This chapter details an overview of the meat goat industry in the United States and the different production
systems where meat goat can be utilized. The chapter then describes the necessary planning steps needed to help create a sustainable meat goat operation.
This chapter describes several different breeds of meat goat that are being used in the U.S. for meat goat production.
Each breed's attributes and potential weaknesses are discussed. Breeds discussed are Spanish, Boer, Kiko, Savanna, Tennessee Fainting Goats (mytonic), Pygmy, and Nubians.
This chapter describes the economically beneficial traits of meat goats and discusses how to measure and compare the different animals of the herd. Also included are detailed descriptions and illustrations of proper and improper udder structure.
This chapter discusses how to prepare for the birth of the kids and the kidding process. Also detailed illustrations are shown about normal and abnormal birthing presentations and how to assist in the kidding process.
This chapter describes the common diseases that affect goats and the available vaccination programs for goats. Also discussed are the different internal and external parasites that affect goats and the preventative programs used to prevent problems in the goat herd.
This chapter describes how to develop a marketing plan for a meat goat operation. Also discussed is the price differences in the seasonal pattern of goat prices and the holiday schedule that influences that seasonal pattern.
This chapter describes the different methods of predator control that can be used in a meat goat operation. Options discussed are guardian animals such as dogs, donkeys and llamas, trapping and lethal methods of removing predators.
This chapter goes over the general herd management practices that are not discussed in other chapters. Topics covered this chapter are ear tagging, castrating, hoof trimming, disbudding, tatooing, and body condition scoring. Also included is a general herd maintenance calendar.