Introduction to Goat Farming
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
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.