What breed of goat is best for a 4-H project?

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Question by Häschen Mädchen: What breed of goat is best for a 4-H project?
I live in PA, and I am thinking about doing a goat for one of my 4-H projects. I also do rabbits, but I want to show another animal as well. My local county fair has 2 categories for goats: Breed goats (dairy goats) and meat goats. I was thinking about doing a meat goat because I have to get a male goat, and in the meat goat category the male goats have to be wethers (castrated).

So, I need to know: What is the best breed of goat to use for a 4-H project? What kind of shelter/fencing do I need for a goat? I might get 2 goats to show so that they won’t get lonely, and I have 1/2 acre that I can devote to a goat pasture.

Extra info (if it helps):

1. This is my 2nd year of 4-H, and I have lots of experience with rabbits.
2. All of my family raises holsteins, different breeds of goats, and other livestock.
3. I would like to do showmanship with the goat (I do best in showmanship)
4. I am home schooled, so I can spend as much time as needed training the goat(s)
5. I don’t really want to milk a goat (if its a girl)
6. I know they can be stubborn, but I am too, so I can deal with a stubborn goat.
7. I would rather a younger goat so that I can train it better.
8. I have to sell the goat(s) in the livestock sale after the fair, so it can’t be really expensive or I’ll lose money.
9. I also plan on showing goats at the PA farm show in January. (next year probably)

What kind of goat would be the best for my 4-H project? Any suggestions?
I can also do a lamb, if that helps. I just want something different to do this year for my 4-H project.

Which one is easier: a goat, or a lamb?

Thanks! 😀
By the way, at the my county fair, ALL of the meat goats and the lambs get sold.

Well, actually for goats it’s the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, and then the 1st and 2nd place goats in each catagory. Anyone that doesn’t have a winning goat must sell the top 2 placing goats. That’s the way it is with lambs, too I think.
My relatives also do meat goats, too, it’s split 50/50.

Can you keep a lamb and a goat in the same enclosure? Like have 2 seperate pens for them, but they share a pasture?

If so, I’m thinking of doing a meat goat (wether), a dairy goat (yearling doe) and a lamb or two (not sure what kind yet)

Feel free to answer in the comment section below

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2 Responses to What breed of goat is best for a 4-H project?

  1. OK, there are several breeds of Dairy goats. There is also a couple breeds specifically bred and raised for meat. They are called Boer and Kiko. You can also use a wether from a dairy breed.

    Since your family already has different breeds of dairy goats, I would suggest talking to them, and seeing which of those breeds like the best. Maybe you can get a wether (or 2 or 3) for relatively cheap from your relatives, if they know you’re going to be using them as a 4H project. If you want a meat goat, I don’t reccommend Nigerian Dwarfs. I raise Alpines, so I’m biased towards that breed. You don’t have to milk the dairy goat when she kids–you let her nurse the kids. With the dairy does, there is a class called Dry Yearling, which is a doe that is one year old, never been bred, and therefore never kidded. That gives you two years of showing until you get her bred and have kids from her. If you don’t want to show a milking doe, then dry her off after you wean the kids, and just show kids and dry yearlings. The only reason I milked my goats in 4H was because I showed them.

    Showmanship is all about YOU and how YOU present the animal. If you learn what you need to, and know what you need to, you’ll do fine.

    I would highly reccomend starting with a kid.

    Can you show a dairy goat AND a meat goat–have one for each class? You can have a doe kid and a market wether. Maybe get 2 doe kids, then you can keep the doe kids and they still won’t get lonely after you sell the wether.

    So, which one’s better? Goat vs. lamb? I’d say goat. They’re more outgoing. I showed lambs. Goats are more fun.

    June 20, 2014 at 4:19 am

  2. I raise Boer Goats. In my opinion, this is the better type of meat goat. Another good type of meat goat is a Kiko Goat. Both of these have very fast weight gains and are very easy to train and manage.

    It is advisable to get a feed that has rumesin or monesin as a preventative for coccidia. Also you will want to add Ammonia Chloride to prevent urinary calculi (kidney stones) to his feed or water. Sanitation is vital in raising any animal so make sure no matter what you choose, to keep pens and feeders clean and dry.

    There are many breeders in the PA area that are currently having kids born now. Make sure whomever you choose to buy your animal from, that he/she has been vaccinated, dehorned (if need be), and banded/castrated (if need be) before he leaves. It is advisable to wait as long as possible to have your goat banded/castrated, normally this is safe to do around 12 wks of age. If you visit Jack and Anita Maldin’s website, you can find breeders in your area.

    As far as wether to choose a goat or a lamb, I am not too familiar with sheep. But my son had to show a lamp, hog, steer, feeder calf, and goat (not his) when he one first in showmanship with his goat. It was a great learning experience for us all and we had a wonderful time!!

    Wish you luck no matter what you choose to do. Remember, It is a learning experience. There is no better choice over another, just what you make of it and the reward you get from the learning experience itself.

    DBS&S Ranch

    June 20, 2014 at 4:37 am

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