History of the Kiko Goat

The Goat for the Common Man

Performance not Parentage

What is  the Kiko Goat?

The Kiko goat is the result of crossing various dairy bucks with feral goats. Crossbred dairy feral progeny formed the basis for the breed in New Zealand. The word kiko comes from the Maori of New Zealand. The word for meat.

How was Kiko goat developed?

10,000 feral goats were collected from various districts in New Zealand in 1978 and 1979. Of those, 1,000 were selected for closer inspection. 20 larger does that had kidded and were structurally sound in mouth, feet and udder were crossed with selected dairy bucks from British Toggenburg, Saanen, Anglo Nubian and British Alpine breeding. Two or three new bucks were used each year. The crossbred dairy feral progeny formed the basis for the Kiko breed. In 1986 outside bucks were no longer used.

Who Developed the Kiko Goat?

Caprinex, a company belonging to Garrick Batten, began developing a New Zealand meat goat to capitalize on goat meat market and weed control in 1978. The dairy breed crossing program continued from 1979 to 1986. In 1986 Caprinex became involved with five other people and formed Goatex Group Limited.

Why was  the Kiko Goat developed?

The Caprinex objective in 1978 was for a goat best suited to New Zealand hill country pastoral conditions for brush weed and pasture control and meat production that met on-farm requirements of low input, low cost and high profit. Export goat meat prices were directly related to size. Bigger equalled more money for meat and hide. Bigger goats were considered likely to be more effective in controlling brushweeds. Feral goat breeding and scope offered breeding opportunities not available in existing dairy goat populations that were farmed in small hobby herds. Caprinex decided there was a need for a New Zealand meat goat to capitalize on goat meat market opportunities and hill country brushweed control requirements.

How Did  the Kiko Goat Come To America?

The first American Kiko imports from Goatex Group Limited were four bucks imported in 1991 to Hawaii by Dr. An Peischel. They ranked 2-5 of male kids born that year. Dr. Peischel had traveled to New Zealand earlier and met with Garrick Batten prior to importing bucks.

In 1994 Graham Culliford contracted with Garrick Batten to buy all the Kikos in his possession and bought out all other members of Goatex to ensure control of corporation. He formed Goatex Group LLC. Once he had established oversight of the breed in New Zealand, he embarked on a program to export selected animals to Texas.

1995 Kathy Lanzi and Deborah Carlise, livestock traders from California, agreed to Import the first thirty Kikos from New Zealand for an auction in Texas. (Ten bucks and Twenty does)

There was a second shipment of thirty does while the first shipment was being sold and a third shipment in 1995. The 1995 shipment was a mixture of twenty five does and five bucks including the bucks Goliath and Terminator. The number Kiko Goats imported from New Zealand was 19 bucks and 75 does, including the Goats Unlimited imports, for a total of 94.

A second generation of Kiko enthusiasts became involved buying original imports and  substantial numbers of goats from the original American breeders. They made a huge contribution to the breed because they conscientiously bred the best purebred Kiko bucks to the best purebred Kiko does. The animals they have contributed lead the way in the furtherance of breed excellence in the United States.

Garrick Batten,

“They are a suitable breed to introduce to countries seeking a better breed of meat goat. They are an improver breed that can add size, growth rate, and milk production to local stock without reducing hardiness.”

Graham Culliford,

“The future of the breed in the United States depends on the commercial breeders- that is the breeders who breed for meat and not breeding stock.”


The Kiko Goat in America compiled by Joe David Poole

AKGA website, Graham Gulliford

Caprinex website, Garrick Batten