What Is Goat Farming About?
Goat farming is the rearing of various breeds of goats (or a single goat breed) in a confined environment or an expanse of land. It involves raising goats for various purposes such as dairy production, meat, fiber, and multiple other purposes.
Business Opportunities In Goat Farming Around The World
Goat Meat Production:
In Nigeria, goat meat consumption is so extreme that many workers look forward to their closing hours so they can rush off to a bar for a goat meat pepper soup meal. This goat meat demand has made the pepper soup business an extremely large one in the country. People eat goat meat at home, work, restaurants, parties, and in many other places. When they’re asked for an option of meat, many choose goat meat ahead of chicken meat.
The Nigerian dwarf goat is one of the most common goat breeds raised for household consumption in Nigeria. Many households in the south-south and south-eastern part of the country rear them both for their personal family consumption, and also to be sold at local markets..
With Nigeria’s population sitting at over 170 million, and over 5 million people consuming goat meat every day, goat farming continues to be an extremely valuable business opportunity for new and existing farmers to venture into.
Benefits of Goat Farming
1. It’s easier to raise goats than to rear chickens.
2. A good source of employment at the right scale.
3. A great source of food.
4. The startup capital can be modest.
5. Required labour is low.
6. Good source of manure.
7. Goat farming can be done in most weathers.
8. All goat breeds can share the same environment and feed with cattle.
9. Goat farming can serve as a major export product.
10. Great source of protein!
What And How Do Goats Feed?
Goats pay very close attention to the kind of feed they eat. They focus on the accuracy and details of their meals. Because of their mobile upper lips and very prehensile tongues, they are easily able to browse on very short grass, and to feed on foilage not usually eaten by other domestic livestock. Goats have very good feeding habits. They can feed on a wide variety of feed, but would refuse any feed that has been soiled by them or by any other animal.
HOW TO SETUP A GOAT FARM
1). Acquire A Large Pasture:
Getting a good pasture to rear your goats is important to the overall success of your goat farm. It’s important the landmass used for your goat farming business is not just in a remote area not too far from a city, but is also large enough to accommodate your grazing needs. Here are a few points to take note of when determining the kind of pasture to use for your goat farm:
Select a pasture not too far away from a city.
The land mass must be large enough (maybe 50 to 100 acres, depending on the number of goats you want to rear) for your goats to graze freely.
Make sure veterinary services can be easily accessed close to your farm.
There must be an adequate and efficient source of both clean and fresh water close to the farm
There should be a market close to your farm for easy purchase of any farm tool and goat needs.
A good road network and transportation service must be available within a short distance from your goat farm
2). Fence The environment:
Construct a fence around the pasture to keep the goats within. The fence should usually be a short perimeter fence coated with barbwires. This will ensure that the goats cannot just wander off without control. The fence can also ward off dangerous animals like wolves, foxes, and coyotes (one of the most common predator in the United states). You can also purchase guard dogs to ward off wild animals from preying on the goats.
If the goats are always fond of trying to break through the fence, electric fences could then be used. A shocking experience from this fence would keep almost all the goats away from it for good. Another strategy is to create “play areas” for the goats to mostly hang around. Since goats like climbing structures and more, creating a play zone will keep them preoccupied and far away from damaging farm products or structures.
3). Build Goat Barns:
You have to build an adequate barn for the goats to stay in when it’s dark, or when their graze time is over. Goats also need to stay under shelter when the weather is cold, raining, or generally unfavourable. When the weather is in a perfect condition, they prefer to be outside grazing and climbing various objects.
It’s important that the barns built are segmented for various groups of goats. Since they like their privacy, the separation in the barn must be wide enough to accommodate each number of goats put into it. In the case of owning thousands of goats, multiple separate goat barns may be required.
Place guard dogs to protect each barn containing the goats from predators, and also know that goats love to chew on something, preferably grass, while they are at rest. So it’s important you put in some of them.
4). Acquire the Right Goat Breeds:
Deciding the right type of goat breeds to rear is highly dependent on what is available and is in demand in your country. While there are various types of goat breeds ranging from the Nigerian dwarf goats, to nubian goats, lamancha goats, alpine goats, oberhasli goats, boer goats, and a lot more, picking the right goat breed to suit your needs is very important.
You can choose to either rear goats for dairy production, meat, fiber, or many other purposes. After making a decision, purchase healthy kids (baby goats) that are in good shape, and have no signs of diseases. Make sure they undergo proper vaccination before they start to graze to improve their chances of longevity.
5) Keep A Regular Appointment With The Veterinary Doctor:
Never skip an appointment with the veterinary doctor. Staying up to date with constant checkups and vaccination from the doctor will increase the lifespan of your goats, thereby making their mortality rate very low.
If the required veterinary service you require for your goat farm is very far away, make sure you stock enough vaccines and medications on your farm to cater for your goats.