The journey with goats began after purchasing Hilltop Place Ranch at Leakey, Texas. After assessing the land, goats were the perfect animal for this rocky, steep, brushy place. In 2015, the Medina ranch location was purchased, which is not as steep but has a lot of brush that is available to clear and will provide the older goats with an easier terrain to manage during their elder years.
The initial herd of 52 high percentage Boer cross does arrived in May 2006. They were bred to a purebred registered Boer buck named Natal. A few kids were born in 2006 but the majority of he first kids were born in the spring of 2007.
After learning about raising goats, building necessary fences and shelters, and trying to sell the goats through auctions and 4-H show wether sales, it was decided the care and disposition of the goats should be controlled from the pasture to your plate. The best way to ensure the best possible treatment for the animals had to be at the forefront of any planning. Providing people with the healthiest and highest quality meat that can be produced is of the utmost importance. Promoting local products and sustainable agriculture, while being good stewards of the land and the animals is the main focus of this enterprise. Hilltop Place Ranch goat meat cuts are antibiotic and hormone free and have minimal processing with no additives.The goats are raised on natural pasture browse, as well as, supplemental non-GMO food and hay such as alfalfa, coastal, and peanut. Hay is tried to be secured that has not been sprayed with herbicides, but due to the difficulty of finding good hay at a reasonably reasonable price with transport included, occasionally, it is not possible to completely ascertain what has been used on the hay. The animals also receive supplemental salt and minerals as needed to ensure their best health.If it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of the animals, parasite treatments are sparingly used. No animals that are in the meat product stream are ever given antibiotics.If antibiotics are ever given to save an animal's life, it will not be put into the meat product. The animals have access to a large pasture every day and shelter from inclement weather. The does kid in kidding pens or controlled environments, so they can recieve assisance if necessary. They are usually put into their own hay-bedded pen with their kids in order to bond and get rest and a little recovery before having to compete for food again with the other mothers.
The animals are loved and most of them are friendly enough to be petted or at least enjoy human interaction. The hardest parts of our job are when an animal is lost to natural causes and when he animals have to be taken to the processor. Their lives are valued and appreciated for the great sacrifice they make for the use of the food that comes from them. Every animal that dies on the ranch is given an end with dignity and prayers to send them back to the great beyond. Nearly every animal is with a human when it is born and it is taken to the slaughter house by the people who were with them every day. They receive a blessing for a peaceful end and thanksgiving is made for their life and their sacrifice. Hopefully, the love and care the animals receive will shine through in their flavor.
Goats are curious, loving, beautiful animals that provide a delicious, low fat meat alternative for the discriminating and adventurous palate.
If you are in the area and wish to visit the ranch to see the herd in their natural environment, please call to make an appointment. You will be accomodated if at all possible. If it is not possible, hopefully, you will understand these are working ranches with much that has to go on by few people at all times, so tours sometimes cannot interrupt the additional things that have to go on.
The Medina location is amenable to the production of vegetables, pecans, and beef production, so that is something that could be available in future years. Both locations may be available for ranch cabin and camping accomodations in future years (beyond 2017).
Valerian And One of the Little Boys
Valerian Chyle, Jr., Ranch Owner,grew up with his parents and seven siblings on the farm near Lankin, North Dakota and then in the farming community of Park River, ND. Valerian received a BA in Chemistry from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN in 1985, an MD from UCLA in 1990, did an internship at Baylor College of Medicine in 1991, and completed a residency at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in 1995. Prior to returning to ranching in his spare time, Dr. Chyle served as the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at MidSouth Imaging in Memphis, TN, an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at UTMB Galveston, Medical Director of the Georgetown Cancer Treatment Center, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Texas Cancer Center, Round Rock, and currently serves as the owner and Radiation Oncologist of Kerrville Cancer Center in Kerrville, Texas. Valerian shares the vision of being a good steward of the land and animals. He has also designed and built a 25,000 gallon rainwater collection system at the ranch and directed the installation of a 3.5 KW wind turbine and a solar system to power the goat pen area. He sees the health benefits of eating grass fed, naturally raised, humanely handled animals as an important component of a healthy diet and is excited to be bringing another source of healthy protein that has been humanely handled to his local community. He is looking forward to the possibility of other meats and crops at the Medina location.
Mary Walker-Chyle, Ranch Owner, grew up in northeastern North Dakota with her parents and three brothers. She has a background in textiles, business, law, and public health. She is the main caregiver to the goats and also runs the upper level managements of Kerrville Cancer Center. Her focus is on the public health aspect of food and outdoor exercise driving people's individual health as well as the food system and exercise of individuals making up the larger issues of the health of our society. She is also concerned with the animal welfare of livestock.