BLOG

grazing meat goats

on the farm

marketing meat goats

raising goats

BLOG CATEGORIES

Thank you for subscribing!

Subscribe to the Email List

How to select a buck + how much does it cost to start raising goats? | Live Q&A Replay

All things raising, grazing, and marketing meat goats.

Q&A Topics:

  • Selecting a buck
  • Cost considerations for starting a meat goat herd

Watch the Live Q&A Replay below

Here’s a summary of what I shared:

Tips for Selecting a Buck

In general, take the same approach as you would do for finding breeding does for your herd. I would recommend souring bucks from farms or ranches with similar management practices. For example, a goats feed a ration of grain daily might not transition well, or have the genetics, to work in a farm setting like our that’s grass-based.

Other questions to ask or items to consider:

  • The buck’s rate of gain
  • Characteristics of his sire and dam, such as mothering abilities, ease of kidding, number of kids
  • Parasite management practices

I prefer to source based on these characteristics and traits over simply a choice based on a specific breed or registered stock. It’s more priority on the performance of the animal itself.

The goat livestock industry is fairly disjointed. This can make it challenging to actually source breeding stock. Look for breed or farmer/rancher organizations related to goats in your state, or reach out to your area Extension agent to see if they know of any goat breeders or resources in your area.

What does it cost to start a meat goat herd?

This question is really dependent on a lot of factors, including your geographic location and existing infrastructure on your land or farm. Here are a few of the basic items needed for raising goats that you’ll want to look at prices in your area:

How much do goats cost?

The cost of breeding stock will vary with “commercial” (not registered) to registered breeds or show stock. In our area breeding goats will often run $300-$400 per head, more for registered or show goats. Breeding bucks will typically run higher than does.

A few places to “spot check” local prices include looking on Craigslist and also sales reports on Livestock Auction Barns (typically they’ll list weights and sale prices for every sale on their website). While these aren’t the best routes for sourcing livestock, they’ll give you a ballpark idea of going rates in your area. Be aware that many livestock auctions will price based on animal type, breed, size/age, and often are terminal sales (meaning for meat, instead of breeding stock). Sales at livestock barns for meat often are priced lower than breeding animals.

Another great source is talking with other goat farmers in your area on what prices are common for your region.

Goat shelters or enclosures

Barns are great, but not necessary as you’re getting started. Calf hutches, metal huts or three-sided shelters can be good options for providing cover from extreme elements. You can get price estimates for these type of structures through Craigslists, online auction sites, or even from farm supply stores.

Water tank

You’ll need a low stock tank that goats of most sizes can reach into, usually about 1 foot high. Price estimates can typically be found by looking at local farm supply stores or farm supply co-ops.

Feed

You’ll need to consider costs for feeding your goats. They can be fed all hay. Grain is optional depending on your herd goals. You can get price ideas from online listings like Craigslist, Facebook Buy/Sell groups, farm supply co-ops or farm stores.

Goat Minerals

Price this out by the bag. A good source for minerals would be a local farm supply store or even farm supply/feed co-op. If the co-op doesn’t have a retail store, just call and as if they sell or can get 40-50 lb. bags of goat mineral and get pricing.

Vet medicine

Eventually you’ll need to have some of these items on hand, but it’s probably not necessary for initial planning purposes.

Other local resources

Your local extension agent is also a great resource to help find realistic price ranges for supplies for raising goats.

More about the Live Q&A

My Raising Goats Community email list will also be sent a link to the replay and replay notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on this list.

Don’t miss the next Q&A! Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on the list: https://www.grazingwithleslie.com/list

Next Q&A Live: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6:30 a.m. CST on Instagram @cyonrollingacres

How to submit questions

About the Live Q&A Series

The Live Q&A Series is on my @cylonrollingacres Instagram account. Typically, they are 1-2 times a month. After each Q&A I’ll post the replay on my blog, along with any links or resources I mention in the replay. Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on the list: https://www.grazingwithleslie.com/list

When I started raising goats, I quickly discovered there’s a lack of information and research focused on meat goats from a production standpoint and goat meat itself. Since then I’ve learned a lot “on the job,” along with finding the little university research and best practices out there.

Over the last 10 years I’ve been sharing our journey raising meat goats and grazing them through blogging, social media, and speaking at workshops and conferences. Aside from being transparent with my customers and community, I share a lot of this information so others raising goats don’t have to start at zero.

What does it cost to start a meat goat heard
how to select a buck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Legal disclaimer: All information provided is based on personal experience and is provided for educational and information use only. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless our website, company and owner for any direct or indirect loss or conduct incurred as a result of your use of our website and any related communications. This applies to, but is not limited to, business operational information and consulting, as well as farm and goat management practices.

Any animal health information provided on this website is based on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed with a veterinarian. In all situations, it is the responsibility of the livestock owner to consult with a veterinarian before using any animal health practices shared on this website or by this company and its owner. See the full legal disclaimer here.