Goats can be profitably incorporated into existing livestock farming systems, providing benefits of:
- increased revenue and profitability from the sale of meat and fibre.
- improved productivity from the livestock presently farmed
- improved pasture quality, and lower-cost weed control
- a non-chemical alternative for weed control
These benefits are not limited to certain farming systems; rather they are available to all enterprises in which sheep, beef and dairy cattle, and deer are farmed.
Despite these benefits, not all farmers are willing to add goats to their current farming system (Greer 1996). When asked whether they would consider farming goats, many indicated they would consider farming goats provided:
- They could manage to control their impact on sheep, and forestry and shelter plantings.
- They could manage internal parasite problems and minimise the development of drench resistance in their sheep flock.
- They could be better informed about breeds and breeding programmes, and shearing management.
- They were aware of the market opportunities and risks of investing in goat farming.
The New Zealand goat industry has had a volatile history, which has affected the perception that many farmers have towards the farming of goats. That perception needs to be changed because:
- it precludes many from farming and enjoying the benefits that goats could contribute
- significant expansion of goat numbers will occur only when more sheep, sheep and beef, dairy and deer farmers begin to integrate goals into their livestock systems.