Are Goat studs profitable?

410farmer

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I think I addressed that question as well.
I was wondering how I missed that you posted a min before me lol. There is a proven way locally of a guy making money selling goats. Pasture raise meat goats, and marketed to the ethnic community ie Asians, Africans, islanders etc. He even have a slaughter station on his farm so they can butcher the halal way for Muslims. During holidays he make sure he has certain aged kids.
 

Ridgetop

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Probably not for any type of goat stud service.

First, the goats that many people want to breed to that would be worth a lot of money are the registered bucks that are known for producing high milk, excellent type, or udders. These are usually not available unless you have ordered one from a specific breeder, proved him on your own does, and decided to stud him out. This type of buck is usually collected and semen straws are sold to breeders. This is because you can get 10 straws (breedings) from one ejaculation when collecting, whereas a live breeding will use one ejaculation per breeding. Since straws from the best bucks run anywhere from $100 - $1000 per straw, it is better to collect the bucks and sell straws. In addition, there is no contact with outside animals that may bring in disease. You do not have to ascertain if the doe is in standing heat, and you have less work.

Depending on the need for breeding bucks in your area, you will probably not get more than $25-30 for a service. If the doe does not "take" (become pregnant and deliver a live kid) you will have to give the doe owner another service or their money back. Since goats are seasonal breeders, and only breed once a year the goat owner will not be happy to have lost a year of milk and kid production. Your buck could also get the reputation of being sterile. People with more than 5 goats will probably keep their own buck since at that point it becomes economically feasible to do so. Many people buy a young buckling in spring, keep him through the breeding season and then sell him at the auction after breeding season is over.

Since the bucks would also be a pet for your child, remember that if the buck gets a disease of any sort from other goats the child must be prepared to get rid of it immediately. It cannot be used on any other does and could spread the disease to its pen mates. Would your child be willing and able to do this? If not, don't take this any farther.

What type of people and what sort of goats do you have in your area? Are they 4-H dairy goat project kids? If so they will want a registered buck of their breed since they will want to show their goats and kids at the Fair. If the doe owner wants household milk and meat, you should invest in a good Boer buck. Breeding to dairy does will produce cross bred kids for meat while the dairy does will give household milk. If you want to keep a couple of cute bucks for breeding, and if you think you can line up some does to breed to in your area, go ahead. You will not make any money keeping bucks just to breed other people's goats, and depending on the cost of feed, etc. you might lose money. There is more money in raising meat than milk. Selling pets has a limited buyer pool. Meat buyers, on the other hand, will return for more meat thus becoming repeat customers.

Nubians have the longest breeding season. Depending on your climate, their season can last for 6 months - from August through January. Swiss breeds have a much shorter season of about 4 months. this is the only time you can use your buck for stud since he will not be able to breed when not in rut without some type of hormonal stimulants. Even if you have 100 people in your area that want to breed to your buck you will make about $2500 per year less the cost of keeping the buck, feed, vaccines, testing, return of fees for breedings that don't result in live kids, etc.

Keeping stud bucks is not difficult. They have to be acquired young, preferably bottle fed, or at least with a lot of human attention. Then they need to be collar or halter trained, as well as trained to stand for hoof trimming, clipping and care. Their general care is the same as does, hoof trimming and vaccinations. They will require proper nutrition, some grain before and during rut (their breeding season), and vitamin supplements if your soil and hay is deficient.

Bucks will also require clipping and bathing after rut to remove the stink. Bucks only smell really bad during the period of rut. The odor is pervasive so do not keep the bucks near the house or up wind. The smell people blame on bucks is from the gland secretions on their heads and behind their knees. This is especially potent during rut to attract does. The odor is an aphrodisiac to the does as they come into season. Bucks also like to pee on their own faces and beards - goat breeders often refer to it as "putting on his after shave cologne". LOL After the rutting season we would shampoo all our bucks with pig shampoo to remove the odor, then shave the hair behind their legs, under their bellies and around their necks and faces - the main areas that were scented by the glands and peeing on themselves. It was an all day job and afterwards we all shampooed and showered with the pig shampoo ourselves. LOL

Keeping breeding bucks is not particularly labor intensive except when breeding. During rut they are more aggressive, but not necessarily mean, just harder to handle as they want to get to the does. Hand breeding does with the buck on a leash is doable. We used to breed our dairy does that way since we needed to know the exact date of expected kidding in order to remove the kids at birth before they could nurse. We gave them heat treated colostrum, and pasteurized milk to avoid CAE. This was in addition to annually blood testing our entire herd for CAE. Since we exhibited we did not want to take any chances.

In the early days we only had a couple of house milkers and we would take our goats to be bred to outside bucks. We took them back to the breeder we bought them from and she would board them for a month to make sure they were bred. These were people who kept tested herds, that knew our goats. They had excellent bucks from good lines. As we got more does that needed to be bred, we eventually purchased bucks from top show and milk bloodlines. By that time we were showing a lot and wanted specific bloodlines and improvements. By then fewer people were allowing outside breeding because of the possibility of disease being transmitted.

We loaned a nice young Nubian buck to "friends" who assured us that they had no CAE or other diseases on their property. Another breeder we trusted vouched for them. Later we were told that they kept a CAE positive doe because she was their "best" doe. The nice young Nubian buck also came back with an abscess. He went to the auction, and my son lost his favorite home bred buck. We never loaned another buck. We only bred outside does for 4-H kids to whom we had sold those does, and that we tested ourselves.

If you want to try keeping bucks for breeding purposes, you can do it with the same fencing and shelter as you would use for your does. You will have to test your bucks at least once a year for various diseases. I would recommend doing it every 6 months - before rut and after rut ends. You will also have to check fertility of the buck and make sure he does not have any STDs - another test. You will have to supply good quality feed or forage, some grain during rut, and vaccinate. During the breeding season, the bucks will smell very bad. You can do nothing about this since removing the scent glands is painful, dangerous, and makes the buck less attractive to the does.

Personally, I would not recommend this as a way to earn money.
 
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