M. R. Goats consigns ‘MRG Smooth Criminal’ to NKR Elite Buck Sale!

We are taking our best sire prospect from the 2011 Winter Kid crop, MRG Smooth Criminal, to the NKR Elite Buck Sale being held May 19th in Springfield, Mo as part of the NKR Spotlight auction. You can read more about the sale in the excerpt below or @ www.goatrancher.com  

Smooth Criminal outperformed every goat in his contemporary kid crop on our farm. He had a farm index score of 126. This buck has had perfect FAMACHA scores on every inspection and has awesome hooves. He has a very nice build and will be a tall buck when he matures. His coat remains smooth and healthy and he is a beautiful sight to watch out in the pasture grazing and playing. He still has some maturing to do but he enjoys defending his role of king of the mountain within his group of young bucks on pasture.

MRG Sooth Criminal is stacked with proven genetics that we are excited to see mature. A few of his close relatives include the WAYSU Goliath genes of Big Boy and Boss maternally, coupled with Warrior paternally. Big Boy has arguably the best butt in the Kiko Breed and Warrior is a solid black NZ buck who not only did well on growth in the Oklahoma forage test but also excelled in parasite resistance. We believe this powerful combination will work well as your next herd sire.

To see these images in higher quality, go to www.goatrancher.com

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M. R. Goats receives $5,000 grant from AWA

M.R. Goats Featured in the February 2012 IKGA Newsletter

Our farm has been awarded grant money for some of the infrastructure currently in use. When we saw the solicitation for an article regarding grants for farmers from the IKGA Secretary, we decided this was worth sharing. We know that not all of our blog readers are IKGA members or customers who have visited our farm in person so we wanted to make sure you had access to our information in hopes that it may also help you out. 

If you are an IKGA member, you can go to the IKGA Forum to view the entire newsletter. (http://www.theikga.org/forum1/index.php) For those of you who are not members, I have copied the article below for your viewing pleasure.

 M. R. Goats receives $5,000 grant from AWA

 M. R. Goats, owned and operated by Mike & Lorie Renick in Wild & Wonderful West Virginia, received a $5,000 grant from Animal Welfare Approved to provide mobile housing and handling equipment for their Kiko Goat operation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M.R. Goats is an 80-acre meat goat farm owned and operated by Mike and Lorie Renick inWorthington,West Virginia. The couple raised Kiko goats on pasture, but only had limited fixed structures to use as shelter which reduced the goats’ ability to rotationally graze year round. The Renicks approached AWA about funding mobile housing to allow the goats access to more acreage and forage, thereby improving the animals’ health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also requested a portable handling system to decrease handling time and reduce stress to the animals while performing maintenance such as microchips, ear tags, hoof trimming, and FAMACHA checks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AWA granted $5,000 to M.R. Goats for Port-A-Hut mobile shelters and a working stand and chute for low-stress handling and transport. The Renicks’ goats now have 24/7 access to mobile housing units and are able to access all pastures for rotational grazing. “They are able to come and go as they please,” says Mike. “They are much healthier and have lower stress.”

The couple also purchased a 4’ x 8’ goat cage for transporting the goats both on and off the farm without over-crowding and injury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now in its fourth year, the Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants program has funded nearly one hundred projects across the country to improve farm animal welfare. Certified farmers and those who have submitted an application for AWA certification may apply for up to $5,000 towards projects such as mobile housing, breeding stock, and on-farm processing equipment. Slaughter plants working with or seeking to work with AWA farmers are also eligible for funding.

The funding priorities for this year’s cycle include improved genetics, increased outdoor access, welfare improvements in the slaughter process and non-lethal predator control. A primary goal of this grant program is to facilitate the growth and success of high-welfare, pasture-based systems. Program Director Andrew Gunther explains: “The biggest challenge in agriculture right now is getting animals outside. The science tells us that when farm animals are responsibly managed on open pasture or range, a whole host of challenges inherent in industrial agriculture simply disappear. For instance, the incidence of pathogenic E. coli is much lower in pasture-based systems, and animals are proven to have higher welfare. This ultimately leads to more nutritious, healthier products.”

2012 Kids are on the ground!

So far, 2012 has proved to be an interesting kidding season. Almost as strange as the weather has been. We were aiming for January kids this year because they always seem to be the healthiest and grow out well by the time folks are looking to start buying them. We had above average temperatures here in West Virginia during January and there was no concern for kidding during the month as there had previously been with bone chilling cold spells or deep snows. The 60 degree days of January cam and went without a single kid hitting the ground. We were disappointed to say the least.

All of that changed February 11th. The kids started hitting the ground the same night that we had wind chills below Zero and a couple of inches of snow to boot. Not an ideal time to kid out on pasture for sure. Between Feb. 11th and the 24th, we had 32 kids out of HEMI and Warsaw combined and there are a couple of does with each buck left to kid. These are all younger does which we anticipate to kid around April/May based upon the observed breeding times.

We now have a grand total of 41 kids counting the 9 NZ kids we have out of HKF Sonny Boy. We’ve started posting a few pictures on our website and will continue to update them with more information and prices as they hit their milestone dates and we start collecting data.

For now you can enjoy the photos on our website. http://www.mrgoats.com/forsale.htm