Target Marketing of Slaughter Goats


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Target Marketing of Slaughter Goats

  1. 1. Target marketing of slaughter goats by Pinkerton, McMillin, Herr, Stanton • Definition: target-marketing is a management scheme in which portions of one’s herd are bred to produce kids that will reach desirable age/weight/condition (as defined) for sale at predetermined times • Target-marketing may not be a logical strategy for all producers because of agro-climatic considerations and other issues
  2. 2. Implementing a target-marketing program • Why? To take advantage of seasonally higher prices due to supply/demand imbalances • When? Premium prices for slaughter kids occur in the ‘winter quarter’; see below • Where? The major sales venues are those that supply packers in the northeast and mid-west • What sort of goats? See handout • How? See below
  3. 3. Seasonal variations in market prices • Refer to handout showing sources of variation • Seasonal variation, figure 1 • Annual variation, figure 2 • Weekly variation, figure 3 • Live grade, figure 4 • Sale weight, figure 5 • Sales venues, figure 6
  4. 4. Price variations, continued • Differential price responses to weight category; see figures 7 and 8 • Differential price responses to live grade; see figure 9 • Differential pre-sale sorting practices at San Angelo, Nashville, and New Holland; see handout
  5. 5. Economics of seasonal marketing • Winter prices typically average 25-30% higher than Jun/Oct lows; holiday spikes higher? • Are these premium prices worth pursuing? • Only if the increased revenue exceeds the associated costs by some measure • First, calculate the returns to your current production/marketing scheme (this is sometimes a bit too thrilling/chilling.
  6. 6. Economics, continued • Secondly, estimate the cost-benefits accruing to targeting winter markets • Income will be higher on the same weights • Production costs of spring breeding/fall kidding for winter sales may be higher • These costs are rather site-specific and only you can decide your optimum alternative; compare fall vs ‘other’ kidding times
  7. 7. Logistics of seasonal production/marketing • To target winter markets (mid-Nov/late Apr): • Breed in Dec/Jan and kid in May/Jun; assume ADG of .33 or 10 lb/mo, plus birth wt, less 3- 4% shrink; estimated sale wt 70-80 lb? • Breed in Apr/May and kid in Sep/Oct; assume same ADG, BW, and shrinkage; estimated sale wt in Feb/Mar 65/75 lb?
  8. 8. Logistics of holiday marketing • Refer to the Handout for planning breeding schedules to optimize target holiday weights • This can be both promising and dicey; you can do very well or, on occasion, you can blow it, depending on precise timing and on competitive numbers at the same sale • Forward contracting may reduce uncertainty, but proceed cautiously
  9. 9. Obstacles to spring breeding/fall kidding • Not all does will cycle in spring; some do so ‘naturally’, but some need hormonal manipulation via management decisions. • Mid-Dec/mid-Feb lighting (20/24 hrs/day), followed by 4/6 week hiatus, followed by introduction of ‘lighted’ bucks will USUALLY result in April/May conception rate of 75-82%, but there are no guarantees; breed differences? Individual differences?
  10. 10. Estrous induction and synchronization • Non-cycling does may be induced to cycle via hormonal manipulation with vaginal sponges; unfortunately, this is currently illegal here • Cycling does may be synchronized to breed in a very narrow window, 4-6 days, for management convenience/target marketing using Lutalyse (1-2 cc/hd on day 1; another 1- 2 cc/hd on day 10/11; estrus will occur 2-4 days later; conception rates will be 80% plus
  11. 11. Continued • Caution: if you are selling market kids, au natural, the use of endocrine products to induce, or even synchronize, estrus may render the resulting kids unacceptable to certain buyers/consumers • I have heard that eating such kids will render one sterile or, worse, impotent/disinterested, and can alter your DNA. On to New Holland…
  12. 12. Summary • Consider winter sales of market kids if it appears economically feasible and if it fits your particular management scheme • Use only a portion of your herd to ‘try’ this novel production/marketing strategy • Breed yearlings late or use early-weaned does end of presentation