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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
4 H FRETTER-ER
A BUCK GROWS UP
ADAPTING
AGAIN, THE SKY IS FALLING
ALL YOU NEED IS ... CARDBOARD
AMANNAMEDJED
AND THEN IT GOT COLD
AND THEN IT WARMED UP TO ZERO
ANGRY GOAT FARMER
ANTIQUE GOAT FARMING
ANYTHING BUT THAT
ARE BUCKS EVER BABIES
AROMA THERAPY
ARTFUL DODGERS
ARTIC FRONT
AUTUMN BOQUET
B U B - B U B - B U B
BABY BACK EXCUSE
BABY MONITORS
BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
BE HAPPY
BEAUTY MISTAKES
BEHAVIORS
BEHIND THE GATE
BIG 10-4 GOAT FARMER
BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
BILLBOARD GOAT FARMING
BILLIES & STICKWEEDS
BLIZZARD OF 92
BLONDE GOAT FARMER
BLONDE HUMOR
BOTTLE BABIES
BOTTLE BABY TALK
BOTTLE BABY WITHDRAWAL
BOXING SUNBEAMS
BRONCHITIS.
BRUISE OR DIRT
BUCK LOVE
BUCKETHEAD
BUCKS IN STOCK
CALLING YOOOOU
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
CARPAL TUNNEL HAY
CATCHING PEARL
CHICK CHICK CHICORY
CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
DUMPSTER RAIDERS
EARPUGS
EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS - DANCERS
ESCAPE ARTIST
ESCORT SERVICE
FALLING SKY
FARM WALK
FARMER C S I
FEEL LIKE A NUT
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
FLOATING MUSHROOMS
FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
GIRL WATCHER
GLIDING
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GNAWED AND BASICALLY CHEWED
GOAT ADDICTION
GOAT CELEBRATIONS
GOAT FARMER SONG
GOAT FARMER WEIGHT TRAINING
GOAT FARMER'S CREED
GOAT FARMING CAMP
GOAT HOLIDAY GIFTS
GOAT HUNTING
GOAT KLEENEX
GOAT LANGUAGE
GOAT OLYMPICS
GOAT PROFILER
GOAT SCIENTIST
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GOATS RULE
GOOD GRIEF
GOT RUNS?
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GRAND CANYON OF CHILDRESS
GREAT KIDDERS
HAULING GOATS
HAVE MILK WILL TRAVEL
HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE
HAY MONITOR
HE-BE-GEE-BE'S
HELP! HELP! HELP!
HELP! I'M IN THE BATHTUB
HELPING HOOVES
HERD OF TURTLES
HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (A GROANER)
HOME DECORATOR
HORNLESS
HOT CHOCOLATE
HOW TO BUY GOATS
HOW YOU FEELING?
HUGS
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HUNTING LUMBERJACKS
I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE
I FEEL PRETTY
I PREFER LONG EYE LASHES
I REALLY DO HAVE A HOME
I'LL HOLD HIM BACK
I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
I'M STILL HERE?
INDIAN SUMMER
INNOCENT 1ST TIME KIDDERS
INTERNET AUCTIONS
INVESTMENTS
IRON WILL
IT TOOK TWO
JINGLE BELL GOATS
JOKE - GET A JOB!
JOYFUL
JUMPY LITTLE SNOWBIRD
JUST 1 MORE GOAT
KEYSTONE KOPS
KID CATCHING
KID IN A BOX
KID SENSORY OVERLOAD
KIDMARES
KNUCKLE SANDWICHES
LADYLIKE BUCK SELLER
LAST BUCK STANDING
LEFT OVERS
LETTERS
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M. D. GOAT
MAD AGGIE
MANIPULATE WHAT?
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MAYBE THIS TIME
MEMBER ME
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MR. SNUFFY
MUSHROOM HUNTING
MUTTER MUTTER
NAMING GOATS
NANNY BERRIES ~ DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
NEW "KID" ... SHOWING
NEW HAY IN THE HOUSE
NEW KIDS.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
NORMAL
OCTOBER KIDDING
ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
PANIC ATTACK!
PAW PAWS
PHILOSOPHY OF HYPOCRISY
PHONE CALLS
PHONE CLASS
PICK POCKETS
PIRANHA PEN
PLAYING DEAD
PLEASED AS PUNCH
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PLOP
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PRESENTS
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PRO WRESTLER OR PUPPY
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PSYCH ME OUT
PUTTING ON A SHOW
QUIPS & QUOTES
QUIPS-N-QUOTES II
REAP THE WILD WIND
RECORD KEEPING
REDNECK TANK TOP
REFEREE
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ROAD TRIP 2003
ROCK ON
ROLL'UM ROLL'UM
ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'
RUB DIRT ON IT
S-T-R-E-S-S
SANDWICHED
SAWDUST.
SCHEDULING
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SECRET AGENT
SHAGA GOOBLE SHAGA BLIP
SHANNIGANS & KID SLOBBERS
SHORT TIGHT STEPS & OTHER ODD EVENTS
SHOTS
SHOULD EVERYONE VOTE
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SMART GOATS
SMUDGED
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP
SNATCHED BALD
SNEAKY
SONG OF THE FROG
SPIES, SECRET AGENTS, SPOOKS, AND OTHER GOATS
SSSNAKE
STAMPEDE!
STARGATE BOERS
STEAM-IRON SANDWICHES
STEP BY STEP
STICK IT WHERE
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STUCK AGAIN
STUDENT ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS
STUPID IS...
SUNSHINE BOO BOO'S
SUPER HERO
SUPER SUCKERS
SUPPER AT SEVEN A.M.
SURVEY SAYS
SURVIVING KIDDING
SWASH - BUCKLING BUCKS
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
TALKING POCKETS
TATTOOING
THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
THE DACHSHUND AND THE LEOPARD
THE DANGERS OF GUM BOOTS
THE FARM WOOKIE
THE FLYING GOATZANIES
THE FRAGRANCE OF HAY
THE GAME'S AFOOT
THE GOAT WHISPERER
THE MOB SQUAD
THE MORAL BUCK
THE PET CHICKEN
THE PIED PIPER
THE PLAN
THE SCARECROW GOAT SELLER
THE SMELL OF MONEY
THE TALKING GOAT
THE TARP ANNIHILATOR
THE THINKER
THE TICK
THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS
THE V WORD
THE WINDY TAX
THE WORM HAS TURNED
THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
THIS END UP
THUMP, BANG, WHOOP, AND HOLLER
THURSDAY, THURSDAY
TIE THE ROPE TO THE HAMMER
TOO MUCH FENCE
TORNADO ALLEY
TORPEDOS AND TIDAL WAVES
TOSS THE BLOCK
TOY TRUCK
TRAINING HUMANS
TRUE LOVE
TWITCHY HANKEY
UGH DAYS
UNCLE ARTHUR
UNWITTINGLY
USING CAFFEINE WISELY
WALK LIKE A TURTLE
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
WALK THIS WAY
WANNA BUY A GOAT (WINK, WINK, WINK)
WARNING LABLES
WAS THAT 65 OR 66?
WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
WATER BUCKET TOAD
WAY TO THE HEART
WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
WHAT A DAY
WHAT DAY IS IT
WHAT'D YOU SAY?
WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
WILD GOAT MILKING
WINTER LIST
WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NO…
ZAPPED!
Kenneth and Sheila Thompson
KST Meat Goats
Tatum, NM
kenandshe@leaco.net

Editor's note: This discription of overfeeding (from the human perspective) and underfeeding (from the goat perspective) by Ken Thompson first appeared on the ChevonTalk discussion list.
Original boergoats.com publication date Aug 21,2000.

Welfare Goats
by Ken Thompson

Well, I just came in from the goat yard, and detect the odor of "Old Billy Goat Spice" on my overalls. Sheila will have a spasm if she catches me sitting in this good chair and transferring one of her very favorite smells in this world to it.
We have been moving a couple of large bales of haygrazer hay into the goat pens, one into the large herd's quarters and one into the buck pen. Unfortunately, this is a necessary thing at this wrong time of year because of the severe drought in our part of the world. We got some nice rain back in July that was sufficient to really green things and start the grass to growing, but there was no more, and after a beautiful two weeks of green, it began to brown and twist again. The goats were in piggy-goat heaven for a while, but there is not much left and I don't want them grubbing out what is left, so out comes the hay again.

I could not help but think as I was moving the hay that this is really a bunch of welfare goats. They really haven't had to work a day in their lives for groceries. There has been some discussion on this list about feedlotting goats and other animals, and I expect that most of us would not say that our goats are being raised in feedlot conditions. Well, I really suspect that for most of us, the only difference is the size of the pens that we keep them in. Even those like me who have a bit of graze, if it ever rains, really don't depend on that to keep our animals in good shape. Most of us wouldn't recognize a goat that is actually in good range condition and capable of producing a good amount of good goat meat for what is truly the least dollars and time spent in taking care of it.

Please don't misunderstand what I have to say. Most of us don't have enough "range" to truly raise this kind of goat, one that doesn't see the feed bucket or the hay bale except in the most serious of poor range conditions. To one extent or another, most of our goats would feel pretty abused to have to live in those more normal and natural conditions. I know that some of us do a pretty good job of raising goats with only a relatively small amount of attention and with very little supplemental feed. These folks are the only ones of us who are making any money to speak of on sure enough meat goats. Some of us have identified and are servicing some ethnic markets that may allow a measure of profit as result of this savvy response to fill a need in our area.

My point is both serious and also a bit funny. Here I am, claiming to be in the goat business to raise goats to sell for meat, either to individuals or through the local market, and trying to keep my expenses down and my goat quality up, etc. After hauling hay to feed these animals that are hollering like they are starving to death, causing people travelling down the highway to consider reporting me for cruelty and abuse -- after all, if these were content animals with their bellies full, they wouldn't be hollering so loud and pitifully, right? -- I went to the feed room and dished up a small amount of a new feed product that I decided to try after talking with Mr Kent Mills, who is an excellent authority on feeding and forage, by the way. This product is a 20% protein range cube made entirely of grain and alfalfa and cottonseed products, with no urea or other things that would be questionable for a goat's diet. The cubes are 1/2 inch in diameter, which is a little larger than these animals are used to, but according to the feed tag, they should be yummy stuff. This is the second time I have fed these cubes, but it was the first time Sheila had been around ay the time they were fed.

The appearance of the feed bucket caused the usual stampede, even though most of the mob was about half stuffed with fresh haygrazer hay already. As I scattered the cubes in the trough, the pitiful hungry sounding hollering began to change to a more angry and critical tone. As I left the pen, while Sheila still remained in contact with a couple of her favorites, several goats took cubes into their mouths and then spit them out on the ground. A couple carried cubes in their mouths to the water trough (freshly cleaned, I might add) and dropped the cubes into the clean water. Several left the feed troughs and came to the gate near the feed room and began to let me know in no uncertain terms that they were not pleased with the chow. Sheila was laughing her head off, because of this diatribe that was obviously directed at me specifically because of these spoiled rotten animal's reaction to perfectly good chow that just didn't happen to appeal to them, and which would have caused any self-respecting range animal to have thought they had died and gone to goat heaven if the cubes had been scattered among them.

Welfare goats, indeed!! These goats are just like my kids used to be. Sitting at the table fussing about perfectly good food, in large quantities, while poor children in -----, well, you know what I mean. I hope y'all know that I don't have anything against taking good care of our animals. If we don't do so, they can't do a good job for us, especially if we are asking them to regularly raise good, sturdy, healthy, fast growing kiddos for meat prospects. Even if we are asking them to be producer's of animals for pets or for show purposes, it is important to take good care of our animals.

I just think that we need to always remember how these animals were intended to live and reproduce and eat and survive in their more natural settings, realizing that some natural settings are better than others, and that some problems exist in some natural settings that don't exist in others. If we can figure out how to allow these wonderful animals to live and grow and reproduce for us in the places where we happen to live by just making sure that they have everything they would need to do these things if we were not around to give them more, then I think we can begin to actually profit from keeping these animals on a regular day-to-day farmstead basis. Yes, we can take care of their sicknesses and injuries and up the percentages of animals that will survive to old age, but we can also avoid being the cause of some problems that happen because of our good intentions to make things better for these animals by feeding them too much of the things that are not really good for them, and by not allowing them to gain any natural resistance to what they must face every day of their lives.

We don't keep our two-legged kids in isolation and quarantined conditions all their lives, because we know that they have to develop immunities to the things that they will be exposed to as they live in this world. I don't think we ought to try to raise our goats in a bubble,either. But then again, I have just rolled out the feed wagon one more time, and I probably will succumb to the harsh language I heard from the herd tonight telling me in no uncertain terms not to bring any more of that crap to the feed trough again. I think I may have actually been cussed at tonight. Sheila sure got a kick out of the whole show, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. I have decided to keep that sack of feed though. Anytime I need to show the herd that things could be worse around here, and that they don't know how good they really have it, I'll just trot out a helping of that stuff and walk away and let them wonder if they are going to get some more of the same next time!!! Ken

 

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