Many people want to know how to start a goat farming business. However, before going into the details of starting a profitable goat farm, it is important to discuss about goats.
Goats are ruminant animals that can naturally adapt to various climates or environment. Additionally, they are raised for various purposes which include economical, nutritional and meat production reasons. Goats are very common in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malawi etc. So therefore, goat farming business is recommended in countries where there is an abundance of goats.
- Common Terminologies in Goat Production
- The Importance of Goats and Goat farming
- Management Systems in Goat Farming
- Free Ebook on How to Start Goat Farming [PDF]
Common Terminologies in Goat Production
Buck: Adult or matured male goat
Doe: Adult or matured female goat
Buckling: Young male goat
Goatling: Young female goat
Kid: Newly-born goat
Suckling: Female goat with kid
Kidding: Act of giving birth
Gestation period: 148-156 days
The Importance of Goats and Goat farming
In learning how to start a profitable goat farming business, one must know the importance of goats and goat farming. Goats have a great importance owing to the numerous functions they provide. Goat farming provides minimal but significant animal protein supply in the form of milk and meat. Low-income farmers and their families can satisfy their milk and meat needs from the goats they raise. Likewise, farmers that are not financially strong to keep cattle can find it easy and convenient to keep goats. Goat farming is a good way to utilize farmlands while the land ecosystems are preserved.
Advantages of Goat Farming
- Goats serve as an inflation-proof bank account which can be used when cash is required, and the kids are the interest of that account, thus spreading of risks.
- There is a fast reproductive rate such as early maturing, short kidding interval, twins common, quick returns on investments, and quick building up of flock. There are no religious taboos.
- They can function as the “poor man’s cow” for smallholder families. Goats have a small size. They are relatively cheap to purchase and suitable for home slaughter, sacrifice, and gifts. There are fewer cultural restrictions on ownership and handling of goats by women and youth than for cattle or other large livestock.
- They know wide climatic adaptation, by browsing not competing for roughage with other ruminants and making efficient use of fibrous.
Disadvantages of Goat Farming
- Formal goat market chains are less developed or less accessible than other livestock value chains.
- Goats are inquisitive, need proper fencing and/or stabling or active herding to prevent crop damage.
- Goats are susceptible to respiratory diseases and internal parasites.
- Small value makes formal credit systems uneconomical or impossible.
Management Systems in Goat Farming
The Common Management Systems in Goat Production
Based on the purpose of production and ecological zone, there are different systems to raise or manage goats. These management systems include:
- Intensive system or zero grazing
- Semi-intensive system
- Extensive system
I. Intensive system of raising goats
In this system, the farmer confines the goat to a pen or shed, and they are fed inside the shed. The bucks are separated from the does to avoid indiscriminate mating, while the kids are kept in another pen as based on age and sex. The intensive system is the most suitable for dairy goats (for milk production). Mating is controlled in this system and the animals are fed with fodder crops, grasses and crop residues from pasture or roadsides.
Advantages of intensive system
- It keeps goats from damaging crops and prevents traffic accidents.
- Goats can make efficient use of crop residues, kitchen waste/peelings, and agricultural by-products.
- It is well suited to productive animals, exotic breeds and their crosses which are more susceptible to diseases.
- It reduces burden of internal and external parasites.
- It allows for close observation (heat detection, health, feed/water availability).
Disadvantages of intensive system
- It is costlier
- Diseases spread faster under poor management
Tethering in goat production is a system in which goats are tethered around their pen or environs of their pen in the daytime and are kept in their pens or sheds in the nighttime. This is feasible where the number or population of the goats is very low. The adult goats are tethered, and the young ones are left untethered, but they are provided with feed and water. Since the bucks are not separated from the does, mating between the male and female is uncontrolled.
There are two methods of tethering goats
- Tied to one peg. One to three goats are tied to a peg or tree by a rope of 3-5 meters length. By shifting the peg or choosing a different tree or post, the goats are offered a fresh grazing/browsing area (see image 1).
- Tied to a ring on a wire between two pegs. A rope of about 2-3 meters long is tied to a ring which slides on a wire about 3-5 meters long (see image 2).
The farmer must be careful enough not to let the goats get entangled or even strangled, and the area should be free from predators that could attack the goats. The area must also offer some shade from hot sun.
III. Semi-intensive system of raising goats
In this system, the goats are restricted to move in the night and certain part of the day. They are allowed to graze at a certain time of the day, in the company of a herdsman. In the semi-intensive system, the goats are opportune to supplement their diet as well as do some selective feeding to overcome dietary deficiencies. Stall feeding is done when the goats are confined. The kids are left in the pen while the adults are taken out to graze. Additionally, uncontrolled mating is common because the separation of bucks and does is not common. Another option under this system is allowing the goats to graze in fenced paddocks.
IV. Extensive production system of raising goats
In this system, the goats are allowed to browse and graze large areas of land that are marginal in nature and/or are not suitable for other agricultural purposes. This is a common system in regions with arid and semi-arid climates. This is the production system used for meat goats but rarely for dairy goats. The extensive system is also common in Nigeria. Little management is done except allowing the animals to graze during the day, and they are locked up in the pens or yards in the night. The goats usually roam about looking for food or water themselves, and they can be fed with crop residues and weeds after harvest. Their droppings are also collected and used as manure.
Also Read: The Local & Exotic Breeds of Goat
Free Ebook on How to Start Goat Farming [PDF]
Goat farming or goat production has gained a lot of popularity in the western countries because these countries have known the importance and benefits of goats. These include high-quality milk, hides and of course chevon (meat of goat). It is somewhat unfortunate that most African countries including Nigeria have not really seen the beauty in goat farming and how it could significantly boost the economy.
My personal findings have revealed that the reason for the little investment in goat farming is attributed to lack of helpful information about goats and how they could be profitably managed. For one to be successful in any farming enterprise, one needs to have a lot of information about such enterprise. Hence, if you want to start profitable goat farming, you need to have access to a lot of information about goats, goats farming, management and the business itself. Doing this would save from losing money, increase your interest and of course, allows you to plan better.
Goat farming no doubt has many benefits which range from nutritional to financial benefits. Some of the benefits or advantages of goat farming include:
- They can serve as a means of generating income
- Low capital to start and low cost of production
- Production of high-quality milk which research have found to better than cow milk. That means higher demand in both the local and international market. Read more about the benefits of goat milk
- You don’t need a lot of building or infrastructure unlike poultry, piggery or fishery
- High ROI and low risk
- Low incidence of diseases and feeds are cheap and abundant
- The meat is generally acceptable, delicious and of higher demand
Goat farming business is an enterprise that you can start with as low as 3 goats—a buck (male) and two does (female)—and within two years, you would be having as high as 18 goats on your farm after 2 years under proper breeding management. In addition, you can start with as low as 100,000-150,000 Naira excluding the cost of land. You don’t need much experience to start goat farming and even a student can go into the venture without interfering with his or her academics.
To cut a long story short, I have compiled and package a comprehensive ebook on goat farming. Yes, very comprehensive that a newbie can understand everything written therein. I have taken the time to write this ebook and added everything one needs to know if interested in going into the goat farming. Let me give you the table of content to know what is included in the book.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 The importance of goats
1.2 Farming Systems
Chapter 2 Housing in goat farming
2.1 Reasons for housing goats
2.2 Aspects to consider for housing
2.3 Building sheds
2.4 Requirements in the shed
2.5 Housing systems
2.6 Housing requirements
Chapter 3 Goat feeding
3.1 What do goats need
3.4 Crop residues and by-products
3.5 Leguminous forages
3.7 Practical feeding
Chapter 4 Health, diseases and parasites
4.1 A healthy goat
4.2 Diagnosis of a sick goat
4.3 Infectious diseases
4.4 Diseases due to feeding errors
4.5 Internal parasites: Worms
4.6 External parasites
Chapter 5 Reproduction in Goats
5.1 Heat detection
5.3 Reproductive cycle
5.4 Young animals
5.5 Breeds of goats
5.6 Desired characteristics of male goats
Chapter 6 Kid and young stock rearing
6.2 Kid rearing
6.3 Young stock rearing
You can see that I have touched every part of goat farming in this ebook, and I made it very comprehensive to read. You don’t need to have a dictionary beside you before you could understand the content. This goat farming ebook is what you will love to read and thank me later for a well-done job. This is my field and I know what it entails. I guarantee that you would be getting quality and high value for your money.
If you think you are tired of spending all your savings without having any existing business, or you think it’s high time you started your own farming business, perhaps you have a good land that could be used for livestock farming, this is the time to choose goat farming. After deciding, get this ebook. Even if you’re not interested now, get the ebook and keep for future use.
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