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for producer use, but they do not collect and disseminate data because of privacy concerns. A third constraint is the ever-rising cost of land. The prevailing high cost of grazing and crop lands needed to support a meat goat enterprise can rarely be repaid even by well-managed herds. Those that currently buy land and establish a goat operation can pay the taxes and all or some portion of the interest on the loan. Accordingly, they realize a profit only when they later sell the land at prices that will have appreciated in value over time. A fourth constraint is predator loss which is most prevalent in extensively managed goat herds. Coyotes are the major killer with feral and the neighbor’s porch-dogs in second place. Predator losses range 5-40% or more per annum depending on location, season and age of animals. Control of predators by various means is a socio-po- litical concern of some magnitude, particularly by those whose who are animal lovers with no experience in animal husbandry. Guardian dogs are the most useful and legal way for lowering predator losses. But, for some, shooting straight, burying deeply, and being closed- mouthed solves the problem.


Addendum:


Duane Holderman is offering 70 commercial doelings (Boer, Kiko, Spanish crosses) for sale at his ranch in northern Idaho. They will be available in August ’20. Contact him via e-mail at Dholder- man1201@gmail.com. The price is $200/head at pickup time. It will be interesting to know buyer preference, if any, among the different crosses. I get many inquiries about such crossbreeding programs, and I will be pleased to share his sales results with readers. There are near endless such programs nationwide, but there is very limited University research data in the literature. The best-


known crossbred evaluation was done by Dr. Richard Browning of TnSU-Nashville. He compared Boer, Kiko and Spanish goats with all possible crosses over a six-year span. I will put the findings from these two trials in the September issue of the Goat Rancher. Richard has now added Savannas and Myotonics to the on-going research program.


(Frank Pinkerton, PhD, is a retired extension goat spe-


cialist living in San Marcos, Texas. Ken McMillin, Phd, is Pro- fessor of Meat and Animal Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.)


On-farm goat milk sales


still legal in Mississippi The limited sale of goat milk will remain legal in Mississippi after a legislative session attempt to ban the sale came up short. House Bill 609, sponsored by state Rep. Bill Pigott, who is the House Agriculture Committee chairman, would have removed the current exemption that allows the sale of goat milk. Those who violated the law and continued to sell goat milk could have been sentenced to 60 days in jail with fines of up to $500. HB 609 quickly and quietly cleared out of the Agriculture Committee but never made it passed the Public Health Committee, its next destination after constituent uproar. Under the current law, milk must be sold directly to the con- sumer on the premises of the production, you cannot have more than nine goats and you can’t advertise your milk for sale.


August 2020 | Goat Rancher


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