Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hungry buyers push Kiko prices to new records

The 2011 Cream of the Crop catalog has been updated with the prices paid for each lot. Here's the link:

This is one of two does that tied for high-selling animal, bringing $4,100 each.

This ECR Blackbeard daughter out of a Sports Kat daughter consigned by Ron Polette (center) of Arcadia Valley Meat Goats was purchased by R&J Kiko Ranch of Fort Scott, Kan. Others pictured here representing R&J are (from left) John Zink, Jacob Zink, Jake Bellmyer and Lacey Pearn. The other high-selling doe was a Goat Hills Kikos consigment, a February 2011 doeling out of GHK Cherokee Fiddler and an Iron Horse daughter. That doe also was purchased by the R&J group.

Buyers looking for top-quality Kiko genetics descended on the Cream of the Crop Kiko Sale held Oct. 29 in Corydon, Ind., and bid feverishly for the 100 head available. 79 registered buyers from 20 states pushed Kiko prices to new levels and underscored the growing demand for this New Zealand import.

Two 100% New Zealand does brought $4,100 apiece, record prices for a Kiko in modern production sales. But these two does were not the exceptions when it came to high prices. Sixteen head brought more than $3,000 each.

The high-selling buck was a March 2011 son of Iron Horse consigned by Goat Hill Kikos of Porum, Okla. The young buck, who did not enter the ring until Lot #97, brought $2,700 and was purchased by Brent Goodin of Derby, Iowa.

The high-selling purebred doe brought $2,950. The 2009 AVG Zolo's Legacy daughter was bred by Arcadia Valley Meat Goats and was consigned by Goat Hill Kikos. 

See the December issue of Goat Rancher for more details and analysis.

Here are the stats:

2   purebred bucks averaged $937

12   NZ bucks averaged $1,583

29   NZ does averaged $2,397

19   2011 NZ doelings averaged $2,469

14   purebred does averaged $1,164

17   2011 purebred doelings $1,069

11   percentage does averaged $352

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New South Wales goat population exploding

A study has revealed there are more than 2.5 million feral goats in western New South Wales, Australia.
The Western Catchment Management Authority (CMA) says a study has shown the number of goats has doubled since 2000.
The operations manager, Russell Grant, says controlling the pests and the damage they cause to pasture and native scrub is the top priority of the CMA, which will release a management strategy later this year.
He says it is yet to be determined why the population has exploded.
"One theory is that a larger take of billy goats through the feral harvest industry," he said.
Billy goats cause some mortality within goat populations, so removing a lot more of the billy goat may increase the survival of younger goats, something like that but otherwise we don't understand."
The CMA commissioned the Department of Primary Industries to analyse goat populations in the region, with the current number expected to double again during the next decade.
Mr Grant says goat numbers were previously stable.
"Goat numbers fluctuated but stayed fairly consistent, probably at about a million or so goats from about 1992 to 2000, and despite the drought and harvesting operations over the last 10 years, goat numbers have effectively doubled," he said.

Commonwealth Goat Club meeting Sunday

Just one last reminder that we have a meeting THIS SUNDAY!

Topics in Reproduction
with Dr. Pat Comyn, Dr. Joe Garvin and Sue Garvin
SUNDAY, October 30, 2011
Madison County Extension Office
War Memorial Building
Church and Main Streets, just off route 29
Madison, VA

CGC General business meeting at 11 am October 30th
Potluck lunch at noon- please bring a dish to share and serving utensils
Educational program from 1pm until 3pm

If you want to understand caprine reproduction, this is the meeting for you!
Dr. Garvin will start us out with a wetlab on the reproductive anatomy of
the doe! (Yep, right after lunch! Yummy!) He'll discuss basic anatomy and
physiology with a brief overview of herd health and reproductive

Once we have a firm understanding of the natural process, Sue Garvin will
give a quick overview of artificial insemination (AI) using natural heat
cycles. The AI portion of the program will cover basic equipment and
techniques of caprine AI. During our second hour, Dr. Pat Comyn will
introduce us to the world of assisted reproduction. He will address heat
synchronization, AI, superovulation and embryo transfer techniques in

Dr. Comyn can also field questions about difficult to settle does. Dr.
Comyn has extensive experience in bovine reproduction and has recently
expanded his practice to caprine reproduction! We'll have A LOT of
information to cover in just two short hours! So, please arrive early and
enjoy friendship and food, but be ready to start promptly at 1 pm! Please pass
the word, CGC meetings are open to all! Anyone interested in goats is
welcome to attend!

USDA eliminates annual sheep & goat census

In light of funding reductions in fiscal year (FY) 2011 and the likelihood of additional reductions in FY 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) conducted deliberate reviews of all programs against mission- and user-based criteria, aimed at finding cost savings and forward-thinking business efficiencies so that key timely, accurate and useful data remains available in service to agriculture. 

As a result, the agency is discontinuing or reducing a wide range of agricultural survey programs. The decision to eliminate or reduce these reports was not made lightly, but it was nevertheless necessary, given the funding situation. Because of the timing of the agency's survey work during the coming year, these decisions are necessary now. 
"NASS decided to eliminate the only annual report they provide for the sheep and goat industry," commented Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association. "Our requests this fall to continue the report were not met, and we have not been able to identify an alternative vehicle to conduct a national inventory count. 

"The department's timing could not have come at a worse time. Because of the drought in Texas, projections indicate that half of the sheep and goats in the nation's largest sheep-goat-producing state have been sold into possibly more than a dozen states around the country. A January 2012 report would have helped analysts document one of the largest shifts in sheep and goat numbers of the past 20 years and allowed companies to make decisions on product marketing and lamb and wool procurement," continued Orwick. 

The reports being affected include: 

January Sheep and Goat Report - Eliminate 
Annual Reports on Farm Numbers, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations - Eliminate 
Catfish and Trout Reports - Eliminate 
Annual Floriculture Report - Eliminate 
Chemical Use Reports - Reduce frequency of commodity coverage 
July Cattle Report - Eliminate 
Distiller Co-Products for Feed Survey - Cancel 
Annual Bee and Honey Report - Eliminate 
Annual Hops Production Report - Eliminate 
Monthly Potato Stocks Report - Reduce from monthly to quarterly 
Annual Mink Report - Eliminate 
Fruit and Vegetable in-season forecast and estimates- Reduce from monthly and quarterly to annual report 
Nursery Report - Eliminate 
Rice Stocks June and September reports - Eliminate but continue January, March and August reports
Recognizing the importance of NASS's data products and services to U.S. agriculture, NASS will make available similar data either less frequently or within the every 5-year Census of Agriculture. The next census will be conducted beginning January 2013 to reflect activities in the 2012 calendar year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goat conference & Kiko sale this weekend in Indiana

     The 3rd Annual Corn Country Commercial Goat Conference will be held Oct. 28-29 at the fairgrounds in Corydon, Ind. The conference is free and offers seminars and educational opportunities for anyone interested in learning more about the goat industry.  This year the conference is designed to provide both new and experienced goat producers the tools needed to raise more and healthier meat goats and how to make more money doing it.
     Topics will range from parasite management to forages to general health maintenance to a demonstration of goat meat cookery.
     The conference is sponsored by Purdue University Extension and the National Kiko Registry. Following the final seminar on Saturday,  a free goat meat meal will be served.
     For more information on the conference contact Dave Sparks, DVM, at 918-686-7800 or  or
After the conference on Saturday afternoon a group of goat breeders from across the country will be holding a Kiko production sale. Appropriately named the Cream of the Crop Production sale, it will offer approximately 100 head of Kiko breeding stock, all registered with the National Kiko Registry.
     This will be a "no reserve auction" and the goats will go home with the high bidders. For more information on the sale or to request a catalog visit or call 918-484-2364. 
     If you are not familiar with the area, Corydon, Indiana is located across the River from Louisville, Ky., and between Evanston and Cincinnati. Located in beautiful and historic Harrison County, attractions include wooded scenery, natural caverns, a music jamboree, a civil war battlefield, picturesque fairgrounds, and some of the most productive agriculture in the world. To help get the most out of your trip you can visit the county website at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Northumberland's goats brought into modern world

Electronic collars fitted to goats that have survived on border with Scotland for at least 5000 years to find out more about them

Newcastle University to track a herd of wild goats
Northumberland's wild goats prepare for 'tagging' at Yeavering Farm. Photograph: Mike Urwin/Newcastle University
One of the UK's oldest and most elusive herd of wild animals is to be tracked by satellite after surviving in little-known circumstances for at least 5000 years.
Electronic collars have been fitted to six goats from a dynasty that has roamed a remote area of the Cheviot hills on Northumberland's border with Scotland since escaping from farms in Neolithic times.
Self-sufficient and shy, the striking, horned animals have been left alone until recent times, when the spread of hill-farming and conservation areas has finally led to confrontations in their moorland fastness.
"They are beginning to come into conflict with the rest of the world," said Dr Richard Bevan, a biologist from Newcastle university, who has been following the goats and carrying out the tagging before the winter moves in. "We need to find out, at last, where they go and what they do, to sort out areas of potential trouble."
With snow forecast this week, stalking has intensified around Yeavering Bell in the fells above Wooler, an Iron Age hillfort whose name – middle English for "goat hill" – is evidence of the herd's antiquity. The outcrop is one of their regular grazing sites, but details of their ranging into wilder areas further inland remain very hazy.
Sensors on the collars, linked to GPS monitoring, should show both the herd's movements and places where problems with farmers or conservationists might arise. The immediate area contains several sites of special scientific interest which would be vulnerable to over-grazing, particularly if a bad winter drove the animals down from the highest ground as happened last year.
"A local farmer told me: so long as they stay right up in the hills, there's not a problem," said Bevan, who is carrying out the project with a colleague, Dr Pete Garson, and zoology students Aimee Palmer and Scott Barnes. "The goats have no legal protection, so if landowners decide that they don't want them, then they are within their rights to remove them. This poses a real threat to this small, genetically unique population. At the moment, the goats are barely tolerated."
The animals are classified as "British primitive goats" and form the most northerly of a small number of similar groups in England and Wales. These include herds in Snowdonia and the Black Mountains and on Lundy island, as well as smaller groups in Somerset and on the Isle of Wight. Scotland has a larger population, most of them seeking obscurity deep in the Highlands.
Bevan said: "The aim of our project is to understand exactly how far the goats roam and how they use the local landscape, as well as recording when, where and how long they spend eating so we can advise on any future management. The collars allow us to build up a very accurate picture of their behaviour and should give an idea how much they are to blame for damage to crops or trees and how we might stop that.
"Ultimately, the aim is to find a way for nature, man and goat to live together happily."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In case some goat folks raise show pigs, too

Comfort Pig Sale
October 22 Saturday 9:30 AM
Judging Friday at 5 PM

Comfort FFA Show Barn
Comfort High School (Hwy 87 North Toward Fredericksburg)

Consignors: James Marquart, Sister Creek Farms, Culver Show Pigs, Harvey Hubertus, L&J Stock Farm, 
Calvin Schroeder, Billy Gass, David Spenrath, RB2 Show Pigs, Schmidt Girls, Vogts 3 C Show Pigs, 
Michael Woerndel, Clarence Schmidt

Guest Consignors: Walser Farms, C-C Show Pigs, Hot Rod Genetics

Contact: Larry Langbein 830-324-6742, David Spenrath 830-995-3390

Gillespie County Swine Breeders Show Pig Sale
October 22 Saturday 1:30 PM
Viewing 11 AM

Gillespie County Show Barn Fredericksburg, TX

Consignors: Clark Behrends, Curtis Houy, Greg Baethge, K&C Farms, Kerby Knaupp, 
Kneese Show Pigs, Parker Family Show Stock, Sultemeier & Family, W. Rode & Sons

Contact: Kenneth Kensing: 830-997-3637, Wayne Rode: 830-456-6176, Russell Kneese: 830-456-3298

Heart of the Hills Show Pig Sale
October 22 Saturday 7 PM
Judging Friday at 7:30 PM 

Hill County Youth Exhibition Center Kerrville, TX 

Consignors: Sonny Schmidt, Donnie Pelzel, Billy Gass, Glenn Kaiser, Bobby Balser, Tommy Lambert, Mike Juenke

Guest Consignors: Weldon Walser, Tony Thomas, Mike Clay, Larry Langbein, 
Lance Allerkamp, Kyle Stephens, James Marquart, Donald Love, Cody Peugh

Contact: Bobby Balser: 830-896-2100, Donnie Pelzel: 830-634-2299

W. Rode & Sons
First Private Treaty Sale
October 23 Sunday
Viewing at 8:30 AM
Sale at 10 AM

Location: At the Farm 1510 Rode Road Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Offering: 100 Head Durocs, Crosses and Hamps

Barrows & Gilts for February & March Shows

Contact: Wayne Rode
Office: 830-997-9179
Cell: 830-456-6176
Home: 830-997-2540

Monday, October 17, 2011

Letter to City People

My name is Mary Pryde and my family owns Prydelands Ranch in Redding, CA where we raise Alpine and Boer goats. Following is an article I wrote after one too many irritants by my "city neighbors".  It is also on my blog at our website  As a board member for the Northern California Meat Goat Association, I know that other producers struggle with many of the same problems we have experienced when urban living begins to press into our rural living.

Dear City People, 

You know who you are.  You are the folks who "long for the country" as one magazine banner reads.  I'm not meaning to be unkind and far be if for me to crush any man's dreams. After all, we all need a little wiggle room to grow and become our true inner-selves.You dream every day of having a place of your own and that is okay.  The problem lies when you do have a place in the country that by deed you may own, but you haven't done a thing with besides plant a house in the middle.

 I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if the only thing you've ever broken ground for is landscaping and the only thing you've ever raised for production is a lap dog, you can have 800 acres deeded to you and you are still...a city person.  You are just in denial and wearing a country disguise.

 There are undeniably country souls trapped in cities all over the globe.  To them, my hat is off and I say, "welcome!".  It isn't your fault that your great granddaddy had to leave the farm after some big drought and the remainder of the generations got stuck on asphalt.  I can personally relate to that dilemma.  My little soap box rant is directed at those citified folks who move out to the country and then spend the rest of their time trying to make it exactly like the place they left - the city.

To those type of folks, I'd like to establish a few ground rules and come to some understandings.

#1 If you are going to move to the country, plan to actually use the land.  And don't be so surprised that I am actually using the land.  Using the land is what real country people do.  We are just funny that way.

#2  The country has smells.  I don't drive into the city and announce "Hey!  This asphalt-making really smells!   I think you all should rip up the asphalt and plant some pasture here in the city because tar-smell is offending my delicate sensibilities."  In good turn, please don't move to the country and say, "Hey!  It smells like (Insert here- cows, goats, pigs, fertilizer)!  I think you all should quit doing/raising whatever is making that smell because it is offending my delicate sensibilities."  I'll make you a deal.  If I don't like the smell of the city, I'll come back home to the country with my mouth shut.  And if you don't like the smells in the country, well, we gently invite you to do the same.

#3 Compost piles only stink the day they are turned. I laugh when I hear of the voters in San Francisco and Los Angeles pass a bill that says we should all compost because composting is GREEN! Then, when you turn the compost pile and it smells for a day, they have a hissy fit. Too bad sustainability affects their sensibilities. When a country person piles manure up for a year and turns it occasionally, it is not done as an affront to you. That pile will cook and break down and make the most amazing vegetables next spring. We'll be more than happy to share the bounty. But calm down and don't get your britches in a bunch on the day we turn the compost pile and it smells. As soon as the top layer dries out and forms a shell, it won't smell. Too bad being green is sometimes brown.

#4 Chickens are healthier when they free-range and they may just free-range on over to your house.  Now, I'm going to give it to you that you, as a city person, haven't had much chicken experience except eggs benedict or cordon blue.  Let me help you out a bit.  Chickens that free-range don't make manure in one place like chickens in a coop.  Manure in one place makes flies.  If you don't want to complain about the flies, than put up with a little chicken mud on your property from free-ranging birds.  Free-ranging birds also keep down the local bug population, scare off snakes on both our property and their eggs have 4X as much Omega-3s which are heart healthy.  Don't gripe about free-ranging chickens and I'll keep you in heart-healthy Omega rich eggs every day of the week.

#5  In the country, dogs bark.  For some reason this comes as a surprise to city people.  I'm pretty sure I have heard dogs bark in the city, so I'm not sure where your confusion comes from.  Most true country folks will be the first ones to give an obnoxiously barking dog the .22 treatment.  However, country dogs have a lot to worry about.  While you are sleeping, walking across your country property are deer, racoons, skunks, and more intimidating, bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions.  I got a nice little anonymous note in the mail once asking me to please keep my Livestock Guardian Dogs quiet at night.  It was addressed to "Dear Neighbor" and signed with a smiley face.  My first thought was we all must be in third grade when neighbors can't talk like adults, express some understanding on both ends and try to work it out.  I'm not big on anonymous smiley faces I guess.   We spent a week timing the dogs barking.  They only barked when the coyotes were running and yipping and they never barked for more than 10-15 minutes at a time.  One exception was the night the coyotes took down a yearling deer ON our fenceline and the dogs were working the fencelines like fiends keeping the coyote pack on the other side.
We took pictures of the kill, our bark records and the smiley face note to the county animal control and turned ourselves in.  Yep, we had dogs that barked at night and this was why.  The animal control officer came out and looked over the lay of our land and left shaking her head at the idiocy of "city people".  The Federal Trapper came out and took a look at the lay of our land and told us said neighbor ought to be thanking us.  About the time they wrote their smiley face note, he had killed a young male mountain lion not 100 feet from our back fence.  It had been hunting the backside of all our properties.  He said our dogs are what probably held the lion across the creek and kept it from coming over and eating all the house dogs and cats in the area.  Much less the little kids.
Hm.  If you live in the country, dogs are going to bark at night.  You might just send them a gift-wrapped bone for Christmas.

 #6  You know how kids whine when they are hungry?  Well, when we go out to feed the livestock twice a day, they are just like little kids and they are going to whine until their supper is put before them.  Once the hay is in the feeders they will shut up.  Just a suggestion, and this will work where the barking dogs are concerned too, turn on a fan in your bedroom at night and the "white noise" will cover up the farm noise.

#7 Yes, my kids will throw footballs on the front lawn, shriek during a game of tag, haul hay all night long in noisy trucks and have to leave for the fairgrounds at 4:30 am.  However, they will also never vandalize your home or property, speak disrespectfully to you, drink alcohol in our home, have scary friends over or end up in the prison system using up your tax money.  We do our best to keep them too busy to get in much trouble.  They may buck a bit like all colts do, but they will end up some of the soundest saddle horses ever.

So my dear city people, you may see us as noisy, messy, stinking neighbors.  We see ourselves as hardworking, god-fearing, good hearted folks trying to live up to our inner-selves out in the country.  If you want to join in, well then, "welcome!".  If you don't like us, well then, we gently invite you to leave.

Mary Pryde
Prydelands Ranch
Redding, CA