- Animals: goats
- Animal Products: meat, other
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, free-range, grazing - multispecies, livestock breeding, rangeland/pasture management
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, workshop, youth education
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
This project will explore different methods of kidding (birthing) goats in a multi species program of grazing. Research will track the pros/cons of Intensive kidding vs Extensive kidding programs. Intensive kidding is known to be high in labor, costs of feed and health maintenance of does and kids. This results in a lower profit margin from kid sales which threatens economic sustainability. It is not known how or if an Extensive method will increase live kids raised from birth to sale or how it will reduce labor and costs of kid goat production in and Open Range program of multi species grazing. It is believed that an Extensive program of kidding does out in two connected traps will reduce cost of feed, labor and result in kids that are able to follow their mothers earlier, resulting in a higher percentage of live kids surviving until market. An increase in marketable kids while reducing labor and cost inputs should create a greater profit margin for a sustainable multi species grazing program. This project is designed to determine if the losses of kids, cost of feed and labor can be reduced in an Extensive kidding program. Reduction of these factors should result in an increase in kids making it to market sales thus creating a greater profit margin for sustainable multi species grazing program. The pros and cons of Extensive vs Intensive kidding management will be disseminated to the Ag community via Social Media, Multi Species Grazing workshops and rancher to rancher.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Design and build two kidding traps adjacent to each other and a working set of pens for identifying and moving pregnant goats to kidding traps as needed.
- Document, record and rate all births possible and compare whether Intensive or Extensive kidding programs produce the greatest number of live kids.
- Track feed and labor costs of each type of kidding program to see which is the lower in cost and labor to determine total cost of production of marketable kids.
- Monitor kidding traps for soil improvement and grass restoration during non- kidding season when traps will be rested.
- Identify the best type of kidding program ranchers can adopt to create an additional sustainable source of revenue as well as improving their land. Share the information discovered through educational programs and social media presentations.