It is very important to learn about goat farming basics for every producers who wants to start goat farming business in family or business level. Although goat farming is very easy and simple. But for commercial and profitable production they need to have some extra care and management. And those extra care and management will be very easy, simple and enjoyable for you, if you know the goat farming basics. Goats require minimum than other livestock like cattle or sheep. Generally goats are raised for milk, meat, hair/fiber or just for show. Whatever the rearing is, they must have to be kept healthy, productive and safe from predators and other harmful animals.
For healthy and productive management they require a suitable and adequate land for browsing, shelter to keep them safe in bad weather, shade, good housing system for staying at night, fencing the field, fresh and clean water source, regular nutritious food management and most importantly regular veterinary care. Some harmful animals for goats like dog-proof fencing is also very important. However, I have tried to describe the goat farming basics here that includes choosing proper breeds, feeding, milking, sheltering, herding, veterinary care, records keeping etc.
Choosing the proper goat breeds for your farm depends on your desired production (the products you want to produce from your farm). You can choose meat goats if you want to produce only meat goats form your farm. Boer, Beetal etc. are meat productive goat breeds. For the purpose of producing milk you can select Alpine, Anglo Nubians or Jamunapari goat breeds. Angora goats are very suitable for hair/fiber production. And Pygmy goats are generally raised as show animals. You should choose goat breeds according to your desired production and available local facilities for goat farming.
Goats are ruminants. The eat almost everything whatever they find eatable in front of them. Their digestive systems are very suitable for processing plant matter easily. Even, they can also consume and digest unpalatable vegetation like thistles and nettles. Goats generally like weeds and leaves to eat from the top down. This type of top down eating is simply known as browsing. And the eating style of cattle and sheep is known as grazing. The browsing habit of goats is very helpful for keeping them free from ingesting parasitic worms and insects. Along with browsing, goats also require special types of nutrition ingredients. Always be very careful about the presence of nutritional ingredients in their regular food. Try to make variants in their food. And always serve them sufficient clean and fresh water daily according to their demands.
A good house or shelter keeps the goat safe. They can take place inside the shelter while it is heavy rain outside. You can also make a shade for taking rest. In family production you don’t have to make a dedicated house for your goats. You can easily keep your goats with your other farm animals, like sheep or cattle. But for commercial purpose, separate housing system is a must. While making house for your goats, ensure sufficient flow of air and light inside their house.
Fencing is very essential for goat farming. A good fencing can protect your animals from other harmful animals. And also discourage the goats for going outside the farm area. General or electric wire is very suitable for fencing your land.
Nowadays, most of the modern goat producer are using artificial insemination for breeding purpose. And it is more effective than natural breeding. While purchasing goat breeds form another farm or breeders, check their breeding records and choose a healthy one.
Before starting goat farming business, be sure that all types of veterinary care and services are available in your local area. During pre or post production period your goats may get infected by various types of diseases. If you have proper veterinary care and service in your area then you can easily face those diseases and keep your animals healthy.
Always keep a record of your farm activities. Keep records of total cost and profit by selling the farm products. This will help you determining whether your farming business is profitable enough or not.
Those are the goat farming basics. Nothing is perfect. So, along with those factors, try to meet many goat producers. Because nothing can bit the real user experience. Good luck!