MANAGING GOATS FROM LOOKOUT POINT
Our herd management practices are not intended to be a template for others to follow precisely, even with Kikos that came from Lookout Point Ranch. We intentionally put our goats through more environmental stress, in order to spot weaknesses and also the strengths of those that handle it exceptionally well. It is not wrong to de-worm goats, provide better shelter, or supplemental feed if that suits your operation. Our intention is to provide stock that require less of these and other interventions, not necessarily eliminate them altogether. Whether your goals are meat production, brush control or back yard pets, your Kikos will likely be more productive and healthy if you make it easier for them.
ADAPTATION PERIOD. All livestock have to adapt to conditions they are put into to some extent. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, LPR goats are already well adapted to your climate conditions. They are also quite capable of adapting to drier, hotter, colder, and even wetter climates. However, this is not an overnight process. Your place may have different stress factors along with the certainty that moving to a new place is stressful in itself. These can include changes in feed, terrain, and climate, as well as fitting in to a new herd, general living conditions, parasites and diseases, to name a few. Alleviating the unnatural stresses of moving to a new life can be the difference between success and failure. However, the chances of success are higher when some of the changes make the goat's life a bit easier than it was before.
FORAGE: There may be times of year when your pastures will not provide the nutrition or shelter that your Kikos need. It may work better to keep your goats in a smaller "sacrificial" pasture if supplemental feed is providing a major part of their nutritional needs. Goats that are fed tend to eat quickly and are much more likely to strip bark from trees and shrubs. They are used to spending much of their time browsing, and will find a substitute activity to pass the time.
PARASITES. Parasites are the biggest challenge your goats are likely to face. Our production doe herd has not been de-wormed since 2008. We must push the edge enough to maintain the selection pressure in order to continue to make genetic progress on parasite resilience and other low-input favorable characteristics. However, there are consequences to our approach, in terms of lost productivity. We have found that de-worming leads to increased weight gains of up to 5 additional pounds per month, except in the most exceptional animals. De-worming can make a great deal of sense for the commercial producer, so long as de-wormer resistance is prevented. Never de-worm all of your goats - there should always be parasites that have not been exposed to de-wormers. You will never get rid of them all, and if the only ones alive are those that survived exposure to your de-wormer, you are setting the stage for resistant parasites to emerge and dominate.
DISEASES. If there are or have been goats or sheep on your land, there may be exposure to disease from the animals that are there, or from the soil. These may require management and interventions that are not needed in our closed herd operation. Some diseases can infect even closed herds if brought in by wild animals, insects, or visitors. It is important to learn about and watch for signs of illness, and consult a veterinarian if you see something you are not sure about. If vaccinations are needed as part of your existing herd management, LPR Kikos will need them too.
HANDLING. You may notice that goats from Lookout Point Ranch, especially younger stock, are not particularly tame. Our Kikos receive very little handling and human contact, especially from birth to weaning when many are sold. If put in a pen or pasture with other goats and adequate fencing, they should get used to their new home and settle in. It is a good idea to keep them in a smaller space at first, and let them see you bring food or treats for them. This association will usually make them much calmer around people, and easier to handle.