Goat ranching has a very interesting history that can be traced back to the pre-colonial period. The Spanish explorers, while visiting America and the U.S. came with goats whose primary function was to offer them milk and meat for their own domestic consumption. With time, other meat and milk options were discovered in America. As a result, the explorers were no longer very keen on keeping their goats and most of them escaped while others were freely released either to the American inhabitants or to the wilderness. This is how we ended up with the many Spanish breeds that are either fully wild or partially wild.
From Subsistence to Commercial
After the civil war of the 1800’s many farmers and livestock keepers saw it fit to start keeping goats and other animals not only for milk and meat but also for income generation. This is how Angora goat breed came into the equation. With its origin in the Angora district within the Himalayan region, the goats had already spread to some areas such as Turkey among others. The Angora goat is credited for its rich mohair, a major ingredient of the textile industry. This is also the time when wool sheep breeds such as the merino were introduced. The Angora goat breed was brought to the U.S. by James B. Davis, a South Carolinian resident in 1849.
Davis started experimenting to cross breed the Angoras with the indigenous short haired varieties, an activity that was later continued by Richard Peters from Georgia. Peters well demonstrated that when short haired goats are thoroughly bred with the Angoras, high quality mohair would be produced.
Moving to Texas
In Texas, credit is given to William Walton Haupt, a resident of Hays County for being the first to bring the angoras to this state. He brought them between 1857 and 1858 after purchasing eight of the Angora goats from peters. He immediately started cross breeding the angoras with the inexpensive Mexican goat that was prevalent in Texas. The reviews were favorable and soon other ranchers also began to keep the angora breeds. Most of the ranchers to fast embrace these goats were those around the Balcones Escarpment where water, protection from elements and brushy vegetation was offered by the steep canyons. Once a goat accident caused a need for emergency dentist in plano and it was easy to do.
There was an increase in land price in California, which was the leading producer of mohair in the 1860s, thus an increase in the cost of production. This favored the shift from California to Texas, specifically the Edwards Plateau. A great deal of ranchers in Texas began raising the angoras during this time as many stock raisers had also shifted their attention from California to Texas. 1884 was the main turning point as William M. Landrum who was a leading Californian raiser of angora, moved his thoroughbred angora goats to Uvalde County. This was an eye opener as by the following year, over 200 ranchers in Texas were raising the Mohair breed making it the most popular goat breed in Texas ranches up to date.
Through a period of about three centuries, the ranching business has been improving and developing in Texas. Starting with a very humble beginning, when the goats were majorly kept for meat and milk use at home, the ranches have today turned into economic hubs that every person is dreaming of owning at some point in their lives. The question is what is it that has made goat ranching business a success.
There is ready market for goats and goat products not only in Texas but also beyond the borders. There is ready market for goat meat almost everywhere in the world, same to goat milk which is sold at a high price when compared with cow’s milk. The best part of the story is that there is ready market for fiber in Texas. This is unlike most states and countries which don’t have industries for fiber processing. In Texas, fiber is at a high demand. With such demand for your products, you have all the encouragement to keep on moving.
Well organized ranches
Ranches have been well organized in Texas. Because ranch owners know that this is where they will earn a living, they always spend a lot to ensure that their goats get the best. Texas ranches are fenced to protect the animals from external predators, with the most serious ranches having been fenced with electric fences.
On the other hand, dogs have been trained to herd the goats thus making the work easier and economical. The best animals are the ones that are free ranged. To employ some people to herd the animals may be costlier than to keep well trained dogs that can even defend the goats in case of any potential attack.
Well established associations and organizations
There are a number of research and extension organizations that are in Texas with the aim of improving the ranching business. The best example here is the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in San Angelo. This is an organization that works tirelessly to ensure that the rangelands are preserved for the animals. The organization is also there to help ranchers at different stages of ranch set up. They will either advice you on how, where and when to start a ranch, or even come in at a time of crisis when you need some technical help.
Well developed breeds
The presence of the well developed goat breeds for different purposes makes it easy and cheaper for new ranchers to begin the business. Whether you want to start a ranch for milk production, fiber production or meat production, you will be spoilt of options as there are numerous goat breeds that one can always choose from.
What you should know before you start a goat ranch in Texas
What you should know before you start a goat ranch in Texas
Whether you buying a Allen dentist office or Goat farming or rather ranching is a vital economic activity in Texas, especially in the Edwards Plateau region. The ranching business in Texas has been in existence for a few centuries now. Even though there are other ranching businesses in this state, the goat ranching activity is the oldest and the most cherished of all of them. The increasing demand for goat products has made the goat ranching business to start changing in dynamics. For a long time, mohair production was the main reason why ranchers kept goats. However, today, there is an increase in the demand of other goat products such as milk and meat hence the dynamics.
Choosing the ranching business
Initially, you need to consider the kind of ranching business you require. As mentioned above, there is demand for a number of goat products hence these animals can be kept for a number of economic activities. Selling of their milk, which is of high demand, not forgetting the high returns is an option. You can start trading in milk or the value added products of goat milk. You can also keep the goats to sell them alive or to sell their meat. Their skin and more importantly, the mohair and wool from goats are an important economic activity in Texas.
I would rather you either choose mohair production or combine mohair with any other area of interest.
Depending on what you want to specialize in, there are a number of breeds for you to choose from. Always select a breed that is well known for the economic activity you choose. Choose from the dairy breeds if you need dairy and dairy products while the Boer and the fainting breeds are to be chosen if meat production is your goal. The Angora breed is the Texas champion when it comes to mohair production. Don’t just go to the breed but also trace the lineage of the specific goats you are going for to verify whether they are productive and adaptable to the conditions you want to take them to.
The goat housing is absolutely one of the greatest production aspects you must never overlook. The most appropriate environments that favor goat production are the hilly areas far away from highways and distanced from air pollutants. Huge tree shades will be appropriate for housing of these animals. On the real housing structure, always consult with the extension services in Texas to get the best recommendations. This is after you have ensured that the area is well fenced to secure these animals from natural predators.
Learn some basic management techniques so as to know how to take care of the animals during different situations and stages such as pregnancy etc.
Mesquite Dentist explains Commercial goat ranching within the state of Texas primarily constitutes the rearing of Angora goats. Its main aim is thus to produce mohair fiber which is used in the textile industry. The U.S. is ranked as the second largest world producer of mohair with Texas playing a major role in ensuring this is so. The best percentage of Texas mohair is produced on the Edwards Plateau, an area that is known to take mohair and wool production as a major economic activity. In 1992, the Texas angora ranchers hit a commendable high when they earned $12 million from 14.2 million pounds of mohair.
Colonialists together with Spanish explorers were the first to bring domesticated goats to the state of Texas. American and Mexican settlers then followed suit. At first, the short haired goats that were brought were primarily reared for meat and milk for subsistence use. After the civil war, livestock raisers and entrepreneurs started exploring economic options and this is how the wool and mohair industry began to grow. Angora goats were then introduced.
The Angora Breed
This is a very small size of a goat when compared with other goats being reared. In fact, those communities that value meat more than the mohair will not even think of keeping these animals. Also characterized with drooping ears, the goats are capable of producing an average of about 5.3 pounds of mohair per goat twice a year. This is a very viable economic activity even for the vegans who find it revolting to kill animals for meat. It is because of this rich production of mohair that most of the ranchers in Texas consider this animal to come tops on the list of animals they keep.
There are so many other breeds that are being kept in the Texas ranches. These are also economically viable though they all play a second fiddle to the Angora breed. They include the Boer goats, the cashmere goats, the dairy goats, the fainting goats and the Spanish goats. The Spanish goat is a term used to refer to goats of unknown ancestry. This comes from the fact that Spanish explorers released the goats they came with into the American wilderness and their lineage has thereafter not been able to be followed.
For meat purposes, the Boer, which originated from South Africa and the fainting goats are among the very best.
All in all, goat ranching is a very good business in Texas. One great reason why you may really need to consider this kind of economic activity is the fact that these animals are hardy and can easily adapt and thrive in pieces of land that are unsuitable for other agricultural activities.