We have recently added Kikos to our livestock program and have been impressed with the parasite and foot rot resistance these animals have. Kikos fit right in to our program of offering animals for sale as breeding stock or butcher that require minimal medication needs for those who are looking for a more healthy alternative.
According to the American Kiko Goat Association Kikos are designed for:
• Exceptional Maternal Instincts
• Parasite Resistant
• Aggressive Foragers
• Aggressive Breeders
• Vigorous, fast-growing kids
• Less Producer input
• Less hoof problems
• More kids raised to weaning
• Excellent for crossbreeding
• Improved carcass yields
• Proven by independent research
The Kiko goat was developed in the temperate climate of New Zealand in the late 1970’s. Feral does of this region possessed great hardiness as compared to many domestic breeds, and were screened to a small number that met selection criteria assigned for use in early development of the breed. The Kiko inherits its maternal and hardiness traits from these feral does. The feral does were hardy, but small in size, so dairy bucks were added to the herd to increase their size and milk production. After four generations of controlled and selective breeding, significant improvement in size and performance had been achieved, and the basis for the Kiko breed was established. Early selection criteria were based primarily on survivability and growth rates. The later selection parameters included rapid rate of growth, improved fertility, early maturity, enhanced nutritional availability for offspring, extended breeding season, and ease of maintenance. Animals with any type of foot problems were culled. Over the next several years, does were culled annually at approximately seventy-five percent. Buck kids were culled at ninety percent and again at 50% to retain only the top five percent of bucks for herd sires.
There are no defined breed standards for Kiko goats as to size, conformation or color. Kiko breeders are encouraged to focus more on the commercially valuable traits. This is the reason there are no sanctioned Kiko goat shows. The dominant color of Kiko goats is white; however they can be any color. The Kiko goat is a performance based breed. The goal of every commercial meat goat producer should be to have as many pounds of kids as possible to load on the truck at market time.