What are the advantages and disadvantages when choosing breed types?

Goats October 25, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

The choice of breed type should be influenced by the type of product to be produced, e.g.milk or meat or fiber.  Within each type there are several breeds that will be productive under a range of production systems. 

There are different advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing either meat or dairy type does as your maternal line. Some disadvantages of using dairy does include: 1) They are often raised under intensive feeding and rather pampered situations, and thus you may need to convert them to pasturing and a more rugged life if they are to be used strictly for production of meat.  2) They are relatively large goats; hence their feed costs per doe unit are more during the winter when many pastures are out of commission. 3) The dairy breeds are less likely to breed out of season than the meat breeds. Dairy does that have been raised under meat goat conditions are often easy to find in many states.  These pasture-raised does that have never been milked or managed for maximum milk production are good mothers, do well on less grain, and are easy to dry off.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.