There are several factors that you should think of before setting up a goat farm.
Goats are ruminant animals with backward-arching hollow horns, short tails and usually straight hair.
They have been and are still providing humans with food like meat, milk, cheese, butter, leather which is known as the Morocco leather and manure.
Goat meat has been proven to have low cholesterol compared to red meat.
Female goats are does and male goats are bucks.
Goats are herding animals, and for their benefit, you as a prospective goat herder should start with at least two animals.
Goats are prolific breeders and can reproduce twice in a year.
A female goat’s pregnancy can last for 4- 5months which is about 145days – 154days and can give birth to 1-4 kids.
Before mating the male and the female goats should be at least 10months and can be milked when goats reach 12 months.
When designing, developing, or purchasing your goat house for your goat farm, it’s important to consider:
- the structural costs,
- functionality and
- the environment.
Fencing and shelter should be primary consideration while feeders, water vessels, and service equipment would be secondary on your goat farm;
Some people that are in goat farm business do not provide shelters for their goats.
They let them find shelter in cedar thickets, under rock ledges or any other suitable shelter which the goats come across.
But your goats will do better and require less feed if they have shelter from rain, wind, and snow in winter.
The success of your goat farm business depends largely on where your goats are kept.
When setting up your goat house, it is paramount that you provide adequate space for a relevant number of goats.
Adequate space is important to minimize infighting among goats.
Most goats are naturally horned.
Many goat farmers remove the horns for safety and ease of management on their goat farm.
Goats with horns can get their heads stuck in feeders or fences and can sometimes injure each other as well as people.
PROTECT YOUR GOAT FARM BUSINESS FROM PREDATORS
Perimeter fencing, often placed around the property boundary, needs to keep the goats in and predators out.
Like sheep, goats are vulnerable to predators such as dogs, foxes, bears, and coyotes.
You need to consider predator risk when restoring old fences and/or designing and building new fences around your goat house.
BREEDING OF YOUR GOATS – GOAT FARM
Goats are generally seasonal breeders, meaning they approach heat (estrus) and breed during the fall as days grow shorter.
The normal breeding season for most goats is august to march, though some breeds and individuals will breed all year long.
If you do not breed your goats at their first heat, they’ll go into heat again (recycle) every 20 to 21 days until bred or they’ll return to anoestrus (their non-breeding state).
YOU SHOULD KNOW THE DIFFERNT TYPES OF GOATS BREEDING
Breeding your goats on your goat farm can be done by inbreeding or line breeding, cross breeding and line crossing.
Inbreeding entails mating of related goats.
Cross breeding is done between two different goat breeds.
Line crossing means the crossing of different blood lines within a breed.
The final outcome of breeding goats eventually depends on you want and the method you choose in achieving it.
Most doe’s gestation period lasts about five months or 150 days. Some goat farmers breed their does once a year.
RASING GOATS FOR MILK
When raising goats for milk in your goat farm business, you should know that a female goat starts mating at the age of seven to nine months and can be milked when it reaches a year.
Goat milk production on your goat farm is seasonal and goats usually lactate for eight to ten months.
During that time, they generate about 750 quarts or 1500 pounds of milk.
About 2000 pounds of milk is considered as adequate production to sustain a viable commercial operation.
In milking your goats, a regular schedule should be established.
Usually, you milk the goats twice a day with a 12 hour interval in a clean environment.
Be aware that when raising goats for milk, if you milk the goats less especially in early lactation, the production milk also decreases.
Make sure to milk the udder completely for continuous milk production.
You have to inspect for any abnormalities before milking