Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Romanian Goats

Those of you who follow me in Romania may be wondering how the goats are doing.
Very roughly, we now have so many goats and so many due to produce babies that they are taking over the village.
What happened in the past was that people bred goats, sold some, ate some and then bred some more. No one has ever NOT got rid of any and kept breeding.
You might find it extraordinary but we spent a couple of hours discussing this particular problem, which is a problem not only for the people ( yes we now have 3) looking after them, but for the very terrain they inhabit.
Suffice to say we agreed to keep the maximum number at 100 and to sell ( or eat) whatever number more we had. We will also have to buy some more land to keep feeding them - fortunately this won't be a problem.
On the subject of crops, trefoil would appear to yield 4 cuts a year and each hectare is worth about £500. This will feed about 8 goats for the full year - so input = about £60pa.
Cost of looking after them is about £30 pa ( total costs divided by total numbers) so lets just say the all-in cost is £100 pa.
There is, of course, the by-product - the dung which gets spread everywhere, but ignoring that, we would expect to sell each goat for about £300. This may sound a lot, but these are special goats - and it's only for the Billies.
So lets just say the 100 goats produce 100 babies, and 50% are boys. Our total costs will be £10,000 and our income £15,000 - with an extra 50 female goats thrown in to replace any that die.
Or start a new herd somewhere...

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