Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Left overs

We had left over goat stew last night. I wasn't AS funny about it in my head. I suspect it will get easier and easier?

And if it does get easier, and raising our wethers (neutered males) for our freezer becomes the norm, I wonder if we should breed one of our does to a Boer buck this fall?
* uh oh * I feel a goat post comin' on!
Boer goats are THE meat goat in the goat world. When you see a dairy goat kid standing next to a Boer goat kid, you can absolutely see the difference. Dairy goat kids are tall, angular and thin - maybe like a basketball player, while the Boer kids are short, stocky little sumo wrasslers.

Pix of an Alpine dairy doe - long and angular. All her energy goes toward milk production.

Beefy Boer buck. He is shorter, stouter and all his energy goes into making more and more muscle on his frame.

Lots of people cross breed dairy goats with Boers - you get a taller frame from the dairy goat genes with a lot more meat from the Boer goat genes.

If we do that, the kids can't be registered and they will all most definately be sold for meat. I like the idea of our doe kids going to families as milkers and for children to show in 4H programs. It's the reason I got into goats - for the milk and cheese. Not so much to produce only meat animals.

Also, because the Boers are so beefy - dairy does can have a hard time getting a Boer kid's stockier head and shoulders through their pelvic opening during kidding. I really hate having to go in and pull kids - it freaks me out and I am always afraid I'm going to lose the doe in a difficult kidding.

Many people who have Boer's don't test their herds for CAE. They don't care if their goats have CAE because they usually aren't around long enough to show signs of the disease. There is a possibility of introducing something into our micro-herd we don't want. I could find a clean Boer herd thru the internet, but it probably wouldn't be someone right around the corner.

(CAE is a goat disease that is transmitted to kids through the milk which is why we take the kids at birth, pastuerize the milk to kill the CAE, and bottle feed them. It cannot be transmitted to humans.)

We test our micro-herd each spring after kidding and so far they remain negative but CAE can lie dormant and show up unexpectedly. It's controversial in the goat world, this CAE disease. Some people are strongly against it and others don't care if their goats have it. My stance is to keep a clean, CAE free herd because if we do, people on both sides of the CAE argument can buy our goats. If we allow CAE in our herd, it automatically wipes out buyers in one camp of the CAE controversy.

Well - I have a while to mull it over. Breeding season is a long time away! Right now we watch our two pregnant does get larger and larger with kids and we wait. I liked leaving Chocolate on a 2 year lactation cycle this year. We didn't breed her so we could keep milking her. It was really nice having milk and cheese through the winter vs. buying milk from the store.


Nikki said...

I am new to gots. So new I don't have them yet:) But how old do you wait to butcher your wethers? I would liekto have goat meat as well as milk and cheese. Do you liek the taste of goat? I have never tried it. Thanks

Shanster said...

You will love your goats when you get them! They are so fun and useful!

We sent our wether for processing when he was 8 mos old. I know someone else who does it at 6 mos. And recipies I found on the web called for younger goats or cabrito - a 10lb kid.

Our kids are around 6-8 lbs when they are born, so that would be a pretty young goat and I'm not sure I personally could have them butchered that young - tho' I wouldn't fault anyone who did.

It's all so much of what you are comfy with.

Read my stew post - everything I've read about goat meat says it's best at low temps for long periods of time - bbq, stews, marinades, crockpots... the meat is very lean so you risk toughness.

I've only had it twice now but I could not for the life of me find a difference between beef stew and the goat stew we made.

I'm sure if you processed an old doe or a buck, the meat would be quite different ... and probably not as good. Just like with lamb vs. mutton.

We will be trying goat chops next... I'll post about it when we try it!