Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

Breeding for naturally polled goats also leads to a high incidence of hermaphroditism. All goats are horned, but many are dehorned at several days old. Dehorning after a few days old is messy and painful. (Not that dehorning isn't painful, period, but in kids it's brief, and they seem to get over it very quickly- like minutes)

Link to post
Share on other sites

(Assuming this was a genuine question and not a little joke about a misspelling....) Yep, though it's actually called a wattle. It's a little piece of flesh, kind of cylindrical, maybe 1.5 inches long, that hangs from the neck below the jawline closer to the jawline than to, say, the point of the shoulder (i.e, higher up on the neck). They generally come in pairs. I have a karakul with just one, though, because I forgot to tell the shearer about the existence of her wattles until it was, uh, too late.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My boers all have horns. Pretty small and curved back. I leave horns. I have never had problems with them. And we make stuff out of them to sell. However I am very careful with my horses as a goat being lower can put a horn into the gut of your horse. Even by accident.

None have wattles although my alpines have them. My Aplines and Saanens have I think worse horns, big and stick more up.

 

Compared to my alpines- who are trouble makers but I love them.....the boers are a bit dim.....but it may be just mine are a bit dim.

 

They sell very well.

 

On another note I just made Goat creamcheese cake with raspberry topping......oh my god........

 

My little Taw loves working the goats.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only objection I have with the horns is that I would have to think up a different feeder for hay for them.

With my feeders the sheep have to stick their heads through. The one ram I have that is horned can't use them.

There is a place out here that is constantly asking for goat kids. The have a market every month it seems. With

my sheep is seems to be seasonal, depending on holidays. I never have a big enough batch to haul them for

8 hours to New Holland. There are times like now when the pastures are all burnt up due to no rain that I'd like

to sell the lambs a little earlier than planned. I can take a little less for them because they are smaller or keep

them and feed them hay and sell them at heavier weights but lose money in the hay. So I'd rather just move

them now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the cheese cake keeps my interns happy!

 

Mona,

 

It is an interesting thing marketing lamb isn't it? And Kids sell very well. Last year the demand for goat was very strong where I live.

On another note- this was a big test for my parasite resistance in my milking flock. We had a long cold wet spring and early summer and the parasite load was very high. (By the way...the goats have very little resistance.)

 

The resistant ewes had pretty great lambs this year- hanging weight up to around 65 pounds.

 

Of course I really have to cull. And rotate pasture and throw in the browse foraging time. The lambs that are small I let browse for a while during winter and sell them as their weight goes up so I can make a uh....'profit'

 

On still another note- yesterday I sheared the fattest sheep I have ever seen. It almost killed me. These sheep were so fat! It was incredible!

 

one more note- a man came up to me at the farmers market and looked at the cuts of lamb and the dates. He says- "Well this lamb was slaughtered a month ago."

 

I say- "Its frozen."

 

But my interns moved between him and me because he was making me mad. Maybe I'm getting onerier in my old age. Just looking at this guy made me mad.

 

Then the guy says- "I want really fresh lamb."

 

"Ok, you come back to the project and I'll give you a REALLY fresh lamb...come on...lets go!....Where are you going? Sir...come on lets get your lamb....!"

 

Well, the poor man about ran away.

 

My interns laughed so hard they cried.

 

But, dang I gotta stop doing that as It doesn't sell lamb.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when you think about lamb prices, you also have to consider that smaller lambs go for more money per pound (in general), so while you may not end up with as much cash in your pocket from the sale of a smaller lamb, pound for pound you've likely made more than you would with an older lamb. And you didn't have to pasture/feed it for as long, which should increase your profit.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That may be true in your circumstances, Julie, but it is not a good rule of thumb. In systems like mine, where the majority of the cost of production of a lamb is in the cost of keeping the ewe over the winter, nearly all of the margin (if indeed there is a margin) comes from post-weaning growth. Selling a 65-lb weaned lamb at $1.25/lb nets me $81.25 (less if I have to pay trucking, yardage, and commission), and I probably spent about that much just keeping the ewe last winter. Selling a finished, 125 lb lamb at 90 cents a pound nets me $112.50. Assuming that the lamb gains a half a pound a day, that means he's earning me about 25 cents a day while he's growing out, and really the only cost is my labor. Economies of scale are very important here -- it takes virtually the same amount of labor to raise 10 lambs as it does raise 400 post weaning. Ten lambs earning 25 cents a day means $2.50 a day; 400 means $100 a day.

 

When I have to start feeding supplemental concentrates and hay, the math changes pretty quickly, but I can justify them by selling to more upscale markets that pay a significant premium over market price for quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think when you think about lamb prices, you also have to consider that smaller lambs go for more money per pound (in general), so while you may not end up with as much cash in your pocket from the sale of a smaller lamb, pound for pound you've likely made more than you would with an older lamb. And you didn't have to pasture/feed it for as long, which should increase your profit.

 

J.

 

I raise my lambs in the deep south (about an hour from the gulf) and now in the Western TN/hotter than the deep south regions.

 

the majority of expense is not winter feeding but parasite control. Lambs that grow fast and leave at weaning at the premium weight for this market (70lbs, $1.40/lb) cost me the least to raise and therefore make the most profit. The longer a lamb stays here towards our peak parasite months (July/August at minimum) the more investment I have in time (Famacha must be done weekly, copper bolusing every 6), general parasite control. Also once the extreme heat heat hits, lambs stop growing. Between flies, parasites and heat you may have very little weight gain despite lush grazing and a lot of careful management.

 

With a premium custom market for finished lambs (about 100 lbs) it *appears* at first you are making money with the sales. However when you run the yearlies and look at lost lambs to heat and parasites, and the amount of work you put into rotation and management, it's really not as worth all the work as you thought.

 

I'm trying Fall lambing this year - we have a premium market from Dec to Easter here - but the goal is the same. I over-summer only dry adult ewes (who have the greatest parasite tolerance and require the least management) and my replacements who were selected on the ability to make a viable grass survival weight before the worst heat hits. For my flock, that's at least 70 lbs. anything less will have to be grained once the heat hits or they will be stunted and not recover without great investment.

 

Cooler today...only about 94 and the humidity is *way* down. Wonderful....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of us in this environment *feel* like dying. I've always lived in the south and I really do prefer to be hot to cold, but I have to say that this is the first summer when northern climes have really begun to appeal (I'm sure that would last until it got really cold there, lol!). And I've been thinking that raising sheep would be much more pleasant, at least for the spring/summer months, in the north.

 

Anyway, in addition to the whole worming issue Wendy brought up, a combination of high heat and no rain during one period pretty much trashed the pasture and I've had to feed hay all summer. Granted, they don't eat it as quickly as they do in the winter, but another concern will be finding hay (need to be doing that now) when the high heat and lack of rain means that many folks didn't get as many cuttings as they might have. I seriously have grass envy when it comes to pasture in the northern states. And like Wendy noted, once the heat hits, lamb growth hits a wall.

 

Anyway, we get used to doing our livestock chores very early in the morning and right before dark, when it's not quite so miserable out there.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't get very cold here, Julie. We only have a few days where it stays below zero, and it seldom dips below -20, even at night. I love those days when the snow squeaks under your boots. Makes me feel alive and vibrant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It doesn't get very cold here, Julie. We only have a few days where it stays below zero, and it seldom dips below -20, even at night. I love those days when the snow squeaks under your boots. Makes me feel alive and vibrant.

 

I think your point of reference for "too cold" is far lower than mine

 

Just the few weeks I dealt with moderate ice and snow last year has me quite convinced I've gone far enough north.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So where do you take your sheep Julie? Since you are in NC and I'm in VA maybe it would not be too far for me.

Or do you have buyers come to your farm? There's an auction about an hour and a half from here in Blacksburg.

I was going to go once (without sheep) just to observe. I have no experience with them. I'm sure they are not like

New Holland in regard to prices but they are close. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Mona,

I usually sell directly off the farm. I have taken sheep to the auction in Siler City, but honestly prices are so unpredictable (great one week, horrible the next, so there's no guessing what you might get when you take them there) that I don't bother unless I am really, truly desperate to get rid of something. And even then, it's usually more cost-effective to pay $65 to have the sheep butchered and feed it to myself and the dogs....

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'll visit this one in Blacksburg and come back and post what I have observed. I only put two in my freezer every year.

There is a lady that buys from me but only during the Muslem and Greek Holidays. Very convienient (spelling) at only 10 miles

away but only at her times, not all year round. I believe it's Ramadan now isn't it? So prices at the auction might be good. I will

see and report back. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...