Your Reading List

No “Beef Production for Dummies” – yet

Just kicking back in the office today, catching up on some
reading and on the top of the pile is a new book called “Raising Goats for

I knew there was a series of these trademark bright yellow
and black jacketed books on a wide range of topics, but I thought it was 15 or
20 titles about trying to figure out your computer, or specialty software, or
genealogy or something. But if you go to the “Dummies” website (

there are hundreds of titles (about 1700 actually) on just
about every imaginable business, entertainment, or lifestyle topic you can
think of.

I saw ones called Arthritis for Dummies, Bath and Sink
Refinishing for Dummies, Adoption for Dummies, Beagles for Dummies, even Pope
John Paul II for Dummies. I guess for the slower learners there was one called
“Sex for Dummies”, and right after that in the list – probably for those who
were too enthusiastic about learning the previous topic, was “Divorce for
Dummies”.  So if you have no skill
in just about any area I highly recommend you go to the Dummies website to see
if there is a title there for the topic. (I didn’t see one on Raising Beef for
Dummies – not sure what the hold up is there – maybe Pork Production for
Dummies is ahead of them on the press).

Back to the goat book. The publisher for Cheryl K. Smith
sent me this copy to review. Cheryl started with two Nigerian Dwarves (I assume

they mean goats) in 1998 and has never looked back. She is a lawyer by
training, and she has actually written several books on goat rearing and
husbandry and the Raising Goats for Dummies is her latest. She lives and farms
near Low Pass in the coast range of Oregon.

I see she also has a published paper on “What about
legalized assisted suicide? : An article from: Issues in Law & Medicine”,
maybe that is just in case the goat business doesn’t go so well. (But in all
fairness and seriousness, I believe that is just a paper on the legal and
ethical issues of the topic and really isn’t making the case pro or con and is
certainly unrelated to raising goats).

I am not in the goat business and probably never will be
(even though it is all my wife ever talks about is someday getting a herd of
goats – as soon as the chinchillas are gone), but I would say if you ever
wanted to get a couple goats or a whole herd, it is a very good book to begin


It is 325 pages long, easy to read, has some great
illustrations and covers the A to Z topics, whether you want a couple goats for
the yard, are looking to raise goats for a 4-H project, or want to get into the
goat meat, milk and/or fibre business.

The various chapters describes different breeds, housing
requirements on the farm, feed requirements, animal care, animal health,
breeding, and kidding. And there are also sections about the business of
selling meat and milking goats, as well as collecting and marketing fibre.

There is a short chapter on the 10 Misconceptions about
Goats, which is interesting.  It
isn’t true that they eat everything, they don’t stink (except for the bucks at
breeding season), they are smart, and the meat and milk taste good – are a few
of the highlights.  There is even a
14 page appendix with goat milk and meat recipes.

Raising Goats for Dummies by Cheryl K. Smith is available from many bookstores
that carry the “Dummies” series. It is $24 Canadian. And you can also order it
on-line through Chapters/Indigo Books.

Keep me posted on how you make out in the goat business.





About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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