A COOKERY school owner is branching out into goat farming after discovering a gap in the market that means most male kids are treated as a waste product.
Mike Muir, who runs Cookschool.com near Biggar, will raise the kids for meat and has teamed up with Tweed Valley’s Burnside Farm Foods to distribute them to top hotels and restaurants.
He said: “On the large dairy goat farms, kids are killed within hours if they are male. I think it’s ridiculous that we are wasting young male kids by slaughtering them – why not give value to their life?”
Rearing the kids is not easy, as without their mothers they have to be bottle-fed twice a day for four weeks. Kids also suffer in cold, wet and windy conditions, so Muir keeps his crèche indoors.
Muir said 30,000 male kids are being slaughtered after birth in the UK, across all seasons. Once he is fully up and running in September, he hopes to take regular deliveries and start producing about 100 kids a month, each with 10kg to 15kg of meat.
That is an ideal size for upmarket restaurants, he says, as they can take delivery of the whole animal and butcher it for the cuts they want. The meat is more delicate than that of adult goat and is regularly on the menu in France, Italy and Spain.
Muir will also use the meat at his cookery school and catering business. He hopes to emulate the success of British rose veal, which made its way onto the shelves of Marks & Spencer’s food halls after being “revived” as a meat to address a similar wastage in the dairy cow industry.