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Community & Business

27 April, 2021

You've goat to be kidding

While not many would dabble in goat farming, it is an industry that is constantly evolving and growing.

By Emily Middleton

On Friday, April 16, the Buena Vista farm hosted their first ever goat production day, where guest speakers came to present their expertise to over 40 goatmeat producers from all over the central west.

Jim Maywell, a goat industry specialist from Gilgandra, said that the kind of information presented on the day was not available up until recently. When he first started out in the goat industry over 60-years-ago, there was no information or research that had been done as thorough, as goat production was not taken seriously.

Goatmeat is widely consumed around the world, however, it remains a largely niche part of many consumers diets. While population growth and increasing household wealth provides a broadly positive outlook for global meat consumption, the consumers lack of familiarity with goatmeat remains a challenge for goatmeat producers.

Sue Street from Local Land Services speaking about managing doe nutrition.

Dr Gordon Refshauge from NSW department of primary industries, spoke about the reduction of kid loss. The ‘Reducing Kid Loss: Select and protect – phase one’ project funded through Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), found that at an industry scale, decreasing kid loss from 30 percent to 20 percent, at a fertility rate of 95 percent, would increase the value of the managed goatmeat sector by approximately $786,710.

“The goat is a hardy and robust animal that needs more care than an inexperienced handler might expect, but the productivity of goatmeat herds relies on successful breeding,” said Dr Refshauge.

Dr Refshauge enlightened the goatmeat producers that researchers have made a number of recommendations to address reproductive wastage, based off of the project’s findings.

“The key recommendation for the industry is to implement a number of well selected sentinel herds, where all animals are identified and their lifetime performance is monitored,” said Dr Refshauge.

“This will enable greater record-keeping and improve the understanding of the factors affecting goatmeat reproduction and performance.”

The day was full of educational resources and information, both for the inexperienced and well equipped, with everybody taking away at least one new piece of knowledge.

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