Meat Goat Breeds

Farmers or breeders who are raising goats for meat might have some trouble deciding which meat goat breeds are the best. Basically, any goat breed can be a meat goat breed, however, there are specific types that are considered to be the best goats for meat.

Meat goat breeds are specifically bred to mature quickly and put on weight, with less focus on producing milk. Unlike milk goats who are expected to produce milk and dairy for a long time, meat goat breeds are expected to grow quickly and be ready to be sold from the farm to markets as soon as possible.

In the farming community, goats are considered to be a significant contributor, alongside cows and chickens.

Farmers do not expect meat goat breeds to have a long life or reach old age. In fact, farmers and breeders who are raising the best goats for meat are not interested in purchasing a show goat. Meat goat breeds and show goats are bred, raised and taken cared of in different ways. From their fitness, growth rate and characteristic, meat goat breeds and show goats are considered to be entirely different from each other.

Veteran farmers who are well-versed in best goats for meat production find it ideal to select a sturdy, full-breed buck and then breed him with other mixed-breed nannies. This reproductive technique will determine the qualities breeders want in the kids. Below are some notable goat meat breeds highly recommended for raising the best goats for meat:

Boer goat breeds were originally bred in South Africa primarily for its meat and superior body shape. Aside from being one of the highest in demand meat goat breeds, the popularity of the Boer goat has also boosted thanks to its fertility and high growth or production rate.

A notable characteristic of Boer goat breeds is its white, all red or reddish-brown color with red, brown or black markings or print on the neck and head. Boer goats are noted for their short, curved horns that are close to the head paired with long, pendulous ears. Aside from being one of the popular meat goat breeds, Boer goats are also known for their ability to be docile farm animals.

Boer goats are also in demand because of its high-resistance to diseases and its ability to learn how to adapt in dry, hot and semi-desert areas, whether it is in the United States or in other countries. The Boer goat is one of the meat goat breeds that reaches slaughter maturity in 90 days and can reach an average of 200-340 pounds for bucks and 190-230 pounds for does.

Spanish goat breeds are also known to be one of the best goats for meat. According to many science citations, Spanish goats were the standard meat goat breeds before the Boer goats reached the United States sometime in the 1980s.

Spanish goat breeds are known for its unique characteristics – lanky, medium-sized and short-haired goats with twisted horns. Spanish goat breeds are also considered to be more than just a part of meat goat breeds.

In the United States, Boers have taken over Spanish goats as the favorite or best goats for meat. However, they still remain to be in the roster of popular meat goat breeds but the life of Spanish goats have a newfound purpose, and that is effectively controlling invasive brush or thick fiber plants like the buckthorn.

Brush goats are animals considered to be a various mixtures of different meat goat breeds. They are considered to be hardy and adaptable, useful for their ability in eating brush preventing unwanted plant growth.

Other names for this meat goat breeds include native goats, briar goats or hill goats. Similar to the Spanish goat breed, Brush goats are considered to be a category of goats rather than being a specific goat breed. Tracing back to goat literature bloodlines, brush goats are known to be genetic crosses of meat goat breeds and dairy goat breeds.

Another goat breed known for being one of the best meat goat breeds is the Tennessee fainting goats. Taking from its name, Tennessee Fainting goats originated from Tennessee and are also referred to as stiff leg goats, wooden goats, nervous goats or myotonic goats. This meat goat breed has a special characteristic that makes it unique from other animals – they fall down or “faint” when they get startled.

When it comes to the growth and reproductive rate of this meat goat breed, they are considered to be fertile, hardy as they have a long breeding season. The eyes of this meat goat breed are unique and protruding. Aside from being one of the best goats for meat, myotonic goats are also sometimes kept as a family pet or novelty specimen.

This animal is known for its hardy, white and large-framed characteristics. Farmers prefer this meat goat breed because of its ability to thrive and stay healthy even under poor and dry conditions.

The development of this meat goat breed was originally in New Zealand and this herd was eventually brought to the United States in the 1990s. Based on research, Kikos are exclusively meat goat breeds thanks to its muscular, compact bodies with dramatic, outswept, spiraling horns. Popular in several goat markets, Kikos are considered to be the best goats for meat because the adult buck is fast-growing and can reach up to 300-pounds.

If a farmer has a lot of land available, it can be more economical for him to breed Kikos rather than Boers as the rates or price for these meat goat breeds are usually the same and the former require little attention and rough grazing territory than traditional pastures.

Pygmy goats are usually bred from the West African pygmy goat breed. This goat breed is usually kept as pets but some consumers and farmers see this breed as a potential meat goat breed because of its quality meat and compact body. The fertility of Pygmy meat goat breeds is also exceptional even when out of season. A variety of patterns and solid colors are available in this type of meat goat breed, such as white, brown, and black.