Meat Goats: Post Oak Ranch
BIXBY, Okla. — The goats at Post Oak Ranch are bred tough.
“They don’t have toys, grooming, or talent lessons — just rocks and weeds,” said owner Steve Buckman.
Buckman runs a commercial meat goat operation where summer is sweltering, winter temperatures drop below freezing and the landscape largely comprises rocks, post oaks and brush.
“We don’t spend a lot on feed,” Buckman said. “Goats do not fatten like cattle. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes new goat breeders tend to make is treating goats like small cows.”
These days, Post Oak Ranch crosses New Zealand Kiko bucks with between 125-175 Spanish does to produce self-sufficient, parasite-resistant stock with good mothering skills.
“Our focus is on raising goats that are basically ignored,” Buckman said. “We offer free choice minerals and worm about twice per year. We can’t tell you what they weigh when they’re born because we aren’t there.”
It can be several days before Buckman even knows he has new kids because some does hide their kids in the brush for several days.
Post Oak Ranch is active in goat forage testing — sending individual animals to a group, usually an ag school, where they are raised with goats sent by other breeders and scientifically compared. Such comparisons give commercial breeders the genetic information needed to produce goats that “thrive and survive in today’s environment,” Buckman said.
Eds. Note: Do not miss Buckman’s Goat Grumbles, which includes this bit of wisdom: If you plan to make your truck payment with part of your goat profit, get a real old truck.