Contents
Industry Background
Management
Nutrition
Animal Health
Breeding
Fibre Production
Fibre Marketing
Meat Production and Marketing
Pasture and Weed Control
Economic Analysis
Tanning Skins

H1

Aus'meat Goat Meat and Live Goat Languages*

  • Sue and Geoff. Patrick, Kuralta, NSW.

* This goat note includes those aspects of the languages relevant to marketing prime goat kids. Please refer to the entire goat languages, for further details.

THE VALUE OF A STANDARD LANGUAGE

For goat carcase description to work effectively it must offer advantages for all industry sectors (that is, processors, wholesalers, retailers, producers and consumers).

Processors are likely to initially bear the cost of carcase description. It therefore needs to be apparent to them that the ability to analyse daily and lot slaughter inventories against price received for carcases gives them efficiency and flexibility in buying. They stand to gain by being able to access a higher proportion of goats which are more cost efficient to process, and to make payments on the basis of carcase quality.

Once retailers are aware of their capacity to order goats of specific descriptions they will place pressure on the buying practices of processors. Retailers should be able to order specifically goat carcases, which are the most desirable for them. This should directly reflect consumer preferences and represents the start of an effective market signals system. In turn producers who receive feedback on lots sold over-the-hooks can adjust to processor preferences.

The value of carcase description:

  • For the Processor

    There is a growing realisation in the processing industry that the installation of slaughter floor data- capture equipment is essential, if large numbers of livestock are to be purchased on the basis of a weight and fat schedule. This equipment allows automatic production of tickets, a detailed inventory for stock slaughtered by weight and fat category and computerised feed back information.

  • For the Retailer

    For retailers the presence of a ticket on a carcase stating weight and fat score (or fat depth in mm at the GR site) gives information on the two most important carcase measures that influence saleable meat yield.

    In the past retailers have had no objective means of describing carcase requirements to the supplier. Consequently some carcases received have been unsatisfactory, either needing trimming (which costs money for labour and is in fact illegal if the goat brand is removed) or are too lean. Retailers attempting to respond to consumer requirements have not been able to consistently access goats of the desired type.

  • For the Producer

    For producers market signals have been grossly confused.

    Consumer studies suggest consumers require fat score two or three kids for the domestic market. Clear market signals would allow producers to target a certain range in weight and fat cover to suit a particular market or a particular processor. Supplying to specification with consistent quality improves confidence within the marketing chain, Consistency and quality will enhance the opportunity for producers to increase returns.

Description of Goat Carcases

In many cases the only information received on goat carcases at the butcher shop would have been a delivery note, stating cold carcase weight for all of the carcases. In some cases the delivery may have had a ticket of some sort indicating a hot carcase weight.

How then could a butcher order a specific and consistent goat carcase? The answer is quite simply that in the past the butcher could only order on a weight range basis and some vague description of fatness.

Future Identification and Description Scheme

Industry pressure has intensified during the past two years to see widespread implementation of lamb carcase description in abattoirs. Major efforts are currently under way to implement a standardised carcase description system in the lamb industry which could have major repercussions in the goat meat industry.

The installation of equipment into interested abattoirs across Australia will mean participating abattoirs will be required to ticket carcases for weight and fat cover to ensure that the ticket accompanies the carcase to the retailer and to participate in quality control.

Conclusion

To be able to consistently supply to specifications goat meat producers will need to use objective measurement with a combination of visual and manual skills. Use of liveweight scales is of increasing importance to market animals within a liveweight range that will produce carcase weights of an acceptable tolerance. A sound knowledge and understanding of the pre-slaughter factors affecting carcase weight is essential to enable the estimation of dressing percentage and house the conversion of liveweight to carcase weight. Feedback from the abattoirs with objective measurements (carcase weights and fat scores ) will assist goat producers market animals that meet the market requirements.

GOAT MEAT LANGUAGE

STANDARD CARCASE DEFINITION

Other than skin-on goat carcase a goat carcase is the body of a slaughtered caprine animal after:

  • bleeding,
  • skinning,
  • removal of all the internal digestive, respiratory, excretory, reproductive and circulatory organs,
  • minimum trimming as required by the meat inspection service for the carcase to be passed fit for human consumption,

and the removal of:

  • head between the skull (occipital bone) and the first cervical vertebra,
  • feet between the knee joint (carpus and metacarpus) and the hock joint (tarsus and metatarsus),
  • tail so that it is no longer than five coccygeal vertebrae,
  • thick skirt by separating the connective tissues as close as possible from the bodies of the lumber vertebrae,
  • kidneys, kidney knob and the pelvic channel fat,
  • udder, or the testes, penis and udder or cod fat,

The carcase must be weighed hot (Hot Standard Carcase Weight - HSCW).

AGE AND SEX RELATED CATEGORIES

    Goat (G) Any caprine animal.
    Kid (GK) Female or male caprine that has no evidence of eruption of permanent incisor teeth, in males show no secondary sexual characteristics.
    Capra (GC) Female or castrate male caprine that has evidence of eruption of one but no more than two permanent incisor teeth, in the case of castrate males shows no evidence of secondary sexual characteristics.
    Doe (GD) Any female caprine.
    Goat Wether (GW) Any castrate or entire male caprine that shows no secondary sexual characteristics.
    Buck (GB) Any male caprine that shows secondary sexual characteristics.

WEIGHT CLASSES

Carcases may be classified into weight classes.

The classes are based on HSCW as follows:

    CLASS WEIGHT (Kg) OVER & UP TO
    6 6
    8 6 8
    10 8 10
    12 10 12
    18 12 18
    26 18 26
    28 26

FAT CLASSES

Carcases may be classified into fat classes. These classes are decided by measuring the tissue depth at the GR site. Classes are as follows:

    CLASS TISSUE DEPTH (mm) OVER TISSUE DEPTH (mm) & UP TO
    1 3
    2 3 6
    3 6 9
    4 9 12
    5 12

SKIN-ON

Goat classes may be identified as 'skin-on'.

CAPRETTO

Kid goats may as an option be alternatively described as "Capretto" but the carcase must meet the following requirements:

  • be within the following weight classes (HSCW)

    CLASS WEIGHT OVER WEIGHT & UP TO
    6 6
    8 6 8
    10 8 10
    12 10 12
  • have pale pink meat colour of the internal flank muscles.

  • in the case of males shows no evidence of secondary sexual characteristics.

LIVE GOAT LANGUAGE

Further details on age, structural soundness, pregnancy status, horn status, fibre description and ear categories are contained in the complete AUS-MEAT Live Goat Language.

Goats are to be classified by purpose as either:

    BREEDING- Fibre
    - Dairy
    - Meat
    SLAUGHTER- Dairy

MANDATORY DESCRIPTIONS

Sex

    SexDescriptionSSCCipher
    MaleentireBUCKB
    castrateWETHERW
    FemaleentireDOED

MIXED SEX (MI) can be used to described a lot or consignment of kids where there is no segregation of bucks, wethers and does.

Percentages of each description must be stated eg. 50% wethers, 50% does. Sex descriptions for males are also dependant upon the presence or otherwise of the secondary sex characteristic.

e.g. Pronounced muscular development of the neck and shoulders.

Age

Age is determination by dentition and where practical the known age in months may also be stated, e.g. 2 tooth = 2T/17 months.

The following table is the standard guide to be used in the determination of age by dentition ( see goat note How to tell the age of goats).

    DentitionAge (months)
    0 permanent incisor teeth eruptedbirth to 15
    1st permanent mandibular molar teeth erupted3 to 5
    2 permanent incisor teeth erupted13 to 21
    4 permanent incisor teeth erupted18 to 24
    6 permanent incisor teeth erupted22 to 32
    8 permanent incisor teeth erupted27 or more

CATEGORIES

Kid (K)a caprine that shows no evidence of eruption of permanent incisor teeth.

    SexDescriptionSSCCipher
    MaleentireShows no SSCKB
    castrateShows no SSCKW
    FemaleentireDOEDK

OPTIONAL DESCRIPTIONS

The following terms and abbreviations are to be used where it is necessary to specify any of the Optional Descriptions detailed below.

BREED

Breeds and types of goats and their crosses are to be written either in full or abbreviated in the following table.

In the case of crossbreeds, the breed of sire will appear first followed by the breed of dam.

Breeds and Types of Goats and their Abbreviations

BreedCode
General Purpose
A caprine of feral origin that; has been domesticated through direct husbandry practises and controlled and managed within a fenced area for a minimum period of 21 days.AUSTRALIAN GOATAUST
A caprine that: has not been controlled and managed within a fenced area nor subjected to direct husbandry practices.FERAL GOATFERAL
Fibre
ANGORAANGOR
CASHMERECASH
Meat
BOERBOER
CONDOBOLINCONDO
Dairy
ANGLO NYBIANANGLO
BRITISH ALPINEBRITA
SAANENSAAN
TOGGENBURGTOGG

LIVEWEIGHT

The liveweight of goats will be determined, and any time off feed, or feed and water, immediately prior to weighing must be stated; e.g. " 8 hours off feed- 0 hours off water".

CARCASE WEIGHT

The carcase weight will be specified as either:

  1. Weight Class(es), based on the estimated Hot Standard Carcase Weight (HSCW) as detailed in the AUS-MEAT Goat Meat Language, or
  2. estimated HSCW.

LIVE CONDITION SCORES

Goats are to be described by Live Condition Scores according to the following table.

ScoreDescriptionTissue depth at GR site
1Very lean1 to 3 mm
2Lean4 to 6 mm
3Moderately lean7 to 9 mm
4Moderately fat10 to 12 mm
5Fatover 12 mm

© 2000 B.G.B.A.A.