Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Farming (FAQs)

FAQ’s on Goat Farming / Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Farming

Many people are requesting about Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Farming Buisness. We tried to make as accuare as possible.

  1. How can one start a goat farming business?

To have a successful goat farming business one can follow the below steps:

  • Choosing the breeds wisely by researching the local market and the quality of each breed.
  • Getting a proper training on livestock rearing practices to gain knowledge about different techniques.
  • Furnish the newly built farm with necessary things and equipment like water troughs, feeing baskets, medicines etc.
  • Provide a comfortable house or shelter for the goats in the farm.
  • Create a pasture in the farming area to reduce the cost of feed and also to improve the health of the goats.
  • Initially buy one buck (male goat) and few does (female goats).
  • Breed the does with care and provide the bucks with proper feed and nutrition.
  • Supply fresh food and clean water to the goats in the farm.
  • Always consult a vet when in doubt or if the infection in the goats is severe.
  • Analyze the market trend and proceed accordingly while selling the goat of its products.
  • Keep a check on the income from the farm and the expenditure to estimate the future business profits.
Starting a Goat Farm Business.
Starting a Goat Farm Business.
  1. Why are goats on farms and what is goat farming business?

Raising and breeding of goats as a part of animal husbandry practices is considered as a goat farming business. These are farmed mainly for their meat, milk, fibre, and skin. The main advantage of raising goats in farms is due to the fact that they consume the sub-quality grazing matter, which is undesirable for other livestock animals and convert them efficiently into a good quality lean meat. Also, goats on farms need limited resources when compared to other animals.

  1. How many acres of land are required for each goat or how much space do goats need?

If the land quality is low, then the no. of goats to be raised per acre of land would be around 2 to 4. Else if the land is a good pasture, then 6 to 8 goats can be raised comfortably in 1 acre. Unlike the free range goats, the ones that are raised indoors need 20 sq. ft of area per goat. Each adult goat may need 4 to 5 ft kidding pen area within the shelter.

  1. How can one raise goats in the backyard?

Raising Goats In Backayrds.
Raising Goats In Backayrds.

Raising goats in the backyard should keep the owner and the neighbour free from problems. To have a successful goat farm in the backyard the following should be done:

  • Check with the rules and laws of the country to find if goat farming is allowed in the backyard.
  • It is not possible to have just one goat, this may cause unhappiness to the animal and it can create frequent loud noise by constant bleating.
  • Keeping goats in the backyard needs extra care and responsibility to keep them healthy and productive.
  • The breed of goat should be chosen depending upon available resources and breeding practices.
  • There should be enough space in the backyard for grazing and free movement of the animals.
  • Apart from free grazing space, a shelter is also required to keep the goats protected from heat, cold and rain.
  • There should be availability of fresh, clean and adequate water and feed.
  • There should be a availability of a milking stand with a stanchion.
  • Proper fencing is an essential component, while raising goats in the backyard.
  • There should be no frequent change of place once the goats are raised in the backyard, otherwise it has a bad effect on their behavior.
  1. What kind of shelter does a goat need?

Goats do not need elaborate arrangements for their shelter; just basic housing facilities are enough. Goats are fine with a dry climate, but need protection during winter and rain. The orientation of the farm should be such that it should face the southern direction to facilitate a warm atmosphere in the farm during winter. The shelter for each group of goats is different.

Does and kids the minimum back eave height should be around 4 to 6 ft and the front eave height should be around 6 to 8 ft. The floor could be possibly made of clay and concrete. The shelter should be fenced properly.

Pygmy goats or dwarf goats need small shelters such as 8 to 10 sq ft for each goat.

Shelter for dairy goats need some extra facilities like proper cleaning and sanitation, disinfection, good ventilation, etc. The space and other requirements remain same as other goats. It is important to note that the shelter for goats should not be made with wooden flooring and should never be enclosed, otherwise the smell from the soiled bedding would get trapped in the wood and would make the shelter an uncomfortable place to breathe.

  1. What should goats eat and what grains should be given to goats?

Typically, feed for the goat depends on how they are being raised. If the goats are not foragers, then they need hay and it is considered the main part of a goat’s diet. Other feed materials include Chaffhaye, grains, weeds, dried fruits, veggies, etc. Some supplemental feed for the goats are loose minerals, baking soda, beet pulp, black oil sunflower seeds, kelp meal, apple cider vinegar etc.

Grains provide protein, vitamins and minerals to the goat. There are different types of grains available as a feed for the goats such as whole grain (unprocessed), pelleted grain (milled grains mixed with a binding agent), rolled grain (it is similar to whole grain but looks flat), textured grain (contains mix of other ingredients to enhance nutrition).

Apart from the above feed, there are some food items which should not be given to the goats and they are avocado, azaleas, chocolate, plants with oxalates like kale, nightshade vegetables, holy bushes, lilacs, lily of the valley, milkweed, wild cherries, and rhubarb leaves, etc..

Feeding Goats with Hay.
Feeding Goats with Hay.
  1. How much grain should be given to a goat in one day?

Too much grain in the goat’s diet may kill it, so it is important to measure the grain feed and provide it with the right quantity. Adult goats should not be given more than 1½ pounds of grain per day. The baby goats will need even lesser grains a day, approximately around ½ cup each day.

  1. Is it possible to have just one goat or can goats live alone?

When left alone goat get bored and become noisy, therefore it is never a good idea to have a single goat in the farm. It is advisable to start a farm with minimum two goats say a buck and a doe or two does and a buck. The goat is a social, curious and gentle animal which needs a companion to live and survive.

  1. How much does it cost to maintain a goat?

Raising goats in India is estimated to cost around 5 to 8 lakh rupees and this largely depends on the type of goat, its feed, housing and other management provisions. Also the no. of goats being farmed is an important factor to determine the investment structure. Detailed information about the cost and profits associated with goat farming business can be known from Goat Farming Project Report.

  1. How long can goats survive without food?

It has been observed that goats can survive without water for three days and without food for three weeks. It is also equally important to know that once the goat dehydrates, then it is very difficult to get back to the normal situation because its kidneys almost shut down.

  1. Do goats need water and how much water is required in a day?

Goats need adequate and appropriate water based on their age, production stage and the weather of the location. When raising goats in farms, it is advisable to provide automatic waterers or large sized containers that can hold sufficient water for the goats on the farm. The general requirement of water for goats ranges from 4 to 5 litres each day. This may increase up to 10 litres when the goats are lactating. It is estimated that to produce 0.5 litres of milk, a goat requires approximately 1 litre of water. Availability of clean water is highly important for recently weaned kids and lactating does. It should be noted that goats when feed on green material get sufficient water from the plants, but goats that are fed with dry materials need to be supplied with additional water to meet the daily requirement.

  1. Do I have to milk the goats each day?

Two months after giving birth to a baby goat, milk production in goats is at its peak and during this time they can be milked every 12 hours. It should be noted that milking the goats should be never stopped suddenly. Instead, it should be slowly decreased.

  1. How much milk is produced from a goat in a day?

Milking a Goat.
Milking a Goat.

The total amount of milk produced by a goat in a day is around 2 litres and is about 57 litres a month. When the baby goats have become 8 weeks old, then the milk production is at its peak. The production of milk largely depends on the type of breed.

  1. What are some best goat breeds in India?

There are different goat breeds available in India, but the best breeds for commercial goat farming business are Jamunapari, Boer, Black Bengal, Beetal, Saanen etc. Each breed has its own properties and has different production capacity.

  1. How much does a goat cost?

Each breed has a different cost, but the average price of a goat is around Rs 25K to 50K. Some goats are also sold on the basis of kilograms and then it may be charged around Rs 500- 850 per kg.

  1. What are some of the difficulties of goat farming in India?

Farmers in India face many problems related to goat farming business in India and some of them are outlined here:

  • Lack of knowledge about successful goat farming business
  • Difficulty in transport due to absence of specially designed vehicles
  • Improper choice of breeds
  • Improper management of the beginners results in high mortality rate
  • Delay in vaccination due to non-availability of medicines
  • No encouraging results because goats can’t be sold at the proper price
  • Lack of capital for starting a goat farming business
  1. What is the feed schedule of goats or how many times in a day should baby goats be fed?

Dairy goats should be fed hay or pasture freely and concentrates should be fed during milking time once in a day. For all the other goats concentrates are fed only once. Baby goats when hand-raised should have the following routine:

  • 5 times a day if the kids are 3 to 4 days old
  • 3 to 5 times a day if the kids are 3 days to 3 weeks old
  • Twice a day if the kids are 3 to 6 weeks old
Feeding Goat Kid with Concentrates.
Feeding Goat Kid with Concentrates.
  1. What diseases can one catch from the goats?

Diseases that can be transferred from goats to human beings are Leptospirosis, Cryptosporidia, Q fever, psittacosis, contagious echthyma, rabies, E coli, salmonellosis and ring worms.

  1. How can one know if a goat is dehydrated?

Dehydration is a serious health problem occurring in goats, which is quite fatal. In general dehydration means that the body is not able to replenish the loss of fluids from the body. The symptoms of dehydration in goats can be found out by noticing its physical attributes like skin (smoothing of skin is slow), weight (sudden weight loss may occur), eyes (become dull), nose (looks and feels dry), gums (turn pale pink from rosy pink colour), urination (dehydrated goats do not urinate) and finally through a blood test.

  1. What are some of the common diseases in goats?

There are a variety of diseases occurring in goats depending on the location, breed and management techniques. Some common diseases observed in goats are abortion, acetonemia, anaemia, Rinderpest, anorexia, arthiritis, anthrax, bronchitis, brucellosis, big-head, bloat, cystitis, E coli, contagious echthyma, eye conditions, dysentery, heat stress, goat pox, hoof trimming, and indigestion, etc..

  1. What is overeating disease in goats and what are its symptoms?

This is often termed as Enterotoxaemia and is caused by two strains of bacteria called the Clostridium (C) and perfringens (D). The bacteria are present in low numbers in the small and large intestine of the goats. It gets triggered when there is a change in the diet of the goat. Normally, increased consumption of grain, protein supplements, milk and grass together produce high starch content and reach the intestine where the low lying bacteria grow explosively and release toxins causing illness in the goats. Proper vaccination can prevent this disease. Otherwise, if the disease has already occurred, then consulting a vet and administering proper medicine is highly necessary.

Some symptoms of the disease are:

  • Going off the feed and becoming lethargic.
  • The goats start kicking their stomach, indicating pain or they start crying out.
  • Diarrhoea with blood in the stool.
  • Weakness in the legs, head and neck.
  • Direct death in some cases.
  1. What causes listeria in goats?

It is caused by the bacteria listeria monocytogenes that is present in soil, water, plant litter, silage and goat’s digestive track. Sudden changes in the goat feed, dramatic changes in the weather conditions, pregnancy or feeding silage can be the main reasons of this disease. It can be noticed by the following symptoms such as depression, low appetite, fever, stumbling, head pulled to flank with rigid neck, facial paralysis, slack jaw and drooling.   Administering a proper medicine every 6 hours for 3 to 5 days and every day for 7 days in addition can completely cure the goats of the disease.

  1. What causes bloat in goats?

Digestive fermentation in the rumen causes gas, which is expelled out as the goat belches. Sometimes when the gas is trapped in the rumen bloat occurs and becomes life threatening in goats. There could be a possibility of different types of bloat like the frothy bloat, dry bloat and choke. It should be noted that any type of bloat causes the left flank of the goat to bulge and sounds like a kettle drum when tapped. Bloat in goats is often accompanied by pain such as grinding teeth, depression, striking their legs, etc. if the condition is severe then the goat may face respiratory failure. The first step to control the problem is to stop feeding the goat with water or food for about 12 hours and consult a vet if the problem gets unmanageable.

  1. At what age should goats be vaccinated?

Should I get Vaccine?
Should I get Vaccine?

Every disease in a goat has to be prevented using different vaccinations and during different stages of growth. The vaccination schedule for goats is as such:

  • Anthrax – 6 months age of lamb given once annually.
  • Haemorrhagic septicaemia – at the age of 6 months, given just before monsoon
  • Enterotoxaemia – 4 month kids and 1 week old lamb are both vaccinated just before monsoon and a booster dose is given after 15 days.
  • Black quarter – 6 months old lamb is vaccinated once in a year.
  • P.R – lambs 3 months old or above can be vaccinated once in three years.
  • Foot and mouth disease – lambs of 4 months age or above are administered this vaccine twice in a year mostly during September and March.
  • Goat pox – lambs of 4 months age are vaccinated in December each year.
  • C.P.P – lambs that are 3 months old or above are vaccinated once annually during January.
  1. At what age should goats be wormed and what are the symptoms of worms in goats?

Young goats or kids are more susceptible to parasitic infections like tapeworms. Vaccination should be given to the kids at the age of 8 weeks and should be repeated every 4 to 8 weeks until the kid has grown to the age of one year. The symptoms of worms in goats are pale gums, pale lower eyelids, diarrhea, rough hair coat, slow growth with indications of anemia, etc. 2 or 4 weeks before kidding, does should be wormed so as to control the transfer of disease to the kids. The normal frequency of deworming the goats is 4 to 6 times a year. The farmer should check for the symptoms during any sudden change in the behaviour of animals and worm them accordingly. Under-dose of wormers may create resistance against the drug, so the proper amount of wormers should be given in full doses.

  1. How and why do you disbud a goat and what is the age for disbudding?

Disbudding, also known as dehorning is the method of removing the horns from a goat. Horns of a goat provide cooling effect during summer, act as added defense equipment against various predators and also help the goat access different parts of the body during an itch. Other than these positive uses, the goats use their horns to fight in the herd and seriously injure each other. So if the behaviour of the goats is closely observed, the farmer can decide whether or not to disbud a goat and this can be done using simple tools. Generally, dairy goats that are 1 month old are treated with a hot iron to disbud their horns. Disbudding should be done when the kid is 4 to 10 days old. The minimum time required to disbud a small kid is around 15 to 20 sec with a low-watt iron. The tip of the tool should have a diameter of 3/4″ to 1″ for perfect disbudding. Each time the horn grows, disbudding is carried out (frequency is 2 to 3 months).

  1. What is coccidiosis in goats and what are its symptoms & treatment measures?

Coccidiosis is a protozoan that causes diarrhoea in young goats. This is one such disease that can spread to human beings if proper sanitary measures are not followed. Some symptoms of the problem are diarrhoea with or without mucous or blood, dehydration, emaciation, weakness, anorexia and ultimately death. Consulting a vet and administering proper dose of medicines can help control the problem.

  1. What are scours or in goats and what are its symptoms?

Bacteria in any form causes imbalance of the goat’s digestion process and leads to scours or commonly called as diarrhoea. Scours in goats may occur due to many reasons such as:

  • Parasites
  • Coccidiosis
  • Change in diet (lush, grain, hay, baby goat switching to other milk and food types)
  • Stress
  1. How can scours be treated in goats?

To prevent the occurrence of scours in goats the following treatment measures can be followed:

  • Providing clean and fresh drinking water to prevent dehydration.
  • Providing electrolytes to support hydration and optimal fluid balance in scouring goats.
  • Isolating the suffering goats from the rest to check the spread of disease.
  • Cleaning the bed of the goat several times a day to control flies.
  • Introducing probiotics to help develop good bacteria and balance rumen in the goat’s stomach.
  • Providing baking soda to balance the fermentation of grasses and acids in the digestive system of the goat.
  • Provide only grass hay and cut the supply of grains from the diet for a few days.
  • Consult a vet if the problem persists and get the stool sample of the goat tested if necessary.
  1. Can goats die from stress and why do goats experience stress?

Stress is a major threat in goats during which adrenaline and cortisol increase in the body, forcing it to take some emergency action. Stress is caused in goats due to the following such as:

  • Improper diet
  • No proper housing facilities or space
  • Too extreme temperatures
  • No protection from wind and rain
  • No exercise
  • Boredom
  • Too much noise
  • Low nutrition availability
  • Transport from one place to another
  1. Can goats vomit and why?

Azaleas plants contain a toxin called grayanotoxin. Even 0.1% of the fresh foliage ingested into the goat’s body can make the animal sick. This ingested Azaleas cause stomach pain and bloating in the goats and becomes highly toxic for them. This toxicity is often accompanied by vomiting, heart problem, neurologic disorder and rhythmic disturbances and ultimately results in death. So, the answer is yes, goats vomit when there is toxicity builds up in their body.

  1. What plants are toxic to goats?

Not all plants in the pasture are useful to the goats. There are some plants which could be poisonous and eating them could be dangerous for the goats. Such toxic plants are:

  • Weeds like bracken fern, buttercup, milkweed, foxglove, lantana, locoweed, poke weed, spurge, water hemlock and poison hemlock.
  • Trees like yew, cherry, elderberry, plum and ponderosa pine.
  • Cultivated plants like azalea, kale, oleander, poppy, potato, rhubarb, and rhododendron.
  1. What are the benefits of raising goats?

Some amazing benefits of farming goats are:

  • It is a multipurpose animal.
  • Needs fewer facilities for housing and management.
  • Easy to handle.
  • Can be mixed with other farming systems.
  • Cheaper to maintain and easily available.
  • Adapt well to agro-climatic conditions.
  • Goats are tolerant to extreme conditions.
  • Suffer fewer ailments when compared to other livestock.
  • Production is higher per unit investment.
  • Have younger slaughter age.
  • Meat has less fat and is in much demand round the world.
  • Milk of goat is considered extremely nutritious.
  • Skin of goat also finds use in many articles.
  • Manure from the goat is a rich organic fertilizer for the plants.
  1. What are the alternate products obtained from goats?

The general by-products of goats that occur to a human mind are chevon, milk and fibre, but there are few other useful products that can be made from goats such as:

  • Goat milk soap
  • Goat milk paint
  • Leather
  • Goat hides for drum making
  • Horns for making walking sticks
  • Candles
  • Beer
  • Fibre is used for making cashmere
  • Garden tea
  1. How often do goats breed a year and what is the age of doe for reproduction?

Goat Breeding.
Goat Breeding.

Generally the period between one heat cycle to the next is often referred to as the estrous cycle in goats and this probably occurs every 18 to 24 days. The female goat or doe reaches puberty at the age of 4 to 12 months and is ready for breeding when it attains a body weight of 60 to 70% of the average adult goat weight.

  1. How long is a goat’s lactation period and gestation period?

The average gestation period ranges from 145 to 155 days in goats and the lactation period for dairy goats on an average is around 284 days and this period occurs 4 to 6 weeks after kidding.

  1. What is the breeding season for goats?

Season for breeding goats depends largely on the location of the farm. It is observed that tropical goats are unaffected by the seasonal change, but in the northern hemisphere breeding season ranges from August to January.

  1. How many babies do goats have at once?

On an average, a goat can deliver two kids at a time and this is considered perfectly normal. A farmer before rearing a goat should be aware of the characteristics of the breed and prepare beforehand for 1 to 3 kids per goat.

  1. How can one milk a goat?

For proper milking of a goat, a farmer may need a milk stand, steel bucket, udder washing supplies, teat sanitizing supplies, strainer and milk filters and jars for milk storage. To hand-milk a goat, the following steps could be useful:

  • Secure the goat on the milk stand with a stanchion and give the goat some grain to eat.
  • Cleaning hands before milking is highly important.
  • Cleaning the udder with warm water and soap and drying them with a clean paper towel is necessary.
  • Use fingers and thumb to squeeze milk out of the teat and collect it into the container or cup.
  • Massage the back and bottom of the udder and gently bump it with the fist to encourage further let-down.
  • Filter the milk into a clean vessel or jar.
  • Treat the tips of the teat with a sanitizer.
  • Bring back the goat to the farm or its shelter.
  • Clean all the equipment used for milking and properly sanitize them.
  1. When can a baby goat leave its mother?

Baby Goats with Mother.
Baby Goats with Mother.

When a goat raises its kid, then it will nurse the kid for about 6 to 8 weeks of age and after this it is time to stop the baby being raised by its mother. The initial days are given to the mother to raise its kid, so that it can feed the baby with milk called the colostrum, which is a high source of nutrients and provides immunity to the newborn kid.

  1. What is the price of goat milk and meat in India?

The average price of goat milk in India is around Rs 150 per liter, but some variety of breeds are expected to give quality milk, which helps in the treatment of various diseases in humans and such milk costs around Rs 400 per liter.

Meat of the goat costs around Rs 180-500 per kg and this largely depends on the type of goat one selects.

  1. What do you feed baby goats when weaning?

The weaning age of most kids is at the age of 60 to 90 days. Kids are allowed to eat from the creep feeder for a few days after weaning. They are given high quality hay and some grains to eat.

Conclusion: We hope you got an idea of goat farming with Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Farming.

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