Rising markets bring new opportunities for producers

It seems when the nation went into pandemic mode last year, many of the nation’s goat ranchers — and many wannabees — turned inward with a renewed focus on growing their herds.

Many Boer goat shows were canceled but producers kept breeding show stock. And commer- cial ranchers gathered up every available doe on the market as slaughter goat prices soared to nearly $5 a pound. That’s pushing a 60-lb. wether to al- most $300. A rancher can make money at that price. I sold many a slaughter goat for $1 a pound. We’ve always had a shortage of goats in this country — we import half the goat meat eaten in the U.S. Now we have a shortage of commercial does. They are in demand to produce slaughter goats and as recips for the ever growing embryo transplant industry. With the availability of breeding-age does so tight, producers are snatching up doelings to re- plenish their herds. The Hayre Ranch in southwest Texas has already sold out its anticipated 4,000-head 2021 doe kid crop. Smaller ranches already have a waiting list.

BY TERRY HANKINS Goat Rancher editor

The Boer show goat folks are back at the sale ring already this year and are fighting over the top genetics. Sales this spring are boast- ing record prices with many top prospects going for $10,000+. This enthusiasm puts the show goat in- dustry on a good footing.

Record prices for everything from show wethers to show does to slaughter goats has at- tracted the attention of more and more folks with a little land who want to maybe add a new revenue stream to their farming operation. This means there are a lot of new folks buying goats — who know nothing about goats. That’s why I encourage those established breeders who have stock to sell to be patient with these new buyers.

Prices per hundredweight from San Angelo, Texas, on March 17.

Be their mentors, do your best to get them on the right track and hopefully they will be happy cus- tomers and producers for years to come. One way to do that is get them to a quality

educational conference. One of the best is the National Kiko Reg- istry’s annual Cumberland Meat Goat Conference in Cookeville, Tenn., in May. See details, Page 27. n

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April 2021

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