Goats being raised for their meat | NevadaAppeal.com

Goats being raised for their meat

Special to the LVN

Boer goat

A meat goat is a breed that is specially bred and raised for meat. There are four main breeds raised for meat: Boer, Spanish meat goat, Kiko and Tennessee.

The Churchill County Livestock Show and Sale will be Friday and Saturday with many butcher goats going for auction. This is your chance to buy a butcher goat, eat healthier and help out the 4-H students.

The Boer goat was bred and raised in South Africa to be a goat that would eat anything on the African plains and still produce large amounts of meat and some milk. The Boer resulted from crossbreeding of native goats raised by Bantu tribes and various European and Asian goats brought in by Dutch immigrants. They were introduced into United States in the early 1990s, and have become a very popular breed to raise.

Texas has the largest population of Boer goats. The females will get to 200 pounds, while the males can reach 500 pounds. This breed is also very popular for 4-H kids to raise, not only because they grow quickly and produce great meat, but they are gentle and easy to handle.

Spanish meat goat is also a common breed, with many of them in the Southern states. Spanish meat goats are descendants of animals s brought to the U.S. by early New England settlers. They migrated south and probably interbred with goats brought into Texas and Mexico by early Spanish settlers. The ancestry is as mixed up as that of a mongrel dog. This breed is used a lot in feedlots and in commercial herds.

Kiko is a breed that originated in Australia. The Kiko is a fast-growing animal. It is also popular in Texas and California. The Kiko goat was produced in New Zealand by taking feral does that exhibited good meat conformation and breeding them with Nubian bucks to increase their milk yield and butterfat content. This breed is not only used for meat, but is the leading breed in brush control in fire areas and also used in commercial herds.

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The Tennessee meat goat is also known as the fainting goat, or Tennessee wooden leg goat. These goats are hereditary myotonia. When they are frightened, they experience extreme muscle stiffness causing extension of the hind limbs and neck. In this state, the animal will topple over for up to 20 seconds.

Little is known about this breed, except in the early 1888s, a man appeared in Marshall County, Tenn., with three does and a buck that suffered from the fainting spells. Many people in the U.S. use this breed for meat because of the huge muscling they have.

Meat goats are becoming a popular animal not only with 4-H kids, but also with folks who like to raise and eat them. Churchill County is leading the way in meat-goat production, having started a 4-H meat goat program and having many meat-goat farmers here.

This is the largest meat-goat area in Nevada, but other counties are now catching on.

Goat meat is low in saturated fat, and delicious when cooked properly

Goat meat, or chevon or cabrito, is one of the most widely consumed meats in the world. It has an excellent flavor and is fairly firm and well-flavored. Some folks compare it to turkey.

The meat is delicious when cooked properly and is exceptionally lean when compared to other meat. It has less fat than chicken or any of the red meats commonly consumed in the U.S. This is because goats tend to deposit their fat internally before they deposit it externally.

When a goat is slaughtered, this internal fat is removed along with the rest of the innards. A well-conditioned goat has a tiny coating of fat over its muscles that help keeps the meat from drying out rapidly. Goats do not marble, so fat along a cut of meat is usually easily trimmed. Goat meat is also lower in saturated fat than any other meat consumed in the U.S.

Goat meat is usually cooked slowly to moderately and is often marinated first or cooked in a sauce. If you haven't tried goat meat, 4-H urges you to try it.

If you miss that date, you can go to Reno for the Nevada Junior Livestock Show from May 14-18 at the Reno Livestock Pavilion.

If you need more information on how to purchase a goat, contact your local 4-H office at 775-423-5121.

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