Why Some Farmers Get It Wrong In Goat Farming
Goats play a very important role in the lives of many rural dwellers especially in the developing countries of the world.
They are found in virtually all parts of the world with the exception of just a few places.
Apart from the fact that goat meat supplies the family with a good source of meat and protein.
The meat is soft, tasty, and has an excellent aroma that is endeared by so many individuals and families around the world.
It is also a good source of milk, skin, and fiber to many small, medium, and large-scale industries around the world.
Because of its (goats) astounding qualities and preference so many farmers both small and large scale farmers are going into goat farming.
Government and private organizations are coming up with intervention programs in form of grants or loans to farmers, and poor families especially in rural areas as a poverty reduction program.
Farmers are been given loans to purchase goats or smallholders farmers, especially women are been given goats at least one woman one goats, or per family.
Some states are into this type of program especially in the northern parts of Nigeria and some West African Countries.
Goats can be reared under all types of animal husbandry, from intensive, semi-intensive, and free-range farming methods.
Goats farming over the years has helped so many families around the world in poverty reduction.
And at the same time, so many individuals and families are still struggling to see how to break even in goat farming.
As a result of so many factors, that they are ignorant of which would be discussed considerable on this blog:
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A few days ago I visited a friend who just recently bought some goats precisely from the North-Western States of Nigeria, where the climate is much dryer, and hotter than the rest of the country.
Now the goats are undergoing climate change transition from a dryer, hotter climate to a wet and less dry climate.
Unfortunately for my friend without in-depth research before buying those goats.
He just brought them and dump the goats outside in an open field at the mercy of different weather elements. Ranging from heavy winds, rain, and cold.
All these adverse weather conditions pose a serious health challenge to those goats.
Goats don’t like it when it is wet and cold. They prefer a dry and clean environment free from moisture.
Unfortunately for my friend, those goats start dying one after the other as a result of some illness, and diseases associated with dampness and wetness.
I have to inform him of the need to provide adequate shelter, and a roof over their head to cushion the effects of the adverse weather condition he subjected the goats to and it helps tremendously in arresting the effect of disease among his goats.
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Quality of Feed Given To Goat
Goats, as I mentioned earlier, are raised or can be reared in three basic methods i.e intensive, semi-intensive methods, and free-range, all these methods come with their peculiar challenges or disadvantages.
In most rural settings especially in Africa particularly in the middle belts of Nigeria. During the dry season, goats are allowed to move freely to scavenge and browse for their food at the open field or around the neighborhood.
Within these periods you would see them looking very healthy, robust, and fresh, but once the rains come, that is during the rainy season.
Every farmer is required to confine his goat or restricts their movement because it is time for farming.
And planting crops, goats we all know are very destructive especially if they are allowed to roam freely they would feed on the crops planted.
Most of these goat owners are not prepared and don’t have enough quality feed to give their goats.
This will cause the goats to starts emaciating and become sick due to poor feed and the restricted lifestyle.
When feeding your goats with feed such as maize offal, wheat offal, maize brand, etc.
As a farmer, extreme caution has to be taken to avoid the incidence of mycotoxins in their feed.
These toxins are very dangerous and poisonous, if ingested by these goats it can weaken their immune system, and if care is not taken cause death.
So extreme care must be taken during these periods especially during the rainy season and when they have restricted movement.
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Availability of More Than One Shade
Apart from having a wider space for your goats, it is very important that you provide additional shade or shelter for your goats.
These would give room for the small lambs that are been born to grow to maturity and prevents them from been trampled upon by bigger goats in a stampede.
Especially if you have big herds of goats in their hundreds or thousands. So many farmers used to make the mistakes of mixing them together both old and small thereby given room for unnecessary or avoidably deaths.
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Health and Vaccination
Prevention is always better than cure this saying is quite true in all ramifications.
some farmers always believe that goats are hardy and would hardly come down with sickness or disease, well this assertion may be true, no doubt about it.
At the same time, quite a number of goats diseases are transmissible from one goat to another or can be acquired from their immediate environment and the best way to prevents avoidable death of your goat is to vaccinate them at all times.
And at the right time, contact your veterinary doctor or your local veterinary hospital for a good, and explanatory vaccination schedule for goats so that your goats would be well vaccinated and free as much as possible from diseases.
I guess the sole purpose of raising your goats is to make profits and break even.
And you can’t achieve this feat by doing things wrongly, for you to really break even and make profits with goat farming you need at least a reasonable expanse of land for the goats to thrive and do very well.
Goats love the freedom they don’t like it when their movement is restricted. They are excellent browsers and also graze for their food, by browsing and grazing for their feed they reduce the overhead cost for the farmer.
If you are to rear your goats under an intensive system of farming the following items must be put in place i.e
- Standard shade and roof over their head.
- Provision of highly nutritious feed.
- Availability of water
- The clean and dry environment
- Availability of drugs and veterinary services
It is therefore very important you allow them to graze and browse for their feed and then supplement their feeding in the evening or morning before they leave for the fields.
Feeding them completely in confinement might results in losses at the end of the day, especially if you are the type that is struggling financially or you are a beginner.
Always provide them with quality feed especially if their movement is restricted or confined.