Stud Farming: Reputation Is Everything
Farmer's Weekly|July 02, 2021
Kalahari Red goat farmer Eddie Goosen is building his stud by buying animals from breeders who can prove full traceability of their lineage. He spoke to Lindi Botha about his meticulous selection process and how this has already paid dividends in two years.
Lindi Botha

As the saying goes, it takes years to build a reputation, but only minutes to lose it. In the case of a stud breeder, one inferior gene can diminish the quality of an entire herd and erase all the hard work of previous years.

While Eddie Goosen, owner of Maggiesdal Kalahari Red Goat Stud near Mbombela, Mpumalanga, is relatively new to the business, he understands the importance of laying a strong genetic foundation at the start.

“Developing a successful stud farm takes time, because you’re building not just the quality of your herd, but also your reputation. And without a good reputation, you can’t really make a success of stud farming, because people want to know that they’re getting what they paid for. There needs to be a system of genetic traceability in place that you can trust,” he explains.

FAST FACTS

Eddie Goosen’s Kalahari Red stud is just two years old, but already has a solid foundation, thanks to excellent genetics supplied by top breeders.

Since the Kalahari Red gene pool is relatively small, inbreeding is a constant risk; traceability is therefore crucial for breeding purposes.

Goosen monitors the condition of every animal daily, acting swiftly to rectify any problems.

Although not new to farming, Goosen started building his Kalahari Red stud just two years ago. The gleaming auburn coats of these goats caught his eye at livestock shows, and when he was made an offer for his entire Dexter cattle herd, he decided to switch species.

Today, he has a herd of 90 ewes and two rams. “I purchased my first ram from champion breeder Josef Kleynhans. My second, bought from Anton Bothma, is the son of a world champion Kalahari Red, and a large part of my herd is progeny from that ram. I bought the stud ram I’m using at the moment from Albie Horn.”

BOOSTING THE NAME OF A BEGINNER STUD

Goosen says that buying rams from champion breeders is vital, as it lends credibility to his own stud.

“Besides the quality you get, you’re also able to build your reputation based on the calibre of animals you keep and where they come from.

“My Maggiesdal stud is still relatively unknown and farmers might not want to pay higher prices for my animals, but the fact that my herd is the progeny of animals bred by the Kleynhanses and Bothmas of the goat industry immediately gives gravitas to my goats. This makes it easier to fetch higher prices.”

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