Goat rearing business is very lucrative you need little or no guidance to succeed whether it is for personal consumption or business. The demand for goat meat is high and will continue because of population growth. Goat business has gained increase popularity as their products can be found in shops across Asia, United States and Europe.
That is why more entrepreneurs are needed to invest in goatry in other to meet their increasing demands. Kebbi State made a plan in 2017 to be exporting 2,000 goats daily. While this is very encouraging we still need more States to join the league. Commercial goat farming is less and can only be found in the Northern part of Nigeria. So many people in the South rear goats on subsistence basis alone.
The popular believe was that goat can only be reared and maintained economically through semi intensive and extensive grazing systems. Recent technique in goats rearing in Nigeria shows that intensive system can be done successfully in West Africa just like in India. Zero grazing goat farming is more profitable because the goat will only be eating formulated food which can be gotten with little or no money.
It is advisable for you to start small so as to gain experience maybe for about four months before increasing the stock. You can start with 2 to 10 goats for small scale. If you start with 40 goats without necessary experience you can get your hands burnt or you may be discouraged. And employing additional hands will increase budget expenses.
CONTENT OF THIS POST
- How to start goat farming in Nigeria
- Goat selection
- Stocking of goats
- Goat diseases and control
- First hand skills to acquire
- Profits in goat farming
- Types of goat to breed in Nigeria
HOW TO START GOAT FARMING
You have to decide on the type of goat farming business you intend to venture into. There most be a reason you want to start goat rearing business in the first place. In other to make good decisions you have to put into consideration what moves market most in your area.
Goat breeding is not that easy it requires standard management, commitment, patience and persistence. Buying and selling of goat is equally lucrative. The most profitable in goat rearing business is meat production and selling of life goat.
- Doe is a female goat
- Wether is a castrated male goat
- Duck is uncastrated male goat
- Kid is a young goat and can be called buckling or doeling depending on the sex.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING GOAT REARING
1. GOAT SELECTION
You have to be properly guided in the choice of goats especually the ones for meat production. Irrespective of the kind of breed you want to use. Most importantly as a starter you have to be careful because any mistake in choosing wrong goats it can mar the business.
Goat selection is a skill you have to master by yourself as you grow in the business. So make sure you purchase healthy goats that does not have defect in other not to introduce defective traits to your herd.
2. OBSERVE THE EYES
It should be clear and bright, tearing and cloddy. Anything other than these means the goat is sick. The only reason you should buy sick goat is if you can treat the disease.
3. CONSIDER THE SKIN
The skin should be smooth and shiny if the skin appears dull check for parasites. A fluffy skin suggests that the goat is not feeling fine. You also need to put the time into consideration because when the weather is cold; goats becomes fluffy in other to keep themselves warm.
Find out their eating ability because a healthy goat eats well and will eat anything at anytime. This is to say healthy goats has strong appetite and can eat anything. With exception to this; goats will refuse to eat when in labour.
Observe how they move their body. The speed of alertness can be noticed from their behavior. If a goat has hunch back or is drowsy, it means the goat has a problem.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT GOAT REARING
- Don’t start your goat business with only one goat, you can start with two or more goats. Keep 2 or 3 goats in one enclosure because they are sociable animals. If you rear one there is the possibility that it will try to run away.
- Do not keep non castrated male and female goat together in the same enclosure every time except for the purpose of procreation.
- Wethers cannot produce milk you have to castrate them. Bucks have to be kept in a separate enclosure because of their strong smell.
- You can start without bucks, just pay another goat farmers with healthy traits to allow you breed your Does with their Buck.
It is very important to fence round your goat farm. There are many materials you can use but concrete fencing is the best. Although it is expensive, it can last longer than other fencing materials like wood etc. In case you are using sticks with barb wire, tie the stick outside the fence because goat will eat the wood.
Goat farmers in the South can cross breed the Northern , Niger or Chad breed with their local breed in other to avoid environmental, adaptation issues and feed selection challenges. Nigeria Dwarf goat can be purchased from the South, East and Western regions. While Sokoto Red breed can be bought from Kano or Taraba.
GOAT BREEDS YOU CAN FIND IN NIGERIA
- West African Dwarf (WAD), it’s the most popular
- West Africa long leg
- Sokoto Red
- Kano brown
- Bornu red
- Bauchi time
- South African goat
- Kalahari red
MATURITY IN GOAT
The Maturity of goat depends on effective management and other factors such as:
- Type of goat
- Environmental factors
- Time of birth and
- The presence of male in the flock
The maturity for reproduction (breeding) is between 7-8 months and can reach 12 months for some breeds. But goat should be ready for meat production at 10 months especially for those into zero grazing goat farming. The gestation period for goat is between 145-150 days.
HERE ARE A LIST OF GOAT BREEDS SUITABLE FOR MEAT, MILK AND FUR PRODUCTION
- Alpine goats
- La Mancha
- Nigerian Dwarf
- African Boar
- Tennessee or Spanish breeds
The commonest goat breed in our environment is the West African Dwarf breeds. This is because they are; hardy and prolific but has a slow growth rate.
Housing is very important because goats need to have a roof under their head especially at night where they can sleep. And for protection against rain and harsh sunlight. Shade should be constructed in the farm for shelter. The pens should include breeding apartment, doe pens and bucks place.
FEEDING IN GOAT FARMING
Goad feeding is equal to good profit. Nutrition will determine your success or failure in goat farming business especially if you are into zero grazing. Grasses alone is not a well planned feeding program. That is why it is necessary to draw out a well planned balanced feeding program.
Experimental feed can kill your goat especially if you give ruminants too much of concentrates. Or too much green grasses which can cause imbalance in their digestive system that may result in diarrhoea.
Goat is picky and behave irrational to food. Each breed exhibit different level of feeding behavior and intelligence. Having this in mind will help you designed a multipurpose feeding system. For a zero grazing farm feeding trough is important. It should not be contaminated with urine, faeces or sand.
TYPES OF FEEDS IN GOAT REARING
1. CASSAVA, YAM AND POTATOES PEEL
Goat is a ruminant that feed on roots and tubers since buying of roots and tubers will increase expenses, it is wise to get peels from flour milling company. Get cassava peel from cassava processing factories. But you have to dry them first to remove the Cyanide content inside before giving them to goats. This is because high concentration of Cyanide is not good for goat’s health.
Even though drying the peel will make it palatable for goat but when there is sand they will refuse to it. To preserve cassava peels and other tubers or roots; grind them with the same grinder use in grinding the main roots in the factory.
And use the same press for it to reduce water; sundry it and store for use. If you don’t want to grind to powder for usage then cut the peel to small pieces so it won’t be wasted before giving your goats to eat.
Also you can heap the peel in one place for about two weeks when you give goats to eat’ they will still like it. But you have to check very well in other not to feed them with peels contaminated with fungus by mould as a result of the heap.
Goats of any breed like mulberry either in dry or wet form. You can slice and dry mulberry for future use. The plant grows rapidly and luxuriantly in Nigeria even though it is not native to us. Mulberry grow from stem so plant it as soon as rain starts at 45*C to the ground in a slanted pattern. This is to ensure that many of the stem buds can grow.
3. BREWERY WASTE
Brewery waste is another good feed for goat. You can get them from any beer production company close to you. It is always in wet form sun dry the feed and make it available for them in powder form. You can mix it with other feed types and serve it to your goats.
4. PALM KERNEL CAKE (PKC)
Palm kernel cake is an important feed ingredient because it is a source of protein and energy to goats. PKC is cheaper than soybeans and maize grain.
5. LUMP OF ROCK SALT
Salt licks or lumps of salt should be hung around goat pens where they can easily reach to lick.
Goats eat back their droppings but you shouldn’t allow them to eat them wet. Sundry the faeces and if possible use pelleting machine to make them into pellets for your goat to eat, it will prevent wastage.
VETERINARY DOCTOR FOR GOAT REARING
It is very important to always consult goat experts and veterinary doctors especially if you are into commercial goat rearing. Veterinary doctor is needed to control stunting and infertility which can happened as a result of water contaminated by Salmnenella.
At the same time you have to get some skills and drugs with you to use for first hand treatment in case of any emergency. Monitoring of goats health is very important in other to handle challenges on time. This is very important for those into goat farming business.
SKILLS TO ACQUIRE
- You should know how to use needle for injection
- The use of drencher for oral drug
- Syringe administration and
- Thermometer usage to be checking goats temperature from time to time.
DRUGS TO KEEP
- Epinephrine for any anaphylactic shock
- Vitamin B. Co.
- Vegetable oil
CARE AND MANAGEMENT
You have to brace yourself for challenges that accompany goat rearing business. One of such is mortality issues. Goat need more attention than sheep especially during raining season. Pay full attention to your goats in other to know when changes set in.
MATING IN GOAT REARING
The heat cycle of a doe is every 21 days. Some goat species bread all year round while others are seasonal. Mating is not every time for doe because they once in a while experience levels of;; ascending, descending and cresting periods. Cresting level is when a doe is very much ready for conception.
Doe has to be in a standing heat position in other for mating/insemination to be successful. Were it doesn’t happened the doe will continue to run from the buck and be flagging her tail. If you have a large herd example 50, leave the buck amongst the doe for 45 days in the breeding pens. This is to make it complete two heat cycles before taking the buck back to their pens. Any doe that misses the first breeding cycle will not escape the second.
Find out the cause of goat sickness and administer exact drugs to them. Always contact a veterinary Doctor for advice,
The first Sign that appears when goat has diarrhea is that their droppings will become watery and smelly. Diarrhea is caused by different factors such as bacteria, worm, virus, a change in diet, poisonous plant and stress. Separate the sick goats from healthy ones; give them fresh food, water activated charcoal and electrolyte solution.
Clean their back legs to prevent flies from infecting or disturbing them. Electrolyte is administered to goats in other to prevent dehydration and to give them energy.
Persistent diarrhea will weaken the animal because they tend to loose energy fast resulting in death. When this happens remove the goat from the feed or you give them electrolyte. But removing them from the feed is ideal then you give them anti diarrhea drugs example ravax.
RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTION
The symptoms for respiratory tract infections are:
- Catarrh and cough
- Milky discharges from the nose
- Loss of appetite
- Refusing to drink water
PROFITS IN GOAT REARING BUSINESS
Assuming you are rearing 50 Does and they gave birth to 80 goats. Let’s say you sell one #20,000 then 20,000 x 80=#1,600,000. The profit will keep increasing every passing year.
Even if you spend #600,000 for expenses including buying of the reared goats. You will be left with #1,000,000 which is very encouraging. You can buy goat of 3-5 months between #8,000-#12,000.
The market for goat is readily available both in the international and local markets. Because buyers are always on ground you won’t have problems with marketing of goats. You may decide to slaughter them and sell the meat directly to consumers by yourself or export the goats for more profits.
WHY YOU SHOULD START GOAT REARING BUSINESS
The demand for goat is higher than that of cattle and sheep. This is because the fat content in goat meat is lower than that of cattle making it to be more preferred.
It is also worthy to note that the number of goat rearers are few when compared to poultry and fish farming. That is the reason why goat business will remain evergreen because the ratio of buyers is more than supplies.
The demand for goat is Huge both in the local and international markets.
It is easy to start goat rearing when compared to other livestock.
The start up capital for goat rearing is less when compared to cattle farming.
Goat farming has reduced labour; meaning you can save cost.
They are prolific in nature, it is possible for goat to produce 6 kids in 2 years because of its high twining rate. It provides a good herd build up meaning more money to goat farmers.
You can do goat rearing business as a part time business. All you need do is to schedule a time plan for feeding and care ofvthw goata.
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