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Kiko goat farmers gather to preserve goat offspring

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TAZEWELL, Va. (WVVA) - Men and women who raise kiko goats gathered at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds today to keep some of their prized male kiko goat's offspring. The breed of goats is originally from New Zealand. They are in huge demand right now due to their ability to fight off parasites and are less vulnerable to hoof problems.

Male kiko goat being led through the stables

They're freezing the offspring in order to preserve . Think of the freezing of the goat's offspring like insurance.

Each farmer pays around two hundred dollars for the genetics company known as Veal Farms to extract and keep the semen. If the farmer loses a male goat, they have what they need to breed a goat very similar to the one they lost. Each specimen is registered and logged to keep track of it.

A doe female kiko goat

"If something happens to the buck and he's a good producer and something tragically happens to him then you can at least reproduce him or continue his offspring." said Jeff Cullen, owner of 'The Abandoned Dog Kiko Goats'.

"Unlike other meat goat breeds the kikos are bred for production. So what we see with the kikos is an increase in parasite hesitancy. They are known for their mother ability, they make really good moms." said Kikos United Co-owner, Sherri Reece.

Kikos typically have two kids but they can fold up to four. These animals can be real money makers.

"Your average doe is worth about fifteen hundred dollars. One that has nicer qualities, a larger doe with good parasite resistance. We've seen them go for five thousand dollars. A good buck, we have a buck here that went for ten thousand dollars." said Matthew Yates of Cedar Hills Kiko Farm.

Male kiko in his enclosure

Virginia State University is helping these farmers, as well as others, find grants and programs to help farmers adapt to the latest skills and techniques to achieve self sufficiency.

"We're one of the few institutions able to provide the one on one instruction and assistance so that's really important for farmers that might be reluctant." said Regional Program Assistant for Virginia State University's Small Farm Outreach Program, Mandy Fletcher.

Each of the goat owners now have access to their goats genetic footprint if they need it. Each owner has access to fifty straws.

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Robert Castillo

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