Going into goats

MLA's Going into Goats program was developed in 2006 with the launch of the Going into Goats: Profitable producers' best practice guide (GiG guide) and continues today as a delivery platform for outputs from research and development (R&D) activities for farmed and rangeland goat production systems.

Central to the program is the GiG guide, an information package designed to explain the essential processes for a successful goat production system. This applies to goat production as a standalone enterprise or as an enterprise that complements other production systems.

The GiG guide draws on the knowledge, skills and experience of more than 40 goat producers from across Australia. It provides tools and information to help goat producers increase productivity while minimising risk.

Supporting the program is the Goats on the Move eNewsletter, a quarterly email that provides tips, tools, updates, market news and case studies for subscribers.

MLA host a series of goatmeat webinars. These webinars are available online: Goatmeat Webinars.

Best practice videos 

A series of new best practice videos have been released to answer commonly asked questions. Got questions about what fencing you should use for goats? Or what genetics are right for you? How to do a forage budget?

We’ve interviewed commercial producers from a across the country to get answers for you. Click here to view the video resources.

A series of factsheets have also been developed to assist new and existing goat producers in improving their production systems. The factsheets seek to address commonly asked questions regarding topics such as dressing percentages, marketing options and production from a breeding doe. Read more below.

Factsheet 1: Profitability in goat production - This factsheet provides important information for all commercial goat producers through explaining the importance of understanding profitability and the role profit plays in determining the long-term economic sustainability of commercial goat enterprises. Central to this is consideration of cost of production as one of the key drivers of profitability that can be influenced by a producer.

Factsheet 2: Marketing goats - This factsheet supports producers in making decisions regarding marketing options for goats. In making these decisions, goat producers should consider the following points.

Factsheet 3: Understanding dressing percentage when marketing goats - This factsheet explains the variables which influence the dressing percentage relationship between live weight and carcase weight.

Factsheet 4: Understanding goat behaviour and handling - This factsheet sheds light on the idiosyncrasies of goat behaviour and recommends handling techniques to optimise welfare and productivity.

Factsheet 5: Infrastructure for goats - This factsheet will help you understand what the important factors are when considering infrastructure within a goat enterprise.

Factsheet 6: Managing livestock numbers - This factsheet explains the differences between these terms and how they may be applied to a grazing enterprise.

Factsheet 7: Production from a breeding doe - This factsheet will help goat breeders understand what to measure and when as well as the management strategies available to optimise reproductive performance.

Factsheet 8: Grow out options to meet market specifications - This factsheet will help goat breeders work through the key factors they need to focus on to ensure they understand and meet their market specifications.

The Going into Goats guide

The GiG Guide has 11 modules that address different aspects of the goat production system:

  • Module 1 - Property planning
    Helps producers set clear business objectives and the strategic direction of the goat production enterprise. Download Module 1
  • Module 2 - Financial analysis
    Establishes critical aspects for assessing the financial position of a business and analysing the financial impact of enterprise changes. Download Module 2
  • Module 3 - Industry obligations
    Outlines the industry obligations goat producers must be aware of in relation to: Animal welfare, livestock health and disease management, sale and movement of goats, quality assurance and biosecurity. Download Module 3
  • Module 4 - Infrastructure
    Details infrastructure associated with a goat enterprise, its design and maintenance. Download Module 4
  • Module 5 - Goat selection
    Provides information to help producers select the best traits and goats for the ongoing productivity and profitability of the enterprise. Download Module 5
  • Module 6 - Husbandry
    Outlines key events that occur during the goat annual husbandry cycle and provides information regarding critical issues that needs to be addressed at each stage. Download Module 6
  • Module 7 - Nutrition
    Outlines considerations for the nutritional health of goats including nutrient requirements, feed resources and profit drivers influenced by nutrition. Download Module 7
  • Module 8 - Marketing
    Helps producers to increase financial returns by better meeting target market specifications, exploiting market opportunities and managing the risks. Download Module 8
  • Module 9 - Parasite control - updated version
    Details practices to manage and control internal and external parasites of goats. Download Module 9
  • Module 10 - Mohair production
    Developed in conjunction with Mohair Australia Limited, this module outlines the knowledge and skills required to ensure profitable mohair production. Download Module 10
  • Module 11 - Goat depots
    Goat depots consolidate significant numbers of goats for marketing purposes. This module outlines best practices for this sector of the goat industry. Download Module 11
  • Module 12 - Rangeland Management

    This practical guide to producing goats in the rangelands is intended to assist established and potential goat producers make the most out of their operation by drawing on the experiences of some of Australia’s best rangeland producers. Download Module 12, order a hard copy or view online www.rangelandgoats.com.au

How to order the manual

Producers can access the individual modules above for free or they can order a hard copy of the manual.

The eNewsletter

The Goats on the Move eNewsletter supports the broader program and provides subscribers with a quarterly update on practical R&D outcomes and how these can be applied on-farm. The eNewsletter draws together tips, tools, insights, updates, market news, developments in domestic and international goat marketing and case studies.

Subscribe to the Goats on the move eNewsletter

Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020

The Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) with the support of MLA has developed a strategic plan to guide investment into the development of the Australian goatmeat and livestock industry through to 2020. This plan addresses the Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP 2020), developed by the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) which provides the overarching strategy for the red meat industry of Australia. This strategic plan also serves to inform the development of the various annual investment and activity plans for the primary service providers to the goat industry including MLA. Download a copy of the Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020.

Events and activities

Through a dedicated extension program and as part of the Going into Goats program, MLA supports producer and organisation-initiated events throughout Australia. Through these events, MLA seeks to engage with producers through sessions addressing the principles, practices and tools included in the Going into Goats program.

Check the MLA events calendar for upcoming goat events and activities

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