processing and packaging facilities. There are specific requirements as to what must ap- pear on the label and also for the terminology to be used.

Beyond the labeling issues, there are crucial decisions as to types and sizes of cuts and proper packaging; seek counsel and pro- ceed cautiously. Refer to the Meat Goat Guide authored by Dr. Ken McMillin, LSU meat scientist, for more detail. (I can send you one on request, no charge).

In any case, during these deliberations on further processing of hanging carcasses, it is good to again review certain facts about goat carcass yields. Live kid goats, hauled short distances and held overnight on water only, will shrink about 3% of their farm weight. The hot carcass yield (dressing per- centage) will range 47-52% depending on grade, body condition and pre-slaughter shrinkage. Carcasses typically shrink an ad- ditional 3% or so during overnight chilling (and another 1-2% if left hanging for some days).

We have found a further loss of 2-4% as chilled carcasses are fabricated into primal cuts. For those considering deboning a car- cass for patties, sausages, stix or jerky, the yield of boneless meat will be about 60% of the chilled carcass weight. To sum, a 70-lb goat at the farm would

yield about 21 lbs (33%) of usable boneless meat. If you could sell this goat at the auction for, say $90, the basic cost of his boneless yield would be $4.28/lb (90/21) to which you would have to add the cost of slaughter and boning, say, $50 total or $2.38/lb of boneless meat (50/21). Thus, the cost of the 21 lb of meat/lb is $6.66 (4.28 + 2.38). Thereafter, one must add the cost of “sausage” making/packaging and distribu- tion cost, bringing the total cost/lb to, say $10. If you sold the product for $14/lb, the profit for post-auction activities would be $4.00/lb or $84/ goat (4 x 21). Such a sum would probably be about twice what you could have netted from a live sale at auction.

Merchandizing goat carcasses, fabricated cuts and processed products

In commercial meat goat marketing channels, carcasses and “bone-in cubes” move from packers to wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and other institutional trade. Cur- rently, few primal cuts (legs, back strips, shoulders) or retail cuts (roasts, steaks, patties or processed products) are on offer. Ethnic groups are by far the largest con- sumers and, to date, they have not demon- strated significant demand for goat meat in

non-traditional form (or perhaps it just hasn’t been widely offered?). Contrarily, there seems to be increasing evidence that certain ethnic groups are now considering primal cuts, retail cuts and pro- cessed products as families with two or more wage earners recognize the sheer conven- ience of smaller cuts and ground goat meat, as also the lesser dollar outlay/purchase. But, tradition is, as all know, difficult to breech, and particularly so in food choices. I’m so old I can remember that homog- enized milk (said to be unnatural and danger- ous to one’s health) took several years to be accepted, as did margarine to “replace” butter, while fresh meats are preferred to frozen items to this very day (even though consumers can’t distinguish between them as to palatability traits, nor is nutritional value lost). The current public angst regarding irra- diated meat and milk is also similarly and scientifically unfounded, but also similarly feared (possible alteration of DNA codes, in- fertility, sterility and, worse, impotence). In any case, the newest consumers of goat meat are not from such tradition-bound ethnic groups. As so aptly described by Ms. Miller in the September 2009 issue of Goat Rancher, the newest, most enthusiastic eaters of goat meat are increasingly found in that segment of the population that is choosing to “make a social statement through the use of their food dollars.” This population de- mographic is itself increasing rapidly and is projected to do so for some time. Its primary concerns encompass a number of public is- sues, among them “eating local, sustainabil- ity, healthfulness, humane management practices and food safety.”

Though I have seen no confirming re- search, I suspect that average incomes and available food-dollars are appreciably higher for this new demographic than for the more traditional consumers of goat meat. If true, this would so Be a Good Thing because goat pro- ducers pursuing direct-marketing strategies and tactics, as described above, simply must sell their products at substantial premiums in order to recoup their investment. Accordingly, customers for these “spe- cial products” must be persuaded that the convenience, quality, consistency and safety of the proffered products are worthy of the premiums required to sustain their supply. Such persuasion, whether based on social morality/utility, nutritional physiology, pal- atability or convenience, is an integral part of any vertically integrated production, process- ing, and merchandizing scheme you may de- vise. If you and your products cannot command such allegiance, loyalty and pre-

14 Goat Rancher | July 2020

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36