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The Goat Newsletter, 2008 Issue No.5
February 06, 2008

The Latest Goat News

Some of the latest goat news and goat information from around the world.


Whilst itís not Year of the Goat but Year of the Rat, I wish everyone prosperity and good health for the year ahead.


Itís been a mixed week at our goat farm. Another of our award winning goats has given birth to a lovely pair of doe kids and we remain lucky with a 75% doe kidding rate. Itís not all plain sailing as one of goats had dropped a lovely kid recently and deteriorated. The vet removed the remains of another dead kid from within her and she is now recovering and we are very fortunate to not lose the doe. I would be interested to hear from other breeders in how they handle such events. Is the only answer to ultrasound all your does so you know whatís in there? Let me know your thoughts. Fortunately the rain continues and we look set for another great cut of hay in the next few weeks so we are unlike the last two years of drought, set to have loads of feed from now on.


I am fortunate to live an area famed for its wineries and food, and thatís on top of great scenery. In the regional city of Orange, they are have a great food event coming up. They have the Slow Food Festival happening soon. This is the second mini-festival which is aimed at showcasing the areas great food and wine. Organised by Kim Currie, a chef herself, says that Nashdale Hall (the exact locale where I spent some of my early years) will be where it all happens. Like all halls itís a centre of community events and they have an $8000 wood-fired oven out the back, and this was donated to the people of the district by Slow Food Orange. Why not make the effort to attend the Slow Summer Supper ($30; $15 for under 12s) on Sunday, February 10, and this is the last day of the festival. You will be greeted by several of the regions top chefs around the oven. Events also next Saturday will include a farm gate trail to meet local growers and taste their produce (9am - midday, $45) and then there is a farmers' market brunch (10am-midday, $30) at Orange Showground. There will also be workshops on seasonal fruits (the area is famed for apples, pears and absolutely great cherries) and on bread and pizza making using that wood-fired oven (it is hands-on, so bring the kids and teach them to cook). February 8-10, event bookings are essential,;


You will recall a few newsletters ago I reported on the poor goat owner in Oklahoma who got cited because her goats were seen having sex in public? Well the owner, Carol Mendenhall fought back against City Hall and the City Council has sensibly relented and has now repealed this rather inappropriate ordinance. So goats, go for it!


In Australia a man is arguing in court that his goat mows his lawn (some of us have done this for years of course). He is fighting in an Adelaide, South Australia court against the local suburban Campbelltown Council that are trying to force him to dispose of his goats. The plaintiff stated that he bought 2 goats several years ago after the very same council complained about his lawn length, so with some breeding he now has 7 lawn mowers. The sustainable and environmentally minded pensioner states he gets both milk and garden fertilizer and complies with council to keep grass down and so he is virtually carbon neutral. He also argued that his property had been within his family for more than 100 years and the area had been market garden before rezoning for housing. The case continues and obviously these people are well behind the curve with respect to global warming, and sustainability.


One new report states that University of Pennsylvania researchers have used gene therapy and the result was to make reductions in the time for breeding large animals that have the capability to produce therapeutic proteins in milk, and these include insulin and those that fight cancer. This development is evidently a significant milestone in drug development, because current methods require cloning, which is much more time intensive and expensive.

How do they do it you may well ask? They get the goats to produce specific proteins. The researchers then used radiation to kill some of the male goat's germ cells (the cells that produce sperm). They then use a modified adeno-associated virus to insert a gene into the remaining cells. When the new gene takes hold within the germ cells, a predictable number of female offspring are able to produce the desired protein within the goats milk. Interesting stuff even if I donít fully understand it all.


Dogs have fatally mauled 32 goats in California and authorities were looking for the owner of the dogs. Authorities have captured two dogs suspected of the fatal mauling ( a male pit bull and a female German shepherd mix) and a third escaped. If I see any dog except my own in my pastures it's instant lead poisoning! They are a problem!


In the region of a palm oil estate in Parit Jabong Darat, Batu Pahat, is a small dairy goat farm running around 450 dairy goats. The venture started up just 8 months ago and the 1.2ha farm, Alita Corporation Sdn Bhd, is now producing 300 litres of milk daily, and this is due to technology transfer from Taiwan which employs biotechnology with minimal land usage. This is the micro-organism (EM). The farm does not emit any unpleasant smells which attract flies and other insects. The first 300 head of Saanen and Toggenberg goats from New Zealand arrived at the farm in October 2007. Operators claim that the milk does not have the odour often associated with goat milk and that it also has a higher protein content.

One goat farmer says his farm, Un Keng Farming at Parit Yaani, uses an improvised system to stimulate lactation and improve milk collection, he plays back soothing orchestral music to the goats during milking process. (Cow dairies have used this method for a long time and low stress conditions make more milk). They also use EM to prepare silage (which as we know is sprayed and fermented grass and other fibres used as feed) for the 2,000 Boer goats also on the farm. They use napier grass, corn and mushroom which are shredded and sprayed with EM, and ferment it for a couple of days before feeding the silage to the goats. They also state that the bio-technology method had significantly improved the texture of the goat meat, and that it had less fat content, was nearly odourless, making organic goat meat a preferred choice among hypertension sufferers and weight watchers. They also state that the 3 types microbes in EM also helped to improve the goatsí digestion and neutralise the urea in the body, making the muscle fibre soft and the meat almost odourless.

The goat dairy operators also stated that the goat solid waste and urine would be treated immediately without the need for a septic tank. Something required in intensive feed lot environments. They claimed EM helps neutralise the acid and breaks it down to biodegradable particles and that spraying it on the goats, helps protect them from harmful bacteria and keep them free from infection. I find this small area small farming sustainable approach very interesting and something that has value to us all.


A selection of market reports. Goat auctions are held in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia. Information Source is the USDA Market News Summary Reports

WESTERN U.S. DIRECT GOAT REPORT (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Dakotas, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and California) Reports state that goat trading continues to be at a complete standstill. No new reported trades. Demand light for available supplies.

TEXAS (SAN ANGELO) All sold per hundred weight (CWT) unless otherwise specified. KIDS: KIDS: Selection 1 25-40 lbs 123.00-130.00; 40-80 lbs 120.00-135.00, few 135.00-137.00; 80-100 lbs 95.00-108.00; 70-110 lbs shorn show goats 85.00-95.00. Selection 1-2 25-40 lbs 100.00-113.00; 40-80 lbs 105.00-120.00. Selection 2 50-80 lbs 91.00-105.00. DOES/NANNIES: Selection 1-2 80-130 lbs 35.00-44.00; 130-160 lbs 42.00-48.00; thin 70-115 lbs 25.00-35.00. BX/BILLIES: Selection 1-2 80-100 lbs 90.00-108.00; 100-150 lbs 85.00-101.00; 150-250 lbs 65.00-94.00. DOES/NANNIES: Selection 1-2 60-115 lbs 50.00-76.00.

EASTERN CORN BELT (includes IL.,IN.,OH.,MI.) Slaughter goats sold 2.00 to 3.00 lower. Trade and demand was light. Offerings light to moderate. This week's supply had an additional 920 head of goats. Slaughter Goats (cwt.): Kids: Selection 1: 40-60 lbs 112.00. Selection 2: 40-60 lbs 108.00-113.00. Bucks/Billies: Selection 2: 100-150 lbs 60.00. Does/Nannies: Selection 2: 70-100 lbs 40.00. Selection 3: 70-100 lbs 35.00.


The market remains relatively quiet with few changes in demand and pricing. Capretto (100% Milk fed) 5-9kg 280 to 315. 0-8kg 90 to 155, 8.1-10kg 90 to 148, 10.1-12kg 120 to 177, 12.1-16kg 170 to 187, 16.1-20kg 160 to 185, 20.1kg+ 160 to 183.


I welcome all goat news whether itís about your own goat breeding activities, goat experiences and more. Share it with the rest of us! Subject specific material on aspect of goat breeding will be published along with your stud and farm details. Goat images of your prize animals or those for sale also welcome. Visit Goats For Sale and submit stock for sale and email me images to go with the information

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