Nowadays goat farming business is considered as one of the best and stable income and employment source. Many people around the world are raising goats commercially as a permanent income and employment opportunity. But goat farming is not a new business venture. Goats have been raising from a long time ago and still now it’s a profitable business and rewarding experience. Starting goat farming business is easy and anyone can start along with his/her current occupation. Although there are lot of things that you have to learn before starting this business, especially if you are a beginner in this business.
So before starting and purchasing goats, try to learn more and read a lots of guides about goat farming for beginners. Try to learn about goat’s breed types, feeding, housing, care, vaccination, health and overall management. And before starting, set up your goal or the purpose of starting your own herd. Generally, most of the people raise goats for the purpose of generating profits and some others raise goats as pets. If you start raising a goat flock, the entire flock will depend on you. So consider carefully, if you can fully manage the flock and are you willing to devote your time for goat’s care and management? However, read step by step guide about goat farming for beginners.
Purpose of Your Business
Goats are suitable for producing a wide variety of products. You can start raising goats for the purpose of producing meat, milk, skin, fiber and manure. In case of commercial milk production, a female goat is considered as a smaller and less expensive version of cow. There are some breeds available that can produce upto 2,000 pounds of milk yearly. For commercial production, a doe must be milked twice a day after kidding. You can use this milk for making butter, cheese, yogurt or directly sell to the customers. Goat milk is very suitable for the people who are allergic to cow’s milk. On the other hand, some people raise goats for the purpose of producing meat. Goat meat has a great demand and price throughout the world.
There are hardly any markets where goat meat is not available. Nowadays the meat of free-range or organic diet goats have a huge demand and it’s continuously increasing. Both milk and meat producing goats produce high quality skins and their skins have high value. There are also some goat breeds available which are famous for fiber production. So before planning for starting goat farming business, consider the purpose of your business, whether you want to produce meat, milk or other goat products.
After determining the purpose of your goat farming business, choose proper goat breeds which are suitable for your production. For a specific production type, certain breeds are ideal. While choosing breeds, always try to select those which are very productive and grow well in your local weather. Also consider your local demands. Try to visit some farms in your area and observe what type of goats they are raising. For commercial milk production you can choose some world famous dairy goat breeds such as Alpine, Jamunapari, LaMancha, Nubian and Saanen goats. All these are considered as best dairy goats and they produce milk highly, although the quality and quantity of milk will differ between breeds. Boer, Spanish, Kiko, Black Bengal, Beetal etc. are some highly producing meat goat breeds. All this breeds are suitable for farming throughout the world and produce meat highly.
Body weight and meat production vary depending on breeds. There are some goats available which are suitable for fur production, such as Angora goats are very suitable for profitable fur production. Some people also want to raise some goats as pets and for this purpose small Pygmy or Dwarf goats are ideal. However, always try to buy healthy and productive breeds. It will be better if you can visit some farms before purchasing goats for your business.
Housing play a very important role in goat farming business. Good housing with all types of required facilities available, directly influence the overall production and health of your goats. Usually each adult goat require about 16 square feet of housing area. You also need to make a separate room for doe who has just kidded (give birth of kids). Because the kids must be kept in a dry and clean area until they reach 14 weeks of age. The housing structures also have to be suitable enough for protecting your goats from the elements, providing shade from the sun, keeping out the snow, blocking the cold wind and rain. You can make a thin layer of bedding using straw or wood shavings. This will help the goats for keeping them warm throughout the winter season. Remove the bedding in the spring. Be very careful about the kid’s bedding, it must be kept dry and clean always. Ensure good ventilation system inside the house and sufficient flow of fresh air and light. Goats are foraging animals. They can go far searching foods. They can jump quite high, so large fence over 4 feet high is must in the pasture. Make the fence suitable enough for preventing harmful predators, such as coyotes or dogs. Although dogs sometime work as a guard. A well trained guard dog can help your goats from other predators.
Goats eat almost all types of food whatever they find edible in front of them. Although they have their preference. But you must have to prevent your goats from becoming picky. Feed them a weedy but leafy hay with clover, brush and dandelions. For preventing messes, you can keep the hay in a manger. Your goats will require less grain if you feed them higher quality hay. Never feed your goats excessive grains. Because too much grain can cause various types of health problems. Usually a pregnant doe will need about a pound of grains each day. Add a mineral block or vitamin with your goat’s regular diet. Along with nutritious feeding, provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water daily according to their demand.
Always be conscious about your goat’s health and take good care of them along with providing good housing and nutritious feeding. Vaccinate your goats yearly on a regular basis for preventing various types of diseases and health issues. Your adult goats will require yearly vaccines for enterotoxemia and tetanus. They must be wormed and give them tick and lice prevention during every fall and spring. Perform regular hoof trimmings for preventing all types of foot injuries. As a beginner goat farmer, you always have to be conscious about your goat’s health. Always keep the contact numbers of your nearest vet, so that you can immediately call him/her in case of any emergency. Also try to learn about castrating males, debudding horns and slaughtering the goats for meat (learning these will save some money, but not a must). If you plan for raising goats for milk production, sell the male kids to your local farms. And in case of meat producing purpose, castrate the male kids timely and you can sell the female kids. Always keep a record of your farm activities, including birth dates, breeding dates, vaccination or medication dates, feeding costs, milk or meat output etc. Thus you can make your goat farming business more profitable.
We think you will like this guide about goat farming for beginners. Let us know if we have missed anything to include here. And you are requested to share your experience with us. And don’t hesitate to ask anything related to goat farming business. Thanks!