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Re: Raising Meat Goats for Market = Part 2

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats Diatomaceous Earth

Posted by GoatWorld on June 30, 2002 at 01:21:08:

In Reply to: Raising Meat Goats for Market = Part 2 posted by Leah on June 29, 2002 at 19:25:16:

Hi Leah,

Great question. There are really a few different answers to this question largely based upon who you ask I suppose. I'll give you my opinion on it and see if you can agree. Raising 100% Pure Bred meat goats has its advantages and disadvantages over raising percentage Boers. As with nearly anything "pure", the probability of predicted outcome is higher than that of something impure. In other words, breeders have a better rate of predicting the outcome of 100% pure goats than let's say, 80% pure goats. And those predictions are centered around coloration, confirmation, health, personality, genetics, etc.

Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to have the best and wanting to produce the best. There are alot of breeders who get excellent results as such. But, there are also alot of breeders who do not go 100% pure and get just as good of results. Mainly, these 100% goats come at a very high price because their registration proves their pure background. Nothing wrong with that either.

But my opinion begins to pull away from the issue of purity at this point simply because while it is nice to have a goat that is 100%, registered, and "supposedly" worth hundreds of dollars or more, I know that the reality of the actual market is going to be different. I think that dairy goats is where this would really apply the best - they are not intended to end up on the dinner table, rather they continue providing a product for consumption over their lifetime. And if I were paying $1000 or more for a dairy goat, you can be darn sure I'd be expecting to milk it for champagne or something.

I've seen 100% goats and percentages go for the same exact price per pound at the auction every month for the last couple of years. It is this, the end result that really makes the difference in my eyes. A $1000 goat is going to eat the same exact thing as a $500 goat as will a $25 goat. Well, maybe and maybe not - if the breeder can afford $1000 for one goat, they probably have enough money to make the food themselves.

If the goat industry were raising goats for the purpose of racing them like horses, yes, I could see the big difference in prices between percentages of goats. But the fact remains that goat meat is goat meat is goat meat, and when sold through the slaughter channels in the same way that cattle are sold, it all comes out to how much they weigh right?

The cattle industry is a perfect example of this. We always see that industry desperately trying to prove (and price) one breed over another. The truth of the tale must be left with the consumer. All those packages of ground beef - yes, they have specific qualities about them, fat content, but the actual cut itself is the price determinant, not the breed so much. Does this make sense?

With goats emerging as their own market in the U.S., some of the breeders are trying to take advantage of this to make a profit. What I don't think they realize is that they are trying to control the "end price" and are working to mark it up higher to the consumer. Seems only logical to me - keep the prices low enough so that more of the product can be purchased by a wider array of consumers. This would seem especially important to me also because even though goat meat is the most widely eaten meat in the world, it is definitely a far cry in popularity from beef, pork, chicken and fish in the U.S.

And to throw a real twist into this discussion, what about the "non-Boer goats" that are sold for slaughter as well? Sure, they get quite a bit less worth per pound, but they also go to the processor and end up on the dinner table as well. The overall factor at work here is the carcass yield: the Boer yields more meat on the carcass than let's say, a standard mixed breed brush goat or anything other than the accepted Boer meat goat.

So my bottom line answer to your question is that you can raise 100% pure Boer or raise percentage Boers and expect to see no vast difference in price per pound between the two - if you plan to use the markets. If you intend to sell strictly off the farm or private enterprise, then of course, you can charge whatever the customer is willing to pay. That is one of the fundamentals of Capitalism - "something is really only worth what someone is willing to pay and a sucker is born every minute."

My dad once asked me as he gazed at my aquarium and the six $35.00 fish I had just purchased, "you think each of those fish would give you the equivalent of a $35.00 meal?". As I looked at the tank and each of those fish no bigger than my little finger, I realized he was right. A couple of weeks later, a few of them died. That's when I decided that $35.00 of the cheaper fish would bring just as much pleasure if not more than one $35.00 fish. Of course I didn't buy these fish with the thought of raising them for food either!

Best regards,

Gary




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