Billy Bob, the goat in the photo insert, came into our life about 8-9 years ago. It was Friday- end of the work week for my husband’s crew. I walked toward the shop to speak to my husband about a job that was in the planning stages. As my husband and I were talking, my eye drifted over to the truck parked under the live oak tree. There in the back of the truck, inside a large cage was a small brown goat. Welllllll- that little goat got my immediate attention and I quickly ended our talk and walked over to the pickup. The little goat began baaaa, baaa as if he wanted out of his prison. He looked absolutely pitiful and I began to think about what one of the workers was going to do with the little goat. As the men were leaving for home, two of the men came over to the truck. Of course, I began asking questions and to my dismay I learned that the little brown goat was destined to become cabrito. Cabrito actually means goat in Spanish. If you are a Texan, you most likely know that cabrito usually refers to a kind of meat- barbecued young goat meat. Lots of people are completely wild about the taste of cabrito I knew that the little goat was about the right age. My husband’s primary welder was on the receiving end of the goat deal and was about to pay the guy $35 for the kid. A kid is a young goat that generally ends up as cabrito unless it is lucky and happens to be a female that will be retained as a milk goat. People that own several acres sometimes keep a small assembly of goats to use them as browsers and grazers. In this capacity the goat will replace the lawn mower. But to get back to the story- After learning the little goat was destined for a meal, I offered to buy the goat for $50. Having seen the goat I simply could not envision him being eaten and so the guys agreed to let me have him for $50.
My pet goat provides manure for composting along with the wasted hay, that he has trampled and “fertilized.” I need help to clean his pen since there is a significant amount of hay mixed with manure. I have two composting areas and the hay and manure are added to one pile in early fall. By the time spring arrives the compost will be ready to add to the vegetable garden. At the end of April my helper and I clean his pen again and that hay and manure mix is added to the other composting area. That one will be ready to add to the flower beds and fig trees by the end of November. I don’t have to buy manure anymore and I get the added benefit of some really good compost.
I have no idea what breed of goat Billy Bob might be. My guess is that he is of mixed heritage. Part of his make-up is possibly Boar goat mixed with something else. Before goats are sold for meat the males are neutered. The meat has a better flavor if the male does not remain intact. Not intact refers to the removal of the testicles and in ranch or farm jargon people usually say castrate instead of intact or not. Another word that is used is neutered but neutered and castrated have the same meaning.
Post and photograph Yvonne