Going into Goats: A practical guide to producing goats in the rangelands

Drafting and culling

During drafting, rangeland goats should be handled in a manner that minimises stress and injury. Do not rush the goats; give them time to assess the situation.

When goats are yarded and forced toward a drafting race they tend to crowd and pack together which can lead to smothering, or they can attempt to jump out of the yards which can lead to injury. Take care to avoid overcrowding or undue pressure when working goats in the yards.  Dogs can be useful for mustering goats but should generally not be used when working goats in yards.

When confining goats for any length of time they should be drafted based on gender, size and behaviour (the removal of dominant bucks) to ensure the group’s welfare.

Older males and goats with significant horns should be separated to avoid dominance behaviour and injury. Does and unweaned kids should be kept together.

When goats are yarded it is advisable to draft off any goats that appear weak or infirm, or of a type that does not suit your breeding objective or market specification. These should be identified as culls and sold at the next available opportunity. Culling goats on an ongoing basis saves double handling and helps improve the productivity of the enterprise.