Do you want to raise a meat goat with rapid kid growth, superb maternal nature, and improved carcass yield? If yes, Kiko goats might be the ones you need.
This large breed adorned with beautiful coating has a lot to offer. But with so many great meat goat options, how will you know if they fit your needs?
In this guide to the Kiko goat breed, we’ll discuss the:
- Origin, history, and purpose
- Temperament and hardiness of this breed
- And how to raise them successfully
But before that, here’s a little overview of Kiko goats and their distinguishing characteristics.
|Kiko Goat Breed Overview|
|Average Height:||Does: 26 to 30 in or 66 to 76 cm|
|Bucks: 30 to 37 in or 76 to 94 cm|
|Average Weight:||Does: 100 to 180 lbs or 45 to 83 kg|
|Bucks: 200 to 250 lbs or 90 to 114 kg|
|Colors:||Solid cream or white, sometimes having a shade of black|
|Temperament:||Easy going, active and alert, hardy, but calm and gentle, friendly|
|Primary Purpose:||Meat production|
What Are Kiko Goats?
The native Polynesian people named this goat breed Maori in New Zealand. The word “Kiko” in Maori means flesh or meat. Because goats are mainly used in producing meat, they called this breed Kiko.
The Kiko goat breed was developed from a feral goat that might escape and has been liberated. Feral goats mostly live in the wild or highlands, away from human disturbance.
Kiko meat goats are the product of crossbreeding a feral doe with other meat goad breeds like Anglo-Nubian, Saanen bucks, and Toggenburg.
Kiko Goats’ Characteristics
Since there were more than sixty official or recognized goat breeds worldwide, it might be challenging to determine Kiko meat goats. So, here are the distinguishing features that will help you how to identify Kiko goats.
Kiko Goat Size
First, let’s talk about how big Kiko goats get.
They are medium to large size goats, and Kiko does’ ranges from 100 to 180 pounds or 45 to 83 kilograms.
On the other hand, Kiko bucks could weigh up to 200 to 250 pounds and are equivalent to 90 to 114 kilograms.
They typically do not belong to the tallest breeds. Kiko bucks can only grow up to 30 to 37 inches, while Kiko does are around 26 to 30 inches tall.
But luckily, they are still beneficial and productive livestock.
Kiko Goat Colors
Because of cross breedings, Kiko meat goats have color variations, like the solid color white and cream.
Sometimes they also produce offspring with shades of darker color, like black Kiko goats depending on the dominant characteristics of the parents.
Kiko Goat Appearance
Like Alpines, Saanens, Oberhasli, Nigerian Dwarfs, and many others, Kiko goats have erect ears.
This ear position enables them to be more alert to their surroundings. But they can also crimp or drop it on their own.
Kiko Goats Horns
Both male and female Kiko meat goats have horns. They only differ in its size.
Buck’s horns can grow large, long, and twisted backward, while the does are shorter and slightly twisted.
This horn enables them to protect their kids and themselves from predators.
And according to other researchers, these horns also help them communicate, control, and maintain their body temperature.
For example, it serves as their air conditioner during the hot weather.
Kiko Goat’s Origin and History
As mentioned earlier, the Kiko goat breed was developed by Maoris, so it originally came from New Zealand.
This breed is formed after cross-breeding the dairy bucks – and feral does. Many feral goats from over 100 years are paired with other landraces like European dairy breeds.
In 1976, the twenty heaviest female ferals were bred with Saanen, Nubian, British Turrenberg, and Alpine. They became one of the fast-growing goat meats in 1980.
And for over a decade, breeders did this until they came up with the Kiko breed and stopped the breeding in 1986.
Although the size of these goats is not as big, and they couldn’t produce milk as much as other breeds, they have prolific survival ability.
For example, they can survive in any part of New Zealand with different climates, such as temperate, subtropical, alpine, and semi-arid regions.
Kiko Goat Breed’s Habitat
At this time, Kiko breeds spread throughout the world. But their primary habitat was in New Zealand, where they originated, and in the United States in the Southeast region.
Kiko Goat Breed’s Temperament
Aside from being in huge demand for meat from this goat breed, they also have an interesting temperament.
Like other strongest breeds, Kiko goats are also hardy, alert, active, and easy-going. Yet they’re calm, friendly, easy to train, and amenable.
Even if they are only medium to large in size, they can match the strength and energy of other breeds.
What Are Kiko Goats Used For?
Kiko goats are primarily grown to produce meat. And this breed is suitable for farming meat goats for a living because it’s one of the best goats in the world.
Kiko Goat Breed’s Population and Reproduction
Demand for the Kiko goats is the main factor in determining its population.
Although the population of Kiko goats is unknown, there are 450 million goats in the globe as a whole. And they’re not currently in danger of going extinct.
The Kiko goat breeds continuously throughout the year. But farmers must expand their species’ range inside their environment beyond simply grouping Kiko bucks and does.
How Long Are Kiko Goats Pregnant?
Like other goat breeds, Kiko goats have 155 day gestation period. Within this period, fertilized egg in the mother goat’s womb will grow into a kid.
However, the health, parity, and environment might affect the baby during gestation. So, they should be taken care of properly.
How Often Do Kiko Goats Breed?
Even after their pregnancy, the baby does not need to be aided.
Although a doe may give birth to just one child per pregnancy, twins or triplets are the most usual outcome of pregnancies.
They normally give birth to more than one child each year, and the infants suckle exclusively on their mother’s milk for the first 2 to 3 months of their lives.
Although some goats are sexually mature by the time they are four months old, breeding them at this young age is not advised.
Kiko Goat’s Predators
The breed isn’t particularly adept at protecting itself; therefore, any animals that manage to enter their area with claws or fangs may pursue them.
Though they lack natural defenses, these goats will try to defend themselves.
There is no serious threat to the population. Still, creating a shelter is the best approach to protect them from predators.
Kiko goats are raised and domesticated as livestock that humans keep; therefore, the protection is mostly up to the owners.
Humans are the main predator since these goats are raised for their flesh and coat.
However, they are also prone to coyotes, foxes, bobcats, wolves, dogs, and eagles. So, providing them with protection like fencing and proper shelter is important.
Is Kiko Goat Breed Hardy?
Like other breeds, goats are very hardy and can tolerate hard weather, especially in hot seasons. So, they are perfect livestock in equatorial and tropical countries.
They’re also parasite resistant like Boer goats. In fact, they’re often used in programs aiming to develop parasitic resistance.
How Much Do Kiko Goats Cost?
Kiko goat prices depend on their mass and how pure your breed is. Mostly, pedigreed bucks could cost up to $1500. However, commercial buyers will buy them for as low as $500.
Although they are costly, they are still beneficial because they are an amazing breed with a long lifespan.
Caring for Kiko Goats as Pets
Being low-maintenance livestock is the reason why Kiko goats are in demand. They don’t need special or costly food and healthcare as long as they get enough food and spacious areas to roam.
But here are some things that you need to consider before raising one:
Set-up of Their Enclosure
Because goats have an innate personality in foraging, they need a wide range of areas. They would surely love the grassy surroundings because they are herbivores.
If your yard is weedy, you can have it trimmed by them because they are good at managing land.
Their enclosure should have a good fence to protect them from predators, especially those who have newborn kids.
Why? Because they don’t have pointy teeth or nails to fight for themselves from their enemy. So, their safety depends on you.
The fences should be installed properly so they won’t rip or damage easily. And it should be higher than you, like 6 feet high, to prevent them from jumping on it.
Provide Them with Enough Food
They are not picky eaters; they would enjoy any food you give them. That’s why they’re not hard to raise.
What to Feed Kiko goats?
Because Kiko goats do not require costly supplements and feedings, so it means you would only spend less. But, you can earn a lot if you raise them for profitable income.
This breed converts food for growing at a very high rate. So, Kiko goats can consume any foods you give.
Here are some feeds and types of grasses you can give to improve their health and weight development.
- Quality hay
- Grown crops like legumes
- Pelleted goat feeds
Any vegetations are fine if none of the items listed above are available in your area.
Other growers found out that jack leaves and coconut oil cakes help them gain weight constantly.
Like other breeds, Kiko goats can withstand any climate, such as extremely hot temperatures, even if it’s severe.
How is it possible? They can regulate their coat’s growth to adapt to weather situations. And their horns help them condition their body temperature in hot seasons.
So they don’t need any blankets or coats to cover their body. They only need a shelter with a roof to prevent them from being soaked with rain.
Give Them Company
Like other animals, Kiko goats belong to herd animals. They can’t survive alone. Having friends and partners who stay with them will help them cope with stress and be happy.
Of course, that’s a different story if you’re the only one with them all the time. And you know that it will be difficult because you have other businesses to do.
So, it will be great for them to have company.
Kiko Goat Pros and Cons
To sum up the advantages and disadvantages of raising Kiko goats, here are their pros and cons.
- Hassle-free and easy to care for
- Can resist any parasitic infestations
- Can tolerate extreme weather conditions (Hardy)
- Low maintenance
- Earn more profit
- Can gain weight easily
- Kids can grow rapidly
- Can manage weeds in your yield
- Friendly, easy-going, calm, and gentle, but alert and active
- Medium size
- Not a good milk producer
- Uneasy to handle if you’re a beginner
- Sometimes become wild or aggressive
Frequently Asked Questions About Kiko Goats
What is the Kiko goat known for?
Kiko goats are renowned for their meat and milk. They have a high fertility rate, and friendly, and are generally low-maintenance.
They can survive extreme temperatures and gain weight despite not having supplementary feeding in natural conditions.
How do you tell if a goat is a Kiko?
This goat breed is distinguishable thanks to its solid white or cream coat and erect ears. They are muscular with medium to large muscular, stocky frames.
What type of goat is a Kiko?
Kiko is a meat goat breed hailing from the land of New Zealand. It comes from the Māori word, which means flesh or meat.
It’s a beautiful goat breed developed by Garrick and Anne Batten of Nelson.
How long do Kiko goats live?
This hardy and parasite-resistant breed can live around 8 to 12 years. Some goats who were properly cared for can live past this lifespan.
Can Kiko goats be used for milk?
They can be raised for milk production and as pets, but they can’t compare to Alpine, Oberhasli, Saanen, and Toggenburg goats’ performance despite having them as Kiko’s roots.
What age do you butcher Kiko goats?
Most kids are slaughtered when they’re 3 to 5 months old, but it depends on the breed and the purpose of butchering them.
What is the best hay for Kiko goats?
Alfalfa hay is better for Kiko goats because it provides more proteins, vitamins, and minerals like calcium than ordinary grass hay.
Do Kiko goats need shelter?
Despite their hardy nature and being less susceptible to hoof rot, Kiko goats still need a dry place to escape bad weather.
A three-sided shed with a dry floor will already do, but if your Kiko is shivering during the cold season, you may need to add heat.
Final Verdict on Kiko Goats: Is It The Right Breed For You?
Liko goats are prized for their excellent meat, parasitic resistance, and rapidly growing capabilities. On top of that, they’re not picky eaters, easy to raise, and active yet friendly.
They can tolerate extreme weather conditions. And despite not being prolific milk producers, you can still make a good income from them because of their meat.
But if you’re looking for larger meat goat breeds that can offer more meat, check this breed out.