Speaking of parasite resistance – Fred and I traveled to Millen, Georgia last week to pick up a group of four month old kids – nine doelings and six bucklings. The dams and sires of these little ones are from the Weinheimer Ranch out of Texas. Three bucklings and two doeling have already gone to their new homes. The rest are staying here.
And we are back to talking parasite resistance. Spanish breeds are the decedents of goats brought to this land hundreds of years ago. They have survived through all the diversity of foliage and weather on their own. These animals in past years have been known as woods goats or brush goats and not highly valued. When specialty meat goats came to this country 15 to 20 years back, many of the Spanish goats were sent to the meat market. Little did anyone realize that the new goat would not successfully survive and grow without chemical treatment and daily grain. Chemical dewormer residue can be harmful to humans and withdrawal periods are lengthy. In addition to being costly and time consuming to producers, the chemicals have lost their effectiveness. Now we have super bugs.
We have always used breeds with natural parasite resistance and this group will strengthen those traits in the commercial breeding herd we now have. We intend to raise the full breed Spanish as separate breeding group. It will take us 18 months or more to realize results for our efforts. We won’t breed until they are a year old then it’s five months gestation and weaning at three or four months. This effort is part of our long range plan to produce a hardy and healthier goat that will thrive in Florida’s humid environment.
The end result is a quality natural meat product for our customers. Brings the question to mind – Does the general public give any thought to what Monsanto is doing to our planted food crop with their built in weed killers? Now that’s a story for another day.