Every year I receive dozens of calls from people wanting to get started in the goat business as well as from people who already have goats and have some management problems. I really encourage individuals to read all they can about goats and, as well, to visit some established herds and talk to experienced and reputable breeders BEFORE purchasing any animals. Any successful livestock enterprise requires careful research, management and a genuine interest in the species one is working with.
A well cared for, top quality meat goat is an impressive sight. Meat goats are long-lived, hardy, readily handled, need minimal facilities and, except when the bucks are rutting, relatively odor-free. Like any living animal, they can be frustrating, however, and, on occasion, will crawl through and under or even jump or climb over poorly maintained fences, get their heads stuck in unbelievably small holes and destroy equipment one felt was built sturdily eneough for cattle.
While a couple of goats make interesting pets, most people who have any number expect to generate an income, either primary or seconday, from them. Sources of revenue include meat, breeding stock, and skins/hides.
Buy good quality breeding stock, be it commercial or registered, to start out with. Remember that your bucks/billies are half of your herd, so purchase the best. Meat/Boer goats do well in confinement, semiconfinement, improved pastures or range if carefully managed. Well-nourished good quality goats that are regularly dewormed and protected from predators will repay the farmer or rancher with1 to 3 (or perhaps more) nice kids a year.
For more information on Angora goats refer to The Meat Goat, Its History, Management and Diseases by Stephanie and Allison Mitcham.
This soon-to-be published book, by Stephanie Mitcham and Allison Mitcham was written in response to all of the goat questions asked over the years.Stephanie Mitcham