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Institute of

OF Organic Farming


Lamb rearing and production of goat kid meat

© Thünen-Institut/OL

Development of a concept for kid meat production in milking dairy goat farms

Milk from dairy goats has a high value, but not goat meat. Every year are more or less than 2 kids are born, but only 0.2 are necessary for reproduction. The fattening of the kids is not developed: not in organic and not in conventional farming. Low fattening results, unclear carcas quality parameter, high costs of rearing and fattening and last but not least not acceptable animal welfare conditions can happen. 

Background and Objective

The fattening of goat kids on dairy goat farms is not developed. Profitability and animal welfare are mayor problems; on conventional as well as on organic farms.

Using meat goat breads (bure goats) are recommendations developed for better fattening results and carcass qualities. Additionally feeding and health management strategies are given, to increase productivity and profitability. High animal welfare targets are part of the strategies. In collaboration with the company tegut and the University Kassel marketing strategies are designed. 


The fattening experiments have been carried out on the experimental station of the Institute in Trenthorst. The half of the 70 dairy goats (breed German Brown Alpine) on the station have been inseminated with Bure goats, a meat breed, the other half are kept pure breed. The cross and pure breed lambs are tested under different conditions to assess the fattening and health potential:

a) fattening period (short: eastern kids; long: autumn kids)

b) different feeding rations (10% and 40% concentrate share of rations; 45 mother suckling or bucket milk feeding) and

c) keeping conditions (stable, pasture).

Animal welfare and profitability (labour costs, variable costs) have been considered.

Three years have been used.  


  • The milk feeding of goat kids with cow milk is possible.
  • Mother related rearing (45 days) is the best way to avoid kid sickness. About 70 kg of milk are needed in the first 45 days.
  • Despite 45 days suckling period, the milking goats have to be milked to avoid mastitis.
  • Mother related kid rearing has advantages in labour: 1 hour per kid in 45 days in comparison to 2.5 h in bucket feeding systems.
  • The crossing with bure goats has only an advantage in intensive feeding regimes. In low input feeding systems (10% concentrate, pasture grazing in nature protection schemes) show no advantage for cross breeds.
  • The carcass of cross breeds has a better quality and higher market value.
  • The intensive fattening of kids is not profitable (high concentrate costs).
  • The cheapest way to rear goat kids on milking goat herds is: mother suckling, extensiv feeding (low concentrate rations), nature reserve schemes (extra payments).
  • The profitability is given with 13 Euro per kg carcass.
  • The eastern kid meat production is the most easy and fastest way in kid fattening, but has a negative ethical image in German society.
  • The meat of grass fed kids has higher concentration of CLAs and Omega-3 fat acids (good).

Download Final report (in German)


Prof. Dr. agr. habil. Gerold Rahmann

+49 160 94945756
+49 4539 8880 200

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)


11.2010 - 3.2013

More Information

Project funding number: 2809OE026
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft (BÖLN)
Project status: finished


  1. 0

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  2. 1

    Zenke S, Rahmann G, Hamm U, Euen S (2009) Ökologische Ziegenfleischproduktion : eine Situationsanalyse. Landbauforsch SH 326:21-30

  3. 2

    Rahmann G (2007) Lammfleischqualität : es geht noch besser! In: Tagungsband / Bio Austria Bauerntage 2007 : 22. - 24. Jänner 2007 im Bildungshaus Schloss Puchberg, Wels. pp 73-75

  4. 3

    Barth K (2007) Untersuchungen zur Aufzucht von Schaf- und Ziegenlämmern mit arteigener und artfremder Milch. In: Zikeli S, Claupein W, Dabbert S (eds) Beiträge zur 9. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau "Zwischen Tradition und Globalisierung" : Universität Hohenheim, 20.-23. März 2007 ; Bd. 2. Berlin: Köster, pp 677-680

  5. 4

    Barth K (2006) Untersuchungen zur Aufzucht von Schaf- und Ziegenlämmern mit arteigener und artfremder Milch. Landbauforsch Völkenrode SH 298:145-146

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