Goat farming in Nigeria is a good agricultural business, they are less expensive than cattle to maintain. Goat farming can bring you lots of money if you know your markets very well.
They are highly strong resistant animals that can withstand any climate. Since they are ruminants like cattle, the feed mostly on roughages examples are grasses, brouse plant, and fodder plants. A full market size goat can be sold from N20,000 and above. This, however, depends on your location and festive seasons. Goat can produce twin or triplets twice a year which is good for business.
Goats are mainly reared for its meat, milk and hide and skin. The milk from the goat is the richest of all milk produced. Breeds of goat include; sokoto red, bornu red, west African long legged goat, West African dwarf goat, Bantu, anglo-nubian, Alphine, Kano Brown, Bauchi type, Togenburg, Nubian, Boer, Anglo, Nnadi, East African small goat, Angora etc.
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Common terms used in goat farming
Buck (Billy) – Adult male goat
Doe (Nanny) – Adult female goat
Wether – A castrated male goat
Chevon – Meat of goat
Benefits of goat farming in Nigeria
- For meat production;
- For skin production
- For milk production
- For employment and income generation
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Factors to consider before starting
The Management of goat
Management is very important. The management of goat from breeding to market weight or size is grouped into three phases these are;
- Breeding to kidding; Buck and doe are meant for breeding, they are kept in a building which is well ventilated. The buck and doe should be at least 12 months of age before they are used for breeding. Seven to 10 days before mating, the doe should be given a high plane of nutrition in order to increase the number of eggs ovulated, and consequently, increase the number of kids to be given birth to.
- Kidding to weaning; When the kid is born the mucus membrane should is wiped off from their nose to enhance normal breathing and prevent suffocation. The navel cord which can break off on its own is dipped into iodine solution to prevent infection and promote fast healing. The kids where possible should be helped to suck colostrum produced from the doe for the first three days after birth.
- Weaning to finishing; The kids are weaned and separated from the doe about eight weeks of age. They are kept in the growing house from where they can go out to browse and graze on grasses and legumes. With housing, feeding and proper healthcare, the goat will be matured for the market.
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System of Rearing
You need to decide on the rearing system; they are three major systems
- Extensive system: Under this system, the goat is allowed to roam about in search of pasture and water. A goat can thrive on any edible material and browses even in extreme condition of drought and rain.
- Semi-intensive system: Under this system, goats are provided with the house which protects them against adverse weather conditions like heat, cold, rain etc.
- Intensive System: Under this system, goats are confined within the stall in a building with limited access to grazing. Grasses, water, medications are supplied daily to the goats.
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If you want a healthy goat, you need to give it quality feed, goat like cattle mainly feed on roughages that is grasses, bruise plants and fodder plants.
Health Care and sanitation
Proper routine measures should be done for the healthy living of the goats. The stalls and pens of the goat should be cleaned regularly.
Other things to note
Common diseases: anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis, rinderpest and red water fever. Drugs and vaccine should be administered at the appropriate time to prevent the outbreak of these diseases.
Employ Assistants: Goat farming in a large scale cannot be looked by one person alone, employ people to help in the management.
Always Visit a specialist: In the event of the cattle being sick, a veterinary doctor can help
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