goat showThe 4-H Meat Goat Project is the fastest growing animal science project.  Meat goats (like sheep and cattle) are ruminants which mean they have four compartments to their stomach.  This is why they can digest pasture grasses and hay.  However, they really prefer to browse on woody type plants. There are two main types of Meat Goat Projects that a 4-H member may choose.  A meat goat breeding project is long term project in which a 4-H member begins with a doe kid (female) and cares for her through breeding age (typically 7-10 months) and on to kidding (giving birth) at around 14-16 months of age.  The other type of project is a market meat goat project in which the 4-H member begins with a weaned wether or doe and cares for the goat kid through the growing phase (also known as the backgrounding and finishing phase) until the goat reaches market weight of around 60 pounds.

Meat goat projects provide youth with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the meat goat industry, production and, more importantly, develop the life skills that are needed to be positive contributors to society.  Through meat goat projects youth will learn about selection and evaluation, nutrition and feeding, health and daily care, reproduction, marketing, and much more.  Youth learn to accept responsibility, to value hard work, think critically, make decisions, and communicate.  In addition, there are several meat goat shows that youth can participate in to put on exhibition their meat goat project.  Meat goat shows provide a great avenue to meet and develop friendships with other youth and leaders from across the state. Young people are also able to connect with supportive adults (who serve as mentors), demonstrate a commitment to learning, develop social competencies and gain exposure to career opportunities.

Information about Market Goat Validation Guidelines

Information about Breeding Doe Nomination Guidelines


The following resources for Kentucky 4-H Goat Projects can be purchased from Ohio State University.  Please visit Ohio State's eStore where these resources can be purchased.

  • Goat Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects (4-H 135R)
  • Goat Project and Record Book (4-H 135)

Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program

The Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program is offered through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Division of Show and Fair Promotion. Whether you are a livestock producer, exhibitor, or both, the Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program can be utilized to promote and recognize quality animals that are sold, bought, and /or exhibited throughout the Commonwealth.  KY Proud animals exhibited through state sponsored livestock shows are eligible for additional premiums.  Learn more about this program.