Rearing billy kids for meat
Unique course includes fun hands-on experience with billy goats
LIZZIE DYER and her partner, Jamie Beard, run Cotswold Kid Meat at Dartland Farm in Wiltshire, which is now the largest producer of free range dairy billy kids in the UK. Since 2013, the couple has been on a mission to show how the male offspring of the goat milk industry — which are otherwise often seen as worthless and therefore dispatched at birth — can make a sustainable and valuable addition to our current meat repertoire.
The courses that Lizzie teaches are ideal for anyone thinking about rearing goats for meat, regardless of scale. So whether you are considering keeping a couple of milking goats and are wondering what to do with the billies, or if you would like to source and rear some ex-dairy kids yourself, this course is ideal. In fact it is unique as there is no blueprint in the UK for kid meat production. Lizzie and Jamie have been blazing a trail. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that journalists have shown a lot of interest in their work over the years, and it has been featured on several TV shows — from Countryfile through to Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, where Orlando Bloom was soon sold on the culinary delights of kid meat cuisine.
Lizzie says: “There is growing interest in the fate of the dairy billy kid and more people are embracing goat meat as a healthy, sustainable option. It is estimated that there are in the region of 30,000 billy kids born into the dairy sector each year and it’s about time that we gave them a little more thought and stop the waste. In recent years, this meat has been embraced everywhere, from Michelin-starred restaurants to home kitchens up and down the country.”
What the day entails
The action-packed day includes lots of advice and information weaved in with fun hands-on experience with the billies themselves. Attendees are given a guided tour around the farm and learn how and why Lizzie and Jamie rear their animals. The commercial opportunities and considerations around running a kid/ goat enterprise are also covered in depth, along with the practical, health and welfare logistics of keeping this inquisitive and rather mischievous animal on a day-to-day basis. There are plenty of opportunities to ask questions and the course itself is rounded off in style with a kid-meat based lunch so that attendees get the opportunity to sample for themselves this healthy and sustainable food.
Course attendees are given a guided tour of Lizzie Dyer ( above) and Jamie Beard’s farm and they learn how they rear their goats