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The Resilient Kiko Goat: Thriving from New Zealand to Global Recognition

The Resilient Kiko Goat: Thriving from New Zealand to Global Recognition

Introduction: Kiko Goat

The Kiko Goat, with its origins rooted in New Zealand, has emerged as a symbol of resilience, adaptability, and meat production prowess. Developed through strategic crossbreeding and rigorous breeding programmes, Kiko goats have gained prominence for their remarkable growth rate, hardiness, and survivability. This article delves into the history, characteristics, and contributions of the Kiko Goat to the world of livestock.

The Evolution from Feral to Phenomenal

In the 1980s, the Kiko Goat made its debut in New Zealand through a strategic blend of feral goats and dairy goats. The name “Kiko” itself holds meaning, derived from the Maori language, signifying “flesh” or “meat.” This breed was cultivated with specific goals in mind:

  • Fast Growth: Kiko goats were developed to exhibit rapid growth, meeting the demands of meat production in an efficient manner.
  • Survivability: The breed’s resilience and ability to thrive with minimal input from producers make it an ideal choice for diverse environments.
  • Hardiness: Kiko goats showcase remarkable hardiness, adapting well to a range of conditions and landscapes.

Dual Registries and Global Recognition

Kiko goats garnered attention beyond New Zealand, leading to the establishment of two prominent breed registries in North America:

  1. American Kiko Goat Association (AKGA): This association acquired and now owns the original Kiko goat registry in the United States.
  2. International Kiko Goat Association (IKGA): Formed in 2004, this association serves as a hub for breeders interested in Kiko goats on an international scale.

The Goatex Group Legacy

The development of the Kiko goat owes its success to the pioneering efforts of Goatex Group Limited, a New Zealand-based company. This company, comprised of large farmers, took an active role in capturing and breeding the country’s native goat population. This concerted effort led to the allocation of a substantial number of the most fertile native goats to a rigorous breeding program. The goal was to enhance meat production capabilities while embracing the goats’ natural browsing tendencies.

Thriving in the Wild

New Zealand’s unique environmental conditions played a pivotal role in the Kiko goat’s evolution:

  • Feral Goat Population: Feral goats, originating from British milk goats imported in the late eighteenth century, roam freely through New Zealand’s wooded hills and mountain shrublands.
  • Adaptation and Proliferation: The absence of predators and a temperate climate allowed these native goats to breed prolifically. Escaped and released domestic goats added to their numbers, resulting in a burgeoning population.
  • Environmental Impact: The rapid increase in goat numbers, along with deer, posed a threat to New Zealand’s native flora. The government took measures, including employing professional hunters, to control their population and impact.
Kiko Goat3
The Resilient Kiko Goat: Thriving from New Zealand to Global Recognition 2


The journey of the Kiko, from its inception through strategic crossbreeding to its recognition on the global stage, underscores its adaptability and contribution to meat production. With origins in New Zealand’s unique ecological landscape, the Kiko embodies resilience and hardiness, making it a valuable asset for farmers seeking efficient meat production and sustainable practises.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What does the name “Kiko” signify in the Maori language?
The name “Kiko” comes from the Maori language and means “flesh” or “meat.”

Q2: What were the primary goals in developing Kiko?
Kiko were developed for their fast growth, survivability with minimal producer input, and overall hardiness.

Q3: What are the two prominent breed registries for Kiko in North America?
The American Kiko Association (AKGA) owns the original Kiko registry in the United States, while the International Kiko Association (IKGA) serves breeders on an international scale.

Q4: What role did the Goatex Group Limited play in developing Kiko?
Goatex Group Limited, a New Zealand company, was solely responsible for breeding Kiko. They aimed to enhance meat production while capitalizing on the goats’ natural abilities.

Q5: How did New Zealand’s environmental conditions influence the proliferation of feral goats?
New Zealand’s lack of predators and temperate climate allowed feral goats to breed prolifically, leading to a significant increase in their population.

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