OUR MARKET FOR MEAT
The key to raising meat goats lies in finding a breed that produces what the market in your area wants. Our management is focused on production, cost efficiency, and ease of handling.
We have been raising different breeds of goats for many years. Going from a modest herd, its now not uncommon to have 400 goats here on the ranch at any given time. In early 1997 we purchased our first fullblood Boer goats. Our understanding was that the future of the goat market might end up being for the 100+ lb. market animal. We thought then that the large size and fast growth of the Boer would fit this niche well. Only our best market is for 40-60lb young meat bucks or wethers. The Myotonic Meat goats are a moderate growth breed, as compared to a fast growth breed such as our Boer. We need good growth on the kids, but don't want them to outgrow every holiday. Anything above 70lbs is out of our market, and after that point, we get less return. With that in mind, weight gains are less of a concern. Running a large herd, we're more focused on how much it costs to maintain does throughout the year. We've found it costs less to maintain medium size does, than large size does...that produce the same weight market kid.
Our Myotonic Meat goats excel as a moderate acreage, and low maintenance goat. We had quite a number of Boer goats here, but have ended up cutting them down considerably to make more room for our Myotonics. The cost of maintaining large size does is not economical for us on moderate acreage. Our Myotonic Meat does produce for us every spring and fall. As a breeder, we can stock more Myotonic goats per acre. This in turn provides us with twice as many kids, thus giving us a larger return on our kid crop.
In recent years, many breeders of the larger Myotonics have found them to make an excellent cross with the Boer breed. The lower birthweight of the Myotonic goats can be advantageous in a breeding program. A person can breed first-time freshener Boer does to a Myotonic buck at a younger age.
Our breeding program strives for consistency and uniformity in our breeding stock animals. We work hard to make each generation better, and to breed animals who consistently reproduce better than themselves. We have developed our own breed standard of Myotonic Meat goats. We primarily specialize in the standardized black and whites, but also keep a few red and whites. We also strive towards smooth coated animals, which will serve the slaughter industry better.
Ease of handling is an important aspect of raising goats for us. Myotonic Meat goats are easy to catch and work! Myotonic goats do not jump or climb, and are not escape artists! With our Myotonics, we can put one strand of hotwire 12" above the ground and they won't cross it. This ease of handling makes a big difference for us working a large herd. Parasite resistance and the cost of de-wormers is an important economic issue. Our Myotonic goats have been very hardy and hold up well. They are a native American breed of goat that has been acclimated to U.S. soil since the late 1800's. Myotonic Meat goats have a high meat-to-bone ratio, they are feed efficient and quiet. They are also efficient browsers, requiring little supplemental feeding to maintain their condition. They are hardy goats, not requiring extra care or pampering. With our Myotonic Meat goats, it is rare to ever experience birthing problems. And at birth, the kids are up on their feet within minutes. The Myotonic Meat does are extremely maternal, and gentle with other does kids. Ours breed back after freshening, producing kids every spring and fall. Twins & triplets are normal, and sometimes even quads.
Our mature breeding bucks are non-aggressive and easily handled. We can move the bucks from field to field on leads. They are gentle, and all ages can live peacefully in the same field. Myotonic Meat goats are an upcoming popular breed. They are proving to be a highly productive, cost efficient, and easy handling breed for anyone who wants to raise goats.
© Lisa Johnson, October 2002