Can dairy breeds be used in meat production?

Goats October 25, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Sure.  In fact before the wide availability of meat goat breeds across the U.S., the primary source of goat meat was from the dairy sector through young male kids and excess animals from the breeding herd.  Although they tend to appear more angular and narrow than some of the so called meat breeds available today the dairy stock are also relatively good meat producers. 

Nubian goats are sometimes considered dualpurpose and contribute to meat production.  The Swiss dairy breeds are not very popular for meat production under range conditions because of potential udder problems and the dairy conformation are the primary reasons. The availability of well-defined U.S. meat breed types tends to encourage organized crossbreeding programs which can include some dairy breeds.   The crossbred offspring will often bring improvement in growth rate, carcass yield, and meat-to-bone ratio, and the crossbred does are good at producing ample milk to support the genetic potential for growth.  A reasonably high weaning rate of two kids per doe should also be maintained. .