Raising Meat Goats for Profit Kindle Edition
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This is one of the few chatty how-to books that I have found did not waste even a page of type.
No matter the topic, it is apparent Ms Bowman has learned from experience and is unafraid to tell us her mistakes as well as her successes. But, she is not preachy and doesn't try to convince us there is only one way. She freely informs us of methods and techniques, and even other breeds, reported to her by other breeders.
I had long thought the best way to try and make a living with goats would be as a dairy, but, milking a hundred goats can be mighty tiring for a bare living. Thus, I was considering meat goats after downloading some introductory blurbs published by the Saskatchewan Ag folks.
I, however, remained skeptical of meat goats for profit. I was concerned I might be getting into a branch of agriculture for dreamers (the visionary sort, no disrespect meant) but, at age 50, I just don't feel the hankering to blaze any new trails. In other words, I want to let today's youth do the experimenting. I just want to earn money to sock away for my retirement.
Well, Ms Bowman has done a great job in showing me that meat goats are not the 21st Century equivalent of ostrich, emu, elk, deer and bison. They are a viable farm product that can produce a reasonable income without having to create a new market or without having to depend on other breeders for one's profit.
I nominate Raising Meat Goats For Profit as one of the Best How-To books for the 21st Century!
If I were still publishing farm magazines I would definitely be shouting the news to my readers. Raising Meat Goats For Profit is a masterpiece.
Most of the rest of this book is identical to all the generic books on raising goats in general and probably even the same as books on sheep. It is strictly conventional and she does nothing outside of the box. It's kind of like reading a book report, it just summarizes the same info. If you are at all interested in raising goats naturally then this is definitely not the book for you. I became interested in raising meat goats as I heard it is a good way to clear out unwanted brush and weeds without a lot of labor and can also be profitable. Gail mentions the use of pasture almost in passing stating "If your goats are out there feeding themselves on pasture, you need to be sure they have a high enough quality forage..." but then does nothing to explain what a high quality goat forage is. And then continues with I don't even know how many pages of information on how much grain to give them, featuring numerous charts and diagrams. She appears to have zero knowledge of pasture feeding as if it's just the place they go in between feeding time and mentions nothing of rotational grazing. The rest of the book is again pretty conventional and generic explaining worming, vaccines, midwifing of the goats(/sheep really doesn't make any difference) Yes midwifing, she has a telecom in her birthing barn to listen to the sheep in the house in addition to having her alarm go off every two hours to go check on the mothers to be. Which according to her is the old fashioned way as she told her friend whom had a security camera installed to watch the expectant goats. Honestly!? If you are looking to fill an empty nest or something and want to devote your entire life to tucking your goats in at night and such then this is the book for you.
Oh and I was also looking for specific information on fencing for meat goats. Nope. Extremely vague. I have no more of an idea of what I need to do for fencing than I did before reading.
I just have to include this gem "The molecular structure of chevron is different than that of other meats. Therefore, it digests more easily." That's word for word and it isn't out of context, no follow up, nothing relative before. That's like stating "the color of brown cars is different than that of non-brown cars. Therefore brown cars go faster. WOW! What are you 4? Do you really want to take advice from this person?
Page 110-112. This is where the book officially sunk to one star. Quite possibly the worst thing I have ever read. This is where I actually got angry that I paid $20 for this worthless book. That's right the rest of my summary was the good part of the book. This is the first of her "North and South" sections. Where Gail calls her friend from the south and puts the transcript in her book. It's embarrassing. I really wish I could just put the whole thing in here to insure that no one would ever buy this book but it is too long. But it's written in the format of: "Yes Ma-um, well, like, what do you mean the old way? Well honey.. But that's not the worst of it. This really goes back to her having no concept of raising goats naturally. This section is on AI. Which I acknowledge makes sense in some cases such as if you only have a few animals and don't want to have a buck year round just for this. But Gail or her friend in the phone call, whatever, suggests placing a garbage bag over your buck with holes for his back legs and then duct taping it around his chest to use as a goat condom so that he can warm up the does but not actually breed with them. Or you can have your buck surgically sterilized. Then after he mounts her wait 4 hours and check your doe to see if her vaginal excretion is the consistency of string cheese and her cervix is open. If so it's time to breed her. It also helps to massage your doe's clitoris for 30 seconds after AI. (no joke, WTH) Then Gail says you should use another buck for follow up to make sure you don't miss a breeding season, because, it's just common sense. Really that's common sense? You duct tape a garbage bag over your buck to prevent it from breeding so that you can do it yourself and that's common sense!? I was in shock. Still am. But hey I guess from the brown-car-go-fast-logic lady, why not? With the number of hours of labor that Gail puts into each step of caring for her goats I can't see anyway she could keep a large enough number of them to be profitable. She's a hobby farmer. I doubt the goats are paying her bills.
I could go on almost endlessly about how bad this book is, I haven't even started ranting about page 113 yet and that is worse than 110-112. Yes I'm serious. I skimmed a few parts after that just to see how bad it could get and quit reading. I really have no idea how this book got so many 4-5 star ratings. Please don't buy this book. Unless it's the one I will soon be listing for sale.
On a positive note, aside from the fact that it contains little if any useful information, her writing style is easy to read and flows nicely.