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for holidays where lamb or goat meat is part of the traditional holiday feast

By: "Cornell University"
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Western or Roman Easter

  • March 31, 2002
  • April 20, 2003
  • April 11, 2004

Type of lamb wanted - 30-45 lbs, milk fed and fat.
Type of goat wanted - Fleshy, milk fed kids with relatively light colored meat, 3 months old or younger. Kids weighing less than 20 lbs are generally disappointing to buyers due to low meat to bone ratios and high carcass drying losses. Kids gaining less than 10 lbs per month or 1/3rd pound per day after accounting for birth weight are generally not fleshy enough to be considered prime. There generally is a slight price (per lb of live weight) penalty for kids weighing over 40 lbs. Acceptable weights generally range from 20 to 50 lbs with 30 lbs considered optimum by most buyers.

Eastern or Greek Easter

  • April 27, 2003
  • April 11,2004

Type of lamb wanted - 40-55 lbs, milk fed and fat.
Type of goat wanted - Similar to Western Easter kids. A slightly larger milk fed kid (i.e. around 35 lbs) is considered optimum.

Navadurgara or Navratra Dashara or Dassai

  • October 17 - 26, 2001
  • October 7 - 15, 2002

This is a Hindu holiday honoring the goddess Durga. Goats are generally slaughtered from the 7th to the 10th day of the holiday after which families meet together and celebrate with curried goat while receiving family blessings. Female goats are not acceptable for this holiday. Relatively tender male goats are generally used. Size of carcass depends on number of people expected to be fed.

Start of Ramadan
can vary by a day depending on the actual sighting of the moon over the United States that year

  • October 26, 2003
  • October 15, 2004

Type of lamb wanted - 60-80 lbs.
Type of goat wanted - male and female kids with all their milk teeth (i.e. not older than @ 12 months). Males can be whole or castrated. Overly fat kids are discriminated against. Optimum live weight is about 60 lbs but weaned kids from 45 - 120 lbs. are accepted by different buyers.

Id al Fitr
The Festival of the Breaking of the Ramadan Fast

  • November 26, 2003
  • November 15, 2004

Type of lamb wanted - same as for Ramadan.
Type of goat wanted - same as for Ramadan.

Id al Adha
The Festival of Sacrifice

  • February 12, 2003
  • February 1, 2004

Type of lamb wanted - 60-80 lbs. Old crop lambs are sought by some individuals and so will frequently command the same price as new crop lambs.
Type of goat wanted - Prefer yearlings (i.e. animals with one set of adult teeth) that are blemish free. Animals with broken horns, open wounds, torn ears or physical unsoundnesses generally do not meet the criteria. In some cases, castrated animals or lambs with docked tails are frowned upon.

Other holidays when goat meat is commonly consumed include Christmas, the July 4th weekend, and the numerous Caribbean holidays in August - Carnival, Carifest, Jamaican Independence Day, etc.

The Christmas market is for milk fed kids. These type of kids are rare, because these kids must be produced by out-of-season breeding in May for October kiddings. Kids as light as 18 lbs are readily accepted and quality control is generally not as exacting as on Easter kids.

Goats for July 4th weekend are animals suitable for barbecue, generally cabrito kids or young bucks, does, and wethers with 1 or no sets of adult teeth.

Optimal goats for the Caribbean holidays are young, smelly 60 lb bucks. However, older animals of all sexes are often in demand and customers may prefer to buy them rather than pay the extra price for prime young bucks.

The Chinese market for goat according to Frank Pinkerton, PhD, is "limited to the six colder months. The preferred weight range is 60 to 80 pounds live, and goats in good health are required."

The Hispanic market for goat is for 20 to 35 lb live weight milk-fed kids for cabrito, and larger animals for seco de chivo.

More information on popular holidays is available on the web at

Cull does and bucks are also in demand for the curried goat market and for prison contracts.

About the author: No information available.

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