All things raising, grazing, and marketing meat goats.
June 15 Q&A Topics:
- How we got started selling goat meat, beginning with selling whole animals and then moving to selling by the cut.
- Harvest size/age, type of cuts, how we have ours wrapped and packed
- Resources related to goat meat
Watch the Live Q&A Replay here
Here’s a summary of what I shared:
Question: We have a small group of wethers born this season. We’d like to start selling goat meat but are not sure if we want to sell all of them. I was thinking four to start. How long do you grow them out?
We aim for under a year for anything for traditional cuts, size ranges from 70-90 lbs. I prefer larger to get bigger cuts and get more milage on our processing fees since it’s per head. Older goats are typically for stew meat or sausage products.
Question: What do you feed them, so they taste the best?
We are all grass fed so it takes longer to finish for us. I’d suggest keeping the feed source consistent for how you’re raising them. Like grass fed beef va grain fed, grass fed will be leaner and have a different flavor vs grain fed. Interesting fact: Most imported goat meat is from Australia and are goats that are raised on rangeland or in the wild, so there’s that!!
Question: What would you request for cut and wrap? What sells the best?
We stick to these cuts: roasts, leg, shanks, chops, rib chops, stew meat and ground. Ground and stew seems to be good versatile options, but chops are popular too.
I often will do larger or too small goats into ground or stew since one goat with all the cuts doesn’t yield much stew or ground (maybe 1-2 lbs. each, general speaking). A conservative estimate for retail /usable meat is 30% of live weight. So a 70# goat is 20-25# of meat (not counting bones or organs etc.). Ground tends to yield less because of no bones.
We do vacuum sealed / but clear options are great if available, which is similar to what customers see in the store. They can see what they’re getting.
I’ve also found that most places that do sell it online or in store only offer stew meat sometimes ground. Being able to offer other cuts is a nice option
Question: How many did you starting out with the first year selling?
I think we when we first started selling by the cut we did 2 but 4 or more could have worked. We decided if we didn’t sell it we could eat it ourselves but we sold most of it and we were just getting started marketing it too.
People seem more receptive to purchasing by the cut vs a whole animal – whether they’re trying it the first time, don’t want to spend a lot at one time or don’t want to buy in bulk.
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, June 22, 6:30 a.m. CST on Instagram @cyonrollingacres
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About the Live Q&A Series
The Live Q&A Series is every, Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. CST on my @cylonrollingacres Instagram account. 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.