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Letter from Goatlady Re: Miniature Goats and Canning Meat

Seems to me you would need quite a large herd of miniature goats to have chevron throughout the year using minis considering three meals per butchered animal, once a week = 52 goats just for butchering which means at least 26 females producing twins once a year plus being sure you have two bucks for service those females, plus enough browse for them to thrive on. Seems to me you would be much better off having two to three full size meat goat does to produce 4-6 butcher goats at (depending on the breed) 50-100 pounds of meat per animal. Can it, dry it, salt it, smoke it – 200 to 600 pounds of meat properly preserved should last you for the year. I’m sure you know to butcher in the cool fall weather NOT in spring or summer. This avoid avoids flies, contamination by bacteria, etc caused by warm/hot weather and believe me meat cuts a LOT easier when its VERY cold if not half frozen – doesn’t skitter around and mush out of the way of the knife when you are trying to slice steaks or even sized chunks for stew. Best, – The Goatlady

The Memsahib Replies:  Dear Goatlady, Thank you for writing. Most goats do come into season only in the Fall, but African pygmy goats are very unusual in that they ovulate all year round. They also have a strong tendency toward kidding triplets and quadruplets. The large herd of miniature animals is a benefit in my eyes because you spread your risk.  A loss of one goat from a flock of three could be devastating, but not that bad from a flock of 25. Also you will have have extra animals you can give to neighbors to start their own flocks. I don’t mind butchering little animals frequently.  Once you’ve done it a time or two you develop a routine and it is a snap. I already do this with chickens, rabbits, and ducks. But to each her own. And I completely agree with butchering large animals in the Fall.  That is the only way to go.