This lesson seems pretty much a "no brainer" at least on the surface.  In my business plan when I first started I wanted to simply sell seed stock Savanna goats.  I saw how others were doing things and with no further thought followed suit in many areas.  I have since learned that I need to apply a really simple concept to every one of my goat raising practices.  It starts with looking at everything I do now.  I ask two questions.

 1) I ask does this practice or philosophy minimize or maximize the risk to making profitable meat goat seed stock for me? 

2) Does this practice or philosophy minimize or maximize the risk to my customer?

I will use 2 examples to illustrate what I mean. 

Example 1; Flush project,  I had to figure out what  would  have had a negative impact on my success and implement strategies to remove the those risks or obstacles.   This was a big concern with the lots of money being invested and you could easily have a failure that would end in a big financial loss.  Stress on donors and recip's have a huge impact on success.  Nutrition plays a huge role in fertility.,  Body score /condition play big parts in success whether  under or over conditioned.  In this example the more risks I was able to eliminate the better chances of success I would have.  So if I hauled my donors and recip’s for 14 hours I added lots of stress to them.  It can and has impacted success for me on flushes.  The animals needed to be in perfect body condition to enable their bodies to produce maximum results thru Diet, minerals and Vitamin supplements.   This type of risk affected my bottom line and when making decisions that affect my bottom line I have tried very hard now to focus on identifying all the potential risks. 

Example 2;  When… (what age) to sell my breeding stock?  Early on I sold animals after weaning(90 days).  My learning event came when I saw an animal with my farm name on it for sale by someone else.  The animal was ok, but I want folks to say wow nice goat, when an animal has BSA in its name is pictured somewhere.  I realize not everyone uses the same management practices and it could have some impact but, I really didn't know what they would grow out like selling them as weanlings.  I re-learned, Not every animal produced should be graded as breeding stock.  It had a pedigree that was supposed to be good from a good buck and doe and at 90 days looked pretty good.  When I saw the pic I saw an average goat.  So selling my goat at 90 days maximized the risk that it could be a flop or just an average goat for my customer and maximized the potential for my farm to have a goat out there that I didn't necessarily want representing my farm.  It did minimize my risk in that I didn't have to grow it out, feed it, take care of it or face the possibility of it not surviving.   For me, my decision is that I will take those risks and grow out my stock in order to minimize the risk for my customer of having an animal out there I don't want representing me on the market.

Remember these are the things I've learned.  They are offered here to be helpful not tell everyone how to raise their goats.  These are my management practices.