Miniature goats for meat?

TheBanditQueen

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Has anyone here butchered a Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy goat for meat? What kind of dress-out percentages do they get? What age and weight do you do it? We have a small herd of miniatures (Nigerian Dwarf for milking, and 2 Pygmy wethers) that we are raising, and any eventual excess offspring that we can't sell we will be planning to harvest and use. I know they make less meat than full-size goats, but we went with miniatures to minimize damage to the fruit trees. And smaller animals would be easier to process. It seems that the Pygmies would be better for meat, since they are much stockier than the Nigerians. Similar to the differences between beef and dairy cows. Any thoughts?
 

Lynn

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I have Nigerians and were thinking of processing the wethers that didn't sell after they were about 9 months old. I would be interested if anyone else has done this, also... if not, by this time next year, I should have some more information on this...

Lynn :)
 

frustratedearthmother

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I just finished lunch.... It was left-over 'leg of goat' and it was soooo delicious. We butchered a young pygmy wether about a month ago. He was probably only about 40 lbs live weight, and unfortunately before we got him shot - my little terrier got in the pen with him and worked him over. The reason for sharing that info is to explain why we could not salvage his front legs for food - they were just too damaged. What we did get is the two hind legs, tiny tenderloins, ribs and some various cuts of stew meat.

I did not weigh him either as hanging weight or as finished cuts of meat. My guess is we got about 10 lbs of meat - but that is without the front legs at all. Seems like a tiny amount, but the goat was small to begin with.

I will say however, that while we were eating it last night for dinner my DH said he was going upstairs to get his gun. I asked him why and he laughed and said we gotta butcher the rest of those wethers cuz this is the best thing I ever ate!

Definitely worth it!
 

TheBanditQueen

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frustratedearthmother said:
I just finished lunch.... It was left-over 'leg of goat' and it was soooo delicious. We butchered a young pygmy wether about a month ago. He was probably only about 40 lbs live weight, and unfortunately before we got him shot - my little terrier got in the pen with him and worked him over. The reason for sharing that info is to explain why we could not salvage his front legs for food - they were just too damaged. What we did get is the two hind legs, tiny tenderloins, ribs and some various cuts of stew meat.

I did not weigh him either as hanging weight or as finished cuts of meat. My guess is we got about 10 lbs of meat - but that is without the front legs at all. Seems like a tiny amount, but the goat was small to begin with.

I will say however, that while we were eating it last night for dinner my DH said he was going upstairs to get his gun. I asked him why and he laughed and said we gotta butcher the rest of those wethers cuz this is the best thing I ever ate!

Definitely worth it!
Great info!

Were you already planning to butcher the goat, or did you do it because the dog got him? How old was he?
 

frustratedearthmother

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Actually, we were planning on butchering him that same day. I had put him into a 4 x 4 pen in the backyard while I was gathering my butchering supplies. While I was in the house, the stinking little terrier went through holes in the stock panel pen and started chewing him up. She doesn't even know how close she came to getting the first bullet... but she's in "prison" now in a nice doggy proof enclosure - only out under direct supervision.

The goat was about 9 months old and was pretty small for his age. The only grain he ever received was for a couple months in the winter when I give the whole herd a small amount of grain.

We'll definitely do it again. And, as a bonus, they are small enough that the skinning and gutting can be done pretty quickly (and I'm inexperienced). After that they can come inside and be finished up in air conditioned comfort! :)
 

TheBanditQueen

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frustratedearthmother said:
Actually, we were planning on butchering him that same day. I had put him into a 4 x 4 pen in the backyard while I was gathering my butchering supplies. While I was in the house, the stinking little terrier went through holes in the stock panel pen and started chewing him up. She doesn't even know how close she came to getting the first bullet... but she's in "prison" now in a nice doggy proof enclosure - only out under direct supervision.

The goat was about 9 months old and was pretty small for his age. The only grain he ever received was for a couple months in the winter when I give the whole herd a small amount of grain.

We'll definitely do it again. And, as a bonus, they are small enough that the skinning and gutting can be done pretty quickly (and I'm inexperienced). After that they can come inside and be finished up in air conditioned comfort! :)
Would you tell me about your herd and what you do with your goats?
 

elevan

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With our pygmies we get about 35-40% hanging weight versus live weight. The larger that they are the higher the % seems to be.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'm definitely going to weigh mine next time because I am interested in percentages. I'm also starting a kinder-type herd by crossing my pygmy boys on nubian girls. I'm interested in seeing how their percentages compare to the pygmies.

Many, many decades ago I got my first goats because they were cute, lol. I spent a few years on the show circuit with the pygmy goats before giving it up. I kept my goats and would occasionally breed and sell babies, but mostly they were just pasture ornaments. I don't know exactly when it happened, but the lightbulb went off in my head telling me that the goats should be feeding me instead of me feeding them. It's working out pretty well for me now.

I've also learned to love milking the gals. Last year I milked a nubian and a pygmy for about 10 months. The pygmy gave a quite decent amount of milk at her peak, and even better-the milk was absolutely fantastic. Nubian milk is good - pygmy milk is awesome! The nubian gave almost a gallon at her peak, and the pygmy gave about half that.

I've got a kinder-type (can't call them Kinders until they're registered) that kidded a week ago. Last night, just for fun I milked her out on one side and got about a pint and a half. I think she's going to do very well for me except that her teats are small, very small - even smaller than the pygmy I was milking.

I've got three in milk right now, and another doe due any minute now - but I probably won't start milking seriously for another few weeks.
 

TheBanditQueen

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Elevan, is 35-40% a good amount? Do you grain or pasture feed your goats? What age are they when you get that kind of percentage?

Frustratedearthmother, your Pygmy gave half a gallon at her peak? :drool What a goat! Was she bred for milking?

I liked what I read about Kinders when I first got into goats, but there were none for sale near enough to get to. The info I saw indicated that they can be a dual purpose dairy and meat type goat. Is that what you are breeding for with yours (or your Pygmies)?
 

frustratedearthmother

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She was a pretty exceptional gal! Unfortunately I lost her a couple of weeks ago to the freakiest thing ever. She choked to death on her feed when she was just a day or so from kidding. I was with her when it happened and I tried everything I could to dislodge the feed but she literally was dead within a couple of minutes. I ran into the house for a knife and cut the babies out - but it had been too long. I really wish I had a doe kid from her.

She wasn't necessarily bred for miking, as I was breeding for the show ring at that time. But an udder will get you extra points even in a pygmy show ring, so I always kept it in mind.

I also looked for Kinders and finally decided to start my own herd. I've got to get busy and get the paperwork done to get them registered. I do tend to procrastinate....
 
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