How can you get great meat goats from Smoke Ridge? Easily!
- Talk to Yvonne or Craig about which of our for sale goats would serve you best and reserve those goats.
- Send a 15% deposit (via personal check or money order) to confirm your reservation, so that nobody else can buy those specific animals.
- When the goats are delivered (at the best time for both you and us) just hand Tanner – our trusted partner and long-haul driver extraordinaire – a cashier’s check for the 85% balance due.
- You will then receive a bill of sale, the interstate health certificate, and information about your new goats, who will happily unload from the trailer to start working for you!
How will our goats pay for themselves and earn you money?
- Because we have winter weather here in Montana, our does produce kids once per year in the Spring – as deer and elk do naturally.
- By being cautious and spending money only when necessary for the well-being of the goats and thus the business, we stay “in the black” and have some money left after the bills are paid.
- We sell neutered male kids and any physically-flawed female kids as market kids, and those kids should grow on pasture – without expensive purchased concentrates or grain – to reach the highly-desired 60 pound liveweight by late Fall/early Winter when prices paid per pound for such kids reach annual highs, as shown in this graph (updated as of May 4, 2017).
How do we select which goats you will receive, and how can you get pure Spanish goats?
Our does (2 years old and older) raise 1.95 kids each per year, and so our herd would be growing beyond our land’s carrying capacity if we didn’t sell the goats’ offspring. We only sell goats that we would keep if we could double our pasture-size every year. Since we need just one buck per 75 or more does to breed the does in one 21-28 day heat cycle, we are very selective about which male kids to grow out as breeding bucks. The rest leave as neutered “market” kids. All female descendants of a goat that was named Floozy are going to stay right here! The few mother-goats that don’t do a terrific job at kidding time will either prove themselves or will go into our freezer.
“Montana MoneyMaker” versus pure Spanish
We call our Spanish-Boer composite meat goats “Montana MoneyMakers.” That’s not and will not become a breed, it just describes a goat that works for us here in Montana. We may have some pure Spanish goats available, at the same price as composite-breed goats of the same age and sex, but far fewer than the composites, so let us know if you’re thinking along those lines! As of January of 2017, the waiting list for pure Spanish Smoke Ridge goats is already getting filled up. Since we hate leaving people unhappy, if we don’t have enough pure Spanish available, we’ll do our best to put you in contact with someone who does!
How we raise our meat goats:
- Breed in late December (to have the kids born in late May) one buck to 75 females. All 7-month old doe kids in a separate breeding group, both Spanish-Boer composites as well as pure Spanish, with one pure Spanish buck. That way all of the pure Spanish doe kids are bred to a pure Spanish buck and the composite doe kids will have easy-birthing, very feisty kids.
- When winter snows cover all available forage, feed grass-alfalfa mix hay (target protein 13.5%) at 3.5% of mature goats’ and 4% of kids’ bodyweight per day. We spread “flakes” of hay out on the pasture on clean snow, with at least 4′ between flakes so that no goat’s bottom is positioned above another goat’s meal. Typically this means that per each 100 head of 115-pound average bodyweight does, two 65-pound bales of 18% protein alfalfa hay and four 65-pound bales of 10% protein grass hay will be fed. More aggressive does will frequently out-compete milder-mannered goats for feed, but their futures will depend on each one’s performance in raising pounds of kids per 100 pounds of her own bodyweight. And do we have all weights and performances perfectly recorded? Not exactly, not yet. “That’s on the to-do list.”
- In late May, let the does kid out on pasture. Since there are no bushes or trees growing on our “high prairie” hillside, we have shelters that the goats can use if they need to get out of the wind or rain (or sleet or snow). Trust us, the goats know more than we humans do and will find shelter when they need some!
- Ear-tag all kids at birth, female kids in their right ear, male kids in their left ear. That way sorting through an alley by sex is very easy! We change colors of eartag each year on a 10-year rotation and also have the year of birth at the beginning of the number – for example, 16001 will be the tag number of the first kid born in 2016, 16002 the second. Sire and dam and all other information about that goat can be found in the computer by looking up its eartag number!
- In decent physical condition – neither under heavy parasite load or beyond their productive life expectancy (8-9 years for half Spanish/half Boer (or Savannah) and 11-12 for pure Spanish) does should be well able to raise triplet kids (and even the very occasional – for us – quads) on pasture without assistance.
- Neuter or remove buck kids from the doeherd BY 90 days of age. We band when ear-tagging on the first day of the kids’ life should males have more than one teat on either side of the scrotum, a “bad bite,” or poor conformation.
- Leave doekids and wethers (neutered males) with the doeherd. Does will “dry up” naturally by approximately three months following kidding. The kids live with and learn how to be a goat in the herd from their mothers, aunts and cousins.
- Doelings (current year doe kids) that are leaving to go to new owners depart, together with other buddies, after they are three months old and it’s convenient for the buyers, sellers and the deliverer.
- “Market” kids (destined for harvest/slaughter) leave in the late Fall/early Winter when sale prices rise and it’s convenient for the meat buyers and for us.
- Get ready to breed again for next year’s crop, using different-bloodline bucks to prevent inbreeding and to continue to move the herd productivity forward while safeguarding valuable character traits like strong maternal attributes and each animal’s competitive drive.
When: How our schedule can benefit you
Your goats will arrive in late Summer/early Fall, giving you some months to get to know them before breeding season and Winter begin. Five months after breeding, the new kids will make their appearance and you will be up and running at producing meat goats – and laughing at the kids’ antics.