“Facts about Goat Farming”
Demand for products related to goats and goatkeeping itself is an indication about good prospects in goat farming. There are some important facts that you have to keep in mind, while you start goat farming.
You can opt either diary 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 in the farm.
Goat housing is an important aspect in goat farming. Location with low as well as hilly areas that are away from highway and boasts of good irrigation, quality air, tree shades etc is suitable for goat housing. Goat housing must have good height so that goats can stand tall.
There should be good ventilation, sufficient space for feeding, proper drainage system. Housing should give protection against wild animals, weather conditions. Floor space of at least four meter square is required for an 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.
There is need for live stock management to the taking care of goats in various conditions. In the case of does’, special care is required during pregnancy until kidding. Breeder bucks, kids need different care. Management of goats fattening 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 carryout the activities like feeding, cleaning, hair trimming, dehorning, hoof trimming, hair trimming, separation etc. As chances of infection are greater, effective cleaning mechanism is necessary.
Free grazing system is suitable for farms, which are larger, but management of wandering goats is a big task. Letting goats’ to graze during days at controllable space will be good, as it will help them to graze good herbs as well as grass.
Kids will get chance to run around and feel the sun’s heat. The goats feed must contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. Forages, goats’ feeds made from grains along with energy supplements will be useful for keeping goats in a healthy manner. Special feed is required for goats meant for meat as fatty goats fetches 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 necessary. Presence of fulltime veterinarians and regular health checkups is necessary. Relocation of ill will help in prevention of spreading of illness to other goats. Keeping goats is a business with pleasure, as they are lovely animals.
Goat Care and goat breeding
Goat care is a serious responsibility. Goats need companionship. Hence, it is better to keep two goats or have a sociable animal to give a single goat company. Goats need spacious shelters, which is free from dampness and drafts. There should be good ventilation so that the freshness of the air maintained inside the shelter.
Barns with three sides and pitched roof are ideal for all weather condition. Fences for the shelter or the shelter compound should be taller as goats tend to climb. For bedding place, dry straw or dry shavings of wood. Make sure that wild animals or dogs could not get inside the shelter, as those animals can harm goats.
There requires special care regarding the diet of the goats. Goats do not prefer soiled food. Its better to feed goats with forages like browse and hay, grain based feeds as well as nutritional supplements. They are quite sensitive to sudden changes to the diet. Bring changes to the feed program regarding timing of feeding, feeding type as well as feeding amount, in a gradual manner.
Water offered for the goats must be clean and give it in clean containers. On average goats might consume two to five gallon of water everyday and this depends on the breed as well as size of goats. During warm weather, its good to offer water at shorter intervals and during cold weather hot water is advisable.
Access to veterinarian at regular basis will help in detecting any illness or infections. If goats show any changes in their food habits or some other routine, it is better to have checked up. Trim the hoofs of the goats regularly, and medicate it if any infection is there. Put flycatchers inside the shelter, as during warm weather flies tend to disturb goats. Shave the goat during summer if the locality is hotter. Worm the goats using paste wormer at least once a year.
The season stretching from latter part of summer to earlier part of winter is good for goat breeding. There are eighteen to twenty-one estrus cycle for the does’. Goat breeders make use of Natural breeding or artificial insemination.
Does’ become fertile at a very young age of two months. Healthy does and goats of seven months or older can breed and give healthy kids, most of the time twins. It takes five months for a doe to give birth.
Goat cheese making is becoming popular these days as goat cheese has good nutritional value. For Goat cheese making, goat milk, buttermilk, ladle, fresh lemon juice, colander, cheesecloth etc are required.
For making goat cheese, mix all required ingredients well together in the bowl. After pouring it to pan, heat it up to 170 degrees, and then cool it for twelve hours naturally after covering it with plastic wrap.
Drain the cheese mixture-using strainer after placing cheesecloth. Once drained remove the cheesecloth and then store it in container that is airtight. Making goat cheese is possible at homes. Overall Goats are valuable animals. Be its milk or skin or fat or meat or excreta, everything has value.
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