This goat game can be rather frustrating. The management required to raise good goats is staggering. The money to buy good goats is getting unreal. I don’t like working with common animals, which is why if a given doe doesn’t produce good ones, she will find her ass on a trailer to Perkins. If a person really wants to produce lots of good goats, they have to have lots of does and /or a flush program. With a flush program, you still have to have a lot of does, most of which will be recips. Numbers means more time in managing them properly. Flushing means more time.

We only have about 40 producing does at our place. This means that I only sell about 20-25 wethers per year that were born at our little piece of paradise. Add the fact that I kid about 10 does in Dec/Jan, then some in April, then a few in May and the rest in June/July. The earlier wethers normally go north, the rest of them get scattered around the county. Usually, the top end stays in OK. Take into consideration a couple of bucks and that doesn’t leave very many goats to try to put into premium sales. Of the wethers we sold last year, there were several in the Tulsa premium sale, one at OYE, several at Enid and Woodward. We had 8 that placed in the top 5 of their class at OYE. That is a very high percentage of high placing wethers. If we have 1 in the sale at OYE, then a breeder with 400 should have 10 to be on the same percentages. By the time a good one gets kidney stones, hangs himself or gets mis-managed, not having a lot of #s can be detrimental.

This brings up mutliple decisions. We either have to be happy with what we are doing or get bigger and raise more goats. Tammy and I both have good jobs which makes it hard for one of us to say “I’ll stay home and raise f-ing goats.” We both drive to work, which eats up several hours a day for each of us. Although our facilities are better than most and not as good as some, if we are going to have more does, we will have to have more barn space.

Another decision is how to sell the wethers. Everything has been online the past couple of years. But I like to make sure that animals end up in good feeders hands. The sale means more money, the private treaty sale insures good feeders, which is a must. Another decision is whether we should keep the best for Duke or sell them and show something else. I normally buy wethers from breeders that are using similar genetics to bucks that I am using. Which explains why I feed a lot of Helms wethers (Joe Dirt) and Gallaghers (Freak on a Leash). Even though the wethers weren’t from me, Duke is feeding very similar genetics.

Things to think about on a drizzly Thursday morning.

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