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

Handling equipment

What to do

The handling equipment outlined in Module 4: Infrastructure of the GiG Guide may be applicable to rangeland goat production depending on the nature of the enterprise. More sophisticated handling and management tools, such as goat handlers and scales, are becoming more common place in the rangelands as producers seek to maximise the value of their goats.

How to do it

There are a number of commercially available goat handlers which make handling large numbers of rangeland goats a realistic proposition. Typical features of a good goat handler are that they:

  • Are well constructed and able to stand up to rough work
  • Can operate in harsh, dusty environments
  • Are designed to immobilise goats through the removal of a false floor, a controlled squeeze mechanism or some other feature
  • Can be operated quickly and easily
  • Allow goats to be ear tagged and marked
  • Are designed to accommodate wide horns on mature bucks
  • Are affordable

Contact your local steel or yard supplier to see what is available.

       
Left: Goat handlers can either be simple, improvised devices or purpose built such as this.
Right: Scales can be used to weight pens of goats with the weight then averaged across the mob

A goat handler should be installed in well designed yards and complemented by a three-way draft and a set of scales to allow goats to be sorted and weighed.

Scales are an important management tool which can help determine the value of your goats and implement management strategies to maximise returns. It is advisable to weigh goats prior to sale so that you have a good idea of what a consignment is worth. Light animals that you will not be paid for (usually less that 23kg live weight and referred to as "no commercial value" or NCVs) can be identified and removed from the consignment.

Scales also allow mobs to be drafted into consistent lines and sold into the most profitable market.