WHEN David and Mary Booth moved from their property west of Ivanhoe to their current holding south of Cootamundra, they brought a draft of their rangeland does with them.
The Booth’s purchased the 1600ha property “Buronga”, 14 years ago, maintaining their core goat herd neatly complementing their prime lamb and beef operation.
“We had been selecting the best of our rangeland does and joining them to Boer billies when we were at Ivanhoe,” Mr Booth said.
“We were selling the progeny for about $1.80kg and it was good money so it made sense to continue with them when we moved to Cootamundra.”
Mr Booth said his family started supplying organically produced lamb to a butcher in Canberra, and it was by chance that butcher had halal contacts which widened the exposure for marketing their goat meat.
“We also started to attend farmer’s markets and that also introduced our goat meat to consumers other than Anglo-Saxons,” he said.
“We identified a market which demanded wether and young doe goat meat and prepared to pay a premium price for the pink meat.”
The best feedback Mr Booth said came from the butcher whose customers much preferred the pink meat grown by farmed goats rather than the dark meat of the rangeland goats.
Currently, the Booth family run 400 breeding does on their property with set kiddings in August and September with a second kidding in November.
“We are getting 130 to 160 per cent of kids as we have been selecting does for their fertility as well as surviving ability and meat quality,” Mr Booth said.
“We have been wet and drying our does, and any doe coming through dry for the second time is sold for the export market.”
Mr Booth admitted he had to change his management system when he moved to the higher rainfall country.
“Previously we had been mustering the rangeland goats on an opportunity basis because they were kidding all year round,” he said.
“But when we moved here we had to improve our fences and were able to put pressure on the selection of does and control their breeding cycles.”
Mr Booth said the current opportunities for goat meat were unlimited with their experience showing demand for farmed goat meat in the domestic market not being matched with supply.
“We need to have more farmed goat meat of better quality because we are in a funny position of not being able to satisfy the current demand,” he said.