Benchmarks of Victorian commercial goat meat enterprises
conference contributionposted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by G Ferrier, Bruce McGregor
The Australian goat meat industry has mostly processed feral goats for export. As goat meat markets mature there will be an increased demand for farmed goats to meet supply, especially into niche markets. Production benchmarking showed that Victorian commercial goat meat producers are located generally in areas with <500 mm rainfall, usually in conjunction with other livestock and cropping enterprises. On average, 67% of farm area, equal to 701 ha (range 55 – 4400 ha) was allocated to the goat enterprise. Commercial producers used Boer bucks, at an average mating rate of 2.2%, over Boer X or feral X does. Weaning rates averaged 99% (range 51 - 165%). There was a large range in husbandry ($0 - $3.07) and supplementary feeding ($6.75 - $9.60) expenditure. Fifty percent of producers indicated that they carried out regular faecal egg counts to assess worm burdens. Seasonal supply patterns showed that producers were supplying Christmas and Easter markets with a live weight range of 12 - 40 kg and an overall average live weight of 26 kg. The issues of concern identified by commercial growers were: internal parasitism, doe fertility, kid predation, kid growth rates, Johnes disease, and fencing security. This study indicated that there is considerable scope to improve the productivity of the Victorian commercial goat meat industry. Most producers supply smaller carcases on a strong seasonal basis. This supply pattern inhibits industry development.