Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Market good for goats, small sheep

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Much like the cattle markets, sheep and goat markets have been doing well, with producers being able to get record high prices for their stock in most situations. But, there are some areas where the market isn't doing quite as well ,due to higher food prices and other factors.
The market for smaller sheep and goats seems to be doing well, while the demand for larger animals has decreased. -- File photo
"All markets are high -- goat market is high, sheep market is high, cattle market is high -- I am sure it is all somewhat related," said Dr. Frank Craddock, Extension sheep and goat specialist. "There are some ups and downs in the market. One of the problems right now in the sheep market is we got a lot of feedlots full of fat lambs and they are not selling. But, as far as the ethnic market to the different ethnic groups, the lighter weight lambs and goats, they are selling for a premium."
According to the USDA-NASS, "U.S. all goat inventory on Jan.1, 2012, totaled 2.86 million head, 4 percent lower than last year. Breeding goat inventory totaled 2.38 million head, and market goats were at 487,000 head.
"The 2011 kid crop was 1.88 million head for all goats, down 2 percent from 2010. Meat goats (and goats other than milk and angora) totaled 2.36 million head, down 4 percent from 2011."
"In Texas, it depends on what market you read, or who you talk to, but I think we have lost over half of our sheep and goats, as far as breeding animals," Craddock said. "So, we are way, way down. We went through a drought and we didn't have a real good lamb or kid crop from that, and what we did save, they didn't breed up very well, so it hasn't been a real good year."
According to the USDA report, in Texas alone, Angora goats have dropped from 100,000 head in 2010 to 85,000 head in 2012, and meat goats have declined from 990,000 head in 2010, to 850,000 in 2012. The breeding animals seem to have declined the most. Since 2011, replacement sheep numbers went from 125,000 to 75,000. This leaves Texas down approximately 24 percent in its overall sheep population since 2011.
"We have lost over half of our sheep and goats -- they sold off all their breeding females," Craddock explained. "That is just plain fact because people couldn't feed them. So, sheep are down, goats are down, cattle are down -- that is the main thing right there."
With dwindled numbers, those that are in the market to buy are being forced to pay a premium price. Buyers have been paying higher prices for sheep and goats for more than a year now, according to Craddock.
"They went up to $2.50 a pound, before that, they were about $1.50 a pound," he said. "We are up considerably. They have been that way for the last year, we have seen prices way more than what we have ever seen before looking in the last 12 to 15 months. I think prices are going to hold. They may not to the extent that we see them right now, they may drop a little, but they are going to be a lot higher than what we have ever witnessed I think."
Wool and mohair prices are also higher than usual, and producers are seeing good prices for fiber and meat -- all of which Craddock says will most likely hold for some time.
"Fat lambs" however are a different story. The regular commercial feedlot lambs are not up as much as hair sheep and the lighter goats. Craddock says this is because the ethnic buyers are the ones driving the market at the time, and they don't want these traditional heavy sheep from the feedlots.
"We don't see the fat lamb trade, so we got the feedlots full, and they are trying to empty out the feedlots," Craddock said. "So, prices for our commercial sheep are down right now, they are not real great until they can get that cleaned up and take more lambs in.
"These big sheep that are in the feedlot now, those are the ones that go into the hotels, restaurants and those kind of things," Craddock explained. "They are bigger animals, they have bigger cuts and that is what they want. But the ethnic groups, they don't want that, they want these smaller animals 80-90 pounds. That is where these hair sheep fit in so well, because they are not a big animal. They mature and reach puberty a lot sooner, so they go into the ethnic groups and that kind of stuff."
The "normal" sheep that are raised in Texas are in the 140- to 150-pound range when they are considered finished
"I think the secret on these goats and lambs right now is don't get them too heavy," Craddock advised. "We are probably talking about a 70-pound goat and about an 80- or 90-pound sheep, if you are not getting them over those weights, then they sell very, very well on the ethnic market and that is what is driving things."
So, when trying to get the best price for sheep and goats, it is actually better to put the feed scoop down a bit and keep stock at lighter weights to ensure a premium price.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Texas Vet Lab Inc. offers CL vaccine for goats

Dr. Dave Sparks will have a complete report on the CL vaccine in his column in the July Goat Rancher

The following announcement has been posted on the Texas Vet Lab Inc. website:

"Texas Vet Lab, Inc., is excited to announce the launch of a new vaccine,
Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis Bacterin. This first-to-market
conditionally licensed product provides veterinarians and producers an
important tool to help protect the Caprine/goat population from
Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis, a bacterial disease that is the cause of
Caseous Lymphadenitis (C.L.) in goats. Without a commercially available
vaccine as a practical management tool, goat producers have had few options
to prevent the spread of this disease.

"Texas Vet Lab will begin accepting orders May 14, 2012. This product is
launching with a conditional license that will be regulated by each state's
veterinary agency. Distribution in each state shall be limited to
authorized recipients designated by proper state officials-under such
additional conditions as these authorities may require."

Click here to see the status of the vaccine in your state.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Standing room only at Ozark Empire goat conference

Potential buyers began filling the stands an hour before the sale.
Goats from 25 consignors, numerous vendors and hundreds of visitors filled the barn at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds on May 18-19.

There was standing room only at the Ozark Empire Meat Goat Conference and Spotlight Kiko Sale held May 18-19 in Springfield, Mo. The event, sponsored by the National Kiko Registry, featured educational seminars all day Friday and on Saturday morning.  An auction of Kiko breeding stock followed the seminars on Saturday.

Conference organizers were busy shuffling seating arrangements on Friday morning when attendees kept pouring in. Tables were removed from the conference room and replaced with more chairs to accommodate the crowd of more than 200 participants.

The seminars were free and open to the public. These educational seminars, being hosted around the country by the National Kiko Registry, are for producers of all breeds of meat goats in an effort to promote the meat goat industry in general. 180 seminar participants received their FAMACHA certification, which qualifies them to use the FAMACHA eye color chart to determine the degree of anemia in their goats and determine whether deworming is needed. 

The crowd stayed around through Saturday to see the Kiko auction with 75 registered bidders participating. The sale was in two parts. The first part was the Elite Kiko Buck Sale. This sale was limited to 10 herdsire prospects. Each consignor paid a $200 consignment fee; the consignors then drew lots at a Friday night social to determine the sale order.

Consignors to the Elite Buck Sale drew lots on Friday night

to determine the sale order.
The high-selling buck was consigned by Mike and Lorie Renick of M.R. Goats in Worthington, W.V. MRG Smooth Criminal, a December 2011 buck, was purchased for $1,400 by the partnership of Dr. Kraig Stemme, DVM, and Jay Haggerty of Lake Fork Kikos in Alba, Texas.

The buck sale was followed by the Spotlight Auction of 106 Kiko and percentage Kiko does. This sale reflected the growing demand for Kiko breeding stock with some of the highest averages ever for percentage Kiko does.

The high-selling lot was a solid black doe with a solid black doe kid adorned with a pink bow in her hair. This pair, consigned by John Smith of Caprine Genetics in Petersburg, Va., brought $3,000.

The high-selling individual doe was consigned by Dick and Sally Rutherford of Bear Creek Kikos in Carlinville, Ill. SDR Lara Bear, a yearling 100% New Zealand doe with striking colors, was purchased for $1,700 by Ron McGill and family of Triple M Kikos Goats in Cicero, Ind.

In the Elite Buck Sale, the six purebred Kiko bucks sold for an average price of $775. The four New Zealand bucks sold for an average of $981.

In the doe sale, 23 half- and three-quarter Kikos averaged $575. No doe brought less that $500. Thirty-six 88%-99% does averaged $828 a head. Thirty-seven 100% New Zealand does averaged $1,111.

The Rutherfords (left) and the McGills with SDR Lara Bear.

Kraig Stemme (left) and Mike Renick with MRG Smooth Criminal.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Va. goat club offers seminar on goat milk

The Commonwealth Goat Club is offering a FREE presentation about goat milk, this Saturday, May 19, at the Orange County Extension Office, Orange, Va. Even if you raise meat goats, you still need a good milk supply to raise healthy kids.
There will be a business meeting at 11 a.m. and a potluck lunch at noon. The educational program will be 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Dr. Joe Garvin and Sue Garvin will cover all topics related to goat milk and health. From CAE to zoonotic disease, colostrum, udder health, milk testing and disease transmission via milk.

The Commonwealth Goat Club (CGC) is the creation of several dairy goat enthusiasts. The name is drawn from the group’s goal to establish a club that appeals to the common wealth of enthusiasm, interest and knowledge that can be gained from the collective experience (and inexperience) of goat owners. The benefits of membership are quarterly newsletters (The Common Ground), quarterly meetings on various topics and yahoo! group for e-communication. For membership information, visit

The Orange County Extension office is located at 146 Madison Road, Suite 102, in Orange, Va. The office is located on the First Floor of the Sedwick Building across from the McDonalds. Enter the front door of the building and turn right. Parking is located in the front and side of the building.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tennessee Browsing Academy May 17-19

The fourth Tennessee Browsing Academy will be held May 17-19 at the University of Tennessee Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center in Spring Hill, Tenn. This is a detailed, educational, hands-on three-day seminar sponsored by Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. 

Registration is $135 for the three days and includes lunches, breaks, handouts and the manual. Checks can be written to: TSU/CEP, (attn:  Linda Buchanan), 3500 J.A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9635, Nashville TN 37209-1561.  For more information, contact An Peischel, Tennessee State University, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, at 615-963-5539 (central time) or e-mail

Monday, May 7, 2012

Goats tackle kudzu

(Photo by Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette) Thirty kudzu eating goats were released into a fenced in area River Park in Belmont Tuesday afternoon, May 1, 2012. The idea is that the hungry goats will chew their way through all the kudzu that has overtaken the area where the park is to be built.

By Amanda Memrick
The Gaston Gazette

Living weed eaters arrived in Belmont, N.C., Tuesday to eradicate kudzu one bite at a time.
Goats will be clearing kudzu at River Park along East Catawba Street this spring and gain in the fall at a cost of $12,038.
The kudzu controllers come from Wells Farm in Horse Shoe, which has been offering goats for kudzu control since 2007.
Thirty goats were brought to a 1.6 acre plot, said Ron Searcy, co-owner of Wells Farm.
It’ll take the herd three or four weeks to thin out the kudzu there before they move across the street to the city land bordering the Catawba River, Searcy said.

RFD-TV launches Stockshow Confidential

Stockshow Confidential is an informative and entertaining look at the stockshow circuit.

Airs on RFD-TV Tuesdays @ 6:30 pm CST & Wednesdays @ 8:30 am CST.
Stockshow Confidential is an informative and entertaining look into the stockshow circuit. Each week Stockshow Confidential will take a look at all aspects of showing livestock; from finding the right animal to showing it at one of the many stockshows across the nation. We will touch on topics such as purchasing, feeding, grooming and of course showmanship. Along the way viewers will meet some of the top breeders and judges in the country who will share a wealth of information, making you better in the show ring. Each episode will also have a special "Tips from the Vet" feature that will provide a firsthand look at diseases, treatment and prevention.

Friday, May 4, 2012

All-natural weed-whackers in the Boise Foothills

About 350 goats owned by Tim and Lynda Linquist have been dispatched to the Warm Springs Mesa to eat invasive weeds this week. The project is a joint program between the Warm Springs Mesa Neighborhood Association, City of Boise and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The program is being funded by Southwest Idaho Research, Conservation and Development program. May 3, 2012 CHRIS BUTLER

Idaho Statesman Staff
More than 300 goats are grazing the Boise Foothills on the eastern edge of Warm Spring Mesa this week to chomp down on cheatgrass, medusahead, rye grass, Russian olive trees and other plants. They graze 24 hours a day.
“Our rule of thumb is, 100 goats eat an acre a day,” said Tim Linquist of Wilder, owner of We Rent Goats.
He and his wife, Lynda, are busy this spring because it’s prime time for fire-fuel control, with peak grass growth just prior to seeding.
More than 99 percent of the seeds will not germinate once they’ve passed through the goats’ digestive system.
The Lindquists have 140 does and 200 kids on the job.
The family is camping near Warm Spring Mesa to herd and care for the goats. They have the help of a herd dog.
The goats are kept in a large electrified enclosure as they move up the draws around the Mesa.
The Linquists also are working in other neighborhoods near Table Rock and Boise’s North End.
After 10 wildfires in 2011 on undeveloped land surrounding the 440-home subdivision, the Warm Springs Mesa Neighborhood Association teamed up with the city of Boise to reduce wildland fuels.
Through a grant from the Southwest Idaho Resource, Conservation and Development program, the neighborhood had herbicide applied to 78 acres in vulnerable areas outside the subdivision.
Spray wasn’t used in a 100-foot buffer zone between the sprayed area and houses. The goats are grazing on 24 acres in that zone.

Read more here:

Growing local in Chattanooga with goats & more

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - by Jen Jeffrey


Moving to Flat Rock, Ala., from Southern California, Sherry Johnson loves farm life. Though she was surrounded by the suburbs, she always tried to live away from that so she could have her land and her horses. Having a love for horses and the farm, Sherry has fond memories and wanted her children to have that same connection to land that she had.
On 58 acres Sherry lives with her husband Larry, a retired electrician. When he and Sherry first attended the Chattanooga Market, he developed an interest in iron work.
“He would always watch the blacksmiths that were there demonstrating and wanted to learn about blacksmithing. He soon tried it out himself, loved it and has been doing it for about four years. He makes forks, steak flippers, all kinds of hooks and will sell them at the Chattanooga Market. We have yarn, ironwork, eggs, produce and meat … we are probably the most diverse booth at the Market,” Sherry insists.
Larry helps Sherry with jobs that may require the tractor or to get bales of hay, but pretty much, the farm business and the passion for it is hers.
Sherry brings Chard, Kale Arugula, lettuce and snow peas to the market as well as several types of peppers (hot and sweet). “We also bring some tomatoes but so many people grow those, we try to have different things to offer. We sell garlic every year - and not a lot of people do that at the Chattanooga Market,” Sherry says.
The main focus for Sheerlark is in their livestock, meat goats and dairy goats, though the dairy goats are for their personal enjoyment. She also raises sheep and lamb. Sherry sells lamb and wool products from the sheep.
“I don’t spin my yarn; I have it processed at a small wool mill called Stonehenge in Michigan. I ship it to them, they ship it back and I sell yarn either natural or… I do dye some. I dye with natural dyes, usually just single colors,” Sherry proclaims.
“We raise laying hens for eggs, and we also raise Chevon. Back in the 40s there was a competition held in Texas to come up for a name for ‘goat meat’. The winner came up with Chevon because ‘Chev’ in French was the word for goat and Mutton or ‘Mouton’ for Sheep. He came up with ‘Chevon’. I liked that name and thought it had a nice history to it, so I use that..
“Selling our meat to the Chattanooga Market, customers are mostly those that are interested in exploring different types of meats, or maybe for the health benefits - because it has the lowest fat and is the leanest red meat that there is,” Sherry says. 
There are several ways to use goat meat if someone is not familiar with goat.
Sherry explains, “I tell people the same thing about the goat or the lamb… it is a young tender meat that is grass fed and it’s lean… so you don’t want to overcook it. If you are cooking something like chops, you want to use high heat and sear or broil it but keep the inside pink, because you don’t want it to turn into shoe leather. Another cut from the shoulder or something - you can braise it or cook it in the oven like pot roast. You can use it just like you use beef,” she states.
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