Warm sun, green pine trees, and sparkling blue water make
Lake Fork Kikos the perfect place for our herd
of exceptional goats.
About Us — Our Mission Statement
Welcome to Lake Fork Kikos, LLC. More Kids, More Meat, and Less Parasites© is our motto. We are passionate about challenging the status quo in the goat industry, and are dedicated to performance testing our Kiko goats for maternal qualities (More Kids), growth on forage (More Meat), and parasite resistance (Less Parasites).
Some thoughts about our motto
Our motto (More Kids, More Meat, Less Parasites) was devised one afternoon while we were in the truck driving, when we began talking about how to explain our philosophy on raising high-quality, healthy, productive goats. While it isn’t rocket science, there is thoughtful consideration involved based on both extensive research and experience. Here’s an explanation of what our motto encompasses….
Excellent maternal qualities are critical for profitable goat production. The economics of raising meat goats requires that the does consistently produce multiple kid litters (More Kids). If the does have only single kids, profitable goat production is unlikely -- the goal is to raise at least two kids; sometimes this average happens if you have a few singles with a few sets of triplets or the occasional set of quads. But just getting kids “on the ground” isn’t enough if the does are not good mothers. The new kids need to come into this world without needing assistance, on pasture, with lots of colostrum from their mother. They need to be licked dry, nursed, and bedded where they can be supervised by their mom. We feel that does that raise a litter that equals the mother’s weight at 90 days is a lofty, yet, reasonable goal.
Disease prevention is critical with any newborns, and to ensure that the new kids are protected by their mother’s antibodies, we booster-vaccinate for CDT & CL about a month before kidding is to begin, then when the kids are weaned at 90 days. We also swab all navels with 7% iodine as a protection against infection.
The faster the litter of kids reach marketable weight, the more likely the goat producer will be able to stay in business. So, pounds of goats (More Meat) stepping on the scale is an important criteria for selection of genetically superior Kiko goats. We on-farm performance test our goats using the Oklahoma State University performance software (downloadable free from their website). Keeping accurate records helps us benchmark our progress and clarifies what our breeding program is actually accomplishing. If we’re pleased with our numbers, great!, but if not, we now have the necessary information to change and move forward.
The old saying, “Timing is everything” is applicable here, too. We breed our does to kid beginning in late January and ending in mid-March. In east Texas, that means we are weaning the kids so that they can take advantage of our lush spring pastures that are at their peak in May and June. Seeing the big picture in kid production is critical—nothing is left to chance.
The genetic basis of parasite resistance is heritable, so we utilize Fecal Egg Counts and FAMACHA to evaluate the performance of our Kikos. We work hard to manage parasites in our goats, starting with using rotational grazing so that our animals are not eating below 4 inches of forage in our pastures. Everyone handling our goats is certified in FAMACHA training—if you handle a goat for any reason, the “5 Point Check” is used to note their condition. This means that whenever we vaccinate goats, weigh goats, wean goats, etc. we also record their body condition scores and their eyelid number (FAMACHA score). By keeping this type of record, we know which animals are genetically more resistant to parasites and are able to plan our next breeding season to maximize these traits.
The most recent research now emphasizes that goats should ONLY be dewormed when medically necessary, preferably using two or three of the three classes of dewormers currently on the market. Having to continually (or even occasionally) deworm an animal leads to them being culled from our herd—no exceptions.
We focus on healthy Kikos goats by maintaining a test negative doe herd for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) and Johnes Disease (Paratuberculosis). We vaccinate for Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) to protect against and prevent the three most devastating diseases currently causing millions of dollars of losses within the goat industry.
Bucks sired by our herdsire, Outlaw, won the Oklahoma Forage-based Buck Performance test from 2013-2015. All of our bucks did NOT require deworming during the 75 day test; this led to the Grand Champion Top Herdsman award for our bucks in 2013, 2014, and again in 2015.
We also performance test our entire kid crop for weaning weight and parasite resistance with our on-farm testing program so that you can be assured of the value of any goat purchased from Lake Fork Kikos, LLC.
Please let us know how we can help you be successful in the goat business--give us a call or send your phone number and we will be happy to reply.