Raising meat goats can be a profitable farming venture. If you want to start raising meat goats, you should be aware that meat goats, while considered easier to care for than some meat animals, still require some skill to raise. Good breeding stock is generally considered important to raising good meat goats. Meat goats typically need good nutrition. They generally benefit from protection from predators and parasites.
If you want to start raising meat goats, you may first want to consider whether there is a market for your meat goats. Ethnic populations, including some Muslims, people from the Caribbean and Hispanics, are considered most likely to be in the market for goat meat. The costs of land and goat feed can substantially diminish your profits, depending on where you're beginning your meat goat raising enterprise. Many farmers recommend raising meat goats on uncultivated land used by larger farming operations, such as cattle farms, rather than investing in land specifically for the purpose of raising meat goats.
One of the factors you may want to consider if you would like to start farming meat goats is fencing. Fencing can help protect your goats and your investment. Traditional cattle fences are often inadequate to hold in goats. Cattle panels generally make a more efficient meat goat fence.
An electric fence with a minimum charge of 4,000 volts is generally considered effective against meat goats. Barbed wire goat fences should contain at least eight strands of evenly spaced horizontal wire. Smaller goats and kids can often slip through the gaps in many non-electrified fences.
Meat goats need shelter from rain, snow, and cold weather. A south-facing, open shed can provide shelter. The shed should be about 4 feet (1.2 meters) to 6 feet (1.8 meters) high at the rear eave and 6 feet (1.8 meters) to 8 feet (2.4 meters) high at the front eave. Each goat should be able to have 5 square feet (1.5 square meters) to itself.
To ensure the success of your meat goat enterprise, you may want to choose the healthiest possible goats for your breeding stock. Meat goats should generally be purchased from reputable goat breeders. Choose younger goats with shiny coats and sturdy horns, teeth, and udders. Goat breeders can typically tell you how many kids their goats produce and how many of those kids survive to adulthood.