Raising goats 101

Supply and demand in the United States are at an all-time high, with the supply only a fraction of the demand. And while goat meat is consumed regularly throughout the world, it is just starting to take off in the US.

Boer goats are the most popular, but the Kiko and the Kalahari Red are both close behind due to their similar stature and ability to grow rapidly. Instead, farmers choose to cross-breed, and select bucks and does that have qualities they hope to exemplify in the offspring. For example, you may see percentage goats for sale. These are goats that are cross-bred or have a specific percentage of a certain breed. The desired result is a goat that is taller than that of a Boer goat but maintains the meat production qualities.

As meat goats grow in popularity, familiar pet food brand names have begun formulating goat-specific feeds. Some are good and some are just so-so. Many goat breeds are hardy, and they thrive without any supplements if the pasture has plenty of grasses and legumes. Read our guide on how to get your goats ready for winter for more information on winter feeding. On our goat farm, we opt to raise our meat goats as naturally as possible. This means plenty of roughage, free choice browsing, and pasture rotation.

Where I live in Wisconsin, during the summer my goats enjoy a pasture full of everything from timothy grass and alfalfa to the all-time goat favorite, burdock. They need nothing more than their pasture, and maybe some mineral supplements which often go untouched. I avoid having to feed commercial feeds at all costs. Goats on sweet feeds are loud, bossy, and pushy. On the other hand, I expect my goats to lose a little weight over winter.

The important thing is, they are still happy. All this to turn around and say that if you are raising for fast production, and are looking to get into a high-performing meat operation, you will need to pump your goats with supplemental feeds. However, I know plenty of farmers who make their own mixes through trial-and-error as well. Meat goats are usually breeds that grow quickly. This means less time feeding young goats before sending them to the butcher. The goat kids tend to gain the most weight while they are on the doe, still nursing.

Generally, the market would like to see 80 lbs live weight. This is the perfect weight because the meat is tender and lean due to the age of the goat. Typically, the sweet spot is between months of age. Goat meat is tender, juicy, lean, and has a mild flavor.

It is quite similar to beef, and contrary to popular belief, it is not gamey in flavor. And…it smells amazing while cooking. Goat meat can be roasted, grilled, sauteed, made into sausage or even stew. The possibilities are endless and often you can cook goatmeat cuts similar to your favorite beef cuts, but to make things easier we have a great selection of goat meat recipes for you to try. So between the culinary perks and the profit possibilities, raising meat goats is a win-win decision for those looking for an easy way to get into farming.

This article contains incorrect information. This article does not have the information I am looking for. Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.Well, not quite. Here are a couple of tips you might want to consider if you are thinking about setting up a goat farm for the first time. Decide what kind of goat farming you would like to practice. There are 4 kinds of goat farming.

One is raising goats for the sole purpose of harvesting milk. Goat's milk can be used as buttermilk, candy, cheese, cream cheese, ghee clarified butterfat, kefir fermented alcoholic goat's milk, substitute for cow's milk, and yogurt. You can also use goat's milk to produce beauty care products like lotions, skin creams, soaps and other milk-based specialty soaps.

The second type of goat farming is when you raise the aforementioned animals for meat. You can either sell the meat as fresh produce or to be used in sausages, salted meat, and smoked meat cuts. The third type of farming is when you choose to raise goats for their fiber. Basically there are two breeds of goats that yield excellent fibers. That would be the angora goats produce mohair and the cashmere goats produce cashmere wool.

The hairs from both animals are prized for their softness and warmth; and products made from these are usually pegged at very steep prices. Other breeds that are raised for their fibers are the nigora and the pygora; both of which produce medium class wool. And lastly, you can also raise goats that are to be sold as pets - which is, by the way one of the emerging profitable businesses these days.

By deciding early on what kind of farming you would like to practice, you can choose what breed of goats, tools and machineries you ought to purchase as well. Always hire the services of a veterinarian. A vet is a necessary partner in this kind of endeavor, and you would need to consult him or her for almost every aspect of raising goats.

From choosing what feeds or supplements you can give to the animals, to setting up housing and more importantly, to providing you documentation to be presented to the local government that you are treating your animals well and that there are no issues on your farm that can constitute to animal cruelty or abuse.

Just enter your name and email address below and click for instant access to get the eReport NOW! Information About Goats - Wikipedia. Goat farming is not an all a new endeavor. This form of animal-raising has been practiced since time immemorial, and there are a lot of people from other parts of the globe who are making this their chief form of livelihood.

These days, a lot more people are seeing the benefits and potential profits to be gained from rearing goats. But is this form of animal husbandry as easy as buying goats and crossing your fingers? First Name:.You always wanted to keep dairy goats. You wanted your own fresh — and free — goat milk, goat cheese, goat milk yogurt and maybe even goat meat without having to worry about antibiotics and hormones in the milk.

In this blog series, we share with you things we wish we would have known before getting into dairy goats. We hope our experiences will help you, whether you have two or fifty goats. We are not perfect, we are not veterinarians, and we definitely still have a lot to learn, but if we can help you avoid some of the mistakes we made, we have achieved our goal of keeping not just ours, but your dairy goats healthy and happy, as well.

There are eight parts to this blog series, and today we will start with Part 1 please see the end of this post for subsequent parts. Goats in general are very social, curious, gentle, independent and intelligent creatures. They get bored and lonely when alone. It is never a good idea to just have one goat, you need at a minimum two goats.

Two does or a doe and a wether a neutered male goat or a buck and a doe, if you are ready to start a little herd. They huddle and cuddle, they eat and they sleep together. And no, a human, even though much-loved, cannot substitute as a companion.

A lonely goat will climb on cars, get into your garden, and sit on your porch or escape.

raising goats 101

A lonely goat will be a noisy goat, because they will call for a companion. Baby goats are kids. Males are bucks, females are does.

Neutered males are wethers. Goats can climb, jump, crawl and run over or under anything they want to. If they stay in their pasture, it is because they want to be there. You need to have good fencing before you get a goat or two. Goats hate to get wet and will stay out of or jump over any puddles. Goats do not do well in wet, swampy areas. You need to provide them with ample dry shelter and dry paddocks or pasture before you bring goats onto your farm.

Each goat has her own distinct personality and some personality traits seem to be more common in one breed than in another.

raising goats 101

We have found that our Nubian Goats are the divas of the bunch. They are very loving and loyal and incredibly demanding. If a Nubian goat does not want to go on a milking stand, then there is no way of making her, short of picking her up.

Our LaManchas are sweet and hardworking and easy to train. Our Saanens are the clowns of the dairy and always ready for mischief. Do your research before you buy a goat to see which temperament will suit your personality.

Dairy goats love routine and get upset when the routine changes. Keep that in mind when you rearrange the milking stands to be more efficient.Raising goats can be lucrative and can also be a lot of fun. Goats can be raised for their milk, meat, or for fiber, and also make wonderful pets. The breed you choose will depend on which market you decide is best for you. Dairy goats are capable of producing more than kg of milk in ten months. Some popular dairy goat breeds include: Saanen, Toggenburg, and La Mancha goats.

These breeds have large udders and are more suitable as milk producers than other goats, but all female goats will produce milk. Dairy goats may not be suitable for bushy areas, as their large exposed udders can get scratched on brush. Goats are also farmed for their meat. With about 1. Every week, the demand for goat meat currently far outweighs the supply. Goats meat is easier to digest and is lower in cholesterol than other red meats; it also contains less fat making it a healthy alternative.

As this is an emerging market that is still in the early growth stages, this a good time to get started in this sector. Popular meat goats include larger breeds such as the Spanish, Boer, and Kiko goats, but the stocky Dwarf goat is also bred for its meat.

An Angora goat can produce 10kg of mohair per year, which can be fairly lucrative if you have a large herd of Angora goats. Goats can be kept together with other animals, such as sheep or cattle, in multi-species herds. In terms of stocking rates, the rule of thumb is that six goats are the equivalent of one cow on good grassy pasture, and ten goats are the equivalent of one cow on poor pasture that contains lots of weeds or brush. Unlike cattle, goats are not selective grazers, and will not only graze grass, but also weeds, brush and shrubs.

This can be a great benefit, as it will control weeds and bush encroachment, and yield more returns in terms of meat per acre. Goats do tend to be quite good at going under and over fences, so robust fencing is necessary to contain them. An electric netting fence for goats will provide a quick and easy solution for containing your goat herd. Alternatively, you can either construct a multi-strand high tensile wire fence at the correct height for the breed of goats that you are keeping, or you can use standard fencing and run an electric hot wire along the bottom and top of the fence, offset by spacers, to prevent your goats from going under the fence, or jumping over it.

Your goats will need some protection from the weather, they will also need to be treated for internal and external parasites to keep them healthy and prevent disease.People are showing more interest due to their small size, high milk production and colorful markings. Why these goats are becoming popular? The Nigerian Dwarf goats are best for their milk production skills.

Even though, these goats are good milk producers, most people raise these as pets for companionship. Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising — Breed Conformation:- You can find a Nigerian Dwarf goat is conformation almost similar to regular large dairy goat breeds. The Nigerian Dwarf goats have straight nose with ears upright. These goats can exist in multi colors. Nigerian Dwarf goats height is usually from 17 inches to inches in case of does females.

However, Nigerian Dwarf male goat usually from 19 inches to 21 inches. The ideal weight of Nigerian Dwarf goat is about 32 kg or 70 lbs. They have great milk protein content when compared to other dairy goats. Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising — Shelter:- Well, protecting your adorable miniature goats is one of the important task.

These small goats should be kept in clean and secured pens. Make sure to be free from flies and rodents, dampness, and drafts. It is also important to ensure proper ventilation and air flow for good health and to prevent from any diseases. For best bedding of these goats, goat pens or houses should be kept clean with fresh hay or straw. Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising — Breeding:- Well, the best part of these goats is, they can be bread year around.

Usually, these dwarf goats have to days of gestation period. Dwarf goat owners should take care of the newly born goat kids as these weigh about 0.

Pets 101- Pygmy Goats

These kids can grow very fast and Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Ensure that you wean female goats and bucks separately to help you avoid unintentional breeding.

The Nigerian Dwarf female goats can be bred at the age of 7 to 8 months, once they have reached a mature size. It is advised to wait until they are at least 1 year old. Multi kidding 3 to 4 is common in Nigerian Dwarf goats. These mother goats can take care of their kids by providing good amount of milk. Bucks are able to be used for service as young as 3 months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8 months old.

Nigerian Dwarf male goats are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for pasture breeding where one male goat is available for many female goats as they come into estrus. You can practice hand breeding as well. Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising — Fe eding:- You can practices the feeding ration similar to regular dairy goats though these goats takes less feed. Avoid any urea in the feed as it is poisonous to goats. You can feed them depending on pasture availability.

Prove clean and fresh water all the time and never allow these goats to eat the feed from other goat or animal plates. You can also add any supplemental feed which has good nutrients and micro-nutrients. The Nigerian Dwarf goats are browsers, they can eat tips woody shrubs and trees.Goats make great pets! And as more and more people look for ways to live sustainably and grow their own food, goats are a wonderful option for raising meat and milk, and you can harvest their fleece, as well.

Bringing home goats requires some forethought on your part so that you can keep your goats safe and healthy and protect them from predators. Build housing or get current housing ready. Goats need some kind of shelter from the elements and a safe place to bunk down. In addition, you might want a dedicated area for milking or kidding, if you decide to breed your goats. Build a fence or check your fencing for security. Goats are smart and curious, and they will head out into the neighborhood if given the chance.

Furthermore, wolves, wild dogs, and other predators would love to be able to get at your goats, and so you need to do your best to keep them out.

raising goats 101

Buy feed and feeding equipment. Goats need hay, grain, minerals, and other supplemental feed, depending on the kind of goats you get, their stage of life, and the way you intend to use them. And of course, your goats need clean, fresh water every day. At a minimum, you need. Put together a first aid kit. Goat-proof your yard or pasture. Goats are grazers, which means that they move from plant to plant and tree to tree, eating all the way.

Some of the common plants that homeowners use for landscaping can poison goats, and so you need to clear them out.

You need to investigate further or begin taking action if you see the following signs of illness:. Although you probably are excited to buy goats and bring them home, taking some precautions to make sure that you get healthy goats is an important first step.

After you have determined what kind of goats you want and how you intend to use them, you can eliminate goats from consideration by asking the following questions:.

Have you had any goats die from undiagnosed disease in the past few years?

21 Things You Should Know About Goats Before You Start a Goat Farm

If so, what are the details? Are you on milk test? Before you call a vet to come to your farm or bring a goat in for a non-routine care visit — unless it is a serious emergency — take a few steps to make sure that your goat gets the most appropriate care. Check for dehydration by pinching the skin on the neck in front of the shoulder, using your thumb and forefinger.

The Complete Guide to Raising Meat Goats for Profit

Note whether the skin snaps back to its normal position quickly or stays in a tent before it slowly goes back to normal. A slow return to normal indicates that the goat is dehydrated. If the vet will be making a farm call, ask whether you can do anything before he arrives. For example, he might want a urine or fecal sample.

You also need to catch the goat and put him in a confined, lighted area while waiting for the vet to arrive. Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since She writes a blog ruminationsongoats. Cheat Sheet.Nigerian Dwarf goats are compact, docile, and productive little animals…. Because they are smaller than standard goats, and have a friendly disposition, they are easier to manage and live with, making them popular as pets.

But they are also low-maintenance dairy goats, giving a surprising amount of high-quality, high-fat milk despite their small size. There are a growing number of people who appreciate the easy care and versatility of these goats, and they can be enjoyed both as companion animals and for profit in a dairy farm. The Nigerian Dwarf goats were originally bred in West Africa, where they were valuable for being easy to care for in harsh conditions, requiring less feed than other goats, but still being a source of meat and milk.

In the early- to mid-twentieth century, the goats were imported on ships along with big cats and African predators destined for American zoos. They were intended to be a low-maintenance food source for African predators on the long journey across the ocean.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat Raising For Beginners

If you are thinking that the breed history and American history of Nigerian Dwarf goats and Pygmy goats sounds extremely similar, you are correct. Both breeds are very similar in origins and uses. The primary difference between Nigerian Dwarf goats and Nigerian Pygmy goats are their body proportions. Nigerian Pygmy goats tend to have stocky, barrel-like bodies, a bit like normal-sized goats with short legs.

Nigerian Dwarf goats, on the other hand, are proportioned more delicately overall, like normal-sized goats scaled down smaller. There are also two different breed standards for Nigerian Dwarf goats, depending on whether they are being used as dairy goats or not. Nigerian Dwarf goats are popular to have on a small farm for their overall usefulness and good nature, rather than their specific purpose. Here are a few reasons people enjoy Nigerian Dwarf goats:. In short, for people who already have a small or large farm, it's easy to simply add Nigerian Dwarf goats and enjoy their many benefits.

And for those looking for a fun, friendly, charming pet, a Nigerian Dwarf goat doesn't require much more space or care than most breeds of dog. As mentioned above, Nigerian Dwarf goats have two different breed standards. Generally speaking, Nigerian Dwarf goats should look like a smaller version of Swiss Alpine goats. AGA standards allow any coat and have no preference for brown or blue eyes blue eyes are common in the breed, but uncommon in other dairy goats.

NDGA standard disallows curly hair, a Roman nose, and pendulous ears. AGA standards require Nigerian Dwarf does to be no taller than NDGA standards allow does no taller than 21 inches at the withers, and bucks to be no taller than 23 inches. Nigerian Dwarf does give pounds of milk per day when lactating, with an average of 2.

raising goats 101

Their milk averages 6. Nigerian Dwarf goats are known for being friendly, playful, and outgoing. They seek out and enjoy interacting with people, and will respond readily to vocal calls.

Many people bottle feed them to ensure human bonding and make them better pets, but many others feel that bottle feeding makes them actually too human dependent and demanding. Nigerian Dwarf goats are adaptable to a variety of weather conditions and are a low-maintenance animal. Known to be sociable and friendly, their small size makes them easier to care for than larger goat breeds, because they require less space and less feed. Like all goats, Nigerian Dwarfs are herd animals and will not be healthy or happy when kept alone.

If you are keeping a Nigerian Dwarf as a pet, they will often not do well in an environment where they are alone for extended periods. Keeping them with other goats, or even with grazing animals or dogs, will help satisfy the social needs of this outgoing little animal. Nigerian Dwarf goat medical needs. Like all goats, Nigerian Dwarf need periodic hoof trimming and deworming, depending on their diet and lifestyle.

Most people trim hooves every weeks, deworm several times a year, and vaccinate annually.


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