Goat farming business is a very profitable business to operate in most countries. The demand for goat meat is increasing globally. People want to try a different type of meat which is not chicken, beef or pork.
Raising goats for a living is quite a lucrative business if you know what you’re doing. This not only involves having the know-how of managing a business but more of being familiar with the life of his preferred animal.
Nowadays, more people are into goat farming. This is so because goats do not require high maintenance and are relatively cheap to tend. The returns are great since almost every part of the goat can be used. Its meat is sought-after, its wool is utilized to create sweaters and jackets and most importantly, its milk is harvested.
But one who intends to make a living out of raising goats needs to have an in-depth knowledge about the animal and the basics of farming first before delving into the business. First, one should determine his reason of goat farming. Does he intend to cultivate the goats for meat? Or does he want to grow the goats for milk or for wool? This is important because certain breeds of goats are more applicable for milk production or meat cultivation. After deciding on your purpose, you may now pick the breed of your choice. For starters, there’s no need to buy the expensive ones. As long as you have studied well what suits the breed you chose, you’re fine.
Goats are easy to keep and are very profitable as the feed costs are low due to the fact that they eat almost anything because they like to walk around and sample a wide variety of foods. Goats will eat hay, grasses, weeds, grain, and sometimes even tree bark!
90% of the food they eat is pasture or hay. Undeniably this is the most favorite. In general, goats love to eat pasture, raisins, greens, chaffhaye, sunflower seeds, carrots, pumpkin seeds.
Goats are ruminants; they need long-stranded fibers to keep their rumen healthy. If they don’t have access to plenty of pasture, they should be given hay as well as a mineral supplement. For milk goats, feeding them a concentrated feed at milking time keeps them in good health. It’s also an incentive to stand still. However, always feed them fresh and nutritious goat food. Because certain feeds can affect the taste of milk and meat of goat.
There are some benefits of domestic or commercial goat farming. If you want to start goat farming business then you must read the benefits of raising goats.
– Goats are multi purpose animal which can produce milk, meat, fiber, skin together.
– Compared to cow and other livestock farming, goat farming requires less space and additional facilities. They have a less demand of housing and other management. In small scale production they are also able to share their homes with their owners and his/her other livestock.
– Production costs like infrastructure, feeding and treatment are less.
– It is really very easy to maintain a goat farm compared to other farm animals.
– Goats can adopt themselves with almost all types of agro-climatic conditions. And diseases are less in goats.
– They are smaller in size but reach slaughter age faster.
– Goat products like meat and milk has no religious taboo. And highly accepted for consumption throughout the world.
Before starting goat farming business learn as much as possible about how to start goat farming business. This will help you to learn more about goats and their rearing methods. Goat farming is really very profitable business. And it is very easy and enjoyable than other livestock.
In order to be a successful goat farmer, there are basics you must consider or know before you start a goat farm. These include but not limited to the following:
Location: The most important consideration you must first make is location. Common goats generally survive in warm areas that are well drained. Apart from temperature, space is necessary. Goats live in groups, so individual pens are not effective. A large field is needed if you want your animals to roam freely. Freely roaming goats usually have better resistance to sickness and infection. The best locations for a goat farm are those that are far from towns because urban pollution is dangerous to animal health. Goats are known to eat a lot of grass on a daily basis. So make sure their food source is highly accessible and not too far from the rearing area.
Land requirement: Goats can be reared intensively on small acreage by using supplemental feed. If using an extensive system, 2 to 10 goats per acre is a rough guide depending on the supply of grass and brush. Goats are top down grazers and will select from weeds, leaves and grasses to meet their own requirements. They can also help to improve marginal areas encouraging re-establishment of grassy species so providing low-cost environmental management.
The type of goat breed: The type of goat breed is the next important thing to consider when you start keeping goats. Depending on your purpose, there are breeds that produce more milk while there are also those that grow quickly. You can farm both types of breeds and you will be harvesting both meat and milk. Different breeds also require different levels of care. Make your research and consult an expert so he can help you decide what will be best for your farm.
Access to a veterinarian is another important thing to consider. When starting a goat farm, you expect many of your animals to contract diseases. A veterinarian can help you in disease control and management to avoid losses. Vets can also help you diagnose diseases or recommend vitamins and supplements to keep your animals in good health especially during stressful situations such as weaning.
Health: You must keep your goats healthy and strong. Build a big barn because goats live in groups. They must also be allowed to roam, run around and have fun. If the goats are bred well, they become rarely sick and they usually produce better milk and meat. Keeping them healthy by making them happy is not a hard task. Goats are very picky with food. They don’t eat dried or soiled grass. Make sure you have enough clean, fresh grass for them so they don’t go hungry.
Housing: With a well-designed barn or shed and good management, you are sure to reap all the profit you want from goat farming.
Goats in general are very social, curious, gentle, independent and intelligent creatures. They get bored and lonely when alone. It is never a good idea to just have one goat, you need at a minimum two goats. Two does or a doe and a wether (a neutered male goat) or a buck and a doe, if you are ready to start a little herd. They huddle and cuddle, they eat and they sleep together. And no, a human, even though much-loved, cannot substitute as a companion. A lonely goat will climb on cars, get into your garden, and sit on your porch or escape. A lonely goat will be a noisy goat, because they will call for a companion.
Goats are curious, they will nibble on everything including your hair and poisonous plants. They will pull and tug and chew on everything that moves, including gate latches. Goats are smarter than dogs. Do not let them watch you open a feed can or open a gate latch. You will regret it, because they will practice it behind your back. They will stick their head through a fence to try or see something on the other side of the fence or just to watch you walk up. This curiosity gets them into trouble almost daily and they do not have nine lives like a cat.
Dairy goats need to be milked at least once a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, cold or hot, until they dry off. You cannot go on vacation and leave them un-milked. They will be in pain and they will develop mastitis. Plan on you staying home or finding a knowledgeable farm sitter before you bring goats onto your farm if you want to continue to have a life off the farm.
Goats can get sick very easily and they die very fast. That is the nature of an animal who can breed young (at 3 months of age, although not recommended) and has multiple kids in a birth. Goats need to be watched and treated early and fast if something is amiss. You need to plan on learning what is normal in your goats, what is not normal and have emergency medications on hand. Two hours difference in giving a medication may mean the difference between life and death. Forge a great relationship with your vet. Finance college for his or her kids. Be conscientious and on time with worming and vaccinations.
when starting your goat farming project, always try to buy good quality, diseases free and healthy goats. High production is directly related to high quality and diseases free healthy goats. If possible, take help from an experienced producer for purchasing goats. Buy one buck and several does. Also always be very careful about the care and management of your does. During their mating period when they go into heat, keep them in a buck’s room for some days. Keep them with buck until their mating. On an average the gestation period of a doe is between 145 to 155 days.
When choosing breeding stock for goat production you should be very cautious of the goats history. Purchase your breeding stock from goat farmers who have a good reputation in the goat farming business. You should always select goats that are strong and have an overall appearance of good health. The buck should be masculine, his head should be medium in length. He should have a broad muzzle with large open nostrils. His eyes should be bright. Always request to see the records of the parents of the breeding stock you are purchasing.