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Best Management Practices

Meat Goat Management 101

The demand for high quality, lean, goat meat is continuing to increase in the United States. With over half of the goat meat eaten in the U S is from feral goats imported from Australia (American Meat Goat Federation), there is a strong market for domestic US goat production. To begin your goat production practice it is essential to understand the basics of of the meat goat life cycle and management practices.For basic information on meat goat management and meat goat production basics see the resources below. 


Ranching Infrastructure

Ranching infrastructure provides for the safety and well-being of livestock and aids in managing the lands natural resources. Infrastructure includes ranch roads, fences, corrals, and water systems. For more information on ranching infrastructure click below. 



Grazing Management


Grazing management is an essential part of ranching.  Having a grazing management plan can help land managers manipulate vegetation to improve livestock performance without negatively impacting the rangeland ecosystem. Grazing management plans can vary substantially depending on soil type, rainfall, proximity to riparian areas, and the time and labor resources available to the rancher.  For more on grazing management practices and developing a grazing management plan view the resources below.


Herd Health and Reproduction


Herd Health
One of the first steps to develop a heard health program is to develop a working relationship with a veterinarian.  To Find a veterinarian in your area visit the Find a Veterinary Directory on the California Veterinary Medical Association web page or find a vet using the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners web page.
For more on goat health and diseases affecting goats in the California area visit the CDFA Goat and Sheep health web page. 
The main goal of livestock production system is to increase productivity. In goats this is principally accomplished by increasing pregnancy and weaning rates.  On average a goat reproductive management should produce a high level of fertility with pregnancy rates near 90% while producing an optimum litter size of two kids. Understanding reproductive processes in the goat will help producers manage their herd more efficiently and breed their does to produce kids that will fit a specific market niche to command a maximum price. To learn more about the reproductive practices visit the USDA Extension goat reproduction web page or view the source's below. 
Biosecurity Tips 
The goal of a biosecurity program is to keep out new pathogens and to minimize the impact of endemic pathogens.   Risk factors for biosecurity on the farm are unique to that farm. Therefore, each biosecurity plan should be farm specific. For tips on goat farm biosecurity visit CDFA's wepage.


Niche Market Labels 

Organic Seal - small
To improve the marketability of your goat operation you may chose to incorporate a specific label (i.e. 100% grass-fed or USDA Organic) into your production system. To learn more about niche market labels visit the UCANR Niche Market Label webpage.  For more information about obtaining a label, view the resources below.