The Commercial Breeder

By Coni Ross

What constitutes a commercial breeder who is successful? That is a person who takes every advantage to make income from animals produced. To produce animals in the most cost effective and efficient manner so as to make maximum income. To have goals to improve the quality of the animals each year, improve production, and improve the bottom line.

Income should not be limited to only one method. For example: I have a commercial herd; I sell the bottom end kids to the auction, I sell 4-H wethers for show animals (this is not a niche market in Texas, but a real income producer), high quality commercial doe kids for replacement females, registered bucks and does from my small fullblood herd, and occasionally dogs. I do not rely solely on selling goats at the auction for income. Do not limit your horizons or options for making income on goats.

Increasing the quality of the animals in production increases your options for income production. Why limit yourself to one method only?

To call any producer who sells goats somewhere besides the auction a hobby farmer is erroneous. It takes ingenuity and hard work to make a ranch pay. I can't imagine the arrogance it takes to make a statement like that. It is very important to take advantage of all opportunities to make income from the animals.

Management is very important. Strategic vaccination and worming makes the animals more efficient, increases the kid crop, and reduces death losses. Supplementation during times of bad weather, and bad pasture condition increases production. No one is advocating full feed for commercial animals, but good sense dictates that animals have minimum nutrition to meet requirements for pregnancy, lactation, and to keep warm in winter. I have never seen a profit starved from an animal, and nor have I ever been able to make money from a dead kid. Coni

The preceding article was written by Coni Ross in response to a statement that anyone who doesn’t sell large quantities of goats at sale barns is only a “hobby farmer” raising goats for niche markets. The article is reprinted here with Coni’s permission.

Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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