The Kiko Goat – Vegetation Management
The Kiko Goat
The Kiko is a relatively new breed of goat that was only developed during the 1980s in New Zealand when goat herders crossbred their dairy goats with feral goats in their region. The breed caught on because they tended to grow faster and exhibit greater hardiness & survivability than the traditional dairy goats in New Zealand.
History of the Kiko Goat
The specific companies of goat herders and farmers responsible for the development of the Kiko are the New Zealand companies Caprinex Enterprises Limited followed by Goatex Group Limited. Through an elaborate and organized approach, the feral goats of New Zealand that would best enhance the meat production of local dairy goats were selected and crossbred to make the Kiko. This is why the name for the breed is the Māori, the language of New Zealand’s native population, word for meat. It was an easy way to describe what the breed was bred for: enhanced meat yield. By the 1990s, Goatex Group had begun to export goats to North America where they caught on because of several benefits they provided farmers.
The biggest thing holding Kikos back currently is simply the fact they are such a new breed. In the future, it may be that Kiko goats become one of the most popular breeds of meat or dairy goats in the US and Canada.
It’s important to understand that the feral goats of New Zealand that were used to produce the Kiko Goat are not like other feral goats. Due to the relative temperate climate and lack of natural predators, feral goats in New Zealand have been able to breed and reproduce freely and without restriction which has given rise to their beneficial characteristics.
Characteristics of the Kiko Goat
Perhaps the single most significant feature of the Kiko is its hardiness, particularly when it comes to colder climates. The Kiko can also put on weight easily without the need to greatly increase feed under the right conditions. Kikos will also eat about anything they can.
When it comes to its size, the Kiko is relatively large. As for coloring, most are white though they can be in almost any color. The full grown male Kikos have prominent horns and can have a bold personality. Both the male and female tend to range and graze over wild country – likely because of the feral goats used to originally cross breed them.
The growth rate of young Kikos is another significant characteristics. The kids, from the time they are born to their weaning, grow at least as fast as any other meat breeds in North America. Furthermore, the Kikos grow this fast without the extra feeding processes many other breeds must go through to achieve the same results.
Raising Kiko Goats
Because of how easy they are to maintain, how quickly they grow, and how resistant they are to things like parasites, raising Kiko goats can be significantly easier and more profitable than raising other goats and this has helped give rise to their popularity since their introduction into the United States in the 1990s.
Additionally, Kikos tend to thrive in almost any climate or terrain in North America, so they have a wider base of appeal than other North American meat or dairy goats. This is particularly true of colder parts of the country – Kikos don’t seem to mind the cold the way some less hardy breeds do.