Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Should I Raise....a Wether?

Continuing the series of "Should I Raise...", in this second installment I have evaluated raising a wether. Click on the link to read the previous post: Should I Raise....a Doe? 

So if you think you are ready to become a goat farmer, I have a 3 part post that evaluates 3 basic options: doe, wether or buck. 
Option 2: Raising a wether
Jordan and her 2012 Fair wether.

Pros for raising wethers:
  • Wethers vary in size, but are generally small-medium at the time of purchase. 
  • Because of their small stature, and the removal of their horns and testicles, wethers are quick to learn and bad behavior is easy to correct. 
  • Besides learning some basic showing etiquette and positions, no training or other devices are required. 
  • Wethers are typically purchased for a June/July fair in February/March. This means a shorter amount of time is needed to turn a profit. 
Cons for raising wethers:
  • The training is very important because they must be very tame prior to showing. This requires an investment of time from the person showing. 
  • The emotional investment is very hard. You purchase a young goat, spend time raising and caring for them. Most times you give them a name. Then you have to take the goat to fair and sell him for slaughter. If you go to the fair on sale day, you will see many crying 4-H and FFA students.
My final take:

While wethers have the negative of the emotional investment, they are the best choice because of the relatively low skill level and the low cost of investment. The short time period before fair also allows a beginner to decide relatively quickly if they wish to continue or not, without investing great amounts of money or time.

You can expect the final post in this series of  "Should I Raise...."  dedicated to bucks on Wednesday, 2/20. Check back every Tuesday for our Goat of the Week!

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