About the project

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) have commissioned ‘Dough from doe$’ to investigate advanced breeding systems for goat meat enterprises. The project will seek to identify optimum breeding systems that can further improve lifetime productivity of the doe.

Worldwide practices and research into manipulating breeding variables in goats and related species will be reviewed. This will include, but not be limited to, single versus more than one annual mating, joining age of maidens and weaning age.

The project will identify current best practice recommendations and develop a plan to incorporate these recommendations in extension materials. This may involve the adaptation of materials from sheep or other species. Priorities for future research will also be identified.

The project has been divided into the following main stages:

  1. Literature review: of advanced breeding systems for meat goats around the world. Advanced breeding systems in sheep and deer enterprises will also be reviewed, to look for opportunities to adapt them to goats.

  2. Producer engagement:
    • An important part of this project is to develop a database of goat meat producers across Australia. The database will be maintained by MLA and GICA and will provide a platform for communication, extension, research and ongoing development of the Australian goat meat industry.
    • Fifty producers, randomly selected from the database, will be contacted by telephone for a brief discussion to obtain an overview of their enterprise. This will provide a snapshot of current practice. The information will be reported anonymously.
    • Producers using innovative and progressive reproductive programs are asked to identify themselves for a more in-depth discussion. Information from these producers will be captured as case studies within this report.
  3. Review of existing goat industry extension materials: to identify gaps and plan how to include new recommendations developed by the project. Extension materials from other species (especially sheep and deer) will also be reviewed to determine if they could be adapted for relevance to goat producers.

  4. Report with recommendations: will include all the information obtained from stages 1-3. The consultants will develop a series of recommendations, including future research and extension priorities.

The first stage of Dough from Doe$ is due for completion by April 2019.