Kiko goat

Kiko goat

The Kiko Goat originated from New Zealand by crossing feral goats with dairy goats in the 1980s. Kiko is actually the Maori word for "flesh" or "meat". [ [ "Kiko Goats"] , New Zealand Rare Breeds Website] They were developed for fast growth, survivability with little input from the producer and their hardiness. [ [ IKGA - About the breed] ]

The American Kiko Goat Association purchased and owns the original Kiko goat registry.The AKGA is the oldest and largest Kiko association in the United States. The websitefor this organization is

The International Kiko Goat Association [] (IKGA) was formed in 2004 to preserve and advance the Kiko Goat.


The Kiko goat was developed exclusively by Goatex Group LLC, a New Zealand corporation which has been solely responsible for the breeding of Kiko goats in New Zealand. The corporation was originally a consortium of large farmers who were actively involved in the capture and farming of New Zealand's extensive native goat population for the purposes of upgrading for fiber production. All members of the consortium had a vigorous and ongoing interest in meat production as a consequence of which several thousand of the most substantial and fertile native goats were allocated to a breeding program in which population dynamics would be rigorously applied to produce a goat with enhanced meat production ability under browse conditions.

New Zealand native goats

New Zealand has a large population of native goats which roam unrestrained through the wooded hill country and mountain scrubland of both islands. These goats derive from the original imports of British milch goats introduced in the late eighteenth century to provide sustenance for whalers and sealers prior to New Zealand's colonization. Over time they have been supplemented by escaping domestic goats and farmed goats turned loose into unproductive scrubland during times of agricultural adversity, particularly the depressions of the 1890's and 1930's.

Small colonies of hair producing goats were found in a remote part of the North Island's Waipu Forest in the 1970's, the legacy of a failed attempt to establish a mohair industry during the First World War. New Zealand's total lack of predators and temperate climate meant that native goats have been able to breed without the strictures of mortality that are found elsewhere in the world. In addition, they rapidly adapted to the environment into which they had been released and established themselves throughout the country. As a consequence, comparatively small numbers of goats released into the wild had burgeoned to hundreds of thousands of goats by the mid 1970's. Goats (along with deer) were ravaging New Zealand's native flora to the extent that the government permanently employed substantial numbers of professional hunters in an effort at control.

At this time a government sponsored scheme was introduced in another attempt to foster and promote the raising of Angora goats in order to develop a mohair industry. The strategy adopted was the use of Angora bucks over native does in an upgrading program. In the event, this prompted the wholesale capture and confinement of tens of thousands of native goats for use in the program.

The Kiko in North America

In the 1990’s ranchers began importing the Kiko into North American and organized the American Kiko Goat Association. In 2000, the American Kiko Goat Association purchased the Kiko Goat Registry from Graham Culliford of the Goatex Group LLC in Wellington, New Zealand. This is the only Kiko registry that has a seamless ancestry dating back to the first imports.

Interest is increasing in the consistent traits and characteristics of the Kiko. Whether raised Kiko on Kiko, or crossed with other breeds, Kikos bring improvement in profits because of their low maintenance, high rate of growth, resistance and tolerance to parasites, excellent maternal instincts, ease of kidding, vigor of newborn kids, and because of the incorporation of milk breeds in the creation of Kiko, an ample milk supply to raise twins that gain quickly to earlier sale weights.

While there are two major Kiko goat registries in North American, International Kiko Goat Association and American Kiko Goat Association, the American Kiko Goat Association is the only goat organization that requires that all sires be genotyped and match their sire DNA. And in 2008, all purebred does born on or after January 1, 2008, will be genotyped to increase the accuracy of the registry. The Kikos ability to survive in all types of weather is a big plus in the varied climates and terrains of North America. Canadian farmers, too, are finding that the Kiko is well suited to cold. More and more farmers are moving into the Kiko goat producing market with bucks from the United States. The market is open and ready for more Kikos as their reputation spreads.


The word 'kiko' had traditionally been used by New Zealand's native people, the Maori, to describe substantial meat producing animals. In New Zealand Maori, the Polynesian language spoken by the Maori people, 'kikokiko' is the generic term for flesh for consumption. The members of the consortium determined to continue the local usage to describe the enhanced meat producing goat they were developing.


The primary characteristic of the Kiko goat is its hardiness and its ability to achieve substantial weight gains when run under natural conditions without supplementary feeding. In New Zealand it has been called the "go anywhere, eat anything" goat signifying its ability to thrive under less than ideal conditions.

The Kiko is large framed, generally white (although many Kikos carry genes for color and colored Kikos are capable of registration) with a coat that ranges from slick in summer to flowing hair when run in mountain country in winter.

Mature males display substantial characteristic horns and are of a bold disposition. Mature females are ample, feminine and generally have good udder placement and attachment. The Kiko is a consummate browser and will range extensively when run in open country.

The Kiko is not affected by substantial climatic variation and is equally at home in sub alpine mountain country and arid brushland.Perhaps the defining characteristic of the breed is the rate of growth. The kids are born of average size but with considerable vigor. From birth to weaning the Kiko displays a rate of growth at least equivalent of any other purpose bred meat goat breed but this is achieved without the management and feed inputs generally required for satisfactory meat production in other breeds.


American Kiko Goat Association []

International Kiko Goat Association []

Rare Breeds of New Zealand [ "Kiko Goats]

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