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

Table 1.1: Rangeland goat enterprise options

 

Enterprise

Characteristics

Pros (positives)

Cons (negatives)

Pure wild harvest

  • Trap or muster goats from an unfenced environment.
  • Held briefly prior to transport.
  • Requires minimal infrastructure investment.
  • Suited to all areas frequented by rangeland goats.
  • Opportunity to expand business to provide a service to other landholders.
  • Low labour and management requirement.
  • Limited capacity to add value or market livestock.
  • Limited access to livestock – seasonally dependent - unable to supply consistently.
  • Can be periodically labour intensive.
  • Limited opportunity to respond to market signals.
  • Immediate need for trucks once goats are yarded.

Harvest and hold - goat paddock/s

  • Trap or muster goats from an unfenced environment and confine in one or more goat paddocks.
  • Holding is generally for the accumulation of goats or the growing out of goats to market specifications.
  • Ability to control stocking rate within fenced area.
  • Increased ability to respond to market signals.
  • Can add value to confined goats.
  • Goat paddock fence investment and maintenance requirement.
  • Confined goats must be actively managed (ie: provided with sufficient feed and water).
  • Grazing and stocking in the holding areas needs to be well managed to avoid pasture degradation.
  • Animal health issues.
  • Additional management costs such as those associated with identification tags.

Low input goat breeding

  • Multiple paddocks.
  • Semi controlled breeding usually uses existing rangeland bucks selected for desirable traits. These are joined selected existing rangeland does.
  • Ability to control stocking rate within fenced areas.
  • Ability to target specific markets. Breeders are selected for conformation and to meet market specifications etc.
  • Greater control of cashflow.
  • Increased management requirement and cost.
  • Limited gene pool as there are no introduced does or bucks.

Enterprise

Characteristics

Pros (positives)

Cons (negatives)

High input goat breeding

  • Multiple, well fenced paddocks.
  • Usually cross breeding rangeland does with a meat goat such as a Boer buck.
  • Accessible paddocks able to be readily mustered.
  • Increased ability to control stocking rate within fenced areas.
  • Greater control of cashflow.
  • Ability to target specific markets.
  • Increased meat production potential.
  • Hybrid vigour.
  • Potential to turn off goats at market weight more quickly.
  • Increased management requirement.
  • Higher buy in costs.
  • Increased infrastructure costs.
  • Limited high value marketing opportunities.

Depot

  • Aggregating large numbers of goats in confined areas for on-selling to buyers.
  • Usually buying from other producers.
  • Highly intensive, secure holding yards.
  • Bulk goat handling facilities.
  • (Refer Module 11: Goat depots from the GiG Guide for further information).
  • Reduced exposure to market variation as goats are usually traded on a margin basis.
  • Ability to value add through drafting, holding to aggregate lines or holding to add weight and grow into saleable goats.
  • Need to maintain throughput.
  • High labour and management requirement.
  • High reliance on transport.