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Crane Creek Publications
Stephanie Mitcham
3061 160th Street
Sumner, IOWA 50674
Tel: 563-578-5665
Fax: 563-578-8193
e-mail:sam@netins.net

A Book Review

Meat Goats:
THEIR HISTORY, MANAGEMENT AND DISEASES

Written by Stephanie Mitcham and Allison Mitcham, Illustrated by Peter Mitcham

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a just released book that belongs in every goat breeder's reference library.

The first 4 chapters deal primarily with the history and economic possibilities of meat goat production. Readers may be tempted to ignore these chapters. Don't! A basic understanding of the background and potentials of goats will help you understand the remainder of the book.
The chapters covering the selection of seed stock, basic record keeping, and facilities & fencing will prove useful to both novice and experienced herders. Feeding, nutrition, and health issues are covered very well with several excellent recommendations provided.

Of special interest to those wondering what to do with un-sold product... some tasty sounding recipes are included.

The appendix includes a large number of tables and references (many of which are found in their entirety in the boergoats.com library). This list alone is worth the price of the book.

The following is the Foreword of "Meat Goats...":

We have written this book because of the new and increasingly wide-spread interest in North America in meat goats, animals whose great potential has by and large long been overlooked in this part of the world. There is, we have found, a dearth of books on this subject. Recently, however, there have been a number of helpful and interesting articles published in magazines as well as several very worthwhile commentaries in books. Consequently, we have set our sights on not only providing readers with our personal findings and observations about meat goats but with giving an overview of other opinions we consider significant as well.

In contrast to its Asian and African forebears, the meat goat in the United States and Canada does not have a long and illustrious history. Here, it has not been man's mainstay and companion down through countless centuries as it has on these faraway continents. The meat goat is an immigrant to North America. Though the first meat goats were introduced into the Americas just over 400 years ago, they were soon abandoned and largely ignored by their importers.

Only quite recently (in the 90s), after taking a closer look at the attributes of these quite exceptional animals, have the descendants of these early immigrants been reevaluated and new breeds of meat goats brought to this continent. Egged on by physicians, scientists and farmers/ranchers, touting the benefits of eating what many maintain is the leanest, healthiest, and often the tastiest of all red meat (when the goats are young and properly looked after and the meat well prepared) - as well as being cheaper to produce (under the right foraging conditions) because they can survive and thrive on land which would not support other livestock - consumers, who a decade ago would never have considered buying chevon (goat meat), have begun to respond enthusiastically. So positive, indeed, has this response been that supply cannot keep up with demand.

The authors have had a long association with goats - and books. A goat and sheep breeder and a veterinary pathologist, Stephanie has raised Angoras for the past 13 years. Several years ago she added Boer goats to her herd and, more recently, Savanna goats. She has also experimented with Boer/Angora crosses. Apart from giving many tips on care and management, Stephanie has written an extensive chapter on the diseases to which goats can be subject - and provided much useful information on their treatments. The authors of this work are also the authors of a very successful book on Angoras as well as many published articles.

We wish to thank a number of people for their help in producing this work: Dr. Dan Morrical; for his chapter on meat goat nutrition, rations and ration balancing, the staff of Print Atlantic, especially Roy Dawson; the staff of Mount Allison University Library, particularly Anne Ward (interlibrary loans), Hannah and Brian McNally and Emma Cross; and Dr. Peter Mitcham for his careful and charming illustrations.

I highly recommend this new book.
"Meat Goats: Their History, Management and Diseases"
by Stephanie Mitcham and Allison Mitcham.
264 pages
published December, 2000

Crane Creek Publications
Stephanie Mitcham
3061 160th Street
Sumner, IOWA 50674
Tel: 563-578-5665
Fax: 563-578-8193
e-mail:sam@netins.net
$19.95 plus $3.50 shipping

Quantity discounts are available for
clubs and trade organizations. Contact
Ms Mitcham for details.

December 17, 2000