“an oil producer”
manufacturer, maker, builder, constructor, fabricator,“a car producer” grower, farmer “coffee producers”
In the Spring of 2018, the Farmer and I attended a few different farming conferences. One of the session that we both found interesting was about rotational grazing, but for different reasons. He likes that fact that this could help with soil quality and weed control; I liked it because you could have cute farm animals roaming around. So, we discussed the topic a bit more and came up with the plan that I would be starting my own goat ‘operation’. We chose to start with goats for a few reasons. One, I love goats. Two, goats prefer to eat brush and weeds so that would help mitigate weeds in our organic crops. Plus, they are smaller than a cow so I believed they would be much easier to maintain without much help from the Farmer.
The next job for me was to decide on which breed of goat to get. I knew I didn’t want a breed intended for milking because I felt that would be a bit too labour intensive for me to start with. I decided to go with Boer’s for a couple of reasons. After doing some research, Boer’s seemed to be most available in my area as well as also a popular option as a meat goat.
*A pause while you gasp* Say WHAA? A MEAT goat? You mean people ACTUALLY eat a GOAT? But they are so cute and bouncy and look sweet in costumes! How could someone do that??
I know, I know, I had the same reaction to the whole thing. When I pictured the life of a goat, it looked a little something like this…
In reality, most goats of the world don’t get featured on YouTube in their pajamas and get millions of views (but I can always appreciate a good goat in pajama’s video like the next person…). In actuality, goat meat is the #1 red meat consumed world wide. The low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, combined with its high iron and protein content, make goat meat a good choice for anyone looking for a healthy red meat. It’s a leaner, healthier choice when compared to equal serving sizes of chicken, beef and pork. So the question is, why don’t we eat it? Here’s an article that I read recently that goes more into detail about North American’s not consuming goat meat.
I will be the first to admit, I have never tried Chevon (goat meat). I couldn’t tell you if it was even on a menu at a restaurant in town. It is nothing that I have ever looked for because that was not something I was raised to eat. But what about the people that live in Southern Alberta that weren’t brought up on good ol’ Alberta Beef? People from places like Africa, India, Nepal, the Caribbean and Middle East who have found their way to our great country who have grown up consuming goat. They need to eat too right? So my friends, that’s where I come in.
I am a goat producer. I raise goats with all the love in my heart to provide food for families. It takes time and money to ensure that all the needs of my animals have been met, sometime even before my own. I talk to them, play with them and give them big scratches behind their ears. I invite my family and friends to participate in sharing the love with my herd. I’ve spent the last six months taking better care of these animals than I have of anything else. Why? Because that’s my job.
Again, I’ll be honest – today is a hard day for me. My five goats will be heading to auction to be sold. The males will most likely be auctioned off for meat and the females can go for breeding or meat. Whatever happens to them I know I did everything I could do to give them the best life possible. But most importantly, I know all my hard work will feed a family and to me, that’s the most humbling part of being a Farmer.