Breeding goats is a very profitable activity. These animals can equally be suppliers of wool, meat and milk. There are even decorative varieties of goats that can beautify any household. Of course, breeding goats at home is associated with certain costs for their maintenance and feeding. But, thanks to the high productivity of these amazing animals, any financial investment will quickly pay off.
How to choose a breed
Breeding goats is beneficial for any farm. For novice farmers, this is a great chance to develop their business from scratch. If you plan to breed animals as a business, then first you need to decide on the breed of goats. In other words, choose the direction in which you will develop your farming.
Currently, domestic goats are divided into four main areas:
- Dairy. This variety includes Swiss goats, for example, Saanen, Alpine, Toggenburg. It is possible to distinguish the Gorky and Russian White breed. Dairy goats have a long lactation period and are capable of producing five to eight liters of milk per day.
- Meat. These include Spanish, Boer, Kiko. These animals are very heavy and gain weight very quickly. It should be recalled that goat meat is not very valuable in our country, therefore, difficulties may arise with the sale of products.
- Woolen. These are Angora and Cashmere breeds. The wool of these animals is of very high quality, therefore it is highly appreciated in enterprises.
- Decorative. This is a Nigerian gnome and a kinder. For novice farmers, this type of interest is not of interest, animals can please the breeder only with a presentable appearance.
Usually goat breeding as a business involves obtaining milk. Therefore, if you are just thinking about purchasing breeding animals, opt for dairy goats.
Conditions of detention
Goats tied to a peg and nibbling grass in the sun: this is exactly the picture you can see in many villages. This is an example of how not to keep animals. Of course, in the warm season, goats spend most of their time on pastures. But when choosing a place for grazing animals, pay attention to the following nuances: the presence of a watering hole and trees, in the shade of which animals can hide from the heat. For winter maintenance, you need to take care of the room.
Goats are completely unpretentious animals. They perfectly adapt to almost any climatic conditions and tolerate winter cold well. Therefore, the requirements for the premises for their maintenance are minimal. At home, this can be an ordinary barn. The main thing is to comply with the following requirements:
- Maintaining the temperature regime. +6 in winter, +18 degrees in summer.
- Ventilation. Not a single self-respecting goat, even if it is a super dairy breed, will ever give good milk yield in a damp room with musty and stale air.
- Free space. Goats are active animals, they are almost always in motion. For animals to feel comfortable, each adult needs at least 4 square meters of area.
Buying breeding animals
Having dealt with the conditions of detention, you can start buying animals for your farm. If you are going to breed dairy goats, then pay attention to the following nuances:
- the animals must look healthy. The coat is smooth, does not hang in tufts. A healthy and adult goat should have 32 teeth;
- do not buy young goats. The highest productivity of lactating goats usually begins after the first lambing. In addition, it makes no sense to take animals over seven years old, at this age productivity usually declines;
- if possible, try to milk your future purchase. This will help you find out the nature of the goat;
- acquiring a goat at the initial stage of business development is not profitable. It is much more profitable to invite a breeding male directly for intercourse;
- ask for all veterinary information and do not forget to inquire about the vaccinations received.
Important! If you buy an adult, milking goat for your farm, it is better to take a veterinarian with you. Some breeders are cunning and offer flawed animals for sale. Consulting an experienced professional will help you avoid an awkward purchase situation.
It is worth mentioning that goats are very companionable animals. Therefore, experienced farmers advise purchasing at least two animals when buying. If you have other pets on your farm, this advice can be disregarded. Goats get along well with sheep, cows and horses. The main thing is that they are not bored.
Given that domestic goats spend most of their time on pasture, their main diet consists of green forage. Animals feed on grass and tree leaves.
As a top dressing, you can use cereals (for example, chopped oats), vegetables and root crops. To increase milk yield, it is recommended to use combined feed.
In winter, goats willingly eat hay. As a source of vitamins, it is necessary to give animals branches of trees and vegetables.
Do not forget to water the animals on time. Each goat consumes about five liters of water per day. In order for your wards to have no health problems, the daily diet must necessarily contain chalk and mineral salt.
Breeding goats and keeping young animals
Goats are very prolific animals. Depending on the breed, each litter can increase your herd by at least one goat. These animals are characterized by multiple pregnancies, so usually two to five babies are born.
Goat puberty begins as early as six months. But it is recommended to cover them at the age of eight or ten months. Bearing a fetus usually lasts 150 days. Lambing at home usually resolves quickly and without complications.
After the appearance of the kids, two options for keeping the young are open to the farmer:
- Immediately after the mother licks the goat, it is placed in a separate pen. It is necessary to feed the baby in the first month of life with mother’s milk, but the farmer has to milk the goat and feed the cub. If goat breeding is considered a business, then this option for keeping young animals looks optimal.
- The goat is kept with its mother. In this case, all the milk will go to feed the offspring. Accordingly, you will not receive any profit in the next two months. But there will be no hassle for keeping and feeding young animals. Goats have a well-developed maternal instinct, they are quite capable of taking care of their offspring on their own.
Which option to choose depends only on you.
No matter how well you take care of your charges, sooner or later you may encounter diseases of goats. It makes no sense to describe each disease separately, so we will give the general symptoms of common ailments:
- depression and fever;
- mucous nasal discharge and diarrhea;
- cough, hot udder, gray gums, swollen eyelids.
If you notice these signs in goats, then you need to urgently call a veterinarian. Do not try to heal animals yourself. Only a specialist can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe medications.
As you can see, breeding goats at home is a responsible occupation, but not too troublesome. Even a novice farmer can keep these amazing animals. Be aware that many large farms began with goats.