Back when Emily Ruckert began raising sheep, she didn’t have any plans to raise goats as well. It just happened. Today, she cares for a small pack of goats that, as she puts it, take up a fair share of her time and money. When it comes to making a profit with goats, there are four options that seem to work best for most folks throughout the Northwest.
Selling Goats for Meat
Goats are one of the more consumed meats in the world behind pork, poultry and beef, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. While it’s not huge in the U.S. there are people out there who buy goats for meat production.
“While I do spend a lot of money to feed them, I do make some money selling them to a local sheep and goat buyer,” Emily said when asked about making money on her goats.
She’s not alone. There is money to be made when selling goats for meat. The amount of land you’ll need and the number of goats necessary to turn a profit may vary based on going rates, but overall the process is straightforward. Be sure to follow USDA guidelines carefully.
While trucking a herd of goats to a USDA processing facility might not be cost-effective, selling them live on hoof or dropping them off at a local meat processor could be a money-making venture.
Using Goat Milk
Milking a goat is a daily, all-year-long chore that takes time and patience. Like dairy cows, you’ll need to keep some of your goats pregnant and have kids (young goats) around to ensure the milk continues to flow. When it comes to selling that milk (raw or pasteurized), you’ll find there are strict guidelines in Oregon and Washington. While the rules may differ for goats in some areas, the information in our Beginners Guide to Raw Milk can get you started.
Producing soap, lip balm, candles, and lotions is another way to utilize goat milk without some of the legal restrictions. Stop by any local farmers market and you’ll often see folks selling some of these items. If you have the time and know how to make it happen, it can be a money maker and give you something to do with your goat’s milk.
Clearing Brush and Land
As we covered in Using Goats for Brush and Plant Control, goats are a great way to clear an acre of land or urban lot. They’re built for the job. It’s also a great way to make a living, if you’re willing to drive them from location to location, erect electric web netting, and go in after your herd to pull out anything they cannot reach or devour.
Raising and Selling Registered Goats
It might be a bit expensive up front but buying and raising the right breed of registered goats can be profitable when selling the kids or full-grown goats to people looking for a pet or adding to their herd. Even raising and selling non-registered goats can be profitable, but as anyone who has worked with 4-H will tell you, register livestock can bring in bigger dollars. Just be ready to learn about goat genetics and proper breeding.
Coastal Has Goat Experts
Stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal today where you’ll find answers to all of your goat questions. You’ll also find fencing, medications to keep your goats healthy, feed, waterers, and everything else you need to care for your herd.