns, are not strong and solid as a kid, they are going to break down even more as the goat grows and gains weight.
Strong and straight legs start with toes that point ahead and are well held together with solid hooves that are level front to back with deep heels. I want legs that have good bone, without being too coarse and round, solid joints, knees pointing forward, with plenty of width between those front legs leaving room for a wide chest floor. The back legs should also be wide leaving room for a capacious udder to fit in as the doe matures. Short strong pasterns that are relatively upright are needed and desirable in the correct dairy goat.
There are 10 points each for front end assembly and back structure. Now, I consider the front end assembly as part of leg construction myself, but the score card actually allots it it's own points, which bump leg points to 35, more than one-third of the total 100. When looking at legs, I consider the shoulder and upper arm construction, as that is how the leg is held to the body and supports nearly two thirds of the weight of a goat. It needs to be tightly held to the body, and well angled with a proper length of upper arm.
Something I stress over and over to myself, as well as any who ask, that I want a kid to grow up and be a functional dairy goat. Anything I can do to breed and keep animals that will be functional for a long productive life is what I am going to choose to keep. Tightly held shoulders, flat muscled, strong straight legs that are standing on strong pasterns with solid feet will support a dairy goat for a long life.
The more deviation from the ideal, the more issues may surface during that life and may shorten the usefulness of the doe and impair the quality of her life.
Moving along, the back is the support for the heavy body of a doe hung between those legs, so it's important to have a kid with a solid strong level back that is wide and well muscled. Any weakness in the topline in a kid, tends to worsen as the animal matures.
There are 10 points for head, breed character and stature. Now, I personally love the breed type that sets each breed apart from the others, but the scorecard has few points over all to allot to it. The main thing I remember is that a head often matches the body behind it, so a nice strong long wide head, of sufficient breed type and refinement as befits a dairy animal will play a part in my decision on which particular kids appeal to me. Stature is the size and growth appropriate for the breed and age of a goat. That is only two points, but in functionality, it is a bigger part of what I will look at. I want a kid who grows fast and easy with little care. To me, a fast growing kid is a sign of good overall health of the animal. A small runty, spindly kid is not a good choice for me. One of those may or may not outgrow it with extra care. I tend to look for an animal that does not need special care to thrive so that I can spend my time and money enjoying my goats rather than providing work to maintain.
Again on the scorecard, body capacity has 15 points. To me, I consider body capacity a good part of what I'm looking for. I want a goat that is long enough and wide enough to eat well, to carry kids and lots of milk. I want a deep heart girth, showing good heart and lung capacity.
Dairy character has the remaining 30 points on the scorecard. This is where the flat bone, flat muscling, and lean neck, sharp withers, flat incurving thighs, fine skin, wide rumps, and open escutcheons all come into play. This is where we find the refined yet strong look that makes a dairy goat different from a meat goat or a pet goat, or a fiber goat.
We want to see all of this evidenced in a kid. It gives us a good idea that this kid who is solidly built, strong, well grown for its age will indeed grow into a functional dairy goat who will give us years of productive milking.
Now, having given all of the scorecard ideals of what to look for, I'll actually tell how I decide which of those kids meets my goals for my breeding program.

La Mancha Promessa's Blizzard, as a six-week-old kid (above), shows the solid structure that lets her grow into her promise as a long, level well-built milker (below).


I want strong functional goats. But no goat is ideal so I have to accept that there are some things I can compromise on and still have a solid dairy animal.
I first look at those feet and legs. I spend hours watching my kids run, jump and play. I see how they land on the ground and stand hanging out in the pen. Do their legs come down square? If not, how much deviation is there?
I put a large importance on wide flat rumps, particularly, wide and flat from side to side, and it's a bonus if I get plenty of length as well.
I want young kids to be balanced in overall proportions. Do they appear to be all of a piece or do they show disharmony of parts? Can I figure out what isn't meshing with the rest by looking and feeling?
I want body capacity and dairy character and I'll compare kids not only to the other kids, but to the ideal in my mind. I personally have chosen to give a bit more consideration to body depth and width than the scorecard does in kids, as I see how it impacts my herd later in life. The kids I've kept with a bit less have not always thrived as well down the road as the ones with good width and depth through the heart girth and to the rear end.
I take photos of the kids playing and with me stacking them at several ages to see if what I think I see is in my mind or really in the kid. I find for me that emotion can cloud my judgment, so photos really help me see a clearer picture. I compare escutcheons, and yes, teat placement on kids, though the scorecard doesn't mention the teats at all. To some extent I can give an educated guess as to teat placement on an udder, by studying how my goats grow and age. I want to try to weed out as much as I can early on, so that I don't have time to get attached and realize a major fault is hiding under there.
I mentally place my kids as I would in a class, when I'm out playing with them. They will vary as they grow, but the kids that I continue to place highest tend to end up my keepers. I run my hands over my kids regularly. Not just watch them from a distance. I want to get a feel for their bodies. Part of that also gives me a good idea of their health, but a lot teaches me their feel and how they are going to mature.
With all of this said, I then compare what I see and feel in the kids to how the parents look. What traits do I see that I want in those parents and what do I want to improve? Some years I may keep a kid that I may not in another year, because I want something particular out of that breeding.
For instance, this year, the buck I used on my Nigerian does has tight sharp withers, flat, flat bone, solid feet and legs, and overall smoothness of blending. This is something I really want to improve in my herd over all. So I'm going to really pay attention to those traits in these kids. I may give up a bit on some other traits, to keep the ones with the best of what that buck throws.
Next year, I'll be using different bucks and will choose the kids then based on how this year's kids freshen, and what traits the new kids show.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 13, 2012, 12:17:04 AM
Goats: Market Conditions Favorable;
Future Looks Promising

July 2011
By Michael Shirley, TFBF Intern

Few agricultural commodities have enjoyed strong market growth in the past few years in Tennessee. One market that has continued to expand and at the same time maintain a favorable price is the goat industry. The goat population in Tennessee is estimated to be around fifty thousand, second only to Texas, based on the USDA's 1997 census of agriculture. There are several reasons behind the boom in the Tennessee goat industry. The higher number of small farms, increase in ethnic populations, and the need for alternative crops for traditonal farmers have all played key roles in the goat numbers.

As more of Tennessee's rural landscape shifts from large family farms to houses with acreage plots, the type and quantity of livestock the land can sustain has changed as well. Goats can thrive on all of Tennessee's different landscapes. Charles Lawson, board member for the Tennessee Goat Producers Association, says that you can run about six to eight goats per acre on average depending on type of terrain and quality of forages. Goats are an easy animal for small landowners to care for, and they offer a chance to make a profit on a small set-up.

The most popular breeds of goat in Tennessee are the meat type breeds such as Boer, Kiko, and crosses of these varieties. The popularity of these breeds is due in large part to demand for goat meat continuing to rise as more ethnic populations move to the area. But not all of the goats sold in Tennessee are consumed in Tennessee. Many of the goats purchased at stockbarns all around Tennessee are shipped to the New England area where demand for goat meat is the strongest.

Margie Baker, a livestock marketing specialist for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), says that several programs have been started to help the goat industry. One of the things that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is doing to assist the goat industry is by having graded sales. This is where one of our livestock graders will attend the sale and grade the goats. Goats are graded either choice, prime, or utility. Goat prices at these graded sales have tended to be considerably higher than other area sales where the goats are not graded. Baker explains this trend, when [the goats] go through the auction, the buyers know what type of goat they're getting. They know whether it's going to be something to take home and feed to fatten up for a better sale or if it's going to be ready to go to slaughter now and what type quality they are getting. Currently, there are two regular graded sales in Tennessee. The Tennessee Livestock Producers have a graded sale at Thompson Station the second and fourth Friday of every month, and at Sommerville on the first Friday of each month.

Many tobacco farmers are also beginning to raise goats as an alternative crop. Many areas where tobacco is grown make ideal locations for goat farms. Baker suggests using existing tobacco barns as shelters for goats. You can very easily take an old tobacco barn and economically put some pens in it and turn it into a goat barn.

The future of the Tennessee goat industry appears bright. With the continuing demand for goat meat from the ethnic populations and the increasing acceptance of goat meat from other consumers, the market should continue to expand. Wayne Barnes, manager of the Thompson Station Sheep and Goat Sale, echoes this sentiment and adds another thought. More people are eating goats now and one thing I¹ve found is that in Texas, a lot of the big ranches are being sold off and split up. That means less goats in that area. That will open the market up for more goats in the Southeast to be produced and a bigger, better market. If it stays like it is, it¹s a good thing to be into.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 13, 2012, 12:25:16 AM
Goat meat, the final frontier

By Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, Published: April 5, 2011

In 30 short years, we have watched goat cheese morph from a high “ick” factor to an outright cliche. Goat’s milk and goat butter have become supermarket staples, no longer relegated to health-food stores. Yet goat meat sits out on the horizon, with trendspotters periodically informing us that it’s the next big thing.

Pam Adams, head of the Maryland-Pennsylvania-West Virginia Meat Goat Producers Association, says demand for the goods from the group’s 64 farms has increased 20 percent over the past five years.

“I’ve even had to band growers into collectives to keep up with the requests,” she said from her Bridgestone Manor Farms in Eldersburg, Md. “I’ve got an order for 60 goats right now to go down to North Carolina. I’m scrambling.”

This does, in fact, reflect a national trend. Goat meat production is ramping up in the United States. The number of goats slaughtered has doubled every 10 years for the past three decades, according to the USDA. We’re closing in on 1 million meat goats a year — and still growing, despite the economic downturn.

It’s no surprise, given that goat is the world’s most-consumed meat: almost 70 percent of the red meat eaten globally. Its cultural caveats are few, as it can be kosher and halal as well.

Nutrition-wise, goat meat is a wonder. A similarly sized serving has a third fewer calories than beef, a quarter fewer than chicken and much less fat: up to two-thirds less than a similar portion of pork and lamb; less than half as much as chicken.

More good news: Goats represent sustainability, without the curse of factory production. They are browsers, not grazers.

“The meat’s better for you, and the animals are easier on the land,” Adams says. “I can put at most two steers on an acre, but at least 10 goats. Maybe more.”

Out in California in 2008, Bill Niman originally fielded a herd to tend his cow pastures. The goats would even out what the cows mangled, chewing down the less-desirable weeds, giving the plants a haircut before the bovines tromped about.

The founder of Niman Ranch, a well-respected network of farmers who produce humanely raised pork, beef and lamb, soon found that meat goats were for more than just lawn-mowing. He is now on the cusp of doing for goat what he did for pork years ago: putting together a consortium of ethical, mindful farmers and ranchers who can demand a higher price for a superior product.

That said, goat farming is still not big business. “People call me up and ask if they can have goat meat at their dinner party this weekend,” Adams says. “I have to tell them it still doesn’t work that way.” It’s akin to putting in reservations for kid goats being born, or lucking into a goat someone no longer wants.

Which is, in truth, a good thing. If you want to try goat, you’ve got to get local. Kathy Weld raises the critters at Sugarloaf’s Breezy Valley Farm in Frederick County. The farm nurtures the animals for at least six months, then takes them to a processing plant. You pick up meat from the plant that you custom-ordered (whole animal, half, leg, etc.), vacuum-sealed or paper-wrapped.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 16, 2012, 04:07:13 AM
Stats just released is talking about a hugh increase of dairy products needed for Asia coming in the next 10 years.Dairy products consumed today in Asia is small compared to the west but this is about to change.Farms like Alaminos and others with their leading advances in diary goat production is one hopeful sign that dairy products can in fact be produced in country and the need for imports from outside will not over take local production.On the surface,it appears, the Philippines is far more advanced in dairy goat production than some Asian countries to take full advantage of this growing need.Advancement is made every year with respect to dairy goat production and with new found interest for others to follow the examples set forth by others.The country needs to attract new people who will express an interest in dairy goat farming or countries like the USA with its highway systems and trucks and ports from which to export from will be more than happy to fill any or all voids in the supply chain.By 2020,we may in fact see the goat populations, triple in some countries along with increases with dairy cattle numbers.This side of the industry needs to attract fresh faces to take up the challenge that lies ahead.Future looks bright for the goat.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 21, 2012, 12:50:51 PM
Utilizing Performance Data from Your Herd:

If all your herd kidded within the sixty-day interval and all does and kids were treated alike until weaning at
about 90 days of age, you could use the Ratios shown to select keeper-does and to choose keeper kids from particular
does. If you have two, or more, kidding periods, there is the problem of choosing between does with similar Ratios, but
in different groups—a toughie only you can decide because only you know the seasonal situations, but look first at the
group averages for guidance.

Caveat: the ‘degree of selection pressure’ you could apply across the entire herd would be dependent on your particular
situation (herd size, expansion/contraction plans, cash-flow needs, prospective sales, expected feed supply, any resource
limitations, etc.). For instance, if you were positioned to do so, you could immediately improve average herd
performance appreciably by culling ‘deeply’, say, by selling all does that had below 100 Ratio scores. Assuming no
outside replacements, your herd would be smaller, but of higher genetic worth. If you could only cull the bottom
fourth of the herd, the rate of genetic progress would be noticeably slowed.

There are additional considerations. The average commercial herd typically replaces about 20% of its does every year. A
few die, some are not decent producers, some leave for health reasons, some for old age, whatever. To maintain herd
size (without outside purchases), one must save at least 25% replacement doelings.
If a 100 head doe herd is reproducing at the rate of 175% kid crop weaned (good), among the 175 kids born, there will
be 80 or so doelings surviving from which to chose the 25 replacement doelings. These replacements should come from
does scoring in the top half (Ratio of over 100) of all does or, better yet, the top third, but only if the individual
doelings warrant saving. (There can be issues of poor conformation, bad mouths, and unacceptable rates of daily gain
when a given doeling has really sterling littermates from a top litter).

And then there is the matter of saving buck kids. All else being equal (ADG pre-weaning, conformation, etc.), they
should come from the top 5% or so of the does on test. They should be retained for further evaluation, post-weaning,
before the final selection is made (and he should be re-evaluated after his first kids are weaned).

On-farm performance test programs are particularly good venues for comparing multiple herds sires, but only if the
objects of their affection are ‘randomly’ chosen and treated equally during the test period. Otherwise, the comparison
will be compromised. Putting buck A on your top does and buck B on your bottom does is unfair—worse still, it is

And then there is the too typical farm situation where the ‘top’ buck is untested but is really horny and very pretty
and cost a lot of money and stood real high in the Ring and/or has mighty ancestors, however defined (but also not
performance tested). A scale under his progeny and another scale under his daughter’s progeny can be an
enlightening, sometimes sobering, experience indeed; if so, I can recommend a really good sausage recipe.

Sustained participation in this performance-based program would allow you to cull-or-keep with more accuracy and
confidence than your current procedure likely permits. You may have a keen eye for phenotypic evaluation of does and
a good eye for estimating weaning weights of kids. However, if you document doe and kid performance via scale
weights, you don’t have to guess at their performance; you know their performance—and so would a prospective
buyer who could peruse the Doe Summary and Sire Summary furnished by Dr. Andries (who doesn’t have a dog in
your hunt).

When deciding among keeper does from these records, the choice between does with very close Ratios can be dicey. One
way to solve such a dilemma, would be to calculate an ‘efficiency rating’ (ER) of the individual does by dividing her
adjusted litter weaning weight by her body weight at weaning time. Litter weight per pound of doe is the ultimate
evaluation for keepers. For example, if doe A produced 120lb.=54kg. litter weight and weighed 130 lb=58kg at weaning; her ER
would be .92 (120/130). If Doe B also produced 120 lb=54kg litter weight, but weighed 110lb.=49kg. at weaning; her ER rating
would be 1.09. Mathematically speaking, doe B would be about 18% better (more efficient) than doe A (1.09 - .92 = .17/.
92 x 100 = 18.4).

Such efficiency ratings could of course be determined on all your does and then ranked from high to low. Such
rankings could be more useful to you (and prospective customers) than the Ratio figures shown in the Doe Summary.
Doubtless Ken’s computer program could be modified to derive such efficiency figures and their rankings; he just needs
participants to start furnishing doe weights. Personally, I would prefer using ER rankings over Ratio rankings. (If I
were pressed for time, I would opt for doe weights-at-weaning over obtaining birth weights of kids).

To pose a further problem for your consideration/education, suppose doe A above had an obviously superior
phenotype (larger/day of age and better conformation… prettier, so to speak) than did doe B. The same litter weight
from a prettier doe (perhaps with a ribbon or two to ‘prove’ it). What to do? If you were not flogging 4-H kids at
premium prices, offer doe A, (but try for a premium on ‘potential’). In any case, try
not to cry as you load her for sale and retain doe B for herd improvement. Doe B costs less to feed over doe A.

Hopes this helps with respect to retaining future breeding does from within your herd as opposed to bringing in outsiders.Quality over quantity.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 24, 2012, 10:07:19 AM

Kid Structure Can Be Used to
Make KEEP or CULL Decisions

By Shelene Costello
Every year we have all these cute little baby goats. It can be challenging to decide which of the kids we are going to keep, and which we need to sell to keep the herd numbers manageable. Figuring out how to pick and choose the right kid or kids that have the best potential of meeting our specific goals is one of the hardest things that I have to do. They are all so cute, and so many of them have qualities I've been looking for in a dairy goat. Realistically though, it is not possible to keep them all, and there are early indicators of traits I like to see in dairy goats, and a method I developed to make those painful decisions easier.
First, before we ever have kids born, I spend time looking over pedigrees and the traits that individual does in my herd have. I bred them to bucks that hopefully will produce traits we need improving on, while not losing too much of what I already like in those does. I look at the sire's female relatives, particularly, as they are going to show milking traits that just can't be seen on buck.
By the time kids are actually born, I have a general idea of what we ‘"may" produce in the breeding. What we actually get, may be entirely different sometimes, or it may be exactly what I'm looking for. Nature can be tricky that way.
As the kids are born, my first go over is to make sure everyone has the outward working body parts. Some kids are born without the proper parts to survive...I have had kids born with no opening in the anus, or without one of its legs, or with a cleft palate, etc. If anyone breeds long enough they will see plenty of oddities born, but usually they are rare.

Nigerian Dwarf, Promessa's Golden Touch, as a pale cream kid (above) and as a milker (below). She darkened up to a dark golden brown. As a kid, we can see the solid structure that supported her growing into a functional dairy goat. Her wide long body with good feet and legs, and wide open escutcheon had room for a capacious well-attached udder.

Next, I check to see what sex the new kid is, and if the proper sex organs appear where they should. I check to see if the doeling's vulva set under her tail, and if the buckling's penis and scrotum (including testicles) are properly placed and normal looking. It is very important to check for two teats of normal shape and size.
Teats will grow with the animal so spur teats and extra teats may not be visible right away. Sometimes too, testicles may not be down in the scrotum at birth but may drop a bit later. Typically in goats though, if the testicles are not down within a short time after birth, I do not expect them to drop on down.
Using my knowledge of basic goat structure and the dairy goat scorecard along with my experience with the bloodlines and individual animals I'm working with, I then begin to evaluate each kid more thoroughly.
Some things in kids can be seen and will stay very similar throughout life, others are an educated guess as to how they will develop.
The dairy goat scorecard allots 25 points to feet, legs and pasterns for junior does. That is one quarter of all points available. So it is a very important part of evaluating young kids. If the feet and legs, including the pasterns, are not strong and solid as a kid, they are going to break down even more as the goat grows and gains weight.
Strong and straight legs start with toes that point ahead and are well held together with solid hooves that are level front to back with deep heels. I want legs that have good bone, without being too coarse and round, solid joints, knees pointing forward, with plenty of width between those front legs leaving room for a wide chest floor. The back legs should also be wide leaving room for a capacious udder to fit in as the doe matures. Short strong pasterns that are relatively upright are needed and desirable in the correct dairy goat.
There are 10 points each for front end assembly and back structure. Now, I consider the front end assembly as part of leg construction myself, but the score card actually allots it it's own points, which bump leg points to 35, more than one-third of the total 100. When looking at legs, I consider the shoulder and upper arm construction, as that is how the leg is held to the body and supports nearly two thirds of the weight of a goat. It needs to be tightly held to the body, and well angled with a proper length of upper arm.
Something I stress over and over to myself, as well as any who ask, that I want a kid to grow up and be a functional dairy goat. Anything I can do to breed and keep animals that will be functional for a long productive life is what I am going to choose to keep. Tightly held shoulders, flat muscled, strong straight legs that are standing on strong pasterns with solid feet will support a dairy goat for a long life.
The more deviation from the ideal, the more issues may surface during that life and may shorten the usefulness of the doe and impair the quality of her life.
Moving along, the back is the support for the heavy body of a doe hung between those legs, so it's important to have a kid with a solid strong level back that is wide and well muscled. Any weakness in the topline in a kid, tends to worsen as the animal matures.
There are 10 points for head, breed character and stature. Now, I personally love the breed type that sets each breed apart from the others, but the scorecard has few points over all to allot to it. The main thing I remember is that a head often matches the body behind it, so a nice strong long wide head, of sufficient breed type and refinement as befits a dairy animal will play a part in my decision on which particular kids appeal to me. Stature is the size and growth appropriate for the breed and age of a goat. That is only two points, but in functionality, it is a bigger part of what I will look at. I want a kid who grows fast and easy with little care. To me, a fast growing kid is a sign of good overall health of the animal. A small runty, spindly kid is not a good choice for me. One of those may or may not outgrow it with extra care. I tend to look for an animal that does not need special care to thrive so that I can spend my time and money enjoying my goats rather than providing work to maintain.
Again on the scorecard, body capacity has 15 points. To me, I consider body capacity a good part of what I'm looking for. I want a goat that is long enough and wide enough to eat well, to carry kids and lots of milk. I want a deep heart girth, showing good heart and lung capacity.
Dairy character has the remaining 30 points on the scorecard. This is where the flat bone, flat muscling, and lean neck, sharp withers, flat incurving thighs, fine skin, wide rumps, and open escutcheons all come into play. This is where we find the refined yet strong look that makes a dairy goat different from a meat goat or a pet goat, or a fiber goat.
We want to see all of this evidenced in a kid. It gives us a good idea that this kid who is solidly built, strong, well grown for its age will indeed grow into a functional dairy goat who will give us years of productive milking.
Now, having given all of the scorecard ideals of what to look for, I'll actually tell how I decide which of those kids meets my goals for my breeding program.

I want strong functional goats. But no goat is ideal so I have to accept that there are some things I can compromise on and still have a solid dairy animal.
I first look at those feet and legs. I spend hours watching my kids run, jump and play. I see how they land on the ground and stand hanging out in the pen. Do their legs come down square? If not, how much deviation is there?
I put a large importance on wide flat rumps, particularly, wide and flat from side to side, and it's a bonus if I get plenty of length as well.
I want young kids to be balanced in overall proportions. Do they appear to be all of a piece or do they show disharmony of parts? Can I figure out what isn't meshing with the rest by looking and feeling?
I want body capacity and dairy character and I'll compare kids not only to the other kids, but to the ideal in my mind. I personally have chosen to give a bit more consideration to body depth and width than the scorecard does in kids, as I see how it impacts my herd later in life. The kids I've kept with a bit less have not always thrived as well down the road as the ones with good width and depth through the heart girth and to the rear end.
I take photos of the kids playing and with me stacking them at several ages to see if what I think I see is in my mind or really in the kid. I find for me that emotion can cloud my judgment, so photos really help me see a clearer picture. I compare escutcheons, and yes, teat placement on kids, though the scorecard doesn't mention the teats at all. To some extent I can give an educated guess as to teat placement on an udder, by studying how my goats grow and age. I want to try to weed out as much as I can early on, so that I don't have time to get attached and realize a major fault is hiding under there.
I mentally place my kids as I would in a class, when I'm out playing with them. They will vary as they grow, but the kids that I continue to place highest tend to end up my keepers. I run my hands over my kids regularly. Not just watch them from a distance. I want to get a feel for their bodies. Part of that also gives me a good idea of their health, but a lot teaches me their feel and how they are going to mature.
With all of this said, I then compare what I see and feel in the kids to how the parents look. What traits do I see that I want in those parents and what do I want to improve? Some years I may keep a kid that I may not in another year, because I want something particular out of that breeding.
For instance, this year, the buck I used on my Nigerian does has tight sharp withers, flat, flat bone, solid feet and legs, and overall smoothness of blending. This is something I really want to improve in my herd over all. So I'm going to really pay attention to those traits in these kids. I may give up a bit on some other traits, to keep the ones with the best of what that buck throws.
Next year, I'll be using different bucks and will choose the kids then based on how this year's kids freshen, and what traits the new kids show.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 24, 2012, 10:59:26 AM

This site will help explain udder developement and what is really needed in order for any goat to become a truely good milker.Remember,even top milklines have goats from time to time that will not become good producers,reason for culling in the first place.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 27, 2012, 01:10:06 AM

Calcium in Hay

The following two charts list calcium in forages. All hay has some moisture in it. Chart #1 lists the percent of calcium as fed. Chart #2 provides the percent of calcium in hay with all moisture removed. Variations occur from field to field. Remember that growing conditions, maturity, and soil nutrients affect all mineral content.



1.71 % -- Clover, White
1.35 % -- Clover, Red - Immature
1.34 % -- Alfalfa - Prebloom
1.28 % -- Alfalfa ---- All
1.27 % -- Alfalfa - Midbloom
1.22 % -- Clover, Red ---- All
1.07 % -- Clover, Red - Mature
1.07 % -- Alfalfa - Mature
0.78 % -- Lespedeza, Common
0.51 % -- Prairie Grass - Immature
0.46 % -- Timothy Early Bloom
0.44 % -- Grass ---- All
0.43 % -- Bermudagrass
0.41 % -- Timothy - Prebloom
0.41 % -- Prairie Grass - Mature
0.40 % -- Bromegrass - Mature
0.40 % -- Bluegrass, Kentucky -- All
0.38 % -- Timothy ---- All
0.36 % -- Timothy Fullbloom
0.35 % -- Fescue, Tall
0.34 % -- Orchardgrass
0.34 % -- Grass - Mature
0.33 % -- Wheat, Intermediate
0.33 % -- Fescue, Meadow
0.32 % -- Wheat, Slender
0.32 % -- Timothy Midbloom
0.32 % -- Prairie Grass, Midwest
0.32 % -- Bromegrass ---- All
0.31 % -- Rye
0.30 % -- Quackgrass
0.30 % -- Oats - Immature
0.29 % -- Oats ---- All
0.28 % -- Bromegrass - Prebloom
0.24 % -- Wheat, Crested
0.24 % -- Bluegrass, Kentucky - Mature
0.22 % -- Oats - Dough Stage
0.13 % -- Wheat


1.90 % -- Clover, White
1.55 % -- Clover, Red - Immature
1.50 % -- Alfalfa - Prebloom
1.39 % -- Alfalfa - Midbloom
1.38 % -- Clover, Red ---- All
1.28 % -- Alfalfa ---- All
1.18 % -- Clover, Red - Mature
1.07 % -- Alfalfa - Mature
0.88 % -- Lespedeza, Common
0.57 % -- Prairie Grass - Immature
0.51 % -- Timothy Early Bloom
0.49 % -- Grass ---- All
0.47 % -- Bermudagrass
0.45 % -- Timothy - Prebloom
0.45 % -- Prairie Grass - Mature
0.45 % -- Bluegrass, Kentucky -- All
0.43 % -- Bromegrass - Mature
0.41 % -- Timothy Fullbloom
0.41 % -- Timothy ---- All
0.39 % -- Fescue, Tall
0.38 % -- Orchardgrass
0.38 % -- Grass - Mature
0.37 % -- Wheat, Intermediate
0.37 % -- Fescue, Meadow
0.36 % -- Timothy Midbloom
0.36 % -- Bromegrass ---- All
0.35 % -- Wheat, Slender
0.35 % -- Prairie Grass, Midwest
0.33 % -- Rye
0.33 % -- Quackgrass
0.33 % -- Oats - Immature
0.32 % -- Oats ---- All
0.32 % -- Bromegrass - Prebloom
0.26 % -- Wheat, Crested
0.26 % -- Bluegrass, Kentucky - Mature
0.24 % -- Oats - Dough Stage
0.15 % -- Wheat

charts like this one is used as a guide for understanding calcium content in hays in the west for lactating dairy animals.Would be interesting to know where forages like indigo,malunggay and mulberry compare to this chart,with moisture and without??

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 04, 2012, 10:28:27 AM
By all accounts,USA will plant record acres of corn for this coming 2012 season due mainly to record corn prices,good for the corn producers but sad news for those feeding livestocks.Once you add into the picture that fuel prices will also rise by summer this is a double blow for those involved in livestock production and will force some to leave agriculture altogether.Every time people leave livestock production this is usually followed by higher imports to make up for losses of local production which is not good for local produced products for the long term.Tough enough with all the free trade agreements signed between most countries today,one countries loss becomes another countries gain and to try and produce against countries that practice industrial farming practices,double blow.Will be interesting to follow the trend for livestock production in country for the coming 2012 season overall.The problems will livestock production is all the other outside forces that the average producer has no control over but must find creative ways to try and keep his/her head above water or leave the industry and look for something else.We are all in this together and there are no easy solutations to the ongoing problems of livestock production today.Not easy to be a livestock producer in this day and age.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 06, 2012, 10:31:44 AM
Meat goat Management-Mustang Sally Farm:

Goat Selection
Animal selection is a skill that meat goat producers needs to master. Animal selection relies on the ability of the producer to identify parent animals that possess desirable traits to contribute to their offspring. These characteristic are economic important traits which should allow the producer to achieve defined production goals. Commercial producers may place greater emphasis on growth measurements. Seed stock producers or purebred producers may place more importance on reproduction and carcass traits to meet their production goals.

The animals selected or not selected fall into two general categories or methods of selection.

Breeding and(or) herd replacements
Cull animals
Breeding or herd replacements can be defined as animals selected to produce offspring. These animals are selected for their desirable characteristics or traits. Selection by culling, on the other hand, is the process by which a producer removes animals from the herd. Animals are culled for not meeting the goals of the producer. Despite the different needs within the meat goat industry, a balanced approach is the key to sound animal selection.

Selection Methods and Tools
Producers have many tools to aid them in selection with visual appraisal as the most common method. Under this method, producers visually review the live animal much in the same way a livestock judge evaluates livestock during a goat show. Common selection tools include the following:

General visual appraisal
Breeder records
Performance data
Genetic Animal Evaluation - EPDs
Show records
Pedigree data
Industry standards
Breed standards

Utilizing a combination of selection tools can provide insight into the genetic makeup of the animal which may not be determined from visual appraisal alone. When using the selection tools together, the producer will come closer to meeting the desirable production or herd goals

Visual appraisal begins with the general appearance of the goat (buck and doe). For commercial meat goats a producer wants an animal that exhibits a long body which is desirable with leg and cannon bone in proportion to the animal. Extremely long legs are more desirable than extremely short legs. The goat should exhibit a strong level back extending from the neck to the hook bones. A producer should keep in mind that older animals are more likely to have a weaker line than young animals. You want the back to be long, wide and strong.

The width and length of the loin are important for volume of meat in the carcass. You want the back to be wide from withers to the rump with smooth shoulders to blend into the neck. The rump should be long and wide also, with the same width between hooks (hip bone) as pins, if not wider between the pin bones. You want the rump to have a slight slope from the hook bones to the pin bones, but should not be overly steep. Some angle to the rump is necessary for easy kidding.

The front end of the commercial meat goat should be wide and smooth. The front legs should be well-spaced representing a wide chest floor and perpendicular to the ground. The forearm should show evidence of muscling and the feet should point straight ahead. Meat goats showing structural signs as knock-knee, buck-knees, pigeon-toed, or splay-footed are animals that should not be selected as animals to place within the goat herd. Select goats where the barrel projects adequate spring of rib which indicates capacity for foraging, pregnancy, and maintenance of body condition.

The rear legs should be wide apart and straight when viewing from the rear. Muscling will be demonstrated by a thick thigh and the depth of the twist. The side view should project a vertical line from pin bone to point of hock and touching the ground just behind the hind hoof. This angle is more desirable for a correct free movement on the hind legs. The pasterns should be strong and straight. The feet should have tight toes and a level sole.

Frame size indicates growth potential. Adequate to moderate bone is acceptable. Avoid selecting animals that are sickle hocked, post legged and cow hocked. Skin coloring or skin pigmentation in the anal area is important to reduce the chance of skin cancer in that area.   


You want a replacement doe to exhibit a feminine head and a feminine wedge appearance to the body with a long elegant neck that blends smoothly into a wide shoulder and back. The doe should project good spring of rib and depth of body which is a good indicator of volume. There should be adequate muscling in the rear leg without losing feminity. The body should have volume and capacity which demonstrates the ability to breed, carry several kids, and rear young in a pasture environment. The external genitalia of the female should be well developed and properly structured. Vulvas which turn up on end can cause a problem when the buck is serving the doe and can result in poor doe fertility.

Does should have well formed udders with good attachment. It is important that the udder is constructed so that the offspring are able to nurse unassisted. The number of functional teats should not exceed two per side with one teat per side as more desirable. Cull faults include udder and teat abnormalities or defects to include, but not limited to, oversized or bulbous teats, and pendulous udder. Other culling characteristics include cluster teats, fishtail teats, or a doe that has not kidded or exhibited signs of pregnancy by 18 months of age. Goats are prolific animals which will naturally reach puberty and be fertile at 6 to 7 months of age. Breeding age females should show evidence of having kidded by the age of two years.


You want the breeding buck to show masculinity and exhibit adequate muscling. The head should be masculine with a broad strong muzzle and horns set far apart enough to not rap or break legs of other goats. The neck should smoothly flow into wide smooth shoulders. The body should exhibit a masculine profile with a heavier chest and forebody. Because of manifestation of testosterone, older bucks may demonstrate higher, heavier, and more coarse shoulders.

Bucks must have two large, well- formed, functional, equal-sized testes in a single scrotum. Sperm production is related to the circumference of the testicles. More semen is produced by bucks with greater scrotal circumference. Mature bucks should have a scrotum circumference of 25 cm or 10 inches. In young bucks, testicles should be of equal size and large for day of age. Avoid selecting bucks that exhibit sizeable splits in the scrotum (see photo). Avoid selecting bucks that show overly pendulous testicles. Testicles should be free of bumps or lumps and should be smooth.

Cull faults include single testicle, testicles too small, abnormal or diseased testes, excessive split in scrotum. The teat structure of the buck should also be reviewed as the buck has a large impact on the herd if his daughters are retained as replacements.


The length of the upper and lower jaw should be equal. The teeth should touch the dental pad in young goats. However with older goats some leaning of the teeth is acceptable as long as the length of the jaw and dental pad when viewed from the side is equal. Avoid selecting replacement animals that exhibit undershot jaw.

Breeder records

Breeder records can provide valuable insight into the productivity of an animal over its productive life. Utilizing breeder records to meet production goals can enhance selection decisions. Visual appraisal is not always a true indication of how an animal will produce in a goat herd. Basic records should include the following:

Birth date
Birth weight
Animal ID
Sex of offspring
Number born
Birthing difficulties
Time of kidding
Frequency of kidding
Total pounds of kids weaned

As the animal matures, the breeder can add other records such as health, vaccinations, and marketing results. The resistance to foot rot or internal parasites can also be recorded to aid the producer in identifying superior genetics for future selection and mating. The number of kids born is extremely important, but the number of kids weaned is more important in determining profitability. The number of kids weaned is also related to the mothering ability of the doe and herd management. Time of kidding refers to the days of the gestation period of which is 150 days for goats.

Producers would like every doe to breed in the first cycle. Replacement animals from does that kidded early in the breeding season will be more productive over their lifetime compared to kids from does that did not breed until the third or fourth heat cycles. Recording the frequency of kidding will allow producers to cull does that do not kid every year.

Performance records

Performance records can aid the producer in animal selection and culling. Performance records are recorded at different phases of growth of the animal. Pre-weaning growth rate is how kids grow from birth to weaning and is primarily a function of milk production in the dam. Kids should be weighed at weaning which generally occurs at 60 to 90 days of age.

The total pounds of kids weaned are also important as the total weight of twin kids will be greater than that of a single raised kid. In most cases, the same inputs will be used to produce twins versus a single kid. However, as the number of kids increase, management inputs increase.

Once the kids are weaned they no longer have the dam’s milk to make them grow. They are now depending on their own genetic potential for growth, assuming proper nutrition. This is known as post-weaning growth rate or post-weaning gain. Purebred producers may place buck kids on a gain test to determine post weaning growth rate.

Other performance weights such as birth, 150-day and 365-day weights may aid the producer in making culling and mating decisions.

Genetic evaluation

Although genetic evaluation programs are new to the goat industry, producers of other species have used genetic evaluations for rapid improvement. Most genetic evaluation programs are provided by breed associations and are particular to the breed. Breeders within the breed record individual animal performance measures. Programs predict future performance based on performance of relatives and current performance of the individual animal. Most of the major sheep breeds including Katahdin have a breed improvement program in place and the American Boer Goat Association is evaluating the feasibility of implementing such a program for Boer Goats.

Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) is an estimate of the genetic merit of an animal for a single trait. The purposes of the genetic evaluation programs are as follows:

Identify and document genetic merit for major economically important traits.
Predict performance of the next generation.
Provide breeders with EPDs to be used as another tool in selecting breeding stock.
Provide the documentation for breeding stock customers to make informed decisions about their purchases.

The expected progeny difference (EPD) for a young animal will be mostly based on his parents’ performance records such as birth, weaning, and(or) yearling weights. After the kid’s own performance records have been processed, his EPD will be based on a combination of his parents’ records and his own performance. If that kid is selected as a breeding animal, and records on his kids are reported, the records on his progeny will also be used to calculate his EPD. Because all relationships (parent-offspring, half-siblings, cousins) among animals are taken into account, records on related animals will be used to improve the accuracy of predictions.

Producers can compare goats using EPDs. For example, a buck with a Weaning Weight EPD of +1.0 is good, but a different buck with a Weaning Weight EPD of +2.0 is better. EPDs give the most objective and reliable estimation of genetic value possible. The EPDs provided by a breed association will vary. The more common EPDs included the following:

Birth Weight EPD
Maternal Birth Weight EPD
90-Day Weaning Weight EPD
150-day Post-weaning Weight EPD
Maternal Milk EPD
Milk plus Growth EPD
Number Born, or Percent Kid Crop
Carcass EPD
Reproduction EPD
Production Life EPD

The breed association calculating the EPDs can provide more information on genetic animal evaluation programs and how to use EPDs as a selection tool to meet production goals.


IProducers need to consider the heritability of a trait when selecting for genetic improvement. How well a goat performs is due to its 1) genetic makeup, 2) environment; and 3) management. When goats are selected for the breeding herd, the breeder expects that their better production performance will be inherited by their offspring. The percentage of superiority of the parents passed to their offspring is called heritability. Faster progress can potentially be made in improving a trait with a high degree of heritability than in improving a trait with a low degree of heritability. The heritability levels are consider in the following ranges: low 10-20%, moderate 25-45%, and high 50-70%. The heritability values of some economically important traits in goats are in Table 1.

Table 1. Heritability estimates of some economically important traits in goats.

Trait(s) Heritability, %
Birth interval 5 - 10
Birth weight 30 - 40
Number born 15
Motherability 40
Weaning weight 20 - 30
Yearling weight 40
Mature weight 65
Milk yield 25
Milk fat % 55
Milk protein % 50
Udder support 20
Teat placement 30
Feed conversion 40
Stature (Conformation & Frame) 45 - 50
Rear legs 15
Wither height 40
Cannon bone circumference 45
Carcass weight 45 - 50
Quality grade 40
Fat depth 40 - 45
Ribeye (loin) area 40 - 45
Cutability 25 - 30
Muscling 40 - 45
Temperament 25
Scrotal circumference 50

Ageing Goats
Number and arrangement of teeth

Estimating the age of goats is done by looking at the teeth. The arrangement of teeth on the jaw, from front to back, is incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Ruminants only have incisors on the bottom jaw. The top jaw has a thick layer of tissue called the “dental pad.” Ruminants do not have canine teeth and this open space along the jaw is useful when needing to insert one’s fingers to pry open a goat’s mouth for drenching, tubing, or other purposes.

Mature goats will have a total of 8 incisors (4 pair), 6 premolars (3 pair), and 6 molars (3 pair). It is customary when ageing goats by looking at their teeth to discuss teeth in terms of “pairs” rather than in total.

Telling the age of goats

Young goats have deciduous or “baby” teeth that are replaced by permanent teeth at a later age. Kids are generally born with the central pair of deciduous incisors (incisors erupt from the center outward) with the second pair erupting at 1 to 2 weeks, third pair at 2 to 3 weeks and the fourth pair erupting at 3 to 4 weeks of age. Kids also will develop 3 pairs of deciduous premolars but no molars.

As kids age, the deciduous incisors are replaced by permanent incisors, again from the center pair outward. The middle pair of deciduous incisors will be replaced sometime around 12 months. The second, third, and fourth pairs are replaced at roughly yearly intervals at 1.5 to 2 years, 2.5 to 3 years, and 3.5 to 4 years of age. Thus, a goat with 1 pair of permanent incisors is roughly 1 year of age, 2 pair of permanent incisors is 2 years of age, and so on. At four years of age when all permanent teeth are in place, the animal may be referred to as having a “full mouth.”

Ageing goats over 4 years of age is more difficult. Over time, the gums recede and teeth appear elongated. Teeth may also become broken or worn down from grazing and foraging. Animals that have broken or lost teeth are often referred to as “broken mouthed.” “Undershot” is a condition in which the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw whereas “overshot” is the opposite. Malformed teeth can affect the ability to graze and consume nutrients.

Animal Identification
The proper identification of animals is essential. Proper identification enables the producer to keep comprehensive records for milk production, reproduction, health problems, and management practices. The efficient maintenance of this information requires a permanent identification system. Several systems of identification may be used. The system selected will depend upon the size of the herd, the environmental conditions, the primary purpose for identifying individual animals, and regulations of federal government and breed-governing bodies. There are two basic types of identification: permanent and non-permanent. Permanent identification includes tattooing, ear notches or microchips. Non-permanent identification includes paint, chalk and tags.


Tattooing is one method of identification that is permanent if properly done. However, it is not easily viewed and may require another complementary method of identification, such as an ear tag, that is visible from short distances. Tattooing involves making needlelike projections in the goat's skin. The tattoo ink is forced into the punctures and remains visible after the puncture wounds heal. It is a good idea to sterilize the equipment and clean the goat's ears to help prevent the spread of some blood-borne diseases. On older animals some tattoos may be difficult to read; holding a bright light source such as a flashlight behind the ear when reading may make the tattoo more legible.

To tattoo an animal, begin by inserting the proper digits into the tattoo pliers. Check for correctness by pressing the pliers onto a piece of paper or cardboard. Secure the goat with a halter or head gate and clean the ear to be tattooed with alcohol. Don’t use water for cleaning as it could enter the ear canal and result in infection. Clip or trim any excessive hair present. A generous amount of ink should be applied to the center of the ear between the ribs of cartilage (green ink should be used for dark ears). Position the tattooing pliers between the ribs of cartilage and squeeze firmly forcing the needle-like numbers into the ear tissue. Care should be taken in removing the tattoo pliers from the ear to not scratch the tattooed area. Ink should be reapplied and rubbed into the tattoo. Using an old toothbrush will assist in pushing the ink into the punctures. Afterwards, the equipment and individual tattoo pieces should be cleaned and sprayed with alcohol.


Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 06, 2012, 10:38:30 AM
Ear tags

Ear tags are an easy way to permanently identify each goat in the herd. Unlike tattoos, they can be read without actually having to catch the goat. Unfortunately, unlike tattoos, they can break or be ripped out of the goat’s ear. Some producers use two ear tags because of this problem. Goats that are shipped are required to have a scrapie ear tag and these can be used for animal identification. Before putting in the ear tag, it is important to record what ear tag number is assigned to the goat. Ensure the ear tags are inserted between the cartilage ribs on the ears. The producer whose goats have been ear tagged will have an easy-to-read identification number which can be used for herd records.


The insertion of a microchip in the base of the ear or tail web of the animal is another form of permanent identification. After insertion, the microchip should be scanned to ensure that it is reading correctly. Care should be taken in recording the microchip number against the tag number of the animal to ensure the integrity of the microchip identification. Exhibitors are required to provide their own reader at many livestock shows.

Ear notching

 Ear notching is commonly practiced in identifying goats. It has the advantage of being visible from a distance allowing identification without the necessity of catching the animal and can accommodate numbers up to 9999. An ear notching pliers are used to put “V”-shaped notches in the edges of the ear and a hole punch is used to punch holes in the middle of the ear, if necessary. The animal is restrained and notches and holes may be treated with iodine. As this process results in bleeding, the notching pliers should be disinfected between animals to prevent transmission of any blood-borne diseases. The notching system used is that begun in the Angora industry and adapted for meat goats. However, some producers may use alternate numbering system. Generally, notches on the goat’s left ear mean: 10 (top), 1 (bottom), 100 (end); and 1,000 (center hole). On the goat’s right ear, notch values are: 30 (top), 3 (bottom), 300 (end); and 3,000 (center hole). Thus, a goat with the number 135 would look as follows: 1 notch on end of left ear (100); 1 notch on top of right ear (30), 2 notches on bottom of left ear (2); 1 notch on bottom of right ear (3) with a total value equaling 135.

Hoof Trimming
Hoof trimming goats is a simple task that can be easily learned. The goal of hoof trimming is to allow your goat to walk normally. The lack of trimming, or improper trimming, can lead to foot and leg problems. The amount of time between trimmings depends on many factors, such as type of terrain, the goat's age, level of activity, nutritional level, and genetics. In environmental areas where natural wearing does not occur, producers need to trim hooves on a regular basis. Goats raised in relative confinement and on small acreages may require more frequent trimmings than goats raised in vast pastures. Generally, foot trimming should be done as needed.

Each hoof of the goat has two toes. The wall of each toe tends to overgrow and must be trimmed. The heels of the hoof and the dewclaws (especially on an older goat) may also develop extra tissue that needs to be trimmed. Most producers use foot shears or hoof trimmers. Other tools used may include a hoof knife with sharp edges, a pocketknife or a rasp. Pocketknives or a hoof knife can be dangerous to use for both operator and animal as goats may jump. Some people like to use hoof nippers to cut off the tip of the hoof or file it down with rasps.

Initially, use the point of the hoof trimmers to remove any dirt from the outside and the bottom of the hoof. The front of badly overgrown hooves can then be removed. The sides of the hoof should be cut back even with the sole of the foot. Continue to trim the sides around one toe and repeat the process on the other toe. Trim the frog and heel flat until the sole is parallel to the hairline of the pastern. Trim off thin slices. A good rule to follow is to stop when you see pink. If blood appears stop trimming and apply blood stop powder and finish the trimming at a later time.

Disbudding or dehorning is a management practice used in some meat goat herds. At the present time, there is no commercial market incentive offered for disbudded meat goat kids. However, two management decisions warrant the consideration of disbudding: 1) if resident fence(s) are constructed of materials capable of entrapping horned goats and are too expensive to replace or alter, or 2) if show wether production and marketing is a management objective. Some shows require and some exhibitors prefer disbudded kids.

The ideal time to disbud kids is from 3 days to 3 weeks of age. Fewer scurs (small, misshapen horn growth resulting from inadequate disbudding) are seen with disbudding earlier in that time frame. Kids need to be restrained during the procedure with use of a disbudding box preferable. A hot disbudding iron is placed over the horn and pressure applied to ensure complete contact with the skin surrounding the base of the horn. Leave the disbudding iron in place 4 to 6 seconds or until a ring the color of new leather encircles the horn base. Remove the horn tip and underlying loose skin. This process is repeated for the opposite horn. Return to the first location, and use the edge of the heated iron to sear the horn bud until it turns slightly yellow, usually not more than 2 to 3 seconds. This process is repeated for the opposite horn. Remove kid from restraints. The single most important determinant of successful disbudding is size of the horn base. Smaller horns generally result in greater success.

Horn growth rate appears to differ between individual animals. Goats use their horns mainly for fighting and for defense from predators. If they are horned, injury may occur to one or both of the goats involved. Horned goats can on occasion also injure their handlers. In some breeds, the horn structure can provide some insight into some characteristic of the animal. Producers should consider not mixing horned and disbudded animals in the same pen due to the horned animals having a competitive advantage.

All young bucklings that are not to be evaluated as replacement bucks should be castrated. For some producers, this means castrating between the ages of 2 and 4 weeks. Castration of young animals produces less stress in the animals and there is less chance of complications occurring due to the procedure. Young bucks are capable of breeding females as early as 4 to 5 months of age. If a decision is made to not castrate young males, management practices should be in place to prevent unwanted matings.

Three common ways to castrate bucks is through the use of an elastrator that places a rubber ring around the scrotum, a Burdizzo® clamp that crushes the spermatic cord, and the use of a knife to cut the scrotum and remove the testicles.


Using an elastrator is an inexpensive, quick, and bloodless method of castration. It involves putting a heavy rubber ring around the scrotum near the body. The ring stops blood circulation to the scrotum and testicles and these will dry, shrivel, and slough off in 10 to 14 days. It must be done while the scrotum is still very small, i.e., from three days to three weeks of age depending on breed size, before the scrotal muscles and associated tissues develop.

The rubber ring is first put on the prongs of the elastrator (a pliers-like device that when squeezed will open the ring allowing the scrotum and testes to pass through). The male kid is restrained and the scrotum is passed through the open ring with the prongs of the elastrator facing the kid’s body. The producer must feel the scrotum to ensure that both testicles are in the scrotum below the ring. The rubber ring is positioned close to the body and then slipped off the elastrator prongs. Care must be taken to not inadvertently disturb the rudimentary teats of the male kid.


Animals should suffer minimal discomfort until the area becomes numb. However, kids should be monitored during the period prior to sloughing of the scrotum. This method has a higher risk of tetanus than many other castration methods. Some producers may wish to give tetanus antitoxin at the time of castration. If the banded scrotum does not fall off in an appropriate period of time, it may need to be removed manually.


Another quick, bloodless method of castration is to use a Burdizzo® clamp, or emasculatome, to crush and rupture the spermatic cords. This method can be used on older animals, however, it is best to castrate goats when young.

It is important to remember that the spermatic cords must be crushed one side at a time. After restraining the animal, grab the scrotum and manipulate one of the testicles deep in the scrotal sac and find the spermatic cord. Place the clamp over the spermatic cord one-third of the way down the scrotum. Clamp down and hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Release the clamp, reposition it over the spermatic cord one-half inch lower and repeat the procedure. Perform the same steps on the other side to crush the other spermatic cord. Always check the position of the spermatic cord before and after each clamping to ensure no mistakes are made. With this method, the scrotal sac will not slough off, but the will remain on the animal. The testicles will atrophy and disappear.

This method is the best to use during fly season because it leaves no big open wound. Goats must be between four weeks to four months of age with eight to 12 weeks being ideal. Because of the difficulty in telling if the spermatic cords have been crushed, this method may be perceived as less reliable than other methods.


A third method of castration is the use of a knife. As with the other methods, knife castration is best done on young kids. This will result in less blood loss and stress on the animal. The animal should be restrained and the scrotal area washed if necessary. The producer’s hands should be washed and knife sanitized with alcohol. The scrotum is grasped with the testicles pushed to the upper portion and the lower third of the scrotum is cut off. Removing the lower third of the scrotum allows for wound drainage and helps prevent infection. Each testicle is slowly pulled down and away from the body until the cord breaks. If the animal is more than 4 or 5 weeks old, the cord should be scraped through with the knife rather than broken. This will result in less bleeding. The scrotum is sprayed with an antibacterial spray that also repels or kills flies. The kids will be lethargic for several days and then gradually recover. The kids should not be confined to a muddy or filthy area while they are healing from the castration.

Body Condition Score
An easy tool that producers can utilize to assess the overall condition of their goats is that of body condition scoring (BCS). BCS is a simple, fast method of assessing the thinness or fatness of your goats and getting an indication of available fat reserves that can be used by the animal. Goats should be normally be maintained with a moderate amount of body condition. When overall body condition starts to decrease in the herd and goats become too thin (under-conditioned), management intervention is needed. This could be supplemental feeding, deworming, pasture rotation, etc. Conversely, when overall body condition starts to increase in the herd and animals carry too much fat (over-conditioned) the producer should reduce supplemental feeding or could provide a lesser quality diet.

Assessing body condition and making feeding and management adjustments can prevent the occurrence of some diseases or production problems. As an example, does that are too thin will have kids with low birth weights; whereas overly conditioned (fat) does can suffer pregnancy toxemia and kidding problems. Producers need to develop skills in assessing body condition of their goats so that a desired moderate body condition can be maintained. With practice, evaluating the BCS of an animal will only take about 10 to 15 seconds. Adding BCS as a regular part of a management program will help producers to more effectively monitor feeding and herd health programs for a healthy and productive herd.

How to Body Condition Score

Scoring is performed in goats using a BCS ranging from 1.0 to 5.0, with 0.5 increments. A BCS of 1.0 is an extremely thin goat with no fat reserves and a BCS of 5.0 is a very over-conditioned (obese) goat. In most cases, healthy goats should have a BCS of 2.5 to 4.0. Scores of 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 indicate a management or health problem. Scores of 4.5 or 5 are rarely observed in goats under normal management conditions; however, these scores can sometimes be observed in show goats.

Does should have a body condition of at least 2.5 but no more than 4.0 at the beginning of the breeding season. Prior to entering the winter a minimum score of 3.0 is desirable. Also, if body condition score is 4.5 or greater, pregnancy toxemia prior to kidding is likely as may also occur in animals with a score of 2.0 or less.

Three areas are evaluated in assigning a BCS: the lumbar region, or area containing the loin muscle; the sternum; and the rib cage. Scoring in the lumbar area is based on determining the amount of muscle and fat cover over the vertebrae. Lumbar vertebrae have a vertical protrusion (spinous process) and a horizontal protrusion (transverse process). Both processes are used in determining BCS. Run your fingertips over the spinous process to feel for the vertebrae. Try to grasp the spinous process between your thumb and forefinger. Use your whole hand to feel the loin muscle and fat cover. Try to slip your fingers underneath the tranverse process.

The second body area to feel is the fat covering on the sternum (breastbone). Scoring in this area is based upon the size of the fat pad on the sternum that can be pinched.

A third area is the rib cage and fat cover over the ribs.

Kidding Management
Kidding season can be an anxious time for a producer. Proper kidding management begins with proper nutrition and care of the pregnant doe. Proper nutrition during pregnancy will increase the chances for birth of healthy kids with few problems. Kid mortality in the first 10 days is highest among kids born underweight either due to a premature parturition or poor doe nutrition.

Routine procedures

Most meat goats will give birth on pasture, although some producers may bring certain animals into a shelter. Animals and pastures should be checked frequently, at a minimum twice daily, for new arrivals. The navel cord should be dipped in a solution of tincture of iodine to prevent entry of disease-causing organisms and to promote rapid drying of the umbilical cord. If necessary, a long navel cord can be cut to one to two inches in length. A bleeding cord should be tied with surgical suture material. Kids should be weighed and ear tagged or identified in some way. The doe’s ID number should be recorded along with the kid data. Finally, kids should be checked carefully at birth for any deformities or abnormalities.

Abnormal births

At times birthing difficulties will occur. Abnormal deliveries include breech births (buttocks first), improperly positioned fetuses (one limb forward, the other back), or multiple births where one or more limbs of different kids are intertwined in the birth canal. These situations require human assistance. A lubricated gloved, or washed, hand should gently be inserted into the birth canal and the fetus pushed backwards slightly to reposition it. When either the front or hind legs can be grasped, the fetus should be pulled gently out and downwards. Ensure the kid is breathing and perform normal management procedures.

Birth to Weaning Management
It is very essential that newborn kids consume colostrum, or first milk, as soon as possible after birth. Colostrum contains antibodies that will help protect the kid as it develops its own immune system. The ability of kids to absorb the antibodies contained in colostrum decreases rapidly after the first 24 hours of life making it essential that consumption occurs as early as possible and certainly prior to 18 hours after birth. Excess colostrum can be frozen for use in orphan or for kids from large litters. If colostrum is hand-fed, amounts of 2 to 4 ounces should be fed to each kid 3 to 4 times per day. If the doe dies and no goat colostrum is available, cow colostrum could be used. This could perhaps be obtained from a nearby dairy farm. An additional practice at birth that enhances the health of the newborn kid is to give injections of iron dextran and vitamins A and D.

Milk is the principal component of the diet of the pre-weaning kid. Under natural suckling, kids consume small amounts of milk at frequent intervals. For kids that need assistance, there are numerous ways to feed milk, including the use of bottles or pails, suckling a nurse doe, and self-feeder units. The method chosen will depend upon factors such as the size of the herd and available labor, as well as personnel preference. Ideally, artificial rearing should mimic natural suckling. Small, frequent feedings increase digestibility and decrease digestive disturbances. Kids can be fed all the milk they will consume in three feedings per day. Begin with 6 to 10 ounces per feeding and adjust accordingly. After four weeks of age, kids can be limit fed one pint (16 ounces) twice daily until weaning. Some producers place cold milk in a cooler and make it available to the kids free-choice throughout the day to more closely mimic natural rearing.

Consumption of large quantities of milk may lead to bloat due to entry of milk into the reticulo-rumen or rapid passage of milk through the abomasum and small intestines resulting in diarrhea or nutritional scours. Research conducted on raising kids on milk replacer fed from four days of age to weaning at six weeks indicates that growth performance is lower and the incidence of digestive disturbances such as scours and bloat are increased compared to goat’s milk under the same system.

Dry feed consumption is important in developing the rumen of the kid and preparing it for weaning. Many goat producers will creep feed kids to maximize growth and weight gain. A creep feed or starter grain along with high quality pasture grass or hay should be made available to kids by two weeks of age. Weaning generally occurs at three months. Weaning can be a stressful event in a kid’s life but is necessary for the health of the doe.

We do not practice all but try and follow the most important aspects when it applies to our situation raising meat goats in a tropical country.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 09, 2012, 03:03:01 AM

2010 DHIR Breed Averages

2010 DHIR Breed Averages...



DOES 275-305 DAYS in MILK



MILK lbs



 % / lbs


 % / lbs





3.3 / 80

2.8 / 66






3.9 / 86

3.1 / 70






6.1 / 45

4.4 / 32






4.6 / 85

3.7 / 68






3.5 / 79

2.9 / 67






3.2 / 82

2.8 / 72






3.3 / 77

2.8 / 66






3.0 / 62

2.7 / 56


 Based on 2010 ADGA DHIR Individual Doe Records not corrected for age* ECM = Energy Corrected Milk                                       



Herd N=

Doe Years N=




 %/ lbs





3.3 / 66

2.9 / 58





4.0 / 84

3.1 / 65





4.6 / 65

3.7 / 52





3.3 / 54

2.8 / 45





3.3 / 76

2.9 / 66





3.2 / 54

2.8 / 46








Based on 2010 USDA DHI Herd Records of those herds comprised of 75% of a single breedMixed breed & Experimental Herd data available at AIPL

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 June 2011 16:59 )

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 10, 2012, 03:34:08 AM
Fundamental principles of successful goat meat production

    The production of goat meat is increasingly becoming a viable agricultural enterprise in the Southeast United States. I want to examine some of the characteristics of goats suitable for meat production and then look at some of the management practices
that are required to produce goat meat successfully.
    Right at the outset, I want to distinguish between producing meat goats and producing goat meat. The distinction is important because at its heart lies the difference between the servicing of a haphazard and idiosyncratic localized market and the development of a sustainable land-
based industry.
    Just about anyone can produce meat goats. By meat goats, I mean the breeds of goat usually included within the generic catch-all of the phrase. In the United States, that pretty much encompasses any goat not bred for the production of hair or milk. Some ranchers will do it well; some will do it not so well. Some will opt for low input systems (such as the open range systems found in West Texas); others will elect a more intensive route (pen feeding and the like). They will find periodic markets for their products but they will generally be price takers from order buyers. They'll have periods of relative prosperity (particularly when there is a demand for breeding stock) and lengthy periods of penury. The enterprise will usually be conducted in conjunction with a wage-paying job or as a diversification of a larger agricultural enterprise.
    By contrast goat meat production requires a different mindset, and it's goat meat production I want to focus on. Goat meat production concentrates on a larger picture. It looks to the ultimate consumer rather than the buyer at the farm gate, focusing on the product that is to be harvested from the animal raised rather than the animal itself. If I were to define what goat meat production entails it would be along these lines - the aim of goat meat production is the production, in sustainable quantities on a replicable basis, of the product required in the consumer market by the selection of appropriate purpose bred goat types and the implementation of targeted management systems. Goat meat production can be an agricultural livelihood for those who have the opportunity for production on the appropriate scale. For those who opt for smaller scale production it will represent significantly enhanced returns against the production of meat goats.
    Two major factors have historically acted as barriers to capitalizing upon the opportunities that exist in respect of the production of goat meat. The most important of these has been the lack of a breed of goat suitable for commercial production. In the United States the market has been provided with the carcasses of Spanish goats of uncertain origin ranged under a variety of husbandry regimes, and cull Angora goats. Very small numbers of dairy goats have also been slaughtered.
    The second factor is a poor understanding of the management practices necessary for the profitable production of goat meat. Spanish goats have generally been ranged with little or no management supervision and with the rancher accepting high mortality, unthriftiness, poor body weights and slow rates of growth as the vagaries of a low cost/minimal input agricultural system.
    In the last decade, two occurrences have served to extinguish these barriers. The
first is the release into the United States of goats purpose bred for meat production. The Boer goat from South Africa and Kiko goat from New Zealand both exhibit production traits which can contribute significant improvements in feed conversion, growth rates, carcass conformation and production capacity to the base U.S. herd.
    The second is the development in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa of broad acre management programs for the production of goat meat. These programs have resulted from research undertaken into small ruminant production in those countries and have substantially altered the viability of production for goat meat there. In addition, there has been substantial research undertaken in the U.S. on goat health and nutrition. Today an understanding of the management principles necessary for goat meat production is available to North American ranchers.
    Now that the barriers have been overcome, goat meat production can be a profitable enterprise for American ranchers who have the land available and who are prepared to devote time and capital to put in place the necessary components of a goat meat production enterprise.
    Let me give some consideration to the three critical elements of goat meat production: availability of suitable purpose bred goats, appropriately targeted management systems and available viable consumer markets.

Characteristics of purpose bred goats
    When it comes to goat meat production, breed of goat takes second place to the characteristics required for commercial production. I want you to put breeds of goat right out of your mind and focus for a spell on the necessary characteristics.
    There are two critical characteristics required - without them the battle is lost before it is begun. They are rate of growth and ease of management.
    Rate of growth is of paramount importance. Producers often overlook the fact that it is not how big an animal grows that is important: it is how fast the animal grows. And it is the rate of growth at critical times in the animal's life that is the most important. The most important period is between birth and weaning. The next most important time is between weaning and six months.
    Why? There are three reasons: firstly, because the early rate of growth will go a long way to determining the size of the mature animal. Secondly, because a rapid rate of growth at an early age brings the animal to slaughter weight faster. And thirdly, because profitable markets for goat meat tend to focus on younger animals rather than older animals, rapidly growing young animals reaching slaughter weight faster will require less management inputs than slower growing animals.
    Ease of management is equally important. What do I mean by ease of management? Well there are a whole heap of factors involved but these are some of the more important:
¥ Resistance to internal parasites. Some goat breeds (and some individual goats within breeds) demonstrate a reduced requirement for deworming because they are less prone to internal parasite infestation. This translates into substantial saving in terms of dewormer and management time since they can be dewormed less frequently than goats without a reduced requirement for deworming.
¥ Soundness of hooves. Goats that go lame through footrot and/or footscald create a huge management burden. Sound hooves are essential. Animals with unsound hooves should be culled as a matter of course.
¥ Easy care kidding. Goats that require no assistance at kidding are to be preferred over those that require close shepherding.
¥ Browsing vigor. This is the ability to browse aggressively and traveling distances to do so. Aggressive browsers seek their own nutrition rather than waiting for it to be brought to them. Goats of a sedentary disposition are undesirable in production terms.
¥ Fecundity. This encompasses the ability of females to conceive twin offspring on the first exposure to the buck and to carry those kids to parturition and raise them unaided to weaning. Accomplishment of each of these factors aids in the minimization of management intervention - a more compressed kidding season, less bottle babies, more live kids.
    The commercial production of goat meat requires animals that display all these characteristics because the single greatest barrier to profitable production is the cost of the management inputs. Accordingly, the less management time devoted to individual animals, the greater the rancher's ability to concentrate on the management of the herd as a whole. And that is a major consideration where larger sized herds are being run.
    In a phrase, what you look for in a goat for meat production are hardiness, fertility and vigor.

Management principles for goat meat production
    Now I want to give some consideration to what's involved in the management of goats for meat production. And the first thing I want to emphasize is that management means integrated herd management, not the management of individuals or small groups of animals. Too often in the United States I find that the mindset is on the management of individuals, not on the management of the whole herd.
    In a goat meat program, the rancher is the CEO of a production enterprise. He's got to have an overview of the whole operation. He's got to have a strategic management plan that projects at least a year into the future. He's got to have a basic set of financial projections that he can compare his actual returns against. He has to be prepared to take the advice of a management consultant when he needs it. When a rancher focuses too closely on individual animals or small groups he becomes a personnel manager, neglecting his tasks as financial controller, production manager and marketing manager.
    Management for goat meat production means focusing on the herd as a whole. That entails notionally separating it into groups of like animals - the larger the better, the fewer groups the better. Like animals require like management. The more similar the management, the less work it entails. The less work it entails the less manpower required. The less manpower required the more profitable the enterprise.
    The rancher should never fall into the trap of discounting the worth of his own time. Time spent working goats unnecessarily is time that has been squandered and is time that might have been spent more profitably, on the ranch or off it.
    Let me give you some of the principles I employ in the management of large herds (by that I mean anything from a thousand breeding does upwards). But, they are also the principles I advise folks with only a hundred does to use. And they apply equally well if you have only twenty does.
    First, separation into groups. The primary separation is males from females. Entire bucks (that is, uncastrated males) have no place running with females of any age. They should be kept separate and apart save for the period of time when they are actually going to be asked to earn their keep by serving the breeding females. Time and duration of mating is a management function, not a happenstance of nature. Bucks allowed to run with females without constraint make for unwanted pregnancies, prolonged and out of season kiddings and handling difficulties.
    The secondary separation is grouping of females. Firstly, all females of breeding age should be run as a single group. Secondly, all kids (doe kids and wether kids) should be run as a grow-out group. Since this group is going to contribute the majority of your animals for slaughter (the balance being cost for age and dry does) these animals get the best attention. The simple way to manage this group is to send for slaughter first the wethers then the does until you are left with the number of doe kids that are required to provide replacement females for the breeding herd.
    These are the basic divisions I make. At mating time there may be more to accommodate single sire mating programs, or artificial insemination programs or the like. But these are the basic ones. Three groups-three programs.
    The next principle is to establish the time of mating. Mating marks the commencement of the annual production cycle. The time of mating establishes the time of kidding, hugely influences the time of weaning and provides a fairly accurate indicator of when you will have animals available for slaughter. Here're the crude rules of thumb I use to calculate the date on which mating will commence. I take a date when I know that there is going to be good spring growth for the part of the country I'm working in. Let me use our ranch in Texas as an example (and bear in mind that here I'm dealing with Hill Country brushland, not improved posture). That date is the date that will determine all the other dates in the mating calendar.
    I know that by April 1 there will be good spring growth, providing there has not been a devastating winter drought and that there has been reasonable rainfall. So April 1 is the date upon which I want to wean so that the weaned kids will have the benefit of the best feed conditions that the year is likely to produce. Also, they will have the opportunity to grow apace before the devastating heat of June, July and August.
    From April 1, I count back 90 days. That is going to give me the commencement of kidding date. That takes me back to January 1.
    From that date, I count back five months. That is the date upon which I want mating to begin. That date is the first of August. On that date, I introduce the bucks that I want to use in my mating program for the year to the does that are to be mated.
    I leave them running with the does for 32 days. That represents one and a half reproductive cycles. That means that all my kids will be born roughly within a one-month period. That reduces the amount of supervision they will require at kidding and gives me a kid crop that can be treated as a group, not as a collection of individuals. That means that I will be able to deworm, vaccinate, castrate, mark and wean to common dates because all the animals will all be much the same size and age.
    After 32 days the bucks are removed. Their job for the year is finished.
    The third principle is to ruthlessly cull unproductive animals. Unproductive animals are females that:
    ¥ Fail to conceive within the 32-day exposure period. Providing they are not being asked to conceive outside a seasonal mating period, they are not sufficiently fertile to warrant maintaining in the herd.
    ¥ Fail to carry their kids to parturition. Unless, of course, there are good reasons for the does aborting - outbreaks of toxoplasmosis, campylobacter, border disease and the like or savagely inclement weather affecting unsheltered stock.
    ¥ Fail to raise to weaning any kids they carry and bear - but once again outbreaks of disease (coccidiosis, for example) or very bad weather may be taken into account.
    ¥ Produce offspring with genetically undesirable traits (hemaphrodatism) or with physical abnormalities (parrot mouth).
    And any mature male that fails to aggressively cover at least 100 females.
    None of these animals are worth retaining in a commercial herd maintained for goat meat production.
    The fourth principle is to replace at least 20% of the breeding females annually. If enhanced production is the aim of your program, then you have to be consciously improving the quality of your doe herd. This is best accomplished by choosing a single trait of commercial significance and selecting replacement breeding females from within your female kids by ranking them according to their performance in respect of that trait and selecting the superior performers.
    I use rate of growth, usually that between birth and weaning. I use a computer program, which ranks all the offspring and then selects the number I require. These animals are run through to breeding age at which time they are substituted for the animals that are culled for poor productivity. In this way I reduce the generation interval, and keep my doe herd comparatively young.
    The fifth principle is that animal health programs must be prophylactic, not remedial. Most animal health programs involve deworming and vaccination. The golden rule in respect of both is that if you are deworming or vaccinating because you think the animals look as though they need it, you are too late. Animal health programs need to be planned for the forthcoming year, and implemented in a considered manner.
They are designed to prevent worm build up, not to treat it; to prevent bacterial conditions, not to treat them. Animal health programs must be multifaceted and not rely on drugs alone - they should include pasture rotation and other management approaches to minimize the risk of health challenges.
    These are basic principles - principles that must be applied in all goat meat production operations. Each operation wiII require its own degree of fine-tuning to suit its circumstances, size and location. Obviously these principles don't tell the whole story, but they are all factors that must be taken into account if you want to operate a commercially successful operation targeting goat meat production.

Simple aims for herd improvement
    Enhanced production is the consequence of herd improvement. Every commercial enterprise should have a clear understanding of the herd improvement aims they are targeting and the manner in which they are going to be accomplished.
Herd improvement can be accomplished by focussing on two simple propositions:
    ¥ Increase rates of growth.
    ¥ Increase kidding percentages.
    The former can be accomplished by breed selection to attain more rapid rates of growth. The latter can be accomplished by retaining female replacements that are twins and the daughters of twins. By selecting females with strong twinning dispositions, a single gestation maximizes the number of offspring available for slaughter or retention in the herd. The rationale for this approach is that a single female having a single kid has put on the ground say 44 pounds of liveweight at 100 days. A single female having twins (allowing for a slightly slower rate of growth) has put on the ground 2 x 40 pounds = 80 pounds of live weight for the same 100 days. The latter female is therefore infinitely more profitable.
    As a standing rule of thumb, I work on the principle that if your kidding percentage is below 100% then you are unlikely to make significant profits in goat meat production. If your kidding percentage is around 130% then you are well in the ballpark for making money in this enterprise.
    Remember, commercial goat meat production aims to produce the maximum weight of meat in the minimum time for the least possible cost. Programs targeting this outcome are the ones that succeed in profitable production.
    Finally, a brief word about markets. Worldwide, goat meat is the most widely consumed of the red meats. In the majority of countries, however, it never rises above commodity status because of the low gross domestic product (GDP) of third world countries and their subsistence forms of agriculture. The exception is the Middle East, where high GDP and religious fundamentalism have combined to develop a more discerning market. The Middle East market is characterized, however, by seasonal demand and a marked preference for live animals.
    Generally, the best markets for goat meat (and by best I mean most profitable) exhibit the following characteristics:
    ¥ A developed economy with high per capita income.
    ¥ Significant concentrations of ethnic communities, in particular Islamic, Hispanic and Asian.
    ¥ Relatively well developed distribution systems allowing a reliable flow of product to the consumer.

  Graham Culliford is the managing partner of Goatex Group LLC and of Tasman Livest.These are the same people who are responsible for the Kiko breed.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 21, 2012, 09:24:35 AM

How to Choose a Culture

By Mary Jane Toth

Probably the most often asked question from new cheese makers is how to choose a culture. This can be a daunting task, but made much simpler when you have a basic understanding of how and why the cultures work. I hope you find the following information useful in choosing which cultures you need to be successful in your home cheese making endeavors.
It's important to understand why you need a culture. The purpose of the culture is to raise the acidity of the milk, which helps the rennet to set the cheese as well as aiding in preserving and developing the flavor during the aging process.
Milk is a perfect medium for good and bad bacteria. The culture inoculates the milk with the good type of bacteria, which multiply by consuming the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk. The result raises the acidity and once the good bacteria have taken hold in the milk they help prevent the bad bacteria form gaining a foothold. It's like a war between the good and bad. The good win the war when they can quickly outnumber the bad.

Basic information
Cultures can be broken into two types: mesophilic and thermophilic. Choosing either a thermophilic or mesophilic will depend on the type of cheese that you are going to make.
Mesophilic is a non-heat loving culture and is used for making cheeses that are not heated to more than 102°F. This is the most common and is used to make 90% of the variety of cheeses. This would include soft cheese, chévre, blue cheese, feta, cottage cheese, farmers cheese, Colby, cheddar, Camembert, brie, cultured buttermilk, and sour cream, etc.

Thermophilic is a heat loving culture and is used to make cheeses that can be heated to 130 degrees. This is used in most Italian cheeses such as Parmesan, provolone, mozzarella and Swiss, Monterey jack, etc. Yogurt is also made using a thermophilic culture.
Many varieties of these two types are available with names such as flora dancia, lactoccus bulgarius etc. No matter what types of fancy names are specific to that culture it will still fall into one of the two types of culture. This simply means that they can have different strains of bacteria, which can produce slight differences in taste. I have used several with results pretty much the same and with no big noticeable difference in taste in the end product. No matter what it's called, mesophilic will always be a mesophilic and the same is true of the thermophilic.

Freeze dried DVI or reculturable:
Which type of culture should you use?

Another question asked often is choosing between making a mother culture and using a DVI culture. All cheese cultures will come as a freeze-dried packet. Keep them frozen for long-term storage.
DVI Culture:

DVI stands for "direct vat inoculant"; this is added directly to the milk, usually at a rate of 1/8 teaspoon for each gallon of milk. The freeze-dried packet can be kept in the freezer for several months. I have been using one from my freezer that is about five years old. Just make sure to keep it double bagged in good freezer bags. The advantage to the DVI culture is that it can be kept in the freezer for long periods of time. It's very handy for the average home cheese maker who is not making cheese on a daily basis. DVI cultures are definitely my preference. They are more convenient and produce more consistent results. Even large cheese making plants now use them.

Reculturable or Mother culture:
Must first be cultured in sterile milk before it can be used. This type of culture can be recultured by saving some from the previous batch to make the next batch. This can be kept going for a long time but the biggest drawback is that it will only keep in the refrigerator for about three days or it can be frozen in cubes for about a month. This means that you will need to be diligent about reculturing it so that the live bacteria are kept viable. It will not last forever. If not properly recultured on a regular basis it can produce inconsistent results.

Chevre Spreadable Cheese
Chives & Garlic
1 lb. soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons dried chives or 2 tablespoons fresh chives
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
 Mix ingredients together. Shape into logs or balls. Refrigerate.
 French Onion
 1 lb. soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Reconstitute dried onion in warm water. Squeeze out excess water before measuring onions for this recipe. Mix ingredients together well and shape into logs or balls. Refrigerate.
Horseradish Cheddar Spread
8 oz. soft goat cheese
 2 pkgs. cheddar cheese powder
 1 teaspoon sugar
 4 teaspoons horseradish, squeeze out excess juice
Mix ingredients together. Store in a recycled margarine tub with a lid. Chill before serving. Makes a great party spread for crackers.
Quick Tip: The cheddar cheese powder used in this recipe comes from inexpensive boxed macaroni and cheese dinners. We use the cheese powder for seasoning cheese, and the macaroni is used in other dishes. Bulk food stores also carry a powdered cheddar cheese.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 10, 2012, 09:56:57 AM
Information about meat goat production in county is hard to come by as not many post any experiences about this side of goat raising.One of the main problems comes back to the same old problem of feeds.Should one be forced to supply their meat goats with off the shelf concentrates,no real drive for anyone wishing to enter this business.Concentrates can cost any producer 70% for their production costs and along with the added expences of doing business,not much if any monies is left for the producer.Mustang Sally has been unsuccessful in feeding local forages only as the goats lost too much body condition.For us forages alone will not work as some sort of base mix needs to be added.The problem of feed costs remains one of the biggest holdbacks for goat meat production and the need to formulate something other than off the shelf concentrates is still something some are experimenting with and maybe in time producers will find success.

We continue to breed our cross/hybrids as this is where we excell with our background knowledge and experience and we have always believed that cross/hybrids show the best promise for goat raising in county.Not to say that purebreeds should be overlooked, but in terms of capital outlay,cross/hybrids have the edge along with other traits that show promise for a tropical setting.At some point in time,every farm starts to product their own bloodline/s and builds up a quality herd.

It is really hard to guage the goat industry in county when so little information is ever posted.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 12, 2012, 10:40:08 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




 2012 as
% of 2011











































































































New England1:





New Jersey:





New Mexico:





New York:





North Carolina:

























South Carolina:





South Dakota:






























West Virginia:















Other States2:





United States:





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

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 12, 2012, 10:43:35 AM

Fish Oil Makes
Goat Cheese Healthier

By Alan Harman
Fish oil can be added to goat cheese to deliver high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids without compromising taste or shelf life, University of Maine food scientists report.
A study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, showed that fish oil delivers higher levels and more balanced proportions of omega-3 fatty acids compared to other sources such as flax and algal oil.
Fish oil oxidizes more quickly, making food fortification a challenge. Given the cost of purified fish oil, maximizing its incorporation efficiency is critical to the commercial viability of fortified cheese.
The Maine researchers said dairy has been shown to be a good matrix for fish oil fortification because it is commonly consumed and has unique properties that seem to protect fish oil.
Soft goat cheese has lower fat than other cheeses making it appealing for those looking for healthy flavorful food choices.
In the latest research, goat cheese was successfully fortified to deliver 127 mg omega-3 fatty acids per 28 g serving without affecting shelf life or consumer purchase intent.
There is a growing body of evidence that omega-3 fatty acids from fish, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are not only beneficial for general health and well-being, but also play a vital role in preventing chronic diseases.
EPA and DHA have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in type II diabetics, lower blood pressure, and improve arterial elasticity in patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to minimize the effects of stroke, improve cognition in the elderly, alleviate symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce risk for osteoporosis.
Omega-3 fatty acid fortification is one of the fastest growing trends in the food industry with 42% of consumers making efforts to eat more omega-3 fatty acid rich foods.
The most common problem related to fish oil fortification is the "fishy" odor that accompanies lipid oxidation of unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the presence of light, oxygen, and heat.
Another challenge of fortifying foods with omega-3 PUFA is that the low levels of fish oil shown to maintain product acceptability require consumers to eat greater quantities of fortified foods to meet recommended levels of PUFA consumption.
Due to their natural emulsion state, dairy products, such as yogurt, butter, milk, and sour cream, have been shown to be an excellent matrix for fish oil fortification.
Although several studies have investigated cheese as a vehicle for fish oil fortification, fish oil fortified cheeses are not available in the U.S. market.
Fish oil fortified cheddar cheese was produced by researchers in 2009, but "fishy" odors were detected by a trained descriptive panel at the highest fortification level, limiting fortification to low levels.
Other researchers added fish oil to a variety of dairy products, including soft cheeses, but found the samples were unacceptable to a trained panel after four weeks of refrigerated storage.
These studies each incorporated the fish oil after the cheese curd had formed, which may have contributed to the early onset of "fishy" flavor detected by trained panels.
The Maine researchers incorporated different levels of purified, liquid fish oil to soft goat cheese prior to curd formation to maximize delivery of EPA and DHA per serving without negatively affecting oxidative stability or consumer acceptance.
Researchers Brianna Hughes, Brian Perkins, Beth Calder and Denise Skonberg fortified soft goat cheese with four levels of purified fish oil—0, 60, 80, and 100 g fish oil per 3,600 g goat milk—prior to curd formation to deliver high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per serving.
The cheese was partially vacuum-packed and stored at 35.6°F for four weeks, then evaluated for composition, EPA and DHA content, oxidative stability, color, pH, and consumer acceptability.
The fat content was significantly higher in the fortified treatments compared to the control, but was not significantly different among fortified treatments.
EPA and DHA contents were not significantly different among fortified samples, averaging 127 mg EPA and DHA per 28 g serving.
No significant lipid oxidation was detected by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) or hexanal and propanal headspace analyses over the four-week refrigerated shelf-life study for any treatments.
The fortified cheeses were all liked "moderately" by consumers for overall acceptability, although the 60 g fortification level did rate significantly higher.
The control cheese and the 60 g fortification level had no significant differences in consumer purchase intent.
The researchers said the results show that fortification levels of up to 127 mg EPA and DHA per serving may be added to soft cheese without negatively affecting shelf life or consumer purchase intent.
Despite minor visible loss of fish oil to the whey fraction, which was not quantified, there were no significant differences in yield between the control and the fortified samples suggesting the addition of fish oil did not affect curd formation.
Moisture and fat content did not differ significantly among fortified treatments, but the fortified treatments differed significantly from the control.
Moisture content averaged 62.7% for fortified treatments and 66.2% for the control.
"The 3.5% (percentage point) lower moisture content of the fortified treatments was inversely proportional to the increase in fat due to the addition of the fish oil," the researchers reported.
Fat content ranged from 15% to 19.5% and was significantly higher in fortified samples than the control sample (15%) indicating that the fish oil was incorporated into the curd.
However, oil incorporation was limited above the 60 g fortification level. Fortified treatments, while not significantly different in fat content, did increase from 17.9% (lowest fortification level) to 19.5% (highest fortification level). Improving homogenization efficiency and/or reducing curd formation time may increase oil incorporation above 60 g.
In a study in 2009, Cheddar cheese was fortified with encapsulated fish oil after processing and no significant differences in moisture or fat content between control and fortified samples were found.
In contrast, this goat cheese study showed significant differences between control and fortified cheese for both moisture and fat content suggesting greater incorporation of fish oil into the cheese curd than was seen in other fortified cheese studies.
The researchers said that it can be concluded from the fat content and EPA and DHA levels that the lowest level of fortification, 60 g of added fish oil, was the only level efficiently incorporated into the cheese.
This is enough to provide a high level (about 127 mg) of omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The researchers say the delivery of higher fortification levels requires further investigation to maximize incorporation of the oil into the curd.
The processing and packaging methods used in this project were sufficient to limit the oxidation of both the goat cheese (seen by the control) and the fish oil (seen by the fortified treatments).
"The lack of oxidation during four-weeks of storage is encouraging, and longer shelf life tests are warranted to determine when and if oxidative changes occur in the highly fortified goat cheese," the researchers report.
They said no differences in cheese color were observed during cheese processing or throughout the shelf life study. Initial cheese color did not change appreciably as the level of fish oil increased.
Cheese for the consumer acceptability study was prepared in the same manner as the cheese prepared for the analytical study and at the same fortification levels.
Consumer testing was conducted at the University of Maine's Consumer Testing Center with 105 untrained participants from the community.
The four samples were coded and randomized before being presented to participants with 5 g cheese samples on plain wheat crackers and participants were given a cup of water to cleanse their palates between samples.
A questionnaire asked participants to indicate how often they ate goat cheese, as well as to rate the appearance, color, aroma, flavor, creaminess, and overall acceptability of each sample using the Hedonic Scale, the most widely used measure of food acceptability with a nine-point range from dislike extremely to like extremely.
The participants' purchase intent for each sample was rated with a five-point hedonic scale from definitely won't buy to definitely will buy.
The scores among treatments for appearance, color, and aroma did not show any significant differences, indicating consumers found the fish oil fortified samples to be as acceptable as the control sample for these three attributes.
Appearance and color scores averaged 7.5, while aroma scores were slightly lower with an average of 6.9, equal to "like moderately."
The control sample rated significantly higher for creaminess, taste, and overall acceptability when compared to the fortified samples, which may be attributed to the higher fat content of the fortified samples.
Scores for taste were similar to those for creaminess, with the control sample having significantly higher acceptability (7.5) than the fortified samples that had scores ranging from 6.7 to 7. Overall acceptability of the control averaged 7.6, followed by the 60 g fish oil treatment with a score of 7.2.
The higher fortification treatments, 80 g and 100 g added fish oil, averaged a score of 7.0 for overall acceptability but were significantly lower than the 60 g fish oil treatment for overall acceptance.
The majority of comments made by consumer panelists were about the tangy, sharp, acid flavor of the goat cheese and the pleasant smoothness of the texture, although a small number of panelists perceived oiliness in the fortified cheese. This may have been due to the greater amount of fat in the cheese, and not specifically the addition of fish oil.
The researchers say textural attributes could be easily modified with gums or by slight adjustments to cheese processing methods.
There were only five comments from the 105 participants that mentioned "fishy" or "seafood" aromas, flavors, or aftertastes even with the fortification levels of about 127 mg EPA and DHA per serving.
Despite the statistically significant differences in overall acceptability of the goat cheese treatments, the hedonic values among treatments were close with an average acceptability in the "like moderately" range (6.5 to 7.5).
This level of acceptance of the fortified cheese is seen as promising considering that 40% of participants "never or rarely" eat goat cheese, which may have slightly depressed some values.
Improved scores could be attained by using only panelists who commonly consume goat cheese or by adding flavor compounds to the cheese such as herbs and spices.
Of the 105 respondents, 74% indicated they "might" or "definitely" would purchase the cheese with the lowest level of fortification (60 g fish oil).
Similar purchase intent was observed for the control, which indicates that despite significant differences between the two for overall acceptability, 60 g of added fish oil may be a marketable level for fortification.
This conclusion is further supported by results that demonstrated no significant differences among fortified treatments for proximate composition, oxidative stability, or EPA and DHA content.
"Excellent Source" labeling has been proposed for foods containing at least 20% of the proposed RDI of 160 mg EPA and DHA, or 32 mg, per serving. If approved, the fortified goat cheese would qualify for the "Excellent Source" claim as it provides 79% of the proposed RDI for EPA and DHA.
The researchers said soft goat cheese was successfully fortified with fish oil yielding a product that contained about 127 mg EPA and DHA per 28 g serving—nearly four times the level required to meet the proposed "Excellent Source" guidelines.
Proximate composition, color, pH, and yield were not negatively affected by fish oil fortification of the cheese. In addition to partial vacuum packaging, the addition of fish oil to goat cheese prior to curd formation may have contributed to the enhanced oxidative stability of the fish oil observed in this study.
No change in oxidative stability was seen during four weeks of refrigerated storage and there was negligible difference in consumer purchase intent between fish oil fortified goat cheese and the control cheese.
"These results have positive implications for high-level fish oil fortification of dairy products," the researchers' report stated. "Important directions for future research include assessing fish oil fortification pre- and post-processing of dairy products, determining the upper threshold of fish oil incorporation into soft curd cheeses, and conducting longer shelf life studies to demonstrate commercial feasibility of fish oil fortified cheese."

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 08, 2012, 01:49:29 AM
In another month we will be half through this year.The good news is that selected bloodlines are still being imported into the country and if you look at the information at hand would appear the Philippines in Asia has the best selected bloodlines with respect to goats.The main interest and direction still appears gearded towards dairy and with the selected bloodlines coming into the country,picture for the Philippines as a leader for dairy goat genetics looks brighter than ever with future possibilites for exporting Philippine genetics to other Asian countries.

With all the permits and paperwork in order,Mustang Sally will begin the processing of our farm produced goats for our frozen goat meat division to be sold through the local market,daily and our restaurant.We have enough bucks from different breeds and grade % to collect data on how best to produce young 6 month kids in the 30-40kg. range for our operations.In truth,more of a hit and miss with kgs. within the given time frame.Information collected from the processed carcasses will help us identify bucks and does with the greater potential to reaching our goals along with our yearly goat culling,future goat culls will be processed through the restaurant.At present we are running 3 lines,off the boers,off the anglo nubians and our experimentials (Genemaxer).

For goat meat producers,should one have an outlet that allows the producer to sell their own,more monies in your pocket not someone else.Daily cashflows really help support the overall operation which in turn helps any producer reach their goals.Meat goat producers need to use all tools at hand over those in the business of selling breeders due to the shear fact that goats going for meat have lesser values over those sold for breeding stock.In time the understanding of which forages show the best value at the different stages of a goats  development and the understanding that pelleted feed will show better value for any producer due to the fact the country has the luxury of harvesting surplus forages during the rainy season and pressing these forages into pellets which in turn saves any producer money.Goats by nature are selective,messy eaters and will thrash around their feeds only to eat what they select and make a mess with all the rest.Pellets are all the same and the goats cannot tell which to select and what to leave so they are apt to eat more of the pelleted feeds over the standard way of feeding.The cost of the pellet machine allows only those who can afford, not all is lost to those who are unable to buy such a machine as one could very well blend their own crumble as some do with hogs and use this instead of pellets as both require no heat for extruding in the process and molasses is used as the binder which attracts your goats to the feed with less waste.

Lets hope many more will consider goat farming as the future in livestock.Would be interesting to learn what has happened to island born offsprings out of the PL 480 program.

Mustang Sally Farm
meat the need-from our farmgate to your dinner plate:

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 13, 2012, 09:03:18 AM
Low-Lactose Dairy Calf Bred in China
CHINA - Scientists at a north China university say they have bred the world's first genetically-modified calf that will produce low-lactose milk in two years.

The calf, named "Lakes," was born on April 24 at a lab of Inner Mongolia Agricultural University. She is healthy and strong, lab professor Zhang Li said.

In May 2011, Professor Li and his research team extracted fetus fibroblasts from a Holstein cow that was 45 days pregnant and genetically engineered the fetus by transplanting an lactose dissolution enzyme into the cell.

The engineered fetus was then transplanted into the womb of a cow in July, and Lakes was born about nine months later, said Mr Li.

"The enzyme can dissolve lactose -- the main sugar found in dairy products -- into galactose or glucose to ease digestive disorders among the lactose-intolerant people," he said.

Lakes may therefore produce safer milk for lactose-intolerant people, who account for nearly 60 per cent of Chinese. Symptoms of the allergy range from rashes to diarrhea and other digestive disorders.

"Lakes, the calf, is a blessing for these people," said Mr Li. "She will produce low-lactose milk after she has delivered her first calf, hopefully at 25 months old."

The same test was done on 14 heads of dairy cattle last year and five calves were born in April.

Only three of them carried the lactose dissolution enzyme but Lakes was the only one that has survived, said Professor Zhou Huanmin, leader of the research team. "The other two died within 24 hours after birth."

note:so what does this all mean,well, should this prove to be true then dairy cattle will continue to dominate the worlds milk supply and dairy goats will no longer able to claim that goats milk is mothers nature best as these new cattle dairy breeds will be on par with goats milk and the worlds masses drink more cows milk over goats milk and those who are unable today to stomach cows milk will be able to do so and since the cattle business is larger than the dairy goat market the dairy goat business might remain as is,smaller commercial run family businesses with one spouse working off the farm to hep support the business.A niche market as it is today for dairy goats milk.Will be interesting to see how this all unfolds over the next 10 years and where dairy goats will be placed in the marketplace.

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 21, 2012, 11:13:07 AM
This has been a very interesting past 2 weeks for Mustang Sally Farm.We have now reached the point in our operations that allows us to retail locally our own goat meat products through meat retail and Lynn"s & Edi"s Diner.Big Bucks goat  meat products is part of our marketing/trade mark package for our goat products.Meat goat producers must find reliable sound markets for the goats they produce as one would be hard pressed to make monies on raising meat goats sold at the farmgate going prices.

Past research and data collection on best breed for meat selection showed us the F2 boer,75 % showed the best promise for meat goats.Due to the different breeds we house we want a larger cross section for data collection on breeds,age,sex,under the same management practices.

First goats going to the slaughter rails will be out of our anglo lines.Example given from one goat out of the anglo breed, a 2 year old male,F2,75% intact male,uncut and never used for breeding showed a hot carcass weight with blood drained,head off and hide off and stomach removed, weighed in at 25.8kg.Not good as this is a 2 year old, concentrate fed under sound management practices.Our anglos are typed meat over dairy but the Anglo still lacks the muscular frames off the boer breed.We will collect data on different anglo percentages,age and sex then move into the bo-ang line then into our terminal triple crosses out of our boer lines.Our earlier data and research on the terminal F2 boers looks much more promising over the other breeds we house but the Anglo should not be ruled out as a meat breed or other crosses due to the fact people seem to enjoy the taste and flavor of the meat.Should you produce a quality product them customers will support your venture but people might lean more towards the boers.

The marketing slogan now used by Mustang Sally Farm,Big Bucks Goat Meat Products From Our Farmgate to Your Dinner Plate:

The key will come down to having total control through the food chain and allowing the producer more of the monies in his/her pockets not to another middleman.

Concentrate feeding has yet to be replaced by forages alone and this part of your operation will cost dearly.Some might believe its hard to make monies from raising meat goats but there is lots of room for expansion for all but in the beginning one has to understand it will cost you more than you first budgeted for and might take twice as long to get your venture launched and if one had outside income,this really helps to get your meat goat venture going and monies returning back to you the producer.

Meat goats may not have the star appeal that dairy goats in country hold but meat goats are another part of the total goat farming package and should be given serious consideration.

Mustang Sally Farm
From our farmgate to your dinner plate:
all rights reserved  2012

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.
1. Pritchard, G.C. (1988) Throat swellings in goats. Goat Vet. Soc. J., 10 (1), 34-7

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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




 2012 as
% of 2011











































































































New England1:





New Jersey:





New Mexico:





New York:





North Carolina:

























South Carolina:





South Dakota:






























West Virginia:















Other States2:





United States:





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

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.

Mustang Sally Farm
meat the need:

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.




Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 15, 2012, 05:27:25 AM

ADGA 2012 National Show - Nubian Results

Premier Exhibitor:


Premier Breeder:


Premier Sire:


Total Performer:


Best Udder:


Reserve Best Udder:



































Official 2012 National Show Photographer

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 15, 2012, 05:28:50 AM

ADGA 2012 National Show - Recorded Grade Results

Premier Exhibitor:


Premier Breeder:


Premier Sire:


Total Performer:


Best Udder:


Reserve Best Udder:



































Official 2012 National Show Photographer

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 15, 2012, 05:30:19 AM

ADGA 2012 National Show - Saanen Results

Premier Exhibitor:


Premier Breeder:


Premier Sire:


Total Performer:


Best Udder:


Reserve Best Udder:



































Official 2012 National Show Photographer

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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 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!

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.”

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.

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

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.

Moderately-priced does of mixed meat breed ancestry are readily available. Breeds include:
•Tennessee Meat Goat

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.

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.

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?

Title: Re: News in brief:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm 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.