Have you ever wondered: Is buying a whole goat right for me? The reality is that buying a whole goat isn’t for everyone. So how do you know if it’s for you?
Here are seven questions to ask yourself if you’re considering ordering a whole goat for you and your family.
Is buying a whole goat for me? Take the quiz!
1. Are you willing to try new cuts of goat meat?
Are you willing to eat all your cuts of goat meat? Part of the experience of purchasing a whole goat, may also mean trying out new recipes and ways to cook goat.
If you only want goat chops and shanks, buying a whole goat isn’t for you.
A whole goat order typically includes ground meat, leg, shoulder roast, shoulder steaks, chops, rack or rib chops, ribs, shanks, stew meat (curry cubes) and an option for organ meat (liver, heart, tongue, and kidney), as well as bones. You do have the option to leave out some cuts and opt for more ground or stew meat.
How do you feel about trying new cuts of goat meat?
2. Are you looking for a "deal"?
This one is a two-part question.
A. Goat meat can be hard to find in the grocery store, or it can be hard to find a farm to buy goat meat directly from. This means goat meat is often in demand more than is can be found to purchase, which means it’s usually more costly per pound than beef or even lamb.
It makes total sense to ask the question: How much does goat meat cost? Most folks will do that and weigh out the decision.
Our goat meat has an added value because is telling a story of how it came to life, raised, care for and harvested to make its way to your kitchen. It’s not just the story of the farmer, but it’s also extending to your story – how you’re keeping your cultural heritage alive with the food on your plate, or expanding your journey with truly, good food.
Customers who buy direct from the farmer appreciate this added value and are often willing to pay for it.
If you’re thinking, that’s more than I want to pay for, compared to XYZ, then it might make sense, you may want to hold off on purchasing a whole goat.
How do you feel about paying more for goat meat as compared to other meats?
B. Buying a whole goat vs. individual cuts of meat is a way to get a “deal” on goat meat. A whole goat price/lb. (hanging weight price, plus the butcher’s fees) can range from $8-$10/lb. (or more, depending on where you buy the whole goat). As compared to the retail price of $12-$18/lb. on cuts various cuts of meat.
Are you interested in getting the best deal when buying goat meat?
3. Will you eat it within a year?*
Typically, a whole goat will give you about 22-30 lbs. of usable meat (this is different from hanging weight, see this article for more details). Depending on your recipes or cuts of meat, this could work out to 10-15 meals, or a recipe using pound of goat meat every two weeks.
Are you able to eat all of your goat meat?
*Note: The USDA says frozen meat can be stored up to a year.
4. Do you have enough freezer space?
Typically, a whole goat is about 22-30 lbs. of usable goat meat (as mentioned in the question above). This will fill about a whole regular size reusable-style grocery bag (the smaller standard size ones, not the big rectangle size ones).
Often when ordering meat in bulk direct from a farmer it can be useful to have a deep freezer.
However, this amount of goat meat CAN fit in a refrigerator-freezer, but it depends on how much extra space you have on hand at the time of when you order the goat meat.
Do you have enough freezer space?
5. Do you want to know your farmer?
Knowing your farmer is important, because you’re able to know how they raise their goats for meat. This includes where the goats live (Do they have enough room to move around? Do they have access to pasture?), how the goats are being fed (pasture, hay/grain combination, heavy grain), how the goats are being handled and so on. Ask about these farming practices to know what you’re getting.
By supporting local farmers, you know your meat is coming from a local source, and not imported from thousands of miles away, which is often the case with most goat meat found in grocery stores in the U.S.
Do you want to support local farmers?
6. Do you like to meal plan?
If you like to plan ahead, having goat meat on hand is perfect. You’ll know what you have in advance and can work with recipes for the week or even month if you are really into meal planning. You don't have to worry about finding a grocery story that even carries it when you actually need it.
You can even plan ahead for special occasions, keeping in mind which cuts of goat meat you’ll use and then use the other cuts on a more regular basis with your menu planning,
Do you like to meal plan?
7. Are you willing to wait to order your whole goat?
Typically farms who sell whole goats, will offer the opportunity to order once or twice a year.
Usually, this happens because farms raise goats on a seasonal basis, meaning goat kids are born once a year and are ready for market (the general term for sale!) during that year.
While some goats might have multiple groups of goat kids born throughout a year, it is not as common.
Are you ok with waiting to order your whole goat once a year?
You're all done! Now count up your responses.
If a whole goat is right for you - sign up here to be notified when we're taking whole goat orders, as well as early bird pricing opportunities and deadlines.
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.