If you’re a person who loves goats, you may have noticed a new breed in the past 25 years: Kiko goat.
Imported from New Zealand, this breed has come to be preferred by farmers and ranchers in the United States. This is due to the fact that they are easy to care for, have long and productive lives, and are extremely parasite resistant.
While goats are mainly kept as livestock at the moment, they can also make good pets, provided you know what you are doing. If you want to learn more about this interesting new breed, this guide will fill you up with all the pertinent details.
Quick Facts about Kiko Goat
|Species name:||Capra aegagrus hircus|
|Temperature:||Thrives in hot, humid climates|
|Mood:||Submissive, although they are rarely kept as pets|
|Color Format:||white, cream, black|
|Life span:||8-12 years|
|Shape:||26-37 inches, 100-300 pounds|
|Diet:||Hay, legume hay, silage, pelleted feed|
|Minimum Fence Size:||Large, because these animals are skilled forest dwellers.|
|Compatibility:||high, as they are an excellent breed for multi-species grazing|
Keiko Goat Description
The name “Kiko” is derived from a Māori word meaning “flesh” or “flesh”. This should give you all the information you need when determining what these animals are most often reared for.
This is a relatively new breed, having originated only in the 1980s. It was created by goat farmers named Garrick and Anne Batten, and they crossed wild goats with different types of dairy goats. The result was an animal that was hardy, fast-growing, and had extreme parasite resistance.
To say that Batten was successful in this endeavor would be an understatement. Their Kiko goat has shown the ability to thrive in a variety of harsh climates, including the hot, humid Southeast part of the United States.
This is important because drug-resistant parasites have been rampant in that area for years. While insecticides have failed when it comes to controlling these parasites, Kiko has been much more successful, and they are only projected to become more popular in the years to come.
Their temperament is another big reason why they are so popular. They are polite but not passive, and they are friendly and agreeable, they are also fearless, so you will need to protect them from predators, as they are unlikely to retreat on their own.
They are easy to train and direct, and it is not difficult to manage an entire herd. This also makes them wonderful pets, although they are rarely kept for that purpose.
How much does Kiko goat cost?
The price of a Kiko Goat will vary depending on the pedigree you are paying for. On the high end, you can expect to pay over $1,500 for a pedigree buck.
However, most commercially bred animals go for much less, usually around $500. This relatively low price, coupled with their relatively long lifespan, makes them an excellent choice for flocking.
If you’re planning on buying a high-end, pedigree animal, you may want to invest in a DNA test to make sure you’re really getting what you paid for.
distinctive behavior and temperament
Kikos are known for being polite but not passive. They aren’t particularly stubborn, but they won’t be pushed around. If you can convince them that something is in their best interest, they will happily go along with it.
They do their job for the most part. This is not a breed that will turn and run at the first sign of danger, usually preferring to wait and feel the situation instead.
They are not aggressive among themselves or among other animals, and they generally prefer to be alone.
Appearance and varieties
Most kikois are either white or cream-colored, although you’ll find darker ones there as well (in fact, darker kikois are becoming more common).
They have dense coats that grow longer and are wider in colder climates. They have long ears that are often erect but can bend to help keep them warm, as well as thick bodies that are well-muscled.
Goats are easily recognized by their long, broad horns. However, given that these animals are not usually aggressive, you will rarely get to see them using those horns. However, they do make wonderful decorations.
Keiko goats grow rapidly and can produce two babies per year. This lets you quickly develop a hearty poop, and babies will contribute to the bottom line in no time, as they rapidly shed their weight.
As of now, there is only one variety of the Kiko goat, but given how successful this breed has proven to be, it will come as no surprise to see these animals branch out in the years to come.
How to Care for Keiko Goats
One of the reasons why Kiko goats have become so popular so quickly is that they are a low-maintenance breed. You won’t need to provide much in terms of food or health care, as long as you give them enough room to roam and forage.
Still, there are a few things you need to know about keeping these animals.
Housing conditions and setup
These goats require a lot of space, as they are aggressive forest dwellers. However, they can do so with almost any environment, provided there is plenty of ground cover for them to feed on.
You will need to be careful when it comes to protecting them from predators, as Kikos are not known to respect larger animals with sharp teeth and claws. When faced with danger, they are likely to stand their ground, which is often bad for them. That means it’s up to you to keep them safe.
You will also want to have good fencing to keep them from roaming. They enjoy a varied diet, and they are willing to travel to find new foods to eat. As a result, you should try to provide them with as many suitable foods as possible to limit their natural restlessness. Still, a reliable fence is much more reliable than a rich and varied diet.
That fence should also be high. These goats can stand up to 6 feet high on their hind legs, so they can easily clear a low fence—and they will, too, if they sense something worthwhile on the other side.
This adaptability and willingness to eat almost anything are big reasons why these goats are often used for land management purposes. They specialize in clearing underbrush in fire-prone areas, and they can eradicate problematic weeds in your fields or backyard in no time.
Kiko thrives in all but the most severe climates, and they will naturally control the growth of their coats to adapt to the local climate. You don’t need to provide them with much in the form of shelter or bedding to keep them warm and safe.
Those feet aren’t prone to rot, so you don’t have to worry about loosening them in moist soil. They thrive in moist environments, in fact, and are popular in humid areas like Florida.
Do Kiko goats get along with other pets?
Kikos are known to get along easily, making them suitable for co-grazing with a variety of other animals. As long as other animals leave Kiko alone, Kiko is unlikely to have a problem with them.
They make excellent herding animals, as you will rarely see inter-species aggression. You can open them in almost any number of places, on any pasture or farm, and not have to worry about behavioral problems.
Many ranchers prefer to combine kilos with cattle, as this helps improve forage utilization. This is especially prominent in areas where weed control is a problem, as goats will clear out invasive species, leaving behind more resources for grass to grow.
Best of all, since kikos are highly resistant to internal parasites, you don’t have to worry about them getting sick (or vice versa) of other animals. This should help reduce the overall parasite level as well.
If you are keeping a Kiko as a pet and you have other animals such as dogs in your home, how well they get along almost entirely depends on the other animal. Kikos will tolerate just about any other species, provided they don’t bother them too much, of course.
what to feed your kiko goat
Kiko don’t require much in the form of special diets, and they require much less dietary supplements than other goat species. As long as you have a lot of vegetation growing in your area, they should be fine.
Keep in mind that they are descended from wild goats, so they know how to take care of and defend themselves. They rarely need much in the way of human intervention, so you won’t have to constantly monitor their diet (though they will go astray if the picking is thin).
If you are keeping one as a pet or you want to be absolutely sure that they are getting enough to eat, you can provide them with quality hay, legume hay, silage, and even Can provide food with pellets. They enjoy a varied diet, so feel free to mix it up, but don’t worry if you can’t. These animals are left over – they will do whatever they can find.
Keeping Your Kiko Goat Healthy
Keiko goats are self-sufficient, requiring little help from humans to survive and thrive. As a result, you won’t have to pay much in the way of health care to these animals.
They rarely require intervention due to parasites and even manage to be quite self-sufficient when giving birth. This would be one of the most low-maintenance animals you could ever adopt.
If they need health care, take them to the vet right away. One of the disadvantages of an animal being healthy is that you can be slow to provide them with medical help when it is needed, so regular checkups are a good idea as well.
They will need hoof trimming and occasional deworming from time to time, but even these are found less frequently than other breeds.
Ultimately, though, you don’t have to worry about a herd of kikos as long as you provide them with enough food to eat and protection from predators.
Kiko goats don’t need much help when it comes to breeding. For the most part, it’s just a matter of putting up the bucks and working together and waiting for nature to take its course.
They are active breeders and require very little help with childbirth. Most are capable of producing two babies per year, and those babies usually have plenty of milk to drink, which helps them grow and wean quickly.
Kikos breed at all times of the year, and become sexually mature at 4 months of age. However, it is generally recommended to wait until they are at least 8 months old and at least 80 pounds before you start trying to breed them.
Kiko makes attentive and capable moms-to-be, so you won’t have to do much of the parenting work yourself. This is why many people who take Kikos for profit allow the rupee to do so freely; There’s a slight downside to reproducing repeatedly, but potentially a lot of upsides.
Are Kiko goats a good fit for you?
If you already own goats or if you have always been curious but don’t know where to start, keiko goats can make a good investment. They are hardy, easy to raise, and easy to get along with.
As a result, they are raised for a variety of reasons, including meat, milk, land management and even recreational use. They make low-maintenance pets, and they generally tolerate humans, although they may not be as affectionate as some other animals that you might consider an owner.
At the end of the day, you have to decide if you want to keep goats. If you do, there’s no reason not to get kickos.