Facts About Goat Farming
Demand for goat products are an indication about the good prospects in goat farming. There are some important facts that you have to keep in mind when you start goat farming. You can opt for either dairy goat farming, which solely focuses on milk production, or meat goat farming that deals with production of meat. Decide the number of goats you want to have in the farm, relative to the overall space available.
Goat housing is an important aspect in goat farming. Locations with low as well as hilly areas that are away from highway and boasts good irrigation, quality air, tree shades etc are ideal for goat housing. There should be good ventilation, sufficient space for feeding, and a proper drainage system.
Housing should provide protection against wild animals and the weather. Floor space of at least four square meters is required for each individual goat. Fresh water supply, milking space, dry space for keeping feeds etc are also required. Good dry flooring with proper bedding is required.
Then select the best goat breed by checking lineage as well as breed, conformation or body shape. Look out for the growth pattern, milk production capabilities, and fertility before selecting the goats for farms. South African Boer, Nubians, Tennessee meat goat, kiko etc are some of the good meat goat varieties. Alpine, Nubian, Toggenburg, LaMancha, Saane etc are some of the goat breeds for dairy farming.
Livestock management is important in caring for goats in various conditions. In the case of does, special care is required during pregnancy until kidding. Breeder bucks and kids need different care. Management of goat feeding is vital in the case of meat production.
There should be a proper management schedule for all activities in the farm. There should be enough staff to carry out the activities like feeding, cleaning, dehorning, hoof trimming, hair trimming, separation etc. Effective cleaning is necessary to reduce the risk of infection.
A free grazing system is suitable for large farms, but management of wandering goats is a big task. Letting goats graze during days in a controllable space is ideal, where they can be easily controlled, but still allowed to graze.
The goats feed must contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. Forages and goats feeds made from grains and energy supplements are good for keeping goats healthy. Special feed is required for goats meant for meat as fatter goats fetch more money.
For breeding, farms may use breeder bucks or artificial insemination depending upon the facilities available. In the case of dairy farms, milking machines are necessary for milking the goats. Good storage facilities for milk are essential.
Presence of veterinarians and regular health checkups is necessary, and relocation of ill goats will help in prevention of spreading of illness to the rest of the herd. Keeping goats is a business with pleasure, as they are lovely animals.
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