Goat Handling Equipment
Grant Award: $6,000
Patrick has purchased a 45-foot goat handling system that is capable of working at least 250 head of goat, since he plans to expand his 174 Myotonic goat herd. He has steadily increased his herd from 20 since he first started raising them in 2011.
The system consists of a squeeze chute, motorized working table with scales, sorting gate, wheel and tub system, double alley and a 20-foot goat arena. Without the equipment, he had to hire labor to corral, contain and hold goats to trim hooves, vaccinate, worm and prep for livestock shows. With the expansion in mind, “it will be practically impossible to work our goat herd without this equipment,” Patrick said.
The scales ensure his is measuring the animals’ weight correctly, which is important since they are sold by price per pound. The dosage of medication for parasites is also based on weight.
In part due to a 2014 WNC AgOptions grant, the farm expanded so much that a handling system to work livestock has become essential. From 2013 until 2016, their gross income for Myotonic goats has increased 71 percent. If Patrick meets his expansion goals, he will have created one full-time position for one family member.
Patrick’s markets include replacement does or bucks for farms; show projects; and meat production. The goats that are not sold via online advertising are taken to the Georgia or Tennessee market for slaughter.
Patrick also raises 2,000 various types birds for egg production, meat, and bird dog training and has just begun propagating blueberry shrubs.