How to Start Commercial Goat Farming
Commercial Goat farming is one of the most sustainable agribusinesses in the world. Goats are often strong and they multiply very fast. In a continent like Africa, you will spend less in feeding them, thereby making huge turnover in a short time.
What is goat-rearing.
Goat rearing is an aspect of animal husbandry that deals with the systematic management of goats in an enclosed area.
A goat is a domesticated farm animal characterized by its short stature, horns, a furry coat covering its skin and its peculiar taste for eating grass. Goats are members of the Bovidae family.
Below are some terms pertaining to commercial goat farming;
A female goat-Doe
A male goat-Buck
A newly born goat-Kid
The meat of a goat-Mutton or chevron.
Goats are reared by people because they provide milk ,meat ,fur , and leather from their skin. They also provide manure which can be used as fertilizers. Their milk offer a range of health benefits, coupled with the fact they are rich and nutritious. Goat milk could also be used to produce skimmed milk, yoghurt and cheese.
Breeds of goats that are perfect for Commercial Goat Farming
According to research there are more than 200 breeds of goats globally. Like any form of farm animal management, starting a goat-rearing business requires you to understand the type or breed of goat to rear. If you want to select a particular breed of goat, it depends on what you want to rear the goat for; either for its milk, meat, fur or skin.
Listed below are the various breeds of goats;
Alpine goats: These goats are steady milk producers. They can also be reared for their meat. They produce up to two to three gallons per day. Another advantage is that their manure could also be used as fertilizer
Nubian goats: These goats produce less milk when compared to the alpines i.e. one gallon a day, but their milk is better, richer, and has a sweeter taste. It has an average of 4.5% in butterfat. This means that it produces some of the best milk and cheese. They also be reared for their meat.
Sahelian goats: This breed of goats is characterized by its short fine coat of fur. These goats are medium sized and they are mainly reared for their meat. They are not suited for milk production. They are called ‘ogufe’ in the South Western part of Nigeria.
Jamnapari goats: These breeds originated from the Alps region. They usually possess a variety of colours. Farmers rear them for their excellent meat and milk production.
Maradi or red Sokoto goats: This breed is characterized by its possession of its red fur or skin coat. These goats are valued by the leather industry due to its high quality of leather gotten from its skins. They are also reared for their meat.
Other breeds include: Toppenburg, Anglo-Nubian, Saanen, Pygmy, Marwari, Jannei, Black bengal, Barbari, Frisian, Malabari, Beetal, Boer etc.
What to feed the goats.
Due to the fact that goats are ruminant animals with a four-compartment stomach(rumen, omasum, abomasum and the reticulum), they can eat almost all types of food like leaves, grasses, cassava, maize etc.
An ideal goat feed however, should contain 10-15% protein and sufficient calories for energy. They should also be provided with enough water to drink as they drink lots of water daily.
If you are enjoying our article about How to Start Commercial Goat Farming, Check this out: The importance of farming
Different Housing systems Suitable for Commercial Goat Farming
Extensive system: This system employs openly grazing the goats in an entire pasture field and allowing them to graze there for a specific duration. For this system of goat-rearing the cost of feeding is minimized.
Rotational grazing system: Here, the pasture land is divided by temporary fences into several sections. The goats then graze each section, moving from one to the other. The goats should be monitored for them not completely graze down a section. By the time all sections are grazed, the first subsequent sections would have sufficient grass cover to provide for another grazing.
Intensive system (zero-grazing system): This is an animal management system in which the goats are confined in a building like shed, pen, manger where the goats are fed. This system provides the advantage of the farmer’s close supervision and control over the goats, but however, this system requires more labour and high cash input.
Rearing goats in a deep litter shed: For this method, litter materials like ground nut husks, sugarcane husks are spread on the floor of the shed for a depth of up to half a feet and the goats are reared on it. The litter should be removed twice or thrice in six months and in rainy seasons, the litter should not be over wet to prevent the spread of diseases and ammonia gas production. The urine and dung mixed with the litter can be used as manure.
Rearing goats on a mud floor: For this method, the floor of the shed is plastered with mud. The shed should be constructed in an elevated area to prevent water stagnation. Once or twice a year 1-2 inches of mud surface should be removed and replaced. Lime powder should be applied once a month to reduce the spread of diseases.