As our major meat goat market is ethnic-based, the following calendar should help producers make decisions on their farms, such as breeding and finishing schedules, to better target theses different ethnic populations and the class and type of animals they most desire (age, weight, sex, etc). By paying attention to these Holidays where goat meat is part of the traditional feast, goat producers should be able to increase their returns, as it is well known that goat prices increase around these Holidays because of increased demand for goat meat.
Western or Roman Easter
Type of goat wanted - Fleshy, milk fed kids with relatively light colored meat, 3 months old or younger. Kids weighing less than 20 lbs are generally disappointing to buyers due to low meat to bone ratios and high carcass drying losses. Kids gaining less than 10 lbs per month or 1/3rd pound per day after accounting for birth weight are generally not fleshy enough to be considered prime. There generally is a slight price (per lb of live weight) penalty for kids weighing over 40 lbs. Acceptable weights generally range from 20 to 50 lbs with 30 lbs considered optimum by most buyers.
Eastern or Greek Easter
Type of goat wanted - Similar to Western Easter kids. A slightly larger milk fed kid (i.e. around 35 lbs) is considered optimum.
Cinco (5) de Mayo - Mexican Celebration
Type of goat wanted - Cabrito and larger goats
Start of Ramadan (Muslim) - can vary by a day depending on the actual sighting of the moon over the United States that year
Type of goat wanted - male and female kids with all their milk teeth (i.e. not older than @ 12 months). Males can be whole or castrated. Overly fat kids are discriminated against. Optimum live weight is about 60 lbs but weaned kids from 45 - 120 lbs. are accepted by different buyers.
Id al Fitr (Muslim) - The Festival of the Breaking of the Ramadan Fast.
Type of goat wanted - same as for Ramadan.
Id al Adha (Muslim) - The Islamic Festival of Sacrifice.
Type of goat wanted - Prefer yearlings (i.e. animals with one set of adult teeth) that are blemish free. Animals with broken horns, open wounds, torn ears or physically unsound generally do not meet the criteria. In some cases, castrated animals or lambs with docked tails are frowned upon.
Other holidays when goat meat is commonly consumed include Christmas, the July 4th weekend, and the numerous Caribbean holidays in August - Carnival, Carifest, Jamaican Independence Day, etc.
The Christmas market is for milk-fed kids. These types of kids are rare, because these kids must be produced by out-of-season breeding in May for October kiddings. Kids as light as 18 lbs are readily accepted and quality control is generally not as exacting as on Easter kids.
Goats for July 4th weekend are animals suitable for barbecue, generally cabrito kids or young bucks, does, and wethers with 1 or no sets of adult teeth.
Optimal goats for the Caribbean holidays are young, smelly 60 lb bucks. However, older animals of all sexes are often in demand and customers may prefer to buy them rather than pay the extra price for prime young bucks.
The Chinese market for goat according to Frank Pinkerton, PhD, is "limited to the six colder months. The preferred weight range is 60 to 80 pounds live, and goats in good health are required."
The Hispanic market for goat is for 20 to 35 lb live weight milk-fed kids for cabrito, and larger animals for seco de chivo.
Explanation of Holidays
Ramadan is the ninth month of the year in the Islamic calendar. A fast, held from sunrise to sunset, is carried out during this period.
Eid-al-Fitr is a festival that ends the fast of Ramadan. In Arabic "Eid" means "festival" or "festivity." It is a festival of thanksgiving to Allah for enjoying the month of Ramadan. It involves wearing finest clothing, saying prayers, and fostering understanding with other religions.
Eid-al-Adha is second in the series of Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. It concludes the Hajj and is a three-day festival recalling Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah (God).
Muharram is the first month for the Muslim year. Its first day is celebrated as New Year's Day.
Mawlid al-Nabi is a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
While the two Eid Festivals are always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Western calendar (the Gregorian calendar) varies from year to year due to differences between the two calendars, as the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Furthermore, the method used to determine when each Islamic month begins varies from country to country. Future dates listed are only estimates.
Muslims come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: South Asia, South Central Asia, Arab, and African American.
Passover is a holiday beginning on the 14th of Nisan (first month of the religious calendar, corresponding to March–April) and traditionally continuing for eight days, commemorating the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Also called Pesach.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is marked by solemnity as well as festivity.
Chanukkah is the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights. It is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.
Jewish holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the Gregorian calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the Gregorian calendar.
Easter is a Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. The Orthodox Eastern Church calculates Easter somewhat differently, so that the Orthodox Easter usually comes several weeks after that of the West.
Eastern Orthodox Christians come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: Greek, Russian, Egyptian, Romanian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Albanian, Ethiopian, Syrian, and American.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that recognizes the victory of the Mexican army over the French army on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín, the poorly equipped Mexican army made a stand against French forces near the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. The Mexican victory provided encouragement to the Mexican army and became a source of pride for the Mexican people. Despite being outnumbered by the French, who had about 8,000 men to the Mexicans' 4,000, the Mexican army destroyed a French army that was considered the best in the world at the time and had not been defeated in nearly 50 years.
In the United States, though, Cinco de Mayo has become a significant annual celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. People of all backgrounds celebrate the holiday with parades, parties, and traditional Mexican music, dancing, and foods.
Ethnic Holiday Calendar
|Chinese New Year||25 Jan||12 Feb||21 Jan|
|Mawlid al-Nabi / Prophet’s Birthday||29 Oct||18 Oct||9 Oct|
|Western Roman Easter||12 Apr||4 Apr||17 Apr|
|Eastern Orthodox Easter / Pasha||19 Apr||2 May||24 Apr|
|Passover / Pesah||9-15 Apr||28 Mar-8 Apr||31 Mar-7 Apr|
|Cinco de Mayo||5 May||5 May||5 May|
|Start of Ramadan / Month of Fasting||24 Apr||13 Apr||3 Apr|
|Eid-al-Fitr / Festival of Fast Breaking||24-26 May||14-16 May||2-3 May|
|Rosh Hashanah||19-20 Sep||6-7 Sep||26-27 Oct|
|Eid-al-Adha / Festival of Sacrifice||31 Jul-3 Aug||20-23 Jul||9-10 Jul|
|Muharram / Islamic New Year||20 Aug||10 Aug||31 jul|
|Chanukkah or Hanukkah||11-18 Dec||29 Nov- 6 Dec||18-25 Dec|
|Christmas||25 Dec||25 Dec||25 Dec|
Source: Interfaith Calendar
Publication date: Nov. 3, 2015
Revised: Sept. 17, 2020
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