If you adore goats, you may have been aware of a new breed of goat known as Kiko goats that have become increasingly popular over the past 25 years.
This breed was brought into the United States from New Zealand and has recently begun to garner the favor of farmers and ranchers there.
This is because they require little maintenance, have lengthy and fruitful lives, and are resistant to parasites.
If you have the proper knowledge and experience, goats can make wonderful companion animals, although, at the moment, they are used primarily as a form of livestock.
This guide will provide all the relevant information regarding this fascinating new breed if you want to learn more about it.
History of the Kiko Goat
The name “Kiko” originates from a Maori term that translates to either “flesh” or “meat.” That should provide you with all the information required to determine the most common purpose for raising these animals.
This particular breed didn’t appear until the 1980s, making it one of the more recent ones. Goat farmers named Garrick and Anne Batten were responsible for their creation; they bred wild goats with several different types of dairy goats to produce offspring.
The end product was an animal that was incredibly resistant to parasites, in addition to being tough and quick-growing.
Their Kiko goats have demonstrated the capacity to flourish in several severe regions, one of which is the hot and humid southeast region of the United States.
This is significant since drug-resistant parasites have been spreading at an alarming rate throughout that region for many years.
The use of pesticides has been unsuccessful in preventing the spread of these parasites; however, the use of the kiko goat has shown to be considerably more effective, and there is a high probability that their use will continue to spread in the years to come.
Their demeanor is another important factor that contributes to their widespread acclaim. They are friendly, cooperative, docile, and passive.
These goats are not aggressive. Kiko goats are also brave, which means that you will need to defend them from any potential predators because they are unlikely to retreat on their own.
They are simple to instruct and guide, and it is not difficult to manage a complete herd of animals. Because of this, they make fantastic pets, although very few people keep them for that purpose.
Quick Overview of Kiko Goat
- scientific name: Capra aegagrus hircus
- Temperature: Good for warm, wet climates
- Temperament: Docile (suitable as pets)
- Color: White, cream, black
- Lifespan: 8-12 years
- Size & weight: 26-37 inches, 100-300 pounds
- Diet: Hay, legume grasses, pelleted feed
- Fence Size: Large (since they are efficient foragers).
- Compatibility: High (they’re an excellent breed for multi-species).
Appearance & Varieties
Although most Kikos are either white or cream-colored, you can occasionally come across ones with darker coloring (in fact, darker-hued Kikos are becoming increasingly more common).
They have thick coats that, in cold areas, can grow to be quite long and sweeping. They have sturdy bodies that are well-muscled and long ears that are usually upright but can droop to keep them warm. Their bodies are also well-muscled.
Because of the length and sweep of their horns, bucks are simple to identify. On the other hand, because these creatures aren’t typically hostile toward one another, you won’t often get the chance to observe them make use of their horns.
However, they are fantastic when used as decorations. Kiko goats have a fast growth rate and can have two kids in a single year.
This enables you to construct a robust herd in a short amount of time, and the offspring will start contributing to the bottom line in almost no time at all because they will achieve their weaning weight so soon.
Currently, there is only one type of Kiko goat, but considering how successful that breed has been, it wouldn’t be a surprise if these creatures diversified in the years to come. As of right now, there is only one variety of Kiko goats.
Behavior & Temperament
The Kiko goat has a reputation for being calm and submissive, yet they are not lazy. They aren’t especially obstinate, but they won’t put up with being pushed around, either.
If you can persuade them in their best interest, they will cheerfully comply with whatever you want them to do.
Most of the time, they pursue their own interests. This breed will not immediately freeze up and run away at first sight of danger; instead, they are more likely to hang back and assess the situation as it develops.
One of the reasons that Kiko goats have grown so popular in such a short time is because they are a breed that requires little to no upkeep.
If you offer them a lot of room to roam and find their own food, you won’t have to worry about providing them with much in the way of food or medical attention.
Keeping these animals does require some knowledge on your part, though, as there are a few things you should be aware of.
They do not engage in hostile behavior toward one another or other animals; they would rather be left alone.
Kiko goats are extremely independent and require little assistance from people to live and prosper. Consequently, you won’t need to supply these creatures with a great deal of medical attention.
They require relatively infrequent medical attention due to parasites and can even give birth with reasonable independence. This will be one of the most low-maintenance pets you will ever have the opportunity to possess.
Take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible if it turns out that they need medical attention. If you have a healthy animal, one of the potential drawbacks is that you may be slow to provide them with medical aid when required.
Therefore, routine examinations are not only recommended but also highly recommended. They will likely need occasional deworming and hoof trimming, although even these requirements are fewer and farther between than you’ll encounter with other breeds.
In the end, though, as long as you provide them food to feed and protect them from predators, you shouldn’t have to worry about much with a herd of Kikos as long as you do the things I just mentioned.
Habitat Conditions & Setup
Because they are such avid browsers, these goats require a substantial amount of area. However, as long as there is a sufficient amount of ground cover for them to consume, they can adapt and survive in virtually any habitat.
Because Kikos do not acknowledge huge creatures, especially those with sharp teeth and claws, you will need to exercise caution when protecting them from potential predators.
They are prone to maintain their composure in the face of danger, even if this strategy frequently backfires on them. This indicates that it is up to you to ensure they are secure.
You should also invest in sturdy fences to prevent them from wandering out. They want to try new things to eat and are willing to go to great lengths to do so.
Their diet is quite diversified. Consequently, you ought to make an effort to supply them with as many appropriate foods as possible to curb their natural restlessness.
Despite this, having a solid boundary is considerably more reliable than eating a wide variety of foods. Additionally, You should increase the height of this fence.
Because these goats can stand up to 6 feet high on their rear legs, they are more than capable of jumping over a low fence. They will do so if they believe something of value is on the other side of the barrier.
Because of their versatility and readiness to consume virtually anything, goats of this species are useful for land management.
They are experts in removing underbrush in places at risk of wildfire, and they can quickly eliminate troublesome weeds in your fields or garden.
Kikos are able to thrive in almost every climate, except for the harshest ones, and they will automatically adjust the growth of their coats to accommodate the environment in which they live.
If you want to keep them warm and safe, you shouldn’t have to give them much in the way of shelter or bedding.
Because they are not susceptible to foot rot, you do not have to be concerned about letting them loose in damp soil. They do best in moist surroundings and can thrive in abundance in humid places such as Florida.
Kikos do not have particular dietary requirements, and compared to other goat species, they call for a significantly lower amount of supplemental feeding. They should be alright so long as a sufficient amount of foliage grows in the area where they stay.
Bear in mind that they are the descendants of wild goats, which means they can scavenge for food and care for themselves.
They don’t often call for much humanitarian assistance, so you won’t need to continually keep an eye on what they’re eating (although they will wander off if pickings are slim).
If you are keeping one as a pet or want to ensure that they get enough to eat, then you can provide them with high-quality hay, legume grasses, silage, and even food pellets.
They enjoy eating a variety of foods, so feel free to switch things up, but if you can’t, don’t worry about it too much. These creatures are true survivors; they will make do with any food they can find.
Regarding reproduction, Kiko goats don’t require much assistance from their owners. Most of the time, all that is needed is to couple mature bucks and does and then to stand back and watch as nature works its magic.
They have a high reproductive rate and need little assistance during labor and delivery. Most does are capable of having two young each year, and those young typically have access to an abundance of milk, enabling them to develop and transition to solid food quickly.
Kikos are capable of having offspring at any time of the year and can reach sexual maturity as early as four months of age.
However, before attempting to breed does, it is best to wait until they are at least 80 pounds and have been alive for at least eight months before beginning the process.
Kiko gives birth to children who are capable of being attentive mothers, which means you won’t have to do as much of the child’s upbringing yourself.
Because of this, many people who raise the Kiko goat for profit allow the bucks to intermingle with the does freely. Although there is little risk with regular breeding, there is the possibility of a significant gain.