Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meat Week - Goat

We have been raising dairy goats for six years now.  In order to continue getting milk from our dairy herd, the does have to be bred every fall for spring kidding.  Female kids are either kept with us for future milkers or sold as pets or milkers.  The males have one of three fates; sold as a pet wether (castrated male), sold as an intact buckling for a future herd-sire, or put into the freezer.

The first two years Nettie gave us doelings, but the third year she kidded with Annette (whom we still have) and a male kid.  I had been prepping myself for the possibility of having to butcher any of the unwanted kids so it really wasn't a shock.

Since the male dairy kids are so scrawny, it doesn't really make much sense to keep them very long for the freezer; it just takes too much time to get them large enough to go through the butchering.  I've heard that some people just kill the male kids at birth and dress them out like a rabbit, but I haven't had the heart to do that.  Yeah, I know, I end up killing it anyhow, but the cuteness factor is just too strong.  By the time the males are several months old, I can't wait to get rid of them, be it by a sale or by putting him in the freezer.

Once I tasted goat meat, I was hooked.  Goat ribs being my favorite.  Well second favorite I guess.  Nothing beats a tenderloin sauteed with garlic, butter and onions.

Since the male dairy kids were not really economical and I still wanted goat meat in the freezer, I went and started our own little Boer Goat herd this summer.  I brought home Pickles, the orphaned bottle baby Boer doeling this August and just last month bought Herman and Lily.  Since they are still young, we won't have any meaty-goat meat for over a year.  I don't plan on breeding Pickles or Lily for several more months, and their kids wont be born until five months after that.  And if the kids are of keeping quality, they will become part of our breeding -  not eating - stock.   But you got to start somewhere and sometime.

Technically, there's a pretty good chance that either Nettie or Annette will have a male kid next Spring.  And if we can't find homes for them, scrawny dairy kid or not, goat ribs will be back on the menu.

And here's some useful nutritional information comparing goat meat to other "normal" meats:
See, Christine?  You'd be better off eating goat meat since you always seem to be on a diet!  I'll even slap the meat on one of those styrofoam meat trays and wrap it in plastic for you!


  1. I agree, goat meat is wonderful, and much of the world eats it. Hubby came back from Greece with all these wonderful dishes to make and every one had goat which is hard to find here! Just out of curiosity, how old is it recommended to butcher the goat for meat? I'm only familiar with lamb. And I had wondered if there is any issues with male goat "smell" in the meat or if it happens before they even reach that maturity stage. So many questions LOL, but I definitely want to do this someday! These are great posts by the way!

  2. I havent had goat yet, but there are a couple of guys who sell it at the market. I should get some and try it out!

    Speaking of goats, how is Lily doing since the abortion shot?

  3. Funny thing is Carolyn when my kids research any species nutritional values each one has a similar chart showing why it's better than the rest. We laugh about it and some years 2 of older kids have done similar charts for 4-H exhibit for 2 different species. LOL cracks me up.

  4. Thanks for the nutrition chart! I still haven't got to sample goat meat yet, looking forward to trying it soon.

  5. I know I've seen goat or "chevron" meat sold locally at mexican and middle eastern grocery stores. I may try that. I was afraid it might be too strong flavor-wise...

  6. Carolyn Renee,
    I haven't yet tried goat. When we lived in Florida, goat was always cooked by the island people with curry. I'm not a big fan of anything made with curry.
    In your opinion what other meat is close to the taste of goat? Or is goat just totally unique and has it's own taste?

  7. Interesting comparison chart. I have never eaten goat before.

  8. Thanks for the chart, very interesting.

  9. Erin, around here, younger goats sell better during the ethnic holidays, usually kids under 60 lbs. My preference, however, would be to butcher a 100 lb. goat as to up the meat yield from it for us. And although I know some ethnic dishes call for intact males, I personally want absolutely nothing to do with a pissing-all-over-himself stinky buck....let alone butchering him and eating him.

    Lisa, you know, I was actually wondering about that same thing when I printed it out. I bet the "Squirrel Lovers" sight (love for pets, not eating) has squirrel meat as having 1,000 calories and claiming it tastes like an old boot.

    Hoosier Girl, I'm telling you, it's my favorite now.

    Nancy, I think the flavor is going to depend a lot on the age of the goat. Not sure how they sell goat in the supermarket, but I'd be wary of getting a butchered 8 year old stinky buck and have it ruin your taste for goat forever.

    Sandy, I'm with you on the curry thing too. Never could stomach the taste or smell. I think goat tastes somewhere between a good venison (i.e. not gamey) and beef.

    gld, come on over, you're welcome to chow with us!

    Mike, when you say "interesting", you don't mean you're now planning on how to grow goats in 5 gallon buckets like your potatoes, do you??? I'm sure you could engineer some sort of goat habitat using a bunch of those buckets!

    1. Thanks Carolyn Renee, I appreciate the input. The next time I come across goat from a ranch/farm friend, I'm going to get some.

      Spice curry, needs to just stay in the bottle and not on any food I'm eating :-)
      Have a beautiful day my friend.

  10. Oh I so agree with eating the goat offspring! When I had goats, I had originally intended for the by-product of milk production, and yes the kids are by-products, to go in the freezer. Wikipedia says about by-products: "A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced." And as you said, you have to breed in order to get milk. Goat meat tastes very yummy!

  11. Our neighbors are just now setting up their acreage to begin to raise meat goats. We'll go along for the ride and see how it all works. I'd really love to have some but we are quite limited on usable ground and not a bit of pasture. I thought about a couple of milk/fiber goats (cheese and spinning) but with the milk comes the babies. Maybe I could give them to the neighbors. I asked the rescue centers about adopting but they sterilize them before you can adopt, there goes the milk so that's out.

  12. Hmm, growing goats in 5 gallon buckets, that’s a thought. Sooo I looked up Goat Seeds and guess what, they have some, well sort of, at least parts of a goat called Goat’s Beard

    However, when looking for the rest of the goat I found seeds for the horns, again sort of. They’re called ‘Horny Goat Weed Seeds’ and I “kid” you not! Check it out. Might be a way to keep your goats happy :-)

  13. We had a couple of the boys butchered two years ago. They were almost 7 months old and each weighed over 100 pounds. I really, really liked the meat, hubby not so much. So, we no longer have goat meat on the menu. (sigh)