red skin goat

How to Engage In Profitable Goat Farming

Introduction to Goat Farming

roaming in the yard

A He Goat

Goat farming is gaining more and more grounds in Nigeria and the rest of the world. Due to its economic importance in the area of job creation and poverty alleviation.


They are popular with small holder’s farmers. Because of their efficient conversion of feed into edible, high quality meat, milk, and hide. Goat’s meat accounts for 60% of worldwide meat consumption.


The meat of goat contains low amounts of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. Which makes it a healthier and preferable meat compared to other types of red meat.


Their skins and wool are a veritable sources of raw material for the leather and textile industries. Which makes goat farming a highly profitable enterprise.


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Benefits of Goat Farming

  • Goat meat, milk and its by-products provide the nutritional needs of the human diet. Goat meat, for example, contains low-fat, iron-rich source of protein.


  • Their meat is known as chevon or cabrito, goat accounts for more than 60 percent of the red meat consumed worldwide.


  • Goats can utilizes small space and the feed they consumed are minimal compared to cow.


  • Goat waste is a great source of organic manure which can be used in backyard gardens. And in flower production and for agricultural purposes especially crop production.


  • Commercial goat farming in Nigeria is a good source of employment to many countless households. And can be used as a poverty alleviation mechanism.


  • Due to its smaller fat globules. Goat milk is easier to digest than cow milk and is good for babies, children and adults. Calcium is an important mineral that strengthens bones and teeth.


  • Goats are highly prolific they can kid twice a year and often produce twins or triplets.


  • they provide quality  skins and wool that are widely used in the textile and leather works industries. For the production of shoes, bags belts etc.


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Breeds of Goats Suitable for Nigeria Climate

The breeds to keep depend on your location, because most of them have acclimatized to their environments.


Therefore, the breeds change as you move from the southern part of Nigeria to the northern part of the country.


Experts advise that one should go for breeds that can survive and do well in a given environment. Transferring a breed from one region to another region may make it difficult for it to adapt.


For instance comparing the rain forest of the southern states. And the hot arid region of the northern states such as Sokoto Zamfara Kano and Borno etc.


 IF you are in the north, from Abuja upwards there are good breeds that do well. Such as the Red Sokoto breed and the Sahelian/desert breed. Those breed can do well in Borno, Sokoto and Katsina states.


While for the southern part of the country, especially the rain forest areas. There’s the West African dwarf goat that does very well there and weighs between 20kg and 25kg.


READ ALSO: 8 Solid Ways Goat Farming Can Lift You Out of Poverty


Housing and the Various Methods Used In Rearing Goats

Goats are very hardy animals, but are intolerant to wet or damp conditions. Especially when they are constantly expose to rain, during wet season. Under such circumstances they are stressed. Making them particularly susceptible to pneumonia and other diseases.


In view of this it is pertinent to the farmer to provide quality shelter or housing system. Which will protect the goat from cold, rain, sun and the adverse weather conditions.


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Goat shelter should be able to provide the following for the comfort of the goat and for optimal performance:

  • Good ventilation


  • Dry floor


  • Easy to clean


  • And can easily get dry


  • Free of drafts air.


  • possible a sleeping bench.


  • A rock or hard surface that will serve as an insulator to reduce floor temperature.


  • Wood constructed climbing areas for exercise.


  • Easily accessible to feed and water.


  • To protect the goats from sun rays.


  • Protect the goat from rain, wind, draft air, damp floor.


  • From other predators such as wolves, foxes, coyotes, stray dogs at night and thieves.
 on a heap of hay

Red Goat on a Heap of Hay

The common system employ in rearing goats can be divided into the following:

  • Intensive or zero grazing.


  • Semi intensive.


  • Extensive production systems.

The Intensive or Zero Grazing System

Is a method of raising goat in an enclosed shelter or house. Where water and balance diet feed is provided to the goat in the form of concentrate, hay and silage.


Green vegetation is provided to goats with the help of tractors and other farm implement and machine. They are allowed occasional outside within a well fenced environment for cleanup and disinfection of the shelter and exercise.


Semi-Intensive Systems

Semi-intensive systems usually involve controlled grazing in fenced pastures. Goats are allowed to roam around during most part of the day. And their feed supplemented with concentrate, hay and silage. Usually in the morning before they are let out and in the evening when they return.


Shelter is usually provided for the goats to protect them from predators, bad weather and thieves.


The great advantage of permitting some grazing is that it gives the goat an opportunity to supplement its diet. And to do some selective feeding to overcome dietary deficiencies. It is however, important to avoid heavily used or contaminated areas.


In these systems, extreme care must be taken when tethering goats to prevent strangulation and protect them against predators.


Shade and clean drinking water must always be available. Shelter from rain and sun must be provided. It is essential to change the place of tethering every day. So that fresh vegetation and a variety of plants can be obtained by the goats.

Extensive Production Husbandry Systems

This system of production usually involve larger numbers of animals and a large expense of land. These systems are rarely used with dairy goats. But are common for meat and hair goats in grassland regions of the world.


Extensive husbandry systems usually involve a human herder (Goat herd, Fulani) depending on the country or at least a guard animal such as a dog.


 The herder is usually a young boy or girl whose task is to keep herds separate. And out of cultivated land to avoid farmer’s and harder’s conflict which is rampant in most African countries.


To identify sick animals and ward off predators. Grazing goats remove weeds and deposit manure.


It can damage the vegetation by exposing the soil to erosion and other ecological hazard’s when done excessively.


Health of the Goat

The ultimate success of any livestock farming business. Lies in the health condition of the flock and the management practice employed.


Care and preventive health measures taken are the key to a successful goat enterprise. Unwanted disease can lead to retarded growth, lower productivity and ultimately result in the death of a valuable asset. Thereby leading to serious economic loss.


Moreover, it is more economical to prevent disease than to treat or cure illnesses in other words “prevention is better than cure”.


Approach goats as individuals, be very observant. Be aware and sensitive to any changes in their environment, always be gentle. Animals need sunlight, fresh air and exercise, but also need protection from excessive sun, rain and wind.


Avoid wet and damp environment because they provide breeding ground for pathogens. And micro-organism that breeds various disease that affect goats. Give adequate nutrition balance diets such as energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and water.


Always pay attention to sanitation by cleaning their pens, feeders and water buckets daily. This will go a long way in keeping your herd healthy.


Also provide supportive care when an animal seems unhealthy and separate sick animals from the general herd immediately. Consult a veterinary doctor for prompt medical attention and advice.

having a nap

Goat Relaxing

Management Care and Feeding

Goats require five major classes of nutrients:

  • Water


  • Energy (including fiber)


  • Protein


  • Vitamins and Minerals.

Wet Season ( Raining season)

Pastures can be managed for maximum production during the rainy season. Through rotational grazing, vegetation height maintenance, adjusting livestock density and resting the pasture. It may be necessary to limit browsing during the rainy months.


Shelter your goats during heavy rains and allow them to browse when it is not raining. They can only browse or graze when the environment is dry and conducive.


If the rain persist for a longer period and your goats are unable to browse or graze. Be prepared to take their feed and forage to the goats, to meet their nutritional needs.

breast feeding her young

Breast feeding her young


Dry Season

At the beginning of the dry season. Forage, hay and silage will be plentiful as a result of the harvested farm produce. Farmers are usually advice to store hay in large quantity as much as they could. Stock pile them in barns and stores.


Another suggestion is to plant forage trees like Leucaena or Acacias that will provide feed even during drought.


This is probably the best time for kids to be born and to develop your milking goats. As the season grows longer, there will be fewer bushes and grasses for the animals to browse.


Energy Feeds Barley, oats, corn, rice bran, beet pulp, milo, wheat, wheat bran, nuts and roots (sugar beets, turnip, and sweet cassava).


Protein Feeds Peas, beans, cottonseed cake or meal, soybean meal, linseed meal, coconut, palm nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame, brewer’s grains, alfalfa, clover, Erythrina.


Calcium Feeds Citrus pulp, leaves from leguminous plants and leafy green vegetables.


 Forages: Legumes, Grasses, Forbs, Browse Alfalfa, Guatemala grass, elephant grass, mulberry leaves, corn stalks, root crops (such as sugar beets, turnip and yucca) and Brassicas (kale, rape, and turnip).


Commercial Feeds Concentrates, mineral mixes, supplements. Many farmers grow some or all of their own feed, but sometimes it is more efficient to purchase concentrates or complete rations.



Goat is a highly sort after animal in Nigeria and most part of the world because of its meat, milk, skin etc.


Goats are used as part of bride price items in most Nigeria cultures and society during wedding ceremonies. For traditional worship ceremonies and ritual. This makes goat a well sort after animal in Nigeria, Africa and most part of the world.


They are commonly used during festive period such as Christmas, Muslim ceremonies such ‘Eid-fitre’ and ‘Eid kabir’ and other traditional rites especially in the southern part of Nigeria.


You as a goat farmer can target such festive periods to sale your goats, visits restaurants, pepper soup joints, you can also visit abattoirs, to market your goats to them.


You can also visit various local village market around your locality to sale directly to the consumers or employ the services of middle men.


Most importantly if you invest your resources, both financially and intellectually, your time and energy in the goat farming business. Your return on investment will be great and highly profitable.


We will really appreciate your candid input on goat farming, if you really enjoy this article please kindly share it.


  1. Bitrus Konkyu February 23, 2020
    • Bnet February 24, 2020

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