Many owners make a keep-or-cull decision on the basis of keeping a 1-year-old doe that had a sin- gle, but if she has only one kid the second lactation, she is put on the auction-bound truck post-weaning. Still other owners compare the size/weight of doe- lings at a selected monthly age as the basis for keep- ing or culling. They are in effect choosing doelings with the highest average daily gain.

Factors affecting meat goat prices

in San Angelo, texas Producers Livestock Auction Co. in San

Angelo, TX is the largest goat auction in the U.S. The large weekly volumes go directly to packing plants in the Northeastern states and to the New Hol- land, PA auction barn for resale to area packers. Lesser volumes go to packers in CA, IL, IN, and elsewhere.

TxAMU has a small ruminant Research and Ex- tension Center just north of San Angelo as well as other subsidiary units in the 22-county sheep/goat re- gion.

Age of dam

Table 1. Correction values for 90-day meat goat kid weaning weights

Effect Litter Size Born & weaned

Group Value 1m & 1f 1.00

1m & 2f 1.14 2m & 1f 1.04 2m & 2f 1.18

1 yr 2 yr 3 yr.

1.10 1.09 1.00

In this calculation a 3 yr old doe is a mature goat, as are older does. Livestock marketing specialists at the Center conducted this study

of factors affecting meat goat prices at Producers Livestock, 2010 to 2015. Their final report containing prose and tables totals 27 pages — way too big for a Goat Rancher piece, so I have summarized its find- ings below, as paraphrased by me. From 2010 to 2015 the Texas goat population decreased, sales volume decreased and prices increased from $1.50/lb to $2.52/lb. Prices were highest in January, February, and March (average $2.08/lb) and lowest in July, August, September (average $1.69/lb). Prices/lb were highest for goats weighing 50-59 lb ($1.98/lb) and lower for goats weighing 40-49 lb and 60 to 80+ lb by about 35 cents/lb. Larger sale lots of 35+ hd sold to packer buyers looking for uni- formity for about 10 cents/lb over smaller sale lots. These patterns of price responses are still seen today as the price/lb of slaughter goats has risen to $3.50/lb or more in 2021. Be- cause of these elevated slaughter prices, there has been a concomitant rise in weaning doeling prices to $250/hd or more. FP: I had earlier studied factors affecting the prices paid to pro- ducers, 2006-2009, by examining the San Angelo auction price re- ports sent weekly to the USDA/Ag Mkt Service by Market Reporter Rebecca Sauder. (Info was sent to Goat Rancher and put into my book). These reports demonstrated the effect of seasonal volumes on offer on price responses and also showed the price responses to weight categories of goats on offer. Dr. Ken McMillin of LSU and I later developed live and carcass grading standards for goats that also impacted selling prices/lb for slaughter goats; the higher the grade, the higher the price/lb, but the gap between grades 1 and 2 narrowed sharply as packer buying prices rose. These findings were also similar across sale location (TX, TN, PA/NJ/NY).

Note that earlier on (1995), I first looked at goat meat consump- tion in NYC. I found that the vast majority of consumers were of ethnic origin. It remains so today. Recently, there has been an influx of new ethnic groups (Nepa- lese, Bhutanese and Middle Easterners) that are culturally mandated to consume older, heavier wethers only, 100-125 lb, and they are pay- ing prices only a bit lower than those for 70-80 lb animals.

November 2021 | Goat Rancher 13

This demand could lead to post-weaning feeding of concentrates on pasture and/or feed-lotting of goats to achieve these weights.

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

cialist living in San Marcos, Texas. He can be contacted at 512-392- 4123 or by e-mail at His book, A Compilation of the Wit and Wisdom of the Goat Man, is available for purchase at

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  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44