Goat Production Farming
Goat farming is one of the low cost investment profitable agribusiness farming, which probably you did not know about. Goat is commonly reared for mean and is known to be a multi-use animal. Apart from meat (Chevron), goat is also able to provide milk, wools and leathers, which for example, the milk may be used for drinking and is known to be delicious while the wools and leathers are used as raw materials in the manufacturing industries in different countries. An entrepreneur needs to utilize the low cost multi-use animal to get a reasonable profit on his/her entrepreneurial journey. This article will give in detail on how to get started with goat production.
Types of Goat Breeds
There two types of breeds available for goat which are local or indigenous goat breeds and exotic goat breeds.
1. Local or Indigenous type of Goat breed
This is a type of breed of the Goat which is known for low quantity meat and milk. This breed may not have to be imported from other countries. It has an average birth weight of 1.5 to 2.5 kg and may weigh up to 3kg. This type of breed is known to be well adapted to your local conditions. This breed is commonly reared by small scale rural goat farmers.
2.Exotic type Goat breeds
The following are some of the exotic goat breeds with a few details of their characteristics.
This breed is commonly kept in all types of climates and is known to have originated from South Africa. This breed has high immunity to diseases compared to the Indigenous type of Goat breeds. In 3 years, it can give at least 3 times birth and each birth has high chances for two kids (young goat babies). An adult Boar goat has a potential of weighing at least 100 kgs. This breed can be crossbred with your local goats to improve its performance..
Barbari is known with the following characteristics; standing but short ears, robust body and red or brown patches. This breed is kept for both meat and milk production. An adult doe weighs an average of 20 to 25 Kg and buck weighs an average weight of 25 to 40 Kg. At birth a kid weighs an average of 2 Kg.
This breed is mainly used for milk production in different countries. Saanen is able to give at least 600 to 700 litters of milk in 150 to 180 days after parturition (the act of giving birth to kids). Generally it gives birth to a single kid in a year.
Management of Goat
After buying goats for breeding, make sure you construct a simple but strong goat house which is well ventilated. The house has to be strong because goats are prone to predators (most common ones are hyenas). Make sure the simple house you have constructed is easy to clean.
Management of does and bucks
Make sure you take a good care for both does and bucks for successful goat production. Make sure the goats are vaccinated in time and dosing. Goats are ruminant animals and are able to chew fibres, make sure you give supplementary feeds on top of fibrous feed for high production to be achieved. When it comes to breeding, make sure you select the doe and buck having desirable characteristics and all the males with undesirable characteristics and will not be used for breeding purposes should be castrated in their early days after parturition (also called kidding).
Management of females (does)
Goats is known to have a gestation (pregnancy period) period of 150 to 150 days (5 months). Make sure you mate mature female goat when it is on heat ready to be served and usually this heat period in goat last 24 to 26 hours. Does can be used for mating at 12 months of age. All goats having different age sizes should be kept in separate locations.
Signs of heat for a doe:
- The doe shakes her tail.
- Mounting each other and could even mount another female animal.
- Seeking/searching for a male.
- Bleating which is continuous.
- There is a mucous discharge.
Care for pregnant doe
After successful mating, make sure you separate the pregnant doe from the flock and you monitor her conditions during her gestation period. This will ensure successful kidding. Make sure you provide high quality feeds and at the same time, make sure the pregnant doe does not gain excessive fats, as this may cause difficulties during parturition. Ensure your doe is healthy and consult your local veterinary officer immediately after noticing signs of sickness.
Consider the following for reproduction
- Make sure does are used for reproduction whenever they reach 7 months old.
- Make sure you avoid inbreeding by keeping a doe and a buck in separate sections.
- Make sure you use a buck for breeding whenever it is 8 months old.
- Observe a male to female ratio of 1 to 25 or 30 does for breeding.
Management of males (bucks)
Male goats have to be kept in separate from female does to control unnecessary mating. Make sure you prevent haemophrodism in goat production by mating a female goat with a horn buck. Haemophrodism is known to have come from hornless bucks. Make sure you cull (castrate) all bucks which will not be used for breeding purposes and have undesirable characteristics.
Make sure you select does and bucks with good characteristics for breeding, so that the kid should inherit good qualities of the two. This can be anything to do with high quality meat or milk.
This is mating of different breeds to produce a kid having best characteristics. And this can be high quality meat or milk. It makes use of hybrid vigour.
This is mating a doe and a buck from same parents or breeds to maintain desirable traits. This can be size, colours, meat or milk.
Make sure you reduces mortalities in kids through good management. Make sure the kids are able to suck colostrum milk from does soon after parturition. Make sure fresh feeds and water is available all the time. Keep on monitoring the kids' conditions and whenever you notice something unusual call a local veterinary officer to check up. Make sure you control mating in such ways that the kidding should take place when feeds are abundant.
Allow the kids to be with their mother only for a few weeks (probably 4 weeks) after that keep the kids in separate with their mother. Make sure the kids' house is strong and is able to protect the kids from heat, predators, cold weather among others.
Feeding Management in Goat
Goats are ruminant animals and are able to eat feeds enrich with fibres. Make sure you provide them with fresh grasses and you provide them with fresh feeds and water. Where possible supplement them with concentrates on top of roughages.
Feeding management for smaller kids
Allow the kids to suck their mother for 2 to 3 days to get colostrum milk which is good for their immunity system. After about three weeks introduce them to grasses and other supplementary feeds.
Weening period in goat is 100 days. Make sure the kids are 100 days and wean them. After weaning, make sure you keep them in separate from their mother.