below two tables from my earlier Goat Rancher article entitled ‘Cal- culating Rations for Wintering Feeding’ (of gestating and lactating does). Table 1 shows the nutritional needs in daily quantities of feed and the protein and energy (TDN) levels needed by does at two body weights during various stages of early and late gestation periods and early and later lactation periods. Table 2 shows composition of typical goat feedstuffs.

Accelerated breeding programs can be instituted in goat herds utilizing warm weather forage and wintering in sheds while being fed minerals/vitamins, hays and concentrations if/as needed. This pro- gram can also be used by those owners practicing total confinement (covered inside pens) and semi-confinement (with outside exercise pens).

Such confinement programs enable more frequent, and closer, observation of individual animals which, in turn, promotes better overall herd management. Such operations also encourage larger herd numbers and enable target-marketing of slaughter goats and breeding stock.

The emerging movement to such programs is thought to be due to improved cost-benefit ratios (one simply cannot graze goats on corn and soybean land costing $10,000+/acre), and it is also due to the fact that one can usually purchase hays and concentrates more cheaply than one can produce them.

Confinement systems virtually eliminate losses to predators, in- creases kid survival rates and possibly promotes better and possibly cheaper health programs. Mason S also asked me about health pro- grams for accelerated breeding programs. I am not a DVM and so I can legally only tell of what I would do.…which would be to contact DVMs with small ruminant experience for guidance.

Goat Brokerage Activities Impacted by Corona Virus. At near 92, I am in self-inflicted isolation in my guesthouse where I am visited once daily by son, Bruce, who brings a lunch tray and instructs me to stay in touch with the outside world by phone and e-mail, and so I do.

The early interest from prospective buyers of my 2020 goat bro-

kerage offerings (see April issue of Goat Rancher for my ad) has gone on hold as folks cope with virus-related issues. The offerings will not be available until August/September, so perhaps the bug in- vasion will be under control by then. I am modestly concerned that buyers might encounter possible problems in obtaining loans for pur- chasing breeding stock and feeder kids. Contrarily, I know that goats are on the ground and will be available as usual. The Easter market always sees lots of goats going to packers and drawing peak prices. However, since late March, I have noted that Texas’ biggest auctions are seeing 5-10% fewer slaughter goats on offer but, contrary to economic theory, auction prices/lb have simultaneously decreased by 40-50 cents/lb for grades 1 and 2.

I am told by auction personnel that they attribute this reduction in demand to packers reducing slaughter numbers because their usual sales of goat meat have been disrupted by folks dodging the bug and tightening their grocery budget. Currently, the demand for goat meat continues to exceed the supply available; as always, imports fill the deficit. However, if a substantial number of ethnic breadwinners become unemployed for considerable periods of time, demand for goat meat will necessarily be reduced by some measure. Whatever happens, I believe that de- mand for goat meat will recover as quickly as possible as people re- turn to work.

In closing, I call your attention to the Packsaddle Ranch near

Table 1. Not included are the requirements for does with single kids during gestation and lactation. These does require 5-6% less (DFI, CP, TDN) than those needed for twin-bearing does of the same weight.

Table 2. Composition of hays and silages.

Table 2 continued on next page May 2020 | Goat Rancher 33

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