Goat Meat AKA Chevon or Cabrito, Capretto or at times even Mutton
So Andreas Homestead has entered the world of goat meat. Something I NEVER thought would happen, but, alas, never say never. Yes, we are raising our own goats for meat.
We raise Myotonics. Never heard of them? Oh yes you have. They are also called Fainting Goats, Tennessee Fainting, Tennessee Meat, Texas Wooden Leg, Stiff, Nervous, and even Scare goats. To quote The Livestock Conservancy,
“The names refer to a breed characteristic known as myotonia congenita, a condition in which the muscle cells experience prolonged contraction when the goat is startled. The transitory stiffness associated with these contractions can cause the goat to fall down. This is not a true faint, but a muscular phenomenon unrelated to the nervous system. The degree of stiffness varies from goat to goat, with some showing a consistently stiff response and others exhibiting stiffness only rarely.”
Whatever the name or condition, we love our goats! I never (there again is that word) thought I would want or like goats, but they are so much fun! They are easy going and not difficult to handle at all. Some goats can get really big 200 lbs! Not my myotonics. My biggest does at this point are about 75 to 80 lbs. While I cannot lift them easily on my own, I can handle them!
This year we had 5 does we bred. Two were first time mommies and the other 3, well, this was our second year breeding. The first time mommies both had one baby this year, both boys. The others all had twins! Out of the 8 kids we had, 6 are boys and two are girls.
So to do some quick math, we started with the 5 does. We also had 2 wethers (a castrated male goat) from the previous years births AND we had a buck that wintered with another farmer’s for breeding purposes. That gave us 8 adult goats. When we got our buck back, he was happy to aquaint himself with all the girls. 🙂 Late spring, most of our kids were born, giving us a grand total of 16 goats. For our land, that’s a lot of goats if we want to feed them on the browse that grows and not have to bring in extra feed. Also after about 6 weeks, our buck was beginning to court our girls again… way too soon courting and pregnancy. So… sorry Buddy the Buck, I tried to rehome you, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Ya know, we found out Buddy is still giving… he’s pretty darn tasty! Yes, we had Buddy Burgers.
Our meat handlers registration was then acquired with the NCDA and so begins our journey on raising goats for meat.
At this point, do we have a lot of meat? NO! It’s definitely something we will have to grow in to. Is it something that we will be able to do? Yes, I believe it will. The market for goat meat is growing. While it is very popular with ethnic cultures (goat meat is more popular than beef in the rest of the world), the US is learning of the value of goat. According to Michigan State University Extension,
“…goat meat is over 50 percent lower in fat than our American beef and is about 40 percent lower in saturated fat than chicken – even chicken cooked with the skin off!” See the chart below.*
OK, so how’s our pricing? We have worked really hard to make sure we are in line with other local farmers and their markets. We feel our pricing is middle of the road and fair. Remember, we are not mass producing meat here. We raise each one, specifically attending to his or her needs and caring for it. I think if you compare with other markets, you will see our pricing is as it should be.
I hope you will stop by and see us. Ask about our chevon and we’ll be happy to tell you all about them. Hopefully soon, we’ll have some pictures to share.
*The following meat comparison (per 3 oz. roasted meat) table is from the USDA:
|Calories||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Protein (g)||Iron (g)|