Goat farming is an agro-farming business categorized under animal husbandry. It involves the breeding and raising of domesticated goats for commercial purposes.
The male goat is known as a billy or buck, if the male goat is castrated it is called wether while a female goat is referred to as doe or nanny.
Farmers that venture into goat farming have their principal aim. Goats are raised purposely for their meat, fiber, as pets, skins, and milk in rare cases, which are all ways of generating income from goat farming.
Goat meat known as chevon is the most consumed after beef (cow meat), which makes it one of the reasons why starting a goat farming business will be profitable.
Do you want to venture into livestock farming but yet don’t know which one to choose or start from? Anyone can actually start a goat farm but it takes one with the right knowledge to succeed
This article will give you reasons to plan to start up with a goat farm.
You have to learn some basic things about a goat. Things to know about goat are the feed that suits them best, their pattern of mating and many kids a female goat can have at a time, how to take care of them.
These and other things to look out for when you are in this business are been provided below.
1. Select The Right Goat Breeds
There are many breeds of goats for farming business which may differ in characteristics. Before starting a goat farming business, you have to decide on the particular breed of goat you want to rear.
You have to make the choice of breed considering the local market nearby where you can easily sell the products; meat, milk, fiber or skin from goats.
Some of the breeds include, but is not limited to lamancha goats, boer goat, beetal goat, kinder goat, toggenburg goat, saanen goat, nigeriandwarf goat, angora goat, nubian goats, black bangel, African pygmy goat, oberhasli goat, sahelian goat (from West Africa), alpine goats etc.
Select the right breed by knowing which one people are in high demand of so that you can be able to meet up with their market needs.
2. Goat Maturity
Goats mature sexually with the age of 4 to 12 months depending on the sexes.
Female goats are referred to as doe or nanny, they reach puberty during their first heat and ovulation. She is sometimes called doelling at the age of 12 months. The female goats calleddoe or nanny reaches the age of puberty within the age range of 4 to 12 months depending on the breed.
Maturity status in female goats depends on certain factors such as their season of birth, nutrition level, breed, and general health status.
The male goat is referred to as billy or buck. However, if the male goat is castrated it is called wether. Male goats that are up to 12 months of age are sometimes called bucklings.
A buck or billy is fully mature at the age of one (1) year to mate with up to ten (10) does at a time in one month. At the age of two (2) years, a buck should be able to service up to 25 female goats at a time.
3. Goat Reproduction And Mating
Reproduction in goat is the biological process by which new offspring are produced from their adult female goats. It occurs during mating between the buck and the doe.
Reproductions in goats mainly occur during estrus or heat in does(mature female goat). This is the period when the doe stands to allow the buck mate her in order to produce offspring. This stage of the reproductive cycle lasts between 12 to 36 hours.
Are you surprised that goat reproduction is one of the things you should know as a goat farmer or goat farm beginner?
As the manager of the business, you are meant to know everything about your company. Having the knowledge of reproduction in goat will help you to know if your goat farm is on increase or not.
The gestation period in goats (doe) in other words called the length of pregnancy is calculated from the time of conception to birth last for 5 months. It may vary sometimes between 145 to 152 days but 150 days on the average which is equivalent to 5 months.
A doe can give birth to multiple kids ranging from twins to triplets at once. All breeds of does (adult female goats) experience heat every 21 days from 2 to 48 hours. Does that are on heat period typically flag their tails often and stay near any close buck. They may exhibit a reduction in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat period.
4. Get The Necessary Things And Equipment
The foremost necessary thing required in staring any kind of business anywhere in the world today of capital. No matter how small the business may seem you still need money to put things in order.
With the capital in hand, you can purchase the breed of your choice, buy needed equipment for feeding the goats such as water pot and feeding basket.
Again, consider medicines for health management; equipment for construction goat house and fence without neglecting any single thing that will be used in the farm at any particular point in time.
5. Suitable Goat Farming Site
Find a suitable land for this kind of farming, though you can use a space in your home if it is a sustenance kind of agriculture or if it is large enough to accommodate your business.
The size of land for your goat farm is dependent on the scale of your operation. This implies that if you are starting a small-scale goat farm, you don’t need large farmland but if it is a large scale farming reverse will be the case.
So that you wouldn’t waste too much money buying land that will be too big for such operation or too small that it cannot accommodate the business comfortably.
Make sure that the land you selected has a nice pasture or grass which can serve as a food source to the goats. Goats are herbivores animals making it a cheaper reduced cost of feed purchase.
Also, ascertain if there is access to a good source of water close to the farmland you are planning to use.
6. Fence The Site
It is as important as securing farmland to fence the land. One of the most serious issues that goat farmers experience is goat lost as a result of escape or theft.
Fencing is done depending on the size of the space you are able to access; the size of the fence also depends on the measure of goats.
Secure the land with strong wire gauze fences or barbwires in order to control the movement of the animals and provide you with security against intruders.
Goats always maintain the rule of crawling under the fence rather than jumping over the fence. Therefore the best fence for goats is the one that has the bottom wire close to the ground so that they cannot be able to escape by crawling under.
7. Make a House
Goat should not be allowed to wander outside all the time as there are some weather conditions which are not good for them.
Therefore, you have to make a suitable and spacious house where they can stay when the weather condition is not favorable and at night. Leaving them outside might lure thieves into your farm even amidst the protection you have.
Feed them adequately and with the right feeds and supplement which are complemented with the grasses they eat.
Always provide the goats with healthy and fresh food to keep them in good health condition, free from certain animal diseases and improve production.
In addition to healthy fresh food, make provision of clean and freshwater on a regular basis after feeding them.
9. Farm Management
Above all, make sure that you consider their health; unhealthy goat might pass such diseases to others so it is better to have a routine check even when you think and feel they are Okay.
Clean their environment always as their faeces can smell bad; this can help in keeping them healthy.
10. Goat Healthcare
The health issue is one of the challenges in goat farming business which can lead to great loss when not taken care of. Just as human beings treat health challenges and go for health checkups from time to time, so is applied to goats.
Source and create easy access to an experienced centenary service provider who will be checking on the animals’ health.
Aside from this, you should also have the basic knowledge of goat diseases and treatments so that you will always know when you need the assistance of a vegetarian.
Most vegetarian provides guidance on the types of feed and appendices that you are meant to provide your goats with. Try to follow the veterinarian’s directives so that your goats will always be at the peak of health.
It is a wise decision to venture into a goat farming business. But you can only enjoy its profitability if you can maintain good farming hygiene and provide the animals with nutritious food also observe other points mentioned above.
Goat farming business is profitable and requires less management and capital. Anyone can start a goat business if the above tips are considered; you can even use it to complement other things you are doing to earn at both ends.