About the Market & Meat Breeding Goat Project
Designed for those 4-H members who want to learn more about raising goat animals for meat production.
The 4-H and FFA Market and Breeding Goat projects have a long history at the Boulder County Fair and they are becoming one of the faster-growing animal science projects in the country. Members who show market and breeding goats learn hands-on agricultural experience, expand their knowledge of the meat goat industry, and most importantly have fun. They will acquire life skills such as animal husbandry, decision-making, animal reproduction and nutrition, marketing a business, responsibility, communication, ethical meat production, and so much more. These two projects are fun and can be successfully completed on small acreage farms.
The most common meat goat breed is Boer, but Spanish, Myotonic, Nubian, Pygmy and Kiko are also considered meat breeds. Much like sheep and cattle, meat goats are ruminants (fancy word for a four-chambered stomach), which is why they are so good at eating grass, hay, but their favorite meal is woody type plants.
In this program, you can either complete a market goat or a breeding goat or both. Market goats are typically no older than 9-10 months at the time of fair and considered a short-term project (i.e., you typically only have them for approximately 6 months). Market goats are typically wethers (a castrated male goat) but can also be does (a female goat). Members usually get their market goat when they are weaned (8-10 weeks old) and care for the goat through their growing phase until they reach market weight (typically 60-85 pounds). Members train their market goats how to lead and brace (flex their muscles). The market breeding goat project is a long-term project (sometimes up to 10 years), where members raise and care for does and breed them to bucks (a male goat) to produce kids (LOL, yes young goats are called kids).
Members will receive a manual when they sign up for a goat project. For more information. Project levels are designed for members 8-18 years old, junior, intermediate and senior. For more info => Goat Project & Tips
Record Books / e-Records
4-H Record Books are also called e-Records. Each project has its own record book that members are required to complete each year. Record books need to be checked a few times for progress throughout the year:
- June – your 4-H leader will be sure your books are started and up to date.
- Prior to showing at the Boulder County Fair, your record books will be checked by your superintendent to be sure they are up to date and complete as can be, in order to participate and show at the fair.
- Final livestock record books are due at the Extension office by the second Thursday in September. (Please note: your 4-H leader may need an earlier deadline for review and signatures.)
4-H Livestock Resources
- Goat Nomination Form (Updated 02/13/2023)
- Market Goat Tag-In Info (Updated 05/1/2023)
- BCF Jr Livestock Market Sale
- Scrapies Tags
- LSF Quality Assurance Form – 2022 PDF | DOC
- Goat Doe Record (for breeding goats only)
Events & Opportunities
Check out the latest videos for the Goat Project
Get Ready for Kidding Workshop: This video covers doe care prior to kidding, what to have in your kidding kit, what to expect during the event, and how to care for newborn kids.
Market Goat Nominations for County Fair
Expand for Market Goat Nominations at the County Fair.
Identification & Weigh-In Process
- Fill out the tag-in form. It is also available at the 4-H Extension website.
- Tag Fees – There is a $4.00 fee for each tag. 4-H Staff will collect the fees and will be located mid aisle.
- Enter from the SOUTH fairground entrance to the Pole Barn
- Left at the Pole Barn and around the North side of Barn A
- LEFT on Midway down to BARN C
- There are 2 WEST side entry points
- Exit on EAST side when tag-in, paperwork, and fees are paid
Tag-In will proceed in the following order:
1. Nomination Forms:
Fill out one nomination form for each 4-H Member. State fair forms also qualify for county fair. You will need to know your project animal’s breed, sex and birth date.
Pay a $4.00 nomination fee per animal. Fee covers the cost of tags, tag equipment, scale equipment retinal scanning equipment and helps supplement funds for fair awards. Remember to include fee in your record book.
2. Ear Tags:
Establish the ownership of each animal. Each project animal is required to be owned and nominated to one specific exhibitor. In other words, siblings must specify ownership of each animal and may not share or swap animals after Tag-In. For example, goat 101 cannot be listed as John’s goat and later transferred to his sister, Mary.
Fill out Tag Number on Nomination Form. After animal has been tagged by a volunteer, check that the correct tag number is now listed on the nomination form for that animal.
Push your animal(s) through the shoot to the scale. It is highly recommended that your animal have a halter or collar on when going through the scale.
Hand your completed Nomination Form to the volunteer at the scale. Check that the tag # on the form matches the tag # on the animal that is on the scale.
Note: Male market animals must be castrated or banded and all ewes and does must have scrapie tags in place by the May tag-in. Market goats must be dehorned or have horns “tipped” before exhibiting.
4. Retinal Scan:
Bring each animal individually to the designated pen for retinal scanning. Retinal scanning is required to be eligible for market goat classes at the Boulder County Fair and Colorado State Fair. Retinal scanning works like a finger print to provide precise identification of an animal in case a tag is lost or questions arise. All Champion and Reserve Market Goats will be scanned at the Boulder County Fair to verify identity.
5. Final Paperwork review
Bring each completed form to the end of the barn and turn in. Please check your paperwork to be sure animals are identified correctly. This is your final chance for any updates. Take a photo of your completed paperwork for reference. Turn in paperwork to 4-H Staff members.
How do I get scrapies tags for my goats?
Request your FREE tags and tagger, just call 866-USDA-TAG 866-873-2824.
If you are planning on exhibiting/selling any female sheep/goats; sexually intact male sheep/goats OR own any sheep/goats older than 18 months old in Colorado you will need tags. It is recommended to have tags in place by Market Nomination day so you know you are good for fair and required to be eligible to show/sell goats at the Boulder County Fair.
* If we are unable to tag or retail scan in vehicle or trailer, there will be 2 pens setup to hold your market animal.