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D and J Goat Farms becomes a believer By Derek Beane


I had heard so much about the Kikos about how great a breed from reading in articles in the Goat Rancher and from my friends who had raised Boers for years and switched over to Kikos and bragged on them so much.


I heard how much better they were on parasite resistance, did your taxes, exceptional maternal instincts along with kidding ease, did your laundry, hooves didn’t need as much trimming, hardier goat, fix your farm truck — I mean I had heard it all. Well, I finally had heard enough and as our family goat herd was transitioning visions, my wife and I decided to invest in a small herd of Kikos. As we got them home and unloaded ,I shook my head and told my wife I feel like we have just went backwards 30 years. I was determined to see just how tough they were. I put them on the most neglected pasture we had and noticed they ate weeds and grass my Boers wouldn’t, and seemed to thrive on it. It got a little dry in late summer and we did give them some hay. My wife would ask how are they doing and I would say, “I guess alright — I count them every now and then to make sure they are all there and that’s about it.”


During summer I would get my Boers up and check for worms,


having to deworm sometimes almost all. As of this writing, I have only dewormed one! I can’t vouch for them doing taxes but compared to the Boers, I would give the Kikos the advantage on kidding ease, obviously with smaller kids and advantage with maternal instincts. I would find them and put them up just for few days to make sure all was OK and ear tag. I couldn’t get over how the Kiko does cleaned/dried the kids off and worked them constantly to nurse. I was pleasantly surprised at how heav- ier milkers they were than expected, even kid size was bigger than I had expected, along with moms with triplets doing a great job with them.


Hardiness and milk produc- tion have been impressive.


I have heard the comment if you have a 100-lb Kiko and a 100-lb Boer, there is more meat on the Boer. But there is the counter ar- gument that there is more meat on the Kiko with it having better yield with smaller bone, more meat-to-bone ratio and all that. That is true but I can get to 100-lb Boer a lot quicker than I can a Kiko, and butcher


buyers key in on those Boers more and will pay a premium for the Boers. The Kikos blend in too easily with the dairy crosses at the market, so for myself, I have to do better job educating my buyers. So, I have to give the Boer the advantage there. Now all you Kiko breeders save your hate mail, I wouldn’t have time to read it anyways — too busy babying my Boers haha. With all things con- sidered, we can be OK with a little less per pound than my Boers, and little slower growth if my labor is a lot less, if my livability is better and lot less time and energy. Taking everything into consideration and raising Boers for close to 20 years, I am convinced that if folks are going to raise goats for butcher — at least in the Southeast — they will have to have does with a significant percentage Kiko in them.


It was just my first season with them but our entire family no- ticed how easier kidding season went with the Kikos. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love my black spotted Boers and will continue to develop those, but I am happy to join the ranks of the Kiko farmers.


(Derek Beane operates D&J Goat Farm with his father, Jackie


Beane, in Seagrove, N.C. Derek can be contacted at 336-465-3430 or dandjgoatfarms@Hotmail.com.)


22


Goat Rancher | May 2020


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