Andrew & Jennifer Miller
Rush Creek Farms is located on the fertile prairie soils of east-central Illinois just outside of Champaign-Urbana. The 15 acre farm was established in 2005 and is owned and operated by Andrew and Jennifer Miller. Unlike most goat producers, we were introduced to the Kiko breed before we ever heard of a Boer. Being scientists, we both appreciated performance over showing and quickly realized raising Kikos was the best choice for Illinois’ hot, wet climate. We raise fullblood, purebred, and percentage Kikos on pasture with minimal inputs. Our rich topsoil and ample rainfall produces abundant forage allowing us to raise more goats per acre compared to other areas of the USA.
We use rotational grazing to maximize pasture management and minimize parasites. Our pastures consist of a smorgasbord of “goat salad” including chicory, clovers, and warm- and cool-season grasses. We stockpile the cool-season grasses for early winter grazing and then provide locally-grown grass hay until the spring arrives. The only supplements we use are free choice mineral and the occasional spoonful of grain to allow us to examine our goats. We vaccinate annually for CD&T, FAMACHA and body-score condition weekly, and check our goats twice daily. We are currently enrolled in the EPD program and look forward to evaluating our farm’s data.
Our 100% NZ herdsire, Uncle Jesse, is a paternal grandson of Araroa Aristocrat and a maternal grandson of Goatex Goliath. While most of our goats are grandchildren of the original NZ imports, we value a goat’s performance over its ancestry. That means buying proven genetics, collecting lots of data, and culling those that do not perform to our standards. We will only sell those goats that we would want on our farm. We believe the Kiko’s performance can continue to be improved through careful breeding and selection.
Rush Creek Farm’s mission is to promote and provide fast growing, high quality, low maintenance Kiko goats for breeding and slaughter using an environmentally-friendly, pasture- based, rotational grazing system.