Carruthers (1986) estimated the United Kingdom goat population to be between 100,000 and 150,000 head. Ryder (1986) stated that U.K. goat numbers are increasing at twice the rate of the sheep population. In the U.K. goats are kept primarily for milk and fibre production. As a result of the reputedly small market for goat meat In the U.K. producers are disadvantaged as they are unable to rear and sell their male kids as an additional source of income. The net result of this is that an estimated 55,000 male kids are culled at birth.
Naude and Hofmeyer (1981) reported that carcasses of most goat breeds tend to be leaner than of sheep breeds. With the increasing consumer demand for lean meat it may well be that the goat meat is able to compete for the sheep meat market.
This study aims to reveal some of the factors which might affect the demand for goat meat by comparison of the eating qualities of lamb and goat.