by Vicki Watson, Watson Kiko Farm
If you would have told me twenty or so years ago that I would be raising goats and eating goat meat, I’d have said you were crazy. But, here I am twenty years later and we raise a herd of Kiko meat goats. We also eat goat meat.
We didn’t start eating our goat meat until about 6 years ago when we attended a Kentucky Goat Producers Field Day where delicious goat fajitas were served. My only other experience in eating goat was a roast and it was not pleasant! However, we were already eating beef we produced and pork from our neighbors. Since we were raising meat goats, we decided we should be eating the meat too. I did some research and found out a lot of interesting things about goat meat so, we butchered our first goat to try.
Some of the things I discovered in my research about goat meat were that it didn’t have to taste bad if it was cooked correctly, and the health benefits from this meat were pretty amazing. I was told that it was a gamey tasting meat, but I have not found that to be true at all. I found out that the slower you cook the goat meat, it will be more tender and flavorful. One of my favorite meals is the leg roast cooked in the crockpot. I season it up with Thyme, pepper and throw in a bay leaf. Throw in some potatoes and carrots and you have a delicious meal. When making meat loaf, I add sausage because the goat meat is lean. We use the ground meat in tacos, spaghetti sauce and casseroles.
Goat is the most eaten meat in the world. Many of us in America have never even tasted goat but in countries around the world it is more popular than chicken or beef. According to one estimate there are approximately 450 million goats in the world and around 3 million of them are in the United States. It’s becoming more popular.
Goat is the most digestible red meat and has many health benefits. A 3 ounce serving of goat has only 122 calories and 23 grams of protein. Goat meat is low in saturated fats, has more recommended unsaturated fats, and has low levels of cholesterol compared to other meats. The combination of low cholesterol and low saturated fat in the diet may help to decrease the risk of developing heart disease. Since my husband and I come from families with heart disease, this sounded good to us. In countries where a lot of goat is consumed, there is very little heart disease.
We usually wether about 3 - 4 bucklings when we give the first vaccine shots each year. We let them grow out to about 125 - 150 pounds prior to being butchered. I would love to see goat in our grocery stores. More people are discovering goats and the benefits from raising them. When we sell a goat we always ask the buyers if they have eaten it and would they like to try some. We try and serve goat in some way so we can share. Usually people are surprised at how good it is.
If you are interested in sharing goat recipes and the health benefits of goats, try these:
Vicki and David Watson have been involved with goats for 20 years and have raised Kiko meat goats since 2008. They live in Auburn, KY where they love having their children and grandchildren visit. Vicki says, "If you are around me very much you'll know I love talking about them and my goats."