Bob's Thoughts and Philosophies
On the pursuit of the ultimate meat doe.
I have nearly my entire life enjoyed looking at a mother beef cow sucking a
big old calf or a ewe with a ripping set of twins nursing and the same applies
to a meat goat doe that is superior at doing what she was bred to do.
I start with cattle as that is my background. My earliest recollection of taking
notice of superior mothers goes back to my brother and I helping my father gather
the family's cow herd and commenting to one another about how this cow's calf
is better than that cow's calf. Our conversation one day was particularly interesting
as we were noticing that the calf following our little 950 lb Shorthorn cow was
just a s big and with just as much eye appeal as the calves following the 1400
lb Charolais cows. Ever since that day I have pursued, at least ideologically
the concept of the "ultimate" or at least "highly efficient" meat
producing female of any breed or species.
What we are doing with the goats is no different than what we did with the cows.
I don't mean to imply that we ever achieved perfection and I don't ever really
expect to, but we have raised some nice cattle in the past and are on the way
to raising some practical, useful meat goats. I know that some may find these
figures a little hard to believe but they are the whole truth and nothing but
the truth. We raised a set of steer calves just before we sold the cows that
at 10 months old, weaned off their mothers, averaged 763 lbs. This was done without
creep feeding, hormones, antibiotics or artificial feeds; and was achieved with
two primary factors. The first is the genetic ability to grow and gain weight,
with the second being enough natural grass feed to capitalize on the first. In
this case it was their mother's ability to milk heavily. There are other secondary
factors and management concerns that need to be considered in the total package,
but these two simple things are the basis of our pursuit of the ultimate meat
goat doe. Big or small, short or tall its efficiency that we are after. Check
back as when I get a little more time I will comment on our doe indexing system.