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How To Start Goat Farming For Beginners

Goat farming business is one of the most popular livestock businesses in Nigeria. Some people rear two or more goats for personal benefit while some rear for business.

Goat farming business involves the raising and rearing of goats on a small or large scale.

Goats are on high demand for their meat, especially their head, in many restaurants. Goat heads are used to make a soup called ‘Isi ewu’.

Goats are one of the major sources of meat in Nigeria. They are used to celebrate many festivals including Christmas, Salah, weddings, birthdays and many other occasions.

Goats are easy to rear and do not require much attention. For small scale farming, they can be reared in a compound, while a large scale farming would require more land space.

This business is definitely one you can do on the side along with your full-time work.

Is Goat Farming Profitable?

Goat farming is a lucrative business and goats are easy to rear. Their meat is widely eaten across the country and is therefore in high demand.

Since goat meat is a highly required commodity, you can’t go wrong with starting your own goat farm.

How Much Goat Farmers Make

Goat farms need little investment to start but the profit, in the end, is much more than the investment.

This profit is gotten from the meat and the milk for meat-producing and milk-producing goat farms respectively.
Profits can also be gotten from their byproducts which includes droppings, skin, hair and bones.

Tips To Set Up A Goat Farm

Your Business Plan:

Planning is very important, especially in the beginning. How much are you intending to pour in the business? Are you going small scale or large scale? (It’s advisable to start with a small scale business if you’re just starting).

What are you rearing the goats for? Meat, milk or both? Have a plan that covers what your farm entails before you begin.

Get Knowledge:

Get the necessary knowledge you need to run your goat farm. Getting knowledge is important so that you don’t fall for little and avoidable mistakes.

Learn how to take care of the goats, their reproduction and gestation period, symptoms of diseases, and how to properly care for them.

Find A Good Land :

The location of the land for the farm must have pasture available or must be close to pasture. The farm must also have enough space to allow the goats roam freely. A spacious farm allows for less possibility of the spread of diseases.

Construct Infrastructures:

Sheds must also be built to keep the goats together when it’s dark, raining or when the sun is harsh. Since goats move in groups, it’s not advisable to separate them in different spaces or sheds.

Other infrastructure like fences to prevent the goats from getting lost and intruders from getting in, constant water supply, lodging house(s) that can accommodate you or your farm workers, should be made available before the arrival of your goats.

Get A Good Breed:

Get a good breed of goats. If you’d be rearing goats for their meat, get a breed that produces more meat and if you’d be rearing for milk, get a breed that produces milk abundantly.

Goat Feed:

Goats feed on pasture. It’s their original choice of food. Therefore, your goat farm must have pasture. You can plant grasses on your land or arrange for a nearby land where it is approved and favourable for your goats to graze.

There are also healthy processed goat feeds you can buy to feed the goats exclusively or along with pasture.

Get A Veterinary Doctor:

Goats need medical check-ups by a Vet doctor once in a while to check and confirm that they’re in good health and to quickly identify sick goats and separate them from healthy ones.

Marketing:

As your goats mature, discover markets and the market prices so that you have an idea of how much they are worth before you take them to the market for sale.

Startup Cost And Requirements

The startup cost must be sufficient to acquire a good land with good pasture, facilities needed for the smooth run of the farm and the purchase of the goats.

Types of Goat Species to Farm in Nigeria

There are several species of goats reared in Nigeria. These species include both local breeds which are resident in the country and adaptable breeds from other countries.

Local breeds include:

1. African dwarf
2. Maradi/Red Sokoto
3. Pygmy
4. Sahelian

Foreign breeds includes:

5. Boer
6. Saanen
7. Nubian
8. Alpine
9. Toggenburg
10. Jamnapari

Which Breed of Goat is Most Profitable?

The most profitable species of goats to rear for meat is the Boer breed. This breed, unlike most breeds, can produce a good amount of meat even at a year old. It weighs about 300 pounds when mature. Australia is the top exporter of Boer meat.

The Saanen breed is the best goat species for milk production. A mature Saanen goat can produce 1-3 gallons of milk in one day.

Challenges of Goat farming Business

Outbreak of Disease:

Diseases are a major challenge for livestock farms, including goat farms. These diseases include brucellosis, coccidiosis and salmonellosis, among others.

Diseases can be prevented by regular vaccination and deworming. Routine checks by veterinary doctors would also limit the spread of diseases. During these checks, weak animals and ones with visible signs of a disease would be separated from the rest

Limited Access to Pasture:

This problem may arise in certain areas where there is low availability of pasture or during certain seasons like the dry season.

This problem can be tackled by growing a pasture in your farm and consistently watering it during the dry season.

Conclusion

Goat farming business is easy to run and needs little attention and labour. Despite its simplicity, this business has good returns. So, you get the ease (as long as you do it right) and good profit.

Chinedu David
Chinedu David is a business consultant with experience in oil & gas, hospitality, IT & telecom, consumer products, business strategy, marketing and distribution. He was the telecom editor for SuccessDigest for over a decade. And founded Mystore, one of the indigenous online marketplace in 2013. Drop a comment below and he will respond to your query. He can also be reached via email: nedu@myblog.com.ng or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 07087770518
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