About the Breed
The New Zealand Kiko legend now lives on in Kikonui pastoral goats. This improved breed has been developed through a policy of continually adding the best genetics for demand New Zealand hill country conditions, using population genetics. They are evaluated under challenging conditions and selected to meet minimum performance standards then bred best to best.
This means there are no physical breed standards for Kikonui pastoral goats; for body conformation, coat colour, horns, ear shape or other non-productive factors. But they are expected to produce and rear multiple kids to satisfactory weights and ability to exist over a long life on lower food value plants.
The does are graded on assessed superiority into herds of 50-60 for single sire mating to selected bucks, usually Kikonui, but also new blood. Kids are identified with their dams at birth and weaned at about 100-120 days. All stock are weighed at mating, weaning and other appropriate times.
At weaning kids are evaluated on growth rate, parasite tolerance and parentage. With about 25% of twin bucks and about 50% of twin does being selected for further evaluation. They are monitored especially during their first 18 months for ability to handle parasite and foot challenges. The top tier of doe kids will become herd replacements in the 300 strong central herd and if suitable the balance will be used in the supporting commercial herd. Buck kids are monitored and survivors of a severe selection regime will be graded from an age of 18 months for own use and for sale.
Final doe evaluation is based on efficiency of kid litter weight as a % of dam weight at weaning, as this reflects all the characteristics on which they have been selected. Kikonui pastoral goats does are not large at 35-50kg, to produce twins that grow fast under difficult conditions. The goats are farmed unsupervised and unhoused on lower quality hill country pastures with brush and pasture weeds. Husbandry costs being kept to a minimum with no foot care, minimum drenching, un-herded kidding and no vaccinations. Only kids are drenched at weaning and some may receive another during their first year; depending on conditions.