Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
Onion Creek Ranch "Chevon, cabrito, goat... No matter what you call it, it is the HEALTHY red meat™
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Producers considering offering breeding services by their quality herd sires and dams should evaluate the positives and negatives before rushing into this aspect of the meat-goat business.

The most attractive part of offering stud service is that the producer can usually cover his investment in the herd sire quickly by charging breeding fees. Indeed, in some areas of the country and under certain circumstances, this can be a moneymaking venture. By offering this service, the owner of the stud will not only improve the quality of goats in his area but will also increase the goat population significantly. . . oftentimes at a cost that is more attractive to the users of his stud service than going out and buying live animals.

Less often considered are the negatives surrounding offering stud service. All of these points are just as valid if the buck is taken to the does to be bred.

1) The offering producer must have adequate space at his location to house and feed the arriving does. He must also have help available on a daily basis to feed and care for the animals being boarded. The host must decide how many goats to be bred that he can reasonably board and feed. Boarding goats can become expensive quickly for all parties involved.

2) Users of the breeding service must be willing to pay a fee for these services that is high enough to compensate the host for his time and effort and use of his herd sire. Obtaining value for breeding services is sometimes difficult to achieve.

3) If natural breeding is the route chosen, then the does must remain with the buck through two breeding cycles . . . approximately 45-50 days. If the does are to be cycled chemically, using implants and hormone injections, then the cost and administration of these products must be factored into the overall charge.

4) Questions of responsibility should be addressed beforehand. If a visiting animal becomes ill, who is financially responsible for vet care? If a goat dies, who is liable? Is there to be a guarantee of successful breeding? What happens if one of the animals either does not breed or is unable to breed? Are sonograms going to be performed at approximately 45 days after breeding to determine pregnancy? If so, who pays for them? Who does the physical job of transporting the goats to the place where they will be sonogrammed? Is the owner of the stud requiring that insurance be carried on all visiting does? When is payment due . . . for breeding fees? ... for health care? .... for boarding?

5) Most importantly (in my mind), the health of the animals, both those being bred and those already living on-site, must be taken into consideration.

Producers interested in maintaining healthy, vigorous goats should strive at all times to maintain a closed herd to reduce the possibility of illness or disease. This is not possible when other producers are bringing their animals onto and off your property. The appearance of illnesses previously unknown to your location is only a matter of time.

Ideally, every goat producer who brings new animals onto his property for any reason should quarantine them for a minimum of two weeks. Unfortunately, few participants in breeding operations want to take the time or incur the expense involved in a quarantine situation.

If proper care to prevent the introduction of diseases is not taken, the stud owner's property will most assuredly be subject to pinkeye, soremouth, caseous lymphadenitis, and a host of other diseases whose presence will never leave that site. Certain venereal diseases, soremouth, and CL abscesses, for example, will arrive and may stay forever. Many diseases are airborne, while others reside in goats who are carriers, making them difficult to control or eradicate.

Producers should carefully evaluate all of these issues, and a written agreement should be prepared and signed by all parties before the first visiting goat arrives. Only in this way can problems be avoided during the course of these business transactions.

Preplanning will help producers avoid losing money, time, animals, and friends.

Meat Goat Mania

Important! Please Read This Notice!

All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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