Why goat Meat
The demand for high quality, lean, healthy red meat is the one of the underlining forces behind the development of the American meat goat industry. With a growing base of ethnic consumers, the demand for goat meat continues to increase in the United States each year. The importation of goat meat into the United States is estimated over 30 million dollars annually, and over half of the goat meat eaten in the U S is from feral goats imported from Australia.
The Kiko goat was created for meat production by Garrick and Anne Batten of Nelson in the northern South Island of New Zealand during the 1980's. The Battens crossbred selected local ferel goats with imported dairy goat bucks, namely from the Nubian, Saanen and Toggenburg breeds, aiming for hardiness, fast growth and survivability with little input from the producer. Kiko is from the Maori word meaning flesh or meat.After four generations of selective breeding – selection being on the grounds of survivability and growth rate in a hill country environment – a dramatic improvement in liveweight and animal performance was achieved. By 1986 the Kiko breed was established and the herd was closed to further cross-breeding. Within New Zealand, control of the breed remained with the original developers. Kikos were exported to the United States in the 1992, where breeders were looking to improve meat production by crossing with the indigenous Spanish goats.The Kiko breed was slow to catch on in the United States, but has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in the South East and other humid areas due to good parasite resistance and motherability.