About Sharidon Farms :: Lowline Cattle Breeders and 100% NZ Kiko Goat Breeders
Sharidon Farms is a small family farm located
approximately 40 miles NE of
Kansas City. We want to know what is in our food and where it comes from so we decided to settle on a small farm so we could grow some of it ourselves.
We raise fullblood Lowline Angus cattle of superior genetics, selling both registered Lowline breeding stock to others as well a limited amount of all natural, grass finished beef.
We also raise and sell registered 100% New Zealand Kiko meat goats. We utilize multi-species, rotational grazing practices to make most efficient use of our farm forage.
We started out raising beef for our own needs and found ourselves expanding to accommodate requests for beef sales to family, friends, friends of friends, etc. Direct marketing of our beef provides us with a significantly higher level of income per animal produced than selling feeder calves to the local sale barn.
Our customers are looking for the health benefits of beef naturally finished on grass,without the use of hormones or antibiotics. This all natural product commands a higher price in the market. It also fits well with our desire to pursue highly sustainable agriculture methods. These are also less costly and labor intensive for us than
Lowlines consistently produce very tender and well marbled beef from an all forage diet, without any of the "special feeding" to produce or the "special cooking" warnings you commonly see with other forage based beef. We would never have continued raising Lowlines if we had to convince our customers to "adjust their palates" to accept the grass-finished beef flavor or to provide them with meat tenderizers and special cooking instructions when they bought our beef.
Why Kiko Goats?
We were looking for a suitable animal to add to our multi-species grazing program. We were raising nd grazing Lowline cattle and also had a team of draft horses. This combination along with a rotational grazing program greatly increased the diversity of grasses and legumes within our pastures. However neither of these species are effective in utilizing weeds or brush. By adding Kiko goats we can utilize even more of the available forage.
Goat meat demand in the US has continued to rise and the demand is being met by imports of goat meat. So with a ready market for the meat and breeding stock, it was a matter of selecting a breed appropriate to our management practices. We selected Kiko goats based on two primary characteristics. The first is that they have been selected for generations for natural parasite resistance. The second is that they are prolific producers on primarily forage and have strong maternal characteristics.
We both work full time off the farm as well and managing our farm as efficiently as possible is crucial to our success.
Rotational grazing allows us to naturally raise our livestock on forage alone on a small acreage and saves us time by reducing our day to day labor. Instead of harvesting and taking feed to the livestock, we take the livestock to the feed. In addition, we reap the benefit of on-going pasture improvement by the natural distribution of free fertilizer they leave behind as they graze through a paddock.
Lowline cows calve easily unattended and the calves are vigorous, up and about immediately. Kiko goats are also known to have strong maternal instincts and kids are up quickly. This is very important to us since we do work off the farm and are not always immediately at hand during calving/kidding.