Raising meat goats is an excellent proposition for today's livestock farmer. Niche or artisanal farmers looking for a profitable specialty should search no further than the simple goat. Compact, friendly, and efficient, meat goats do not require a lot of browsing land, and they can thrive on plants cows find inedible, such as nettles and thistles.
Most important, demand for chevon (goat meat) far outweighs supply in North America. Imported chevon from Australia and New Zealand has more than doubled in the past decade and industry studies estimate that the market will continue to grow by 10 to 15 percent annually for the foreseeable future, making goat the fastest growing meat business in North America. Add to these numbers the fact that chevon is lower in calories and fat and higher in protein than other red meats, and the future looks bright indeed for goat producers.
Now author Maggie Sayer adds Storey's Guide to Raising Meat Goats to the popular series that has guided countless farmers through the day-to-day tasks of animal care. Sayer thoroughly explains the basics of selecting a breed, buying the goats, and raising healthy animals. She explains how goats think and how to handle, house, and transport them properly. There is plenty of basic health-care information for preventing disease, addressing common ailments, and breeding safely. Finally, a wealth of information is offered on catering to ethnic populations and marketing the product.
With this invaluable resource, experienced and novice farmers alike will find raising goats to be immensely satisfying and profitable.