If you decide to raise boer meat goats, then it is an economical and enjoyable homesteading experience, as long as you are well prepared.
How do I know this?
By talking to every goat herder I know.
If you share my ambition to raise a few meat goats, I have done the research about what you need to know before you get started.
First and foremost, check local zoning regulations.
Your local government may not allow A LOT of goats, unless you live in a rural area.
Contact the nearest zoning office to see whether it limits the number of goats you can have, and other limitations such as certain breeds, uncastrated male goats (bucks), etc.
Since you live in a rural area, there is no need to check with a landlord or homeowner association.
Make it clear that you are “raising a few goats for personal use”, as different regulations may apply.
Plan on getting only two goats.
Goats are social animals, and are more likely to be uncooperative or try to escape if kept alone.
You understand. -:
Always keep your female goat in a separate enclosure because uncastrated males (bucks) cannot be kept with females (does) unless you want A LOT OF GOATS!
We have already determined that we will only purchase two goats (1) uncastrated male and (1) female.
Does need to be impregnated by a buck before they produce milk, but raising a buck can require a lot of extra work.
Bucks require a separate enclosure before and after they breed, may develop a strong odor, and are often aggressive.
Neutered males or wethers are not able to breed or produce milk, therefore, I am not not interested in those types.
You will have a better idea of its traits and are less likely to breed defects into your herd.
They are usually purchased as pets.
As your female meat goat give birth to extra meat goats, you must be ready to prepare them for table, when the time arrives.
If you do purchase a buck, consider spending extra for one with breeding papers.
Select the age of the goats.
Young goats are called kids, or bucklings or doelings depending on sex.
When around 8 weeks old, they are typically cheaper than older goats, and may be friendlier if raised around humans.
However, they require one to two years of care before they can be bred, produce milk, or become meat for the table.
A junior kid between 6 months and 1 year old will take less time to mature, and may even come with the option to have it bred before purchase (so it produces milk sooner).
Finally, an adult or senior goat may be the cheapest option of all, but be wary of goat farmers selling useful milk producers.
They may be trying to sell the lowest-quality goats in their herd.
I am focused only on meat goats.
Before deciding, you may want to read up on how to slaughter meat goats.
If you are not up to slaughtering a goat yourself, you may not be ready to raise meat goats.
Plan out costs.
How much does it cost to raise a doe, a buck, or a kid for one year?
Try to find numbers for your specific goat breed if possible.
How much money do you have available for unexpected costs, such as fencing, fencing repair or veterinary procedures?
If one of your goats die, will that cause you financial hardship?