Monday, December 17, 2012

Goats Provide Healthy, Economical Weed Control

Monday, December 17, 2012 :: Staff infoZine
Goats are natural brush control agents.
Kirksville, MO - infoZine - Charlotte Clifford-Rathert, assistant professor and state extension small ruminant specialist with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and Research, spoke at the recent University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Livestock Symposium Committee organize the annual event.

Landowners are seeing the value of small ruminants for many reasons. According to the 2007 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service census, the number of goats in the U.S. increased by 24 percent from 2002 to 2007, making this the fastest-growing segment of the livestock industry.

Clifford-Rathert, a graduate of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, is conducting a three-year study on the value of goats in controlling noxious weeds and invasive exotic plant species while improving wildlife habitat. She uses four breeds at four sites: an organic farm at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, the USDA's Elsberry Plant Materials Center in Lincoln County, and Crowder College in southwestern Missouri. She also plans to examine the effect goats have on weed control in orchards, vineyards, around chicken houses and in lagoon lots.

photo: goats
Photo courtesy of USDA
Goats reduce the need for mowing while providing an environmentally friendly alternative to herbicides. They save on fuel costs and can control weeds in poor terrains that cannot be reached by machines. As a general rule, goats prefer browsing on brush rather than grass, making them complementary to cow herds that prefer grass.

By using rotational grazing, goat owners can manage grazing heights and reduce parasite levels, she said.

How many goats should you stock? Rates vary by pasture quality, rainfall, time of the year, soil fertility and other considerations, including predators.

For predator control, Clifford-Rathert and other goat owners are finding donkeys and llamas to be alternatives to dogs. She said donkeys should be less than a year old when chosen to guard goat herds and males should be castrated.

Goats are known for their climbing ability and curiosity, making them a fencing challenge. Portable fencing is needed to allow rotational grazing. Fence types include electric netting and poly-wire electric fences.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Buy a calendar, feed a family

Once again Greg Christiansen, a farmer and goat rancher from Parker, Kan., is making his goat calendars available and all profits will go to send goats to children and families in need around the world through World Vision. Those that receive goats will also be provided feed, vaccinations and be instructed on how to care for the animals. 

Read what a young girl had to say about the goats she received last year. Teopista, an AIDS orphan and World Vision-sponsored child in Uganda, is proud of her first gift ever — two donated goats that will help provide her with a brighter future. "I was very happy when I got the goats," says the 10-year-old. "They will be of use to us. We will get money from them. I thank World Vision for thinking about me, too."

Her aunt Restetuta feels the same way. "When the goats give birth again, we will sell off some of the younger [goats]," says Restetuta. "We will use the money to buy Teopista a school uniform, books and beddings. We can also buy food with some of the money. I thank World Vision so much for all the help they have given us ... we know that those goats will be of benefit to us in the future."
The calendars cost $15 and can be purchased at or contact Greg at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Southern Mo. Sheep & Goat Conference Oct. 20

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- University of Missouri and Lincoln University are teaming up to host the Southern Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Polk County Fairgrounds, 4560 S. 100th Road, Bolivar, Mo.

MU Extension offices in southern Missouri continue to receive calls for information about sheep and goat production according to Wesley Tucker, an agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Polk County.

“There is simply more profit potential in sheep and goats than most other enterprises that can use our local resources. Of course you have to be willing to put in more labor as well as an investment in facilities and fences,” said Tucker.

This conference will provide producers with practical management tips they can use to focus on improving the profitability of their own sheep and goat operations.

The following topics will be presented at the conference: economics of sheep and goat production, producing quality hay, limited versus intensive management of sheep and goats, a panel discussion on how to cope with the drought, alternative feeding strategies for this winter, and live demonstrations of electric fencing, a fecal egg count workshop, and selection and showing for youth.

Topics will be presented by personnel from MU Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.  “This conference is for beginners as well as experienced producers,” said Tucker.

Registration for the conference is $5 which includes lunch.  To arrange for the food, preregistration is needed by Oct. 15.

For more information about the conference or to register, stop by or call the Polk County Extension Center at (417) 326-4916 or by e-mail at


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kikos sell well in Cream of the Crop Sale

The high-selling goat in the sale was this 2007 New Zealand Kiko doe. 
From left, Christian McGill, Ron McGill, Jenny Zink and John Zink.

Buyers continued to pay top-dollar for high quality Kiko breeding stock at the Cream of the Crop Production Sale held Oct. 6 in Corydon, Ind. The sale, hosted by Goat Hill Kikos of Porum, Okla., and Egypt Creek Ranch of Sarah, Miss., included 12 guest consignors.

Fifty-four registered buyers paid a total of $108,075 for 118 animals. Average prices included:
     • 7 purebred and New Zealand bucks averaged $975.
     • 14 percentage does averaged $461.
     • 47 purebred does averaged $787.
     • 50 New Zealand does averaged $1157.

The high-selling goat in the sale was a daughter of Blue's Son consigned by John and Jenny Zink of Norman, Okla. She was purchased for $2,900 by Ron McGill of Triple M Kikos in Cicero, Ind.

The high-selling buck was a son of Iron Horse consigned by Linda Sparks and purchased for $1,425 by Stephen Walker of South Point, Ohio.

The high-dollar buyer was Brent Ballinger of Mill Creek Ranch in Bardstown, Ky. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nebraska sheep & goat conference Nov. 2-3

Mark your calendars for Nov. 2-3 for the 2012 Nebraska Sheep and Goat Conference sponsored by the Nebraska Sheep and Goat Producers Association and the Nebraska Dairy Goat Association! 

Meet at the Heritage Inn in Wahoo, Neb., on Friday, Nov. 2, for an afternoon of tours at a meat goat operation converted from a dairy farm, and then to an on-farm museum of antique tractors, tools, and other farm equipment. Later, enjoy supper as a group back at the Heritage Inn.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the conference begins with registration at 8 a.m., followed by the Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Sheep and Goat Producers Association and the Nebraska “Make It With Wool” Style Show before the lineup of speakers begins at 10:15 a.m.:

·         Michelle Wendell of Brewster will talk about controlled grazing with goats.

·         Mike Caskey will come from Pipestone, Minn., where he leads a producer education program that reaches around the world, to give a sheep and goat industry overview as well as do a health and nutrition presentation.

·         John Holman, an internationally renowned stock dog trainer, will give a demonstration of his herding dogs in action.

·         Randy Saner with the UNL Extension in North Platte will provide training in monitoring herds for internal parasites.

·         A representative of the Nebraska Cattlemen will speak about the new “We Support Ag” initiative to protect producers from extreme animal rights activism.

Other highlights include a .22 mag Henry rifle auction, silent auction, potluck lunch, cooking contest, and networking opportunities.

Cost is $25 per member or $35 per member family, and dues can be paid at the door; or $35 per person or $45 per family, while 4-H and FFA members can attend for $10 per person if attending alone.

No pre-registration needed. For more information, call Deb Dauel at 402-642-5887.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goat conference, Kiko sale in Ind. this weekend

The meat goat industry continues to grow each year but many producers still have difficulty making a profit with their goat operations. The fourth annual Corn Country Commercial Meat Goat Conference will tackle that problem this year with a focus on issues that can turn farmers’ red ink into black.

The conference, sponsored by the National Kiko Registry and the Purdue University Harrison County Extension Service, returns to the fairgrounds in Corydon, Ind., October 5-6 and features some of the top small ruminant professionals in the country, as well as a panel discussion with a group of experienced goat breeders.   

This year the whole conference will be devoted to helping producers make their goat operations, large or small, more profitable. The conference is open to all who are interested in meat goats and there is no registration fee. 

No matter if you are new to meat goats, an old hand, or a meat goat wannabe, this team of educators has the experience and the knowledge to help you take your meat goat production to the next level. At the conclusion of the conference,  all those present will be treated to a free goat meat lunch. 

If you are not familiar with the area, Corydon, Ind., is located across the river from Louisville Ky.  Located in beautiful and historic Harrison County, attractions include wooded scenery, natural caverns, a civil war battlefield and a picturesque fairgrounds. To help get the most out of your trip, visit the county website at  

For more information on the conference contact Dave Sparks, DVM, at 918-686-7800 or or visit

After the conference on Saturday afternoon, a group of 14 Kiko goat breeders from across the country will be holding the Cream of the Crop Production sale, offering approximately 125 head of New Zealand, purebred and percentage Kikos.
2012 Corn Country Commercial Goat Conference
October 5 & 6
Making Money With Meat Goats
8:00 – 9:00      Registration
9:00 – 11:30    Maximize Production and Minimize Expenses with Parasite Management. Includes FAMACHA certification with live goats – Kraig Stemme DVM
11:30 – 12:00  Goat Meat Recipe Cook-off and Tasting
12:00 – 1:00    Break and Visit Sale Consignments
1: 00 – 1:45     Better Profits with Healthy Goats – Fred Brown DVM
1:45 – 2:30      Reproductive Efficiency and the Bottom Line – Dave Sparks DVM
2:30 – 3:00      Break
3:00 – 3:30      Take Advantage of Grants and Low Interest Loans - Ronald McGill
3:30 – 4:00      Myth Busting on Marketing - Kent  Perkins
4:00 – 5:00      Panel of Experienced Producers Answers Questions on Profitable Production
6:00 - ???         “Come and Go” Informal Social at the Hampton Inn (refreshments provided)
8:00 – 9:00      Registration
9:00 – 10:00    Make Advertising Pay – Terry Hankins
10:00 – 11:30  Breeding Stock Selection – Dave Sparks DVM. The tools to make success happen. (Includes free record keeping software.)
11:30 – 12:30  Goat Meat Lunch - Courtesy of National Kiko Registry
1:00         5th Annual Cream of the Crop Kiko Sale

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Savanna field day Saturday in Harper, Texas

A Savanna Goat Field Day and Auction will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, at Elgin Pape's 3 D Ranch in Harper, Texas. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and pastries. A $10 lunch fee will be charged.

The day will feature educational seminars, carcass comparisons of Spanish and Savanna/Spanish slaughter kids and an update on the Savanna industry. The auction will begin at 3:50 p.m.

Guest speakers will include:
     • Dr. Frank Pinkerton, Extension Specialist, retired.
     • Dr. Ken McMillin, Meat Scientist, LSU.
     • Dr. Kurt Braden, Meat Scientist, ASU.
     • Dr. Greg Engdahl, Chairman, An. Sci., ASU.
     • Brian Payne, North American Savannah Association.
Consignments and consignors include:
     1) Savannah crossbred bucks, (20) various ages, Elgin Pape.
     2) Savannah crossbred nannies, (20) various ages, Brian Payne.                     
     3) 1/4 Sav x 3/4 Span nanny kids (15-20), Scotty Ligon.
     4) F-1 Sav/Span nanny kids (15), Charlie Wilson.
     5) F-1 Sav/Span buck kids (15, performance-tested), Grady Fort.      
     6) Span buck kids (15-20) Douglas Pape.
     7) Spanish nanny kids (25-30), Denise Pape.
Pre-registrations are very welcome, but not required; call 830-864-4517 or e-mail The Pape ranch is located on SH 783 south 3 miles.

Appalachian group holds successful sale

Brent Ballinger with (from left) Lynda Carter, Theresa Carter and Ellen Kelty.

A good crowd turned out on Saturday, Sept. 22, for the third annual Appalachian Kikos Invitational Sale. This annual sale upped its game this year with more consignors and a bigger advertising budget. The result was better goats and a bigger crowd.

Fourteen consignors brought more than 80 Kikos to the sale, held at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, Tenn. Buyers were looking for good quality does but showed little interest in the small consignment of bucks offered. Seven herdsire prospects were offered and averaged just over $200 each.

Twenty head of New Zealand Kiko does averaged $596 a head, with no goat selling below $400. Forty-one purebred Kiko does averaged $445 a head, ranging in price from $200 to $825 for the high-selling doe in the sale. These are not official numbers.

The high-seller was a March 2012 High Meadows Kikos consignment. She was purchased by Brent Ballinger and Ellen Kelty of Mill Creek Ranch in Bardstown, Ky.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

KikoFest this weekend in Metropolis, Ill.

The International Kiko Goat Association 9th Annual KikoFest

Friday and Saturday,  September 14 - 15
Centrally located at the Massac County Community Center, Metropolis, Illinois.

KikoFest Goat University — Friday, Sept. 14
Successful Pasture and Forage Management
Latest Meat Goat Research Information and Review

Kiko Goat Auction — Saturday, Sept. 15

For more info please click here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuskegee AI workshop scheduled Oct. 13

Artificial insemination (AI) is gaining popularity among goat producers. Goat producers can take advantage of AI to accelerate genetic gain, to eliminate herd maintenance costs and to preserve valuable genetics.

Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program and The Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University are providing a hands-on workshop entitled "Reproductive Management and Artificial Insemination (AI) in Goats" at the Tuskegee University Caprine Research and Education Unit on Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The workshop seating is limited to 20 participants.  Registration is $25 and includes lunch and all training materials. The deadline to register is Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

This training will allow goat producers to receive instruction on the reproduction of goats, including anatomy, physiology and reproductive management of does as well as the advantages and limitations of using AI. The workshop will also provide hands on training in AI techniques. Participants will learn how to use the controlled internal drug-releasing device (CIDR) that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to implant progesterone in goats for the purpose of synchronizing estrus.

For more information or to register, contact the AI Workshop Program Assistant, Ms. Hooks, at (334-727-8453 or  This event is supported by a grant by Southern SARE.

Sign up now for Meat Goat Boot Camp

This year’s Oklahoma Meat Goat Boot Camp, conducted by OSU extension educators, will be held at the Agri-Plex in Ada, Okla., on Oct. 15-17.  The three-day event offers 30 plus hours of hands on and small group goat production education. The unique format of this camp allows students to watch and then perform procedures, work in table groups to solve various management exercises, take a pasture walk with forage experts, and participate in producer panel discussions. A $100 class fee covers educational materials and some of the meals.  Class size is limited to the first 50 students to pay the fee and these 50 students will be working with approximately 15 educators. 

Topics covered in the three days include the following:
•Economics:  Budgeting - Record Keeping – Marketing.
• Fencing: Hands-on experience with various tools & components.
• Management:  Ration balancing - Hay evaluation - Goat selection –Breeding.
• Herdsmanship:  Tattooing - Ear Tagging - Feet Trimming - Dental Aging - Trailering - Castration - Goat Equipment - Predator Control.
• Forages:  Plant Identification - Stocking Rates - Multi-Species - Grazing – Fertilizing.
• Health:  Drugs & Vaccines - Injections - Parasites - Physical Exams - Pregnancy Testing - Birthing - Care of Newborns.

As you can see this is a very intense three day program.  Also of great value to most students is the list of new contacts they make of the instructors and their fellow students.

This year’s class is filling up fast. Make plans now to attend if you are ready to take your goat operation to the next level. For more information contact the OSU Extension Office in Ada, Okla., at 580-332-2153. You will also find more information on this and other goat related events at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Bar has top-sellers at Platinum Alliance Sale

The high-selling buck was BSA Cool Bullet, purchased
for $4,000 by David Wengerd of Dalton, Ohio.

The high-selling doe was BSA Hella Bella, purchased
for $4,500 by William Brassfield of San Angelo, Texas.

A Bar Boer Goats of Snyder, Texas, had the high-selling buck and doe at the 2012 Platinum Alliance Sale held August 18 in Sidney, Ohio. A total of 96 lots sold. Roger Hunker was the auctioneer and the sale was broadcast by DV Auction.

A Bar Boer Goats, Snyder, Texas
Blue Gainey Ranch, Joetta Boyd, Merkel, Texas
Nebraska Boer Goats, Scottsbluff, NE
Buckey-Illini Genetics, Washington CH, OH

Friday, August 10, 2012

N.J. town considers goats to eat poison ivy

Seaside Park takes creative look at invasive plant issue

Asbury Park Press

        9:22 AM, Aug 10, 2012   |  
Goats may come to Seaside Park to rid the town of its poison ivy. / Photo courtesy of Dawn Yurkiewicz

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. — A goat’s appetite might be the answer to the borough’s poison ivy problem.
State restrictions bar Seaside Park from using chemicals or burning the long-overlooked mess of poison ivy on its bayshore, so the Borough Council is considering a contract with a Maryland farm to remove the ivy with goats instead.
“We’re looking at alternatives, but seeing as we’re talking right next to the bay, we can’t use chemicals and we can’t burn, so really we don’t know what alternatives there are,” Councilman Michael Tierney said.
Historically, the borough would just burn the poison ivy, but that is no longer allowed in the state and they are wary of using chemicals on the Barnegat Bay’s shoreline, Tierney said.
Tierney calculated the potential maximum cost of using goats falls between $15,000 and $20,000 if the work lasts 21 days, the maximum length of the planned contract.
Part of the cost is to house two handlers who come from Maryland and keep watch over the herd of 15 to 18 goats while they eat. There also is a $350 per day cost for the goats, Tierney said.
Officials want to conduct a test run before setting a contract for the whole job to determine what the borough is responsible for, how it will work and whether it’s economically feasible, said Borough Administrator Bob Martucci.
Larry Ragonese, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency’s only concern is for rare plants along the bay that the goats might eat in addition to or instead of poison ivy. Martucci said the borough had the same concern and plans to address it.
Goats don’t eat everything, but like to dine on invasive plants such as poison ivy without being affected like humans, said Dawn Yurkiewicz, who runs the Whiteford, Md., business that could lease the goats to Seaside Park.
They are more efficient, more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than a landscaping company and make less noise, she said.
“Goats are kind of nature’s weed eaters,” Yurkiewicz said. “It’s what they like to eat.”
If a contract is set, the goats would travel 144 miles in a trailer to get to Seaside Park from Stratford Farm in Whiteford, Md., a small Harford County town seated just south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The goats would stay in the trailer at night and eat within a mesh electrified fence the handlers set up during the day, Yurkiewicz said.
After surveying Seaside Park’s problem, Yurkiewicz said she might take the entire herd up to three weeks to remove all the poison ivy. Each goat can eat 5 to 8 pounds of weeds per day, she said.
The target area covers several blocks south of I Street on the grassy sections between Bay View Avenue and the bay, Tierney said.
“I think it’s stopping people from going to the bay side,” he said of the ivy. “We want people to walk along the bay without worrying about the three leaves.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Labor Day Weekend sale schedule

Saturday, September 1

3rd Annual Labor Day Classic. 12:30 p.m. — Redlands Community College, El Reno, Okla.

At the San Angelo Fairgrounds

Saturday, September 1
1 p.m. N&K Reduction goat sale. Norman Kohls is reducing his herd to 15 does,
so if there was ever a time to buy...Here it is

5 p.m. Paul Payne and friends - Lary Duncan & Cooper Sweney

Sunday, September 2
11 a.m. No Step Ranch & Schafer Farm (DV Auction)

3 p.m. Farmer's Stock Exchange & Silvergate Farms

Monday, September 3
10 a.m. Bynum's Spot-tacular Dispersal sale (DV Auction)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goat workshop Aug. 4 in South Texas

WESLACO – Got a few acres in South Texas you’d like to work? Consider goats, said Barbara Storz, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist who has organized an upcoming goat workshop.
It will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 4 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, 2401 E. Highway 83 in Weslaco. The registration fee is $15.
“All over the country, but especially here in South Texas, land is being broken up into smaller tracts and people are interested in working those few acres for income or just to pay taxes and other expenses that come with owning land,” she said.
“One can invest in small vegetable production, or in small animal production like goats that don’t require the amount of land and expense that raising cattle does.”
Income from goats can come from meat and dairy production, or from the production of cosmetics, including soaps and lotions that can be sold at local markets, she said.
“Meat and milk production requires a considerable investment and regulations to follow,” she said. “But making hand-made, goat milk soaps and hand lotions for sale at a farmers market requires little investment and no rigorous state regulations. It’s an excellent opportunity to create marketable products and start a small business.”
South Texas is an excellent location to raise goats on small parcels of land, Storz said.
“You can easily raise several goats per acre,” she said. “And there are many native shrubs here that make for an excellent goat diet. Goats have been an important part of our Hispanic culture down here in South Texas for generations, so goat products are always in demand and they can be made with little investment. It just takes know-how.”
Speakers and topics include: Andy Calcote, a registered sanitarian with the Texas Department of State Health Services, state regulations for goat dairies; Scott Horner, a Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program specialist, at Prairie View A&M University, how to choose meat and dairy goats and keeping them healthy; Julie Hammond, owner of Hammond Farm and Dairy in Houston, developing a successful goat dairy; and Vidal Saenz, AgriLife Extension agent Hidalgo County and farm advisor, obtaining funds from a new loan program for small producers.
The goat workshop is one of three workshops to be presented in August for small-acreage producers. The others include a workshop on agricultural products marketing on Aug. 17 and another on hydroponics on Aug. 24. These will be held at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center, 312 N. International Blvd., Weslaco.
“We’re able to keep the registration fees for these workshops as low as possible, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency and the National Center for Appropriate Technology,” Storz said.
For more information, contact Storz at or 956-383-1026.