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Thursday, 11 March 2021 14:38

Goat production business tips

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The BUSINESS OF GOAT FARMING

Goat business is very lucrative. There is a high demand for goat meat and breeding stock. Small scale goat production will not take much of your time.

Models

There are a number of models that you can select from; 

  • Breeding, 
  • Meat Production, 
  • Milk Production, 
  • Buying and Selling live goats.

How to start?

  • Market research.
  • Select a model from the list above.
  • Get training. 
  • Develop financial projections or find someone to assist you.
  • Register a company. 
  • Open a free website (wix.com). 
  • Open Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp for business)
  • Identify the risks involved and mitigatory measures.
  • Start with what you have, (even mixed breeds).
  • Borrow capital if needed, to grow the business.

Space

  • You don’t need much space!
  • Hydroponic fodder and commercial eliminates the need for grazing area due to confinement.

Housing

  • Protect goats from extreme weather conditions including rain. 
  • Ensure:
  • Roof for rain. 
  • Walls for wind. 
  • Raised from the ground for self-cleaning to avoid foot rot.
  • Ensure good ventilation. 
  • You can start from your rural home. 
  • Confined goats are easy to feed and monitor. 
  • Ensure protection from predators. 
  • Secured to prevent theft.
  • Ensure regular removal of droppings.
  • Avoid using open kraals.  
  • Use locally available materials.

Breeding and husbandry

  • Maintain and improve good breeding stock.
  • Avoid uncontrolled breeding.
  • If breeding is planned, kidding should coincide with feed availability.
  • Maintain your own breeding buck.

Main Breeds

  • Mashona
  • Matebele
  • Boer
  • Saanen and 
  • Angora goats.

Selecting a breeding buck

  • Masculinity.
  • Standard buck/ram vocalisation.
  • Uniform pair of testes and a fine sheath.
  • Large scrotum circumference.

Selecting a breeding doe

  • She must be feminine.
  • She must be fertile.
  • Good milk production.
  • Well-structured udder with two functional teats.
  • Large body capacity and volume.

Culling

  • Removal of non-performing animals.
  • Low production or reproduction levels.
  • Unproductive animals.
  • Genetic defects or pre-disposition to disease.
  • Physical problems.
  • Disease.
  • Age. 

Castration

  • To maintain and control the breeding programme.
  • To successfully carry out breed improvement.
  • To improve on farm safety for animals.
  • To lessen goat smell.
  • For improvement of carcass composition and weight development.

Record Keeping

  • Always mark your animals for easy identification
  • Tattooing is considered to be the safest and lawful way of identifying goats
  • Tattooing Process
  • Clean the inner part of the ear lobe thoroughly.
  • Apply or smear the tattoo ink on the area to be tattooed.
  • Make sure that the sequence of the tattooing characters is correct.
  • Press the tattooing pliers until holes appear on the skin and then release.
  • Rub the ink in to the holes.
  • Clean excess ink. 

Nutrition and feeding

  • Goats require nutrients for body maintenance, growth and reproduction.
  • Feed sources:
  • Pastures (ensure proper grazing management),
  • Hydroponic fodder,
  • Commercial feed,
  • On farm feed formulations. 
  • Kids must receive colostrum soon after birth.
  • Nutrients found in colostrum decreases 48 hours after birth. 
  • Colostrum contains high content of energy, vitamins, minerals and antibodies that helps the
  • kids to fight and resist infections/diseases.
  • Goats must be introduced gradually to feed supplements and enough roughage must be provided at all times. 
  • Use body condition scoring to guide on nutrition. 

Common Health Problems

  • Heartwater
  • Pulpy kidney
  • Mastitis
  • Infectious Pneumonia
  • Coccidiosis
  • Abscess 
  • Abortion
  • Parasites

Prevention is better than cure!

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