Why are Meat Goats
the fastest growing livestock industry in the world?
"...The demand for `chevon', or `cabrito', or `goat meat' in the United States is so high that producers can't keep up. Because of this vacuum, much of the goat meat sold in the United States is imported from New Zealand or Australia. About 1.5 million pounds of goat meat is imported every week. And demand just keeps growing.
Much of the demand is generated by the changing ethnic demographics of the continent. About 63% of the red meat consumed worldwide is goat! Much of the goat meat demand in the United States comes from ethnic groups that include Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Latin American and Caribbean heritage. Most of these groups buy goat meat whenever they can find it, and they are willing to pay better prices for higher quality meat.
What is so special about chevon (goat meat)? Many people have digestive problems that require a careful diet. The molecular structure of chevon is different than that of other meats. Therefore, chevon digests more easily. It is also a low fat, good tasting alternative to chicken or fish. I am one of those people who have to watch what they eat. I can eat chicken, some kinds of fish, turkey and chevon. I prefer chevon from an animal that is at least 75% Boer. The Boer influence changes the taste of the meat to a milder, more veal-like flavor. When you have as few choices in your diet as I do, you learn what you like. I have not had the opportunity to try Kiko or Fainting goat meat. My comparisons are with dairy goat meat...
Boer goats are large framed animals resembling, in many ways, the Nubian goat. The most striking difference between a Boer goat and any other type of goat you may have seen, is the size. A Boer is a large, double muscled animal developed in Southern Africa specifically for meat and hardiness.
They can consistently produce more muscling in less time than any other breed of goat, and will pass this capability to their kids. Boers are easy to raise, have mild temperaments, are affectionate, require no milking, no special care, no shearing, and no fancy fences. Boers and
Boer crosses also have huge rumen capacity. The Boer goats were developed to clear land that was too difficult to be cleared by humans. They spend a lot more time grazing than other types of goats do. One reason for this, is that they are out grazing in the heat of
the day when dairy goats are wilting in the shade. They are also out grazing when the snow is blowing across the pasture...."
This article is an excerpt from the book, Raising Meat Goats for Profit
by Gail Bowman. This great informational guide to goat husbandry, marketing meat goats and the meat breeds. Gail Bowman has raised meat goats in the Northwestern United States and has a bachelors degree in education.