Interested in Goat Farming? Arm Yourself With These Useful Tips.

goat farming

Goat farming has always been a favorite amongst intending livestock farmers who need a venture that’s low in initial capital, doesn’t require much space or elaborate housing, has low fatality risk from diseases and harsh weather, has a ready market, and with a high return on investment (ROI).

To successfully establish one, here are some tips necessary for your success.

1. Goat Farming Business Plan

The first step to starting a successful venture is a proper business plan with any business. You can use a well-written business plan to access loans, grants, competition submissions, and proposals. A goat farming business plan should discuss:

  1. Your purpose for rearing the goats which could be for their milk, meat, manure, fiber, or skin. You can take a market survey to know which is most profitable in your locality.

  2. Your proposed housing model – This could be a barn, a field, or a fenced stretch of land.

  3. Source of feeding and projected cost till maturity and sale.

  4. Health care and vaccination information.

  5. Marketing methods and sales.

  6. Competitive analysis

  7. Expansion plan

While putting this together, a lot about goat farming will be learned, filling up your knowledge bank about the venture.

goat farming

 

2. Gathering Required Knowledge and Technical Know-how on Goat Farming

Attending a goat farming workshop or attaching oneself to a thriving goat farm or farmer is recommended to get first-hand knowledge and hands-on experience before starting your goat farm.

There are also a couple of courses on goat farming prospective goat farmers can take before starting with goat farming.

Having concluded this and the farm attachment or done a good stretch of training now is the best time to start putting some structures in place in readiness for welcoming your goats into your farm.

 

3. Preparing the Farm Area and the Housing Model For Your Goat Farm.

 The farm area should be dry and sandy or loamy if grasses and other plants are planted as part of the feeding plan and landscape.

It would be best to build the housing depending on the projected size of the life stock and budget. Barns can be built and feeding trenches constructed.

A sturdy wooded fence built around a big shade-giving tree is good for working on a budget with 50 – 100 goats. Goats do not need elaborate structures, unlike most other livestock.

 

4. Procurement of Goats for Your Goat Farm.

 Goats can be procured as kids while pregnant or as mature bucks and does. Goats will also be sourced according to the purpose of the farm.

If the farm is a dairy goat farm, goats like Oberhasli, Saanen, Nubians, and Alpen should be stocked. Boer goats, Nigerian dwarf goats, and Black Bengel goats should be procured if it’s a meat farm.

Before stocking on goats, it is advisable to visit your local goat farm to find out the most popular goats for your needs. This will also allow you to find out about and purchase appropriate feeds for your goats.

 

5. Feeding and Nutrition in Goat Farming

 Goats are strict herbivores, and while they’ll happily munch away at grasses growing around or hay for commercial goat farming, it is good to give supplementary feeds to your goats.

These supplements should be rich in energy, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fat to improve their health, development, and fertility.

As the purpose of the farm is to make a profit, care must be taken to feed the goats cost-effectively. Pasture provides an adequate amount of nutrients for mature bucks.

Still, supplementary feeds are advised for kids and two-year-olds as they have more nutrient requirements. It would be best to feed the goats well, especially as they approach the mating season, to get them ready and in good shape.

Special care should also be given to them during the dry summer months. Salt and adequate water should be given to them to prevent dehydration.

 

6. Breeding in Goat Farming

 Goats are very virile and breed without any prompts. Goats typically give birth to young ones twice a year, with some species birthing multiples at a time.

It is a good idea to keep bucks, does, and kids and separate pens, and when its time to mate or the females are seen to be in heat( this is called Estrous, and they include discharge from the vagina, reddening of the vulva, seeking males, mounting other animals, tail wagging and more frequent bleating), bucks and does can be penned together for about two weeks.

 

goat kids

7. Health Care and Vaccination in Goat Farming

 Vaccination is essential in goat farming as goats can be susceptible to diseases like goat pox, anthrax, brucellosis, etc. Vaccines should be routinely given, and any goats observed to be ill should be given prompt medical attention.

 

8. Marketing and Sale

Marketing can be done through word of mouth, through requests for recommendations from customers, through print media, radio and tv ads publicizing the farm, through taking mature goats to the goats’ market, through processing and packaging of meat, milk, cheese, etc. and delivering to restaurants, meat shops, supermarkets, and malls.

 

9. General Care and Maintenance

Your goats are your investment and so take proper care of them. Feed them clean quality feeds using clean utensils, give them clean water regularly, and clean their housing and environment; goats love to roam, so grant them ample space to move amongst themselves (i.e., avoid overcrowding on your farm).

Do not let the buck to doe ratio be too low, and do not use one buck to fertilize plenty of females in one day. Procurement of apparatus for artificial insemination is also a good idea and a good investment for the farm.

Vaccinate your goats routinely and have infections and body sores checked by a veterinarian.

 

10. Competitive Analysis and Expansion Plan 

Competition analysis will offer you an insight into what others are doing right or wrong in the goat farming business. It will also enable you to rate your marketing strategy to make it more effective.

Please don’t do this once and leave it there. It has to be a routine to make your goat farming viable. If correctly done, it will guide you on the proper model for expansion by looking at what to improve on in the entire value chain.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be successful in your pursuit of goat farming.

Good luck!

 

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