“A good goat will carry a lot of muscle and have good width in his chest,” Luke Lough said. “There are a bunch of traits they are looking for.”
The family started out raising hogs but switched to goats for the sake of economy. The goats eat feed made by Purina that comes in pellet form. The hogs ate a lot more.
“It costs so much to feed a hog,” Luke Lough said. “They can eat their weight in feed in a few days. They eat four times what a goat does. Beyond that, every year there is a different criteria for judging of the hogs at shows. Goats are more steady and easier to predict.”
Not that goat behavior is easy to predict.
“They all have different personalities,” Carson said. “Some of them can be bums to train. They won't do anything you want them to.”
But even with the occasional cantankerous personality, the family can get attached to them.
Not every goat gets a name, but a few have. This year there is a male named Oscar. Last year there were females the family dubbed Dolly and Reba.
“A lot of it depends on how cooperative they are whether you like them or not,” Carson said. “But most of the time they do what they're supposed to do. You can get attached because you are spending a lot of time with them.”
Looking for a repeat
Carson won reserve grand champion at the Oklahoma Youth Expo in Oklahoma City last March.
He's going for a repeat next month.
“You want them to succeed and do well,” Kathy Lough said. “At the show, the longer they are in the ring the better, and it just gets more nerve-wracking as the time goes on. You just have your fingers crossed the whole time.”
This will be the last Kingfisher Junior Livestock Show for Carson. He's set to graduate this spring and will then be off to Oklahoma State University to study engineering.
“It's something that will be tough to give up,” he said. “I know I'll miss it for awhile, but at some point you have to move on to something else.”