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The less you coddle, the better they are! By Vicki Watson


My husband, David, and I live on a farm in Auburn, Ky. We started raising goats about 17 years ago. We started with one Boer buck and 7 does. We learned quickly that the Boer goats were hard to raise, we lost more than we raised. We sure didn’t know what we were doing either. We had lots of pasture but no goat-proof fencing and they were a lot dif- ferent than raising cows. Around 2008 my husband went to a Kiko sale in Bowling Green, Ky., and brought back two registered goats. One doe and one buck.


They were both from Oklahoma and my first thought was how expensive these goats were! They were Kikos and we knew nothing about this breed or about raising goats correctly. So, we started researching and learned quickly that we had made the right choice. This has been quite an adventure and a learning ex- perience for us.


Our herd consists of 64 breeding does and 24 yearlings. We have three registered bucks, two are New Zealand and one is purebred. Several of my does can be registered as New Zealand and some purebred. We have only bought two does since we started with the Kikos — I like to raise my own. We rotate the bucks or replace them so they aren’t breeding their daughters. I sell mostly commercial. We try to raise good goats and sell for other people to start their herds. We sell mostly by word of mouth. We’re trying to build our reputation as good breeders. We’d like to start going to the big sales and meeting other Kiko breeders in person. We have read lots about the Kiko breed. We have talked to lots of people who have raised Kikos but I think the best learning is from experience. One thing about a Kiko is that the less you coddle them the better they are. We’ve gone from getting them in stalls for kidding


The Watsons run a mostly commercial herd with a focus on selling replacement stock to other Kiko breeders.


with heat lamps and keeping them in the barn to letting them kid right out in the pasture and letting them bring their kids to the barn if they want too. The weather has a lot to do with it. It’s been a really wet year and we’ve tried to keep the girls up on the hill for kidding, but


18


Goat Rancher | May 2020


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