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FRANKLY SPEAKING


High slaughter goat prices pushing demand for commercial doelings


I received a February inquiry from Virgil Knobloch of Bloom- field, Iowa, concerning the availability of young Spanish nannies in 2021 and the likely costs. I answered as follows: The ever-rising price of slaughter goats has pushed the price of female breeding stock of all breeds or crossbreds to record levels. Spanish goats currently sell at similar levels to BoerX, SavannaX and Kiko goats in Texas.


As a broker of such goats, I will have doelings, yearling females and does 2-5 years of age available from early June to early fall. See the offerings and prices in my advertisement on this page. My largest source of goats is the Hayre Harter ranches in south-


west Texas near Sheffield and Sonora (12-18 inch rainfall belt). I am pleased to say that I have sold (as of March 10) all breeding goats available to me for 2021 delivery from the Hayre Ranch — 4,000 hd+. I usually sell mostly doelings and a few wethers. However, pre- liminary inquiries in winter 2021 indicate considerable interest in older females and unusually high interest in feeder wethers for grow- ing out to weights ranging from 80+ to 125 lb. (More on this later). Texas sheep/goat auction prices reflect the demand/supply ratios on a weekly basis. The seasonal pricing pattern for CY 2020 demon- strated unusually high prices during the post Easter months all the way into November. The typical rise in December prices occurred and prices have remained high as of this writing (10 March). I spec- ulate that prices again will not fall appreciably after Easter 2021 be- cause of continuing high demand for unfrozen domestic goat meat preferred by our ethnic consumers. Virgil, you should know that the state of Iowa Animal Health Control Unit requires that all goat breeding stock be blood-tested for certain diseases prior to importing into Iowa. Typically, these costs come to at least $35/hd and they must be paid up-front to the seller so he can obtain an interstate travel health certificate needed by the truck driver to cross Iowa state lines. Any buyer of breeding goats is subject to a heavy fine should he/she not get this certificate. You can haul purchased goats in a cattle trailer. Doelings require not less than 1.5 sq ft/hd, yearlings 1.75 and adults 2.0 sq ft/hd. Pen small kids separately. Light bedding, sawdust or sand is helpful. “Non-stop”, two-driver teams can average nearly a mile/minute on the Interstate grid and trips of 24-28 hrs are tolerated by the goats. Do not try to feed or water them in transit. Death loss is negligible but there can be a bit of leg/ankle damage if there are rough road is- sues, quick-stops, crowding/shoving, etc.


Many buyers prefer to buy doelings because they can get more of them on a given truck. Contrarily, some buyers decide to purchase older animals (at higher prices) because they can be bred more quickly post-arrival.


I prefer to begin load-out after supper so that the goats travel mostly in the cooler nighttime. Such animals will suffer a shrink in body weight of 4-6%, but will recover this fill-weight within 48-72 hours post-arrival on water and hay ad lib.


Commercial haulers can move up to 200 head in a trailer rig for $3/loaded mile. For 500-700 hd loads, 18-wheeler triple-decker rigs


April 2021 | Goat Rancher 11 Feed-lots for meat goats


I am getting increased inquiries regarding the purchase of young feeder goats for ‘finishing’ to heavier slaughter weights. I respond by sending certain articles I, or others, have written that describe basic management and marketings issues involved in such an undertaking. However, I can generate a more beneficial response if I can phone-chat with callers because we can better discuss opportunities and constrains that are site-specific. Every meat goat production unit is different in various ways, large and small, from other such units, e.g., in herd size, facilities, forage availability, feedstuffs, marketing opportunities, labor requirements, spousal earnings, etc. The simplest way to increase the final weight of your slaughter goats is to retain your own animals and feed them to heavier weights to improve gross income/hd. However, there are numerous ways to Please see PINKERTON, Page 14


are required @ $3.50/loaded mile. Hauling costs/head are cheaper/per goat in the larger rigs. To estimate your hauling cost, ask Google to get the trip mileage from point of origin to your place. Hauling cost/goat typically range $10-25. You might/might not be able to do it cheaper in your own rig.


BY DR. FRANK PINKERTON


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