Sheep and Meat Goat Research & Extension
Markets for sheep, wool, and goat continue to expand across the state of Kansas, as well as the U.S. January 1, 2018 numbers showed almost 74,000 head of sheep, 43,000 head of meat goats, and 6,000 head of dairy goats on Kansas farms. The Kansas sheep and goat industries are still profitable for the business minded producer.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) continues to support the industry across the country through support of research focused on genetic improvement, efficiency, and profitability. Meat goat production is the fastest growing segment of the livestock industry nationally. The growing meat goat industry has led to a focus on a number of different breeds such as the Boer, Spanish, Kiko, Myotonics, the dairy breeds, and the resulting breed crosses.
The Kansas environment is suitable to all breeds of sheep and goats. Areas of the state with a great deal of brush are optimal for goat production. Sericea lespedeza is considered a noxious weed in Kansas. Goats have been identified as a potential source of sericea lespedeza control, but have not been approved as a biological control method. Predators and labor are the biggest challenges facing the sheep industry, with fencing being the largest challenge for the goat industry. However, guardian animals (dogs, llamas, and/or donkeys) and net wire or field fence can easily be utilized to combat these challenges.