Start your Own Goat Business
Goat is a common farm animal. They are categorized as small ruminants that fed on forage, grass, and leaves of shrubs and trees. We see them as a source of income at times of need. Many farmers that can’t raise cows and carabaos have goats since goats have traits that make them ideal for low capital business.
Like any other farm animals, goats have basic needs. They need shelter to shield them from rain and cold nights. Goats can catch pneumonia if not taken care of properly. Organic roofing made of plant leaves like coconut or nipa can be enough for for their goat house roofing. Rural areas with small scale goat farms have this design in which the goats lie down to the ground and their poops can be removed after they sent to the grassland to fed. Large and medium scale farm tend to use wooden raised flooring for goat house. This will facilitate easy cleaning of goat house as the wastes drop down to the spaces between flooring down to the ground. The benefits also includes discouraging theft of goats as the goats are more secured as compared to having poor housing in which the goats can easily taken away. Goats theft has been common in sparsely populated places where goats can easily be transported from one place to another. This has caused many farmings loss in income as the goats they raise for livelihood is gone which in the first place called as “poor man’s cow” since most raisers have small starting capital for such endeavor.
As we all know, goats only eat grass and legumes. They don’t eat feeds everyday like pig or chicken. They are easy to manage as they only need good graze land and water. Having a good graze land is needed as the goat consumes food from these sources to support their growth and nutrition. Supplemental feeds can be given but to a limited ration since the goats have specific digestive affinity to forage and leaves. They have digestive tract designed for the breakdown of food by process of enzymes, gut microorganisms, and digestion which makes goat release methane along with their waste. Goats are a bit picky eaters. They love varying source of grass. During the wet season as they are confined in their goat house, they are given grass cuttings. In order to stimulate appetite, they can be given salt blocks or bamboo salt licks. These salt supplement will give goats minerals they need. Salt licks can be improvised- made of salt and some minerals sealed in bamboo or plastic bottles. There are also cubic salt licks for $2 a kilo and is tied to a rope hanging at the goats reach for them to lick. Reproductive cycle of goats is important to know as these business is not about selling goats, it involves raising them and allowing them to multiply. Goats are good at doing so. That is the reason why our hunter gatherer ancestors started goat farming in our agricultural history. Goats are domesticated in Fertile Crescent at around 10000BC from Bezoar ibexes. Female goat or doe is at puberty when it reaches 4 to 12 months of age. That means a goat can start to reproduce at 4mos of it’s age onward. Heat period last for 12 to 36 hours. Estrous cycle happens at 18 to 25 days interval and pregnancy period is 148 days plus/minus 4 days. The buck is the name referred to a male goat. Male to female ratio is one is to ten for a one year old buck. At age 2, the buck should have male to ratio of one is to twenty five. That means that you can limit your buck compared to the females. The number of offspring is one to three. The number is dependent on genetics as the history of goat line should justify if the doe will be able to give birth to one, two or three kids at a time.
Goats are unique for their playfulness specially the few month old buckling or doeling. They can be quite sociable and go near you. Their horns are sometimes removed, depending on the management practice of the owner. Others prevent the horn buds from shooting out horns by using dehorning techniques. The horns can potentially wound other goats, thus removing them can be beneficial for their own good. Bucks can be competitive, and tries to win more does.
Selling fully grown goats is the deal as the weight will make more earning than selling the young. Goats are sold for meat, milk (if you plan for a dairy goat farm), or breeders. Goat meat are not common at market since the supply is low due to few raisers compared to pig and chicken farms. A crucial aspect of expanding growth of goat farming involves finding ways for a sustainable forage and grass supply. Confined feeding removes parasite infestation. The concept of transporting grass to these farms includes growing napier grass as goat forage.
Goat business is a good thing to start to those that are willing to learn farming. Start with few, and learn to handle and care for them. A successful goat farm depends on the points discussed above and also finding your market for goats. Price of goats vary per region. Market goats based on weight and not per piece.