This past weekend we started preparing for breeding season for our goats. We will do this herd health work about 1-2 months before we actually put the bucks in with the does.
So here’s what it looks like for us:
Bucks: The bucks get the same attention.
Why do we start the process in advance? It gives any goats that need a little extra attention some extra time before the big dating day comes. We can make sure all the goats are at their best, in terms of health. If any kids are still nursing, it also allows the does bodies to readjust before making the transition to growing babies.
The day of health work: We bring the goats from the pasture back to the barn. It’s just easier to have a contained space to work with them and sort them. We will have 1-2 friends or family members helping sort goats and doing the hoof trimming and health work.
I’ll also make observations and record all the health work and other notes into our online record system EasyKeeper on my tablet (if you try it out, you can get a $30 credit here).. This year I also was keeping tabs on our almost 2-year-old-daughter. It was a bit of a balancing act!
We use the over the fence feeder troughs to put our supplies in order of use and so they’re easy to access. There’s a whiteboard with a checklist of tasks for each goat and dosages based on animal size. This helps streamline the process. Next year I’m hoping to add a chute and sorting facility to our system. Right now, it works, but it has the potential to add extra stress on the goats and is also hard on our own bodies.
At the end of November, after Thanksgiving, we’ll split our herd into groups and put the bucks out. The timing works out well. We kid in mid-April, which its usually starting to warm up. We often have extra family and friends around the farm with the holiday and deer hunting season.
We’ll put our yearlings into one group so there’s no extra competition or stress with the older does during breeding. We also will often use a smaller buck.
The older does are split into two groups with our other bucks. We use breeding harnesses to know when does are exposed. They are kept in their groups for 20-30 days, or until all does are marked. Then we combine the groups at 45 days. Around 60 days we will usually pull the bucks and put them in their winter pen.
Five months later it’s baby goat time!
Wonder why we kid later in the season? Read this blog post here.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we do on our farm raising goats for meat, join our online community here.
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In celebration of Goatober, we’ve partnered with the Farm Table Restaurant in Amery, Wis., to bring a brand-new dish to highlight flavorful goat meat, with the Smoked Philly Goat with meat from our farm. The sandwich is a special at the restaurant throughout the month of October.
If you’re not local, I’m excited to share the full recipe below for you to enjoy at home. A big thanks to the Farm Table staff for celebrating goat meat and sharing this recipe with our farm customers and community.
Smoked Philly Goat Sandwich
Thank you to the team at the Farm Table Restaurant in Amery, Wis., for creating this wonderful, smoked Philly Goat Sandwich and sharing the recipe with our community.
Makes 6-8 sandwiches
Full Ingredient List for rub, braise and sandwiches
1 – 4-pound Goat Roast (leg or shoulder)
3 - Yellow Onions
3-4 - Heirloom Tomatoes
2 – Bell Peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch - Fresh Rosemary
½ bunch - Fresh Thyme
½ Tbs. - Cinnamon
6 - Bay Leaves, divided
1/8 cup - Hungarian Wax Pepper, dried
6 - Garlic Cloves, divided
1 1/2 Tbs. - Oregano, dried, divided
Salt and Pepper
1 Qt. Stock
1/4 cup - Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. – Dijon
Mayo, to taste
8 slices – Provolone
8 – Hoagie rolls, or other bread of choice
Butter for sautéing and grilling bread
Mesquite pellets for smoking
Goat Rub Directions
Goat Braise Directions
Assemble Philly Goat Sandwiches
Recipe and photos by the Farm Table Restaurant, Amery, Wis.
Order your goat roasts or leg of goat from our Farm Store. For more goat meat recipes, cooking tips, promotions, and to know when goat meat is available, sign up for our email list here.
I own and manage Cylon Rolling Acres in northwestern Wisconsin. On my farm I raise Boer - Kiko meat goats on pasture.
Cylon (pronounced Si-lon) is the name of our township in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Sorry fans, our farm is not named after the robots of Battlestar Galactica.