We're preparing to process our first goat for meat. Despite our efforts not to name our goat kids, they all have names. A family from Midland bought Brown Foot about a month ago. By now, hopefully he has gotten to know their milking goats and is expecting some kids of his own in 4 1/2 or so months. Dixie's first kid, which Allie has named Lars, is now in training to walk on a lead and, hopefully, be a nice buck (is there such a thing?). We'll keep him for future breeding purposes and to someday show. White Ear is headed for the processor within the next week or so. I bought some goat meat from Monaghan's (Kerry Town meat market) a couple of weeks ago. I bought a partial slab of ribs and a shoulder roast. I didn't par boil the ribs - just barbecued them. They were a bit tough for us. But the shoulder roast was excellent - tender and not gamey as we were a bit afraid of. We slow roasted the roast in the convection oven. So, now that the taste test is over, we will process White Ear and fill up the remaining space in our freezer. I know some people ask how we can eat the animals that we raise. My response is that I have a hard time eating animals that are raised by someone that I don't know or can't visit. Here we know what they're eating, what they're breathing, what they've taken if they are sick, if they were ever sick, etc. We know what we're eating. We appreciate that the animals help complete the growing circle here on our farm.
The following is an excerpt from article by Jean-Marie Lughinbuhl, “Meat Goat Production in North Carolina”, 1997, Last modified February 28, 2000. It was published through the North Carolina State Cooperative Extension.
Comparison of Goat Meat to Other Meats (3 oz roasted)
Animal Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Protein grams
Goat 122 2.58 .79 23
Beef 245 16.00 6.80 23
Pork 310 24.00 8.70 21
Lamb 235 16.00 7.30 22
Chicken 12 0 3.50 1.10 21
In addition to the health benefits of goat meat, goats require less land to raise than beef as they are excellent foragers. If they had their way, they'd eat up to 60% of their diet in scrub brush. Depending upon the quality of the pasture, 10 - 14 goats can be maintained per acre and goats are processed between 6 and 12 months of age. It takes about 2 acres of pasture per grass-fed cow and up to 2 years, depending on the breed and whether the feed is supplemented with corn.