How to price your goats profitably

How to price your goats profitably

There is a couple of standard ways people tend to price their goats. These include:

– looking at the market’s general prices for your type of goat
– checking out the farm down the road’s prices
– taking a look at Kijiji
– and maybe even the local auction barn
– and then create a price

But is that the right way?

Pricing goats is a tricky thing. Our markets fluctuate depending on the season, consumer whims, and the latest fad in goat yoga.

Looking at Kijiji, auction barn prices, and market reports are all astute things to do. But they are not the whole picture. Pulling a price out of thin air based on those factors will not keep you profitable. And we ALL want to be profitable, or at least break even, right?

To get started in pricing your goats profitably, find the answers to these questions:

  • feed costs for a year?
  • minerals, supplements?
  • medical costs/vet/misc supplies?
  • registration costs, dna testing, member fees?
  • transportation fees?
  • time
  • basic setup equipment costs
  • Misc stuff that doesn’t really fit in any category
  • if you want to get super serious, include wear & tear costs of trucks, trailers, and machinery. As well as insurance costs, any accountant fees, property taxes…you get the picture 🙂
  • cost of a breeding doe/buck – this is not the price you paid for her, but that cost divided over her working years. (i.e. $500 / 6 years = $83 cost per year)

When recording such things throughout the year, try to be as specific as possible. If you aren’t, you won’t be able to see if you’re spending money on things that are not helping your bottom line in a good way.

How you record is up to you. Find the way that works best for you. I use a mix of the pen, paper, a binder for receipts, and a spreadsheet on my computer. Some people like it all online or computerized, and that’s fine too.

Knowing most of your costs is important. It’s even more important to know 100% of your costs if you want your goats to be a full or part-time job that actually pays you. Be realistic with yourself and don’t gloss things over.

how to price your goats profitably

Moving on…

Let’s do some simple math first, and then we’ll run over a few things!

Now that you know your costs, get an accurate headcount on your doe herd. These girls are going to need to pay for all their own upkeep. Bucks do too, but their costs get divided over their whole kid crop and not the 1-4 kids.

Let’s say our total cost for 1 year for a herd of 20 does and 1 buck was $4,500. $4,500/21 goats = $215.00 cost per goat. To make money, we need to be making at least $220 per goat. We’ve based this on our previous year, so our projected costs for our coming year are $4,500.00.

Our 20 does kidded out at an average of 2.25 kids per doe. We have 45 live kids on the ground! All kids live to wean, and we sell 75% of the kid crop at the local auction. Prices averaged $2.40/lb and our kids’ average weight was 37lbs. $88 ea x 34 kids = $2,992.00 income. 11 are left, and we keep 5 back as replacement females. The other 6 we sell as breeding stock at $500 per kid. Our income from that is $3,000, and the grand total in sales is $5,992.00.

Projected costs, remember, are $4,500 for 1 year. We take our income ($5,992.00) minus our costs ($4,500.00) and get our net income ($1,492.00). Our gross, average income per doe is $299.00.

We made money! Now, what are some things we can do better to in the coming year?

Improving our profit

Looking back over our data – income, expenses, breeding & kidding info, weaning weights, etc – we notice a few things.

First, we spent more than necessary on medical costs and decide to cull the 2 animals who incurred those costs.

Second, several does only had singles who went to market – and therefore didn’t pay for their own upkeep. Looking into their records, we see that 2 were first fresheners and give them a second chance. 1 was a 4 yr old who had a single last year as well and also happens to be a doe who incurred medical costs. We put her on the cull list.

Third, what about those doelings we kept back? They didn’t improve our bottom line, but we also didn’t need to buy replacements. How are they equated into the whole, make-money thing? They are added to our net worth.

Notes of interest

We also note that the kids we sold as breeding stock were commercial. Our buck and 10 of the does are registered and we’d like to start selling registered breeding stock. Our replacement doelings won’t be bred till the next breeding season; we need to budget for a new buck in the future.

Going forward we decided to focus on getting weaning weights up to get more profit at the sale barn. We also budget $50 for registration for 6 kids. Remembering our doelings who’ll be yearlings next year, we also budget $800 for a new buck.

Next year we want to grow our herd and decide to keep back any kids who make the cut as breeding stock. While this will lower our income next year, it will pay off in the long run.

Looking over market reports for the past year, we see that 40-50lb kids are sold at a premium. Heading back to our records, we check out each doe’s average weaning weight for kids. There are several does who are weaning 27-32lb kids. While we can’t cull them without reducing our herd size too much, we make notes of those does to cull in future years.

how to price your goats profitably

Knowing that commercial breeders are going to see those numbers and want to raise heavier kids, we see the importance of getting breeding stock out there that will perform for them. We decide to seriously consider investing in more breeding does to get our numbers up in the new year.

Our heads are spinning with all the things to consider! But we’ve arrived at a projected cost for the coming year: $5,600.00. The herd is down by 3 mature does; but our 2 first fresheners should have twins, and we have 5 young doelings coming. Our projected income for the coming year is $5,083.00.

Wrapping up how to price your goats profitably

Phew! That was either fun to read through or terrifying. I’ve been both, though now it’s definitely leaning toward fun.

It’s more simplified than what some folks do, and more intense than others. My goal with this post is to help those who are wondering what to consider and where to start with pricing goats. Get you started on the right track. 🙂 While it doesn’t cover absolutely everything – now THAT would be long – I hope it helps you figure out the basics.

For even more help, I highly recommend checking out this free pricing course. (not affiliated. I have taken her marketing course with is also excellent). She has several other free trainings on this page as well.

What do you think? Have you priced out your goats?

Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!


How to price your goats profitably

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