Goat Farming: 5 Areas to watch out for before starting
Goat rearing is common in rural Liberia, especially in Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties. In these regions, people usually raise goats for meat. Interestingly, the demand for goat’s meat is on a steady rise in the urban part of Liberia. This is noticeable per customer request in restaurants around Monrovia and other cities. Additionally, Goat has unbelievable characteristics that make it ideal for income generation and employment purposes. Goat farming does not require a huge investment. The animal survives in many environments including deserts, grasslands, tropical and mountainous areas. Unlike other farm animals, goat requires less care, it grows faster and eats almost anything. The female goat also is very productive, giving birth twice in a year to two or three kids at a time.
In this article, AgriGrind presents five areas for key considerations.
1.Production type/Breed selection
Goat is economically valuable for its skin, wool, milk, and meat. Understanding the purpose you are going into goat farming is key to the farm work you should get ready for. Also, breed selection is relational to production type. There are goat breeds for milk and meat purposes.
Although market location influences farms location in Liberia, the behavior of farm animals should be another factor determining farm location. And this is right with goat farming. Goats prefer company, do your best to have ten or more goats on your farm. Feeding is another factor to consider when selecting the location of your farm since goats get most of their nutrients by grazing. Therefore, make sure that your farm space is enough to grow the grasses and legumes ideal for goats.
As a starter, you may not have all the resources to build a modern goat-fold (goat house). A mud house would be okay for your early goats. What is important is that you know what a goat house should be like and what it should have. A good goat house should be:
• Damp proof
• Well ventilated
• Free from direct wind
• Free from sharp objects that might cut the goat
• Pest and wild animal proof
• Slats on the floor for free fall of droppings
A goat house must have:
• storage for dry feed
• kid pen (young male or female goat)
• Hygiene equipment
Goats maintain themselves by grazing pasture with different grasses and legumes. However, their feeding style changes during the dry season because forage availability is low, and this affects the nutrients needs of goats. During the dry season, farms introduce supplementary food to goats. Supplementary food should have a mixture of cereal and sorghum or rice bran, groundnut, and cassava peelings as energy supplements.
Diseases affect the performance of animals resulting in lower production and financial losses. But with the aid of a veterinarian, one can have healthy goats and earn cash after a trade. Vets help prevent and keep diseases under control on a farm. Partner with the Ministry of Agriculture for possible veterinary services.