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 Production and management
 Breeds
 Marketing
 Future outlook
 Table 1 - Summary of data on goat...














Group Title: Department of Animal Science research report - Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; AL-1980-1
Title: Goat production in Florida
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Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073110/00001
 Material Information
Title: Goat production in Florida
Series Title: Animal science research report
Physical Description: 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arrington, Lewis Robert, 1919-
Loggins, P. E., 1921-
University of Florida -- Dept. of Animal Science
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1980
 Subjects
Subject: Goat industry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: L.R. Arrington and P.E. Loggins.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January, 1980."
Funding: Animal science research report (University of Florida. Dept. of Animal Science) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073110
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 80732241

Table of Contents
    Production and management
        Page 1
    Breeds
        Page 2
    Marketing
        Page 2
    Future outlook
        Page 3
    Table 1 - Summary of data on goat production
        Page 4
Full Text


Animal Science Florida Agricultural
I) Research Report No. AL 1980-1 Experiment Station
January, 1980 Gainesville, FL 32611


GOAT PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA

L.R. Arrington- and P.E. Loggins-


Goats are raised in most areas of the world for milk, meat or hair
and they are produced in Florida for milk and meat. Goat production has
certain advantages and there appears to be some increasing interest in
their production. They can provide a source of milk and meat for many
families unable to maintain cattle or other livestock. Goats will graze
and browse on plants normally passed over by other livestock, they often
reduce the level of unwanted plants and they may thrive on rough terrain
not suitable for cattle and other livestock.

Most goats are maintained for milk production, but there are some
breed types produced primarily for meat and the males and culls from
dairy herds not retained for breeding are usually sold or slaughtered
for meat. Information on the nature and size of the goat industry in
Florida is very limited, so the Department of Animal Science conducted
a questionnaire survey to obtain data on production in the state. The
questionnaire was concerned primarily with meat goats but some informa-
tion relating to dairy goats was included. Names of goat producers were
obtained from County Agricultural Extension offices, the Dairy Extension
office, from goat clubs and associations, auction markets and from
individual producers. Slightly more than 300 names were obtained and
questionnaires requesting information were distributed to all those whose
names were available. One hundred and forty-nine (149) questionnaires
were returned with useful information.

This report is based upon the information submitted and the results
are summarized as follows and in table 1.

Production and Management

The large majority of the herds reported were maintained for milk
production. More than 80% were dairy herds or combined dairy and meat.
Those reported to be combined dairy and meat herds were assumed to mean
that surplus males and culls were sold for meat. Only 18% of the herds
reported were stated to be for meat alone (table 1).

Size of herds varied widely but most were small; 45% containing
five or less breeding females. These small herds were essentially all
for milk production. The largest herds (100-500) were meat herds, but
there were only three herds with 100 or more breeding females and nine
with over 40 breeding females. Although the number of meat herds was
small, the numbers per herd were larger than in dairy herds and the total
number of meat goats in the state exceeded the number of dairy goats
(table 1).

The 149 producers reported maintaining slightly over 2500 breeding
females. Since all goat producers could not be reached and some did not
report, the total number of goats in the state could not be determined by


Professors, Department of Animal Science










the survey. It may be estimated, however, that there are 400 or more
producers maintaining approximately 4000 to 5000 breeding females. If
the males, growing young and other non-producing animals are included
in the estimate, the total could be 6000 to 7000.

Slightly more than half of the farms reporting indicated that they
had other forms of livestock (cattle, swine or poultry). The years of
experience in goat raising ranged from less than one year to over 40.
Forty-eight percent had kept goats for two to five years and 30% from
six to ten years. A few herds were kept in confinement and about an
equal number in combined pasture and confinement, but most (60%) were
maintained on pasture.

Problems relating to production appeared to be varied and no one
problem seemed to be outstanding. A few producers reported no problems
at all. Those problems noted most often were: parasites, disease and
veterinary services, in that order. Losses from predatory animals,
early death and problems of fly control, reproduction and feeding were
considered of less importance. Several producers commented on problems
with theft and poisonous plants.

Breeding schedules indicate that the large majority of kids were
produced in the early spring (Feb., Mar., Apr.). This was particularly
true for the dairy breeds. The Native breeds, produced primarily for
meat, tended to produce young more on a year-round basis. The average
number of kids produced per female per year was 1.4.

Breeds

A number of different dairy breeds are produced in the state, but
the majority of those raised were reported of mixed or unknown breed-
ing (table 1). The listing of breeds does not necessarily mean that
they were purebred or registered. Those goats that could be considered
primarily meat type are referred to as native or woods goats and appear
in the table as mixed. No specific breed or type that could be considered
a meat goat was noted except the Spanish, and these were present in
very small numbers.

Marketing

The vast majority of goats marketed were sold directly from the
farm to other individuals. Approximately 90% were sold in this way.
The few others were sold through auction markets and some were slaughter-
ed for home use. There was some variation in reported market demand
in different locations. Several producers reported greater demand than
could be met; others reported good markets but a few noted rather poor
sales for meat.

With no definite organized market channels for meat goats, it is
clear that some improvement in marketing channels is needed if meat
goat production is to progress as an industry. Several producers noted
marketing problems and suggested the need for an annual goat auction.
It would appear that goat producers in selected areas could organize
and cooperate with the County Agricultural office and possibly local
auction markets to arrange for such sales.










the survey. It may be estimated, however, that there are 400 or more
producers maintaining approximately 4000 to 5000 breeding females. If
the males, growing young and other non-producing animals are included
in the estimate, the total could be 6000 to 7000.

Slightly more than half of the farms reporting indicated that they
had other forms of livestock (cattle, swine or poultry). The years of
experience in goat raising ranged from less than one year to over 40.
Forty-eight percent had kept goats for two to five years and 30% from
six to ten years. A few herds were kept in confinement and about an
equal number in combined pasture and confinement, but most (60%) were
maintained on pasture.

Problems relating to production appeared to be varied and no one
problem seemed to be outstanding. A few producers reported no problems
at all. Those problems noted most often were: parasites, disease and
veterinary services, in that order. Losses from predatory animals,
early death and problems of fly control, reproduction and feeding were
considered of less importance. Several producers commented on problems
with theft and poisonous plants.

Breeding schedules indicate that the large majority of kids were
produced in the early spring (Feb., Mar., Apr.). This was particularly
true for the dairy breeds. The Native breeds, produced primarily for
meat, tended to produce young more on a year-round basis. The average
number of kids produced per female per year was 1.4.

Breeds

A number of different dairy breeds are produced in the state, but
the majority of those raised were reported of mixed or unknown breed-
ing (table 1). The listing of breeds does not necessarily mean that
they were purebred or registered. Those goats that could be considered
primarily meat type are referred to as native or woods goats and appear
in the table as mixed. No specific breed or type that could be considered
a meat goat was noted except the Spanish, and these were present in
very small numbers.

Marketing

The vast majority of goats marketed were sold directly from the
farm to other individuals. Approximately 90% were sold in this way.
The few others were sold through auction markets and some were slaughter-
ed for home use. There was some variation in reported market demand
in different locations. Several producers reported greater demand than
could be met; others reported good markets but a few noted rather poor
sales for meat.

With no definite organized market channels for meat goats, it is
clear that some improvement in marketing channels is needed if meat
goat production is to progress as an industry. Several producers noted
marketing problems and suggested the need for an annual goat auction.
It would appear that goat producers in selected areas could organize
and cooperate with the County Agricultural office and possibly local
auction markets to arrange for such sales.









Most of the goats sold for meat were sold as kids weighing an
average of 34 pounds. The average price, normally based on a per head
basis rather than weight, was $30.00. Smaller numbers of adult goats
were sold for meat. Of these marketed, the average weight was 92
pounds and the price $66.00. Data are not available from the survey
to indicate the total number sold in the state for meat, but 149 pro-
ducers reporting sold slightly over 1800 kids and 500 adults in 1979.

Future Outlook

Goat production, whether for milk or meat, appears to offer some
encouragement to producers. Forty-eight percent of those reporting
indicated that they expected to increase production during the next
few years and 44% indicated that they expected to maintain the same
level of production. Although much of this increase would be for
dairy goats, the result would be some increase in those available for
meat. Only eight percent of producers indicated that they expected
to decrease or discontinue production. The known demand for goat
meat by certain ethnic groups in some of the large cities suggests a
potential for increased meat goat production. It is not expected
that goat production can represent a large animal industry, but one
that can provide some income for producers interested in this form
of animal industry. Slaughtering facilities and more organized mar-
ket outlets are necessary for any expansion as an industry.










TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF DATA ON GOAT PRODUCTION*
Type of No. breeding Avg. No. females
production No. herds Percent females per herd

Dairy 62 43 508 8
Meat 27 18 1054 39
Dairy & Meat
combined 57 39 873 15



Herd Size Total No.
(No. breeding females) herds Percent
1-5 62 45
6-10 30 22
11-20 21 15
21-40 14 10
41-100 8 6
100 & over 3 2

Herds on pasture 88 66
Herds in confinement 22 17
Combined pasture and
confinement 22 17



Breeds (Breed names do not necessarily mean purebred.)


Breed
Mixed or Native
Nubian
Saanen
Toggenburg
Alpine
La Mancha
Spanish
Other


No. breeding females
1428
567
71
114
118
101
72
6


Percent
57.4
23.1
2.9
4.6
4.8
4.1
3.0


Production and Marketing


Total number breeding females
Total number kids produced
Average number kids per female
Total number kids sold for meat
Average weight kids sold, lb.
Average price, kids
Number adults sold for meat
Average price, adults


2527
3453
1.4
1836
34
$30.00
516
$66.00


Data based upon questionnaire report by 149 producers in 1979.




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