Key Considerations When Culling Goats

 

Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Felicity McCullough

Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats

 

Culling Goats

 

Goats are kept for a variety of reasons including for their milk, meat, fibre and as pets. When you are raising goats as a business, there will eventually come a time when you will need to cull goats. This means that these goats will be sold either to other people, or for slaughter. This usually does not apply to goat owners who own goats as pets, but rather producers of milk, meat and to a lesser extent fibre. There are several things to take into consideration when deciding when and which goats to cull.

The first thing that is essential for your business is record keeping. This is important for you to get the vital information necessary for your decision. Often, a producer will have a herd of goats and it is difficult to remember information for each individual goat off the top of your head and over the years. It is a lot easier to spot patterns when analysing data that is on paper, or on a computer screen in front of you. Technology also helps with computer programs that allow the input of data and the creation of graphs and charts.

Two things that you should consider when making the decision to cull are health problems and production rates:

1.    There are two types of health problems that would lead to a culling: recurring diseases and diseases that could spread quickly and decimate the herd. Vaccination and proper biosecurity can help a great deal with keeping these diseases out of the herd. Biosecurity includes properly handled quarantine of any and all animals that enter the property. Recurring diseases or health problems include, for example, abortions or weak kids for several years in a row. This can also signal an underlying disease that was previously undetected.

2.    Production rates vary as the goat ages, tending to drop. This is mostly dealing with milk production, because goats are sold relatively young when producing meat. When dealing with milk production, there is something called a lactation curve. After a goat kids, they will begin producing milk. This production will grow until it peaks and then falls off until the goat dries up before the next kidding. This is natural to all goats. As goats age though, the peak will get smaller and the lactation period, which is how long the goat produces milk, will get shorter. There will then come a time when the goat is incapable of producing enough milk to justify the cost of keeping her. This is the time to cull.

 

Felicity McCullough

 

11th August 2016

 
 

Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Felicity McCullough

Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats

 
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