6 Basic Guide of Goat Farming for Beginners
Having a goat farming can be a promising business since there will be always the need for goat’s product, such as meat, milk, and coat. To do goat farming, you must prepare and plan many things for your farm. Here we will discuss about 6 basic guide of goat farming for beginners.
1. Check Local Regulations
The first of 6 basic guide of goat farming for beginners is to check local regulations. Check if the local government allow the area for farming goats, especially if you are in urban area. Also checks the limitation and things you must provide to do goat farming in the area.
2. Getting The Goat
Goats are herd and social animals. It will likely try to escape if it is alone. Get at least 2 goats for the start. You also need to decide the sex of goats, whether it is male (bucks) or female (does). If you want to buy both of them, make sure that you separate bucks from does, since it is often aggressive. For the easiest way, you can choose to buy 2 does and breed it with goat from another farm. Purchasing buck usually considered for breeding. If you want to have buck for breeding, make sure of the buck’s traits and breed defects.
You also need to choose the goat breed. First you have to know what product do you want from the goat; milk, meat, or coat. After you decide, choose the right breed that suit your preference. Some breeds that suit for milk production include Nigerian dwarf, la mancha, and alpine goats. For slaughtering breed include Spanish or Tennessee breeds and for coat include angora or cashmere. Find the information about which breed suits the best of your preferences, area, size, and physical and personality traits. Some breeds can be more docile, and others can be prone to certain health problems.
The next thing to consider for getting the goat is the age of the goat. Young goat often called kids, buckling for male and doeling for female. Kids that around 8 weeks old usually cheaper than older productive goats. The advantage to have young goat is that you can make it comfortable around people since the young age so it can grow up as a friendly goat. Getting the young goat requires you 1 to 2 years of care before it can breed, produce milk, or sold as meat. A kid between 6 months to a year old will take less time to mature. An adult goat can be the cheapest option, but make sure of its trait, since the goat farmers usually trying to sell the lowest quality goat in their herd.
3. Plan The Costs
The cost to do goat farming varies depends on many things, such as location, the size of your farm and herd, etc. If you are planning to do goat farming for commercial purposes, you need to plan and calculate your cost and the expected profit. Find the information about goat farming in your area from other goat farmers or internet. Some of the information you need to find out include how much to raise the goat for one year, how much the goat produce milk, how much you can sell the milk, how much the slaughtered goat can be sold, how much you need for the goat needs include foods and shelter, etc. Find out where you can sell your product. You can sell your product to individuals, community, or become a vendor at farmer’s market. You can also consider to open online store for your farm. Keep in mind that a goad farm may not get profit for 2 or more years, especially if you raise the young goat.
4. Build The Farm
The next thing to do is to build your farm, include the shelter and pasture. Goats need at least 10 square feet for the shelter. You can build at least 3 walls shelter if you live in warm climate and more enclosed and draft free shelter if you have cold winter. Place the straw bedding to keep the goat comfortable. Make sure that the shelter can protect your goats from rain, snow, heat, and wind. Build a strong and high enough fence around the pasture so your goat will not be able to escape. You may need to install at least 6 feet high fence so your goat can’t climb to escape. The fence should not only keep the goat in but also to keep the predators out. Your goats will less likely to escape if they have a lot of space, food, shelter, and friend inside. Make sure to build separate pen for buck and doe. Buck can become aggressive when in heat and near female. The buck’s pen must be strong and sturdy to keep your bucks from accessing the doe’s area. It is needed to prevent from unplanned breeding.
Your goats will graze and chew on almost anything so make sure that your pasture is free from harmful and poisonous plants. Some of the poisonous plants for goat include milkweed, delphinium, poppy, daffodil, tomato, rhododendrons, lily, wild cherry, and lilac. Remove the poisonous plant inside and near your pasture. You may also need to remove strong smelling plants, such as onion, cabbage, buttercup, and parsley, since it can add unpleasant taste to the goat’s milk.
5. Provide The Supplies
Shop and store the goat’s food and other things you will need to do goat farming, such as water bucket and grooming tools. Find out about the variety of grain and determine the best one that is nutritious and cost effective. You may also need to give your goat mineral supplements.
6. The Goat Care
After providing all of the goat’s needs in your farm, you can continue to care for the goat. You may need to remove horn in young goat. There are some goat breeds that grow horn, and there are also the one that is hornless. Horn is one of the goat’s defense, it is used to attack other animal or even people. It is better for you to remove the horn to prevent any injuries. You can do it when the goat is 2 weeks old. It can be painful for goat and difficult to do without proper assistance and experience. Ask veterinarian to do it, the veterinarian will administer anesthetization before the procedure. Get vaccinations for your goats to prevent them from getting diseases. Goats should be given the CDT vaccine to protects them from bacteria called Clostridium perfringens and tetanus. You can also give your goat BoSe shot, especially if you are in selenium deficit area. It contains Selenium and Vitamin E that is important for muscle, bone, and reproductive health. The shot usually administered once yearly.