Goats are profitable
Goat farming generally means rearing goats for the purpose of harvesting milk, manure, the skin, meat and fiber. Rearing of Goats is not a new enterprise; the business has been on since the time immemorial.
Rearing goats is a profitable business which has attracted both local and foreign investors in Uganda.
Due to its good economic prospects, goat rearing under intensive and semi-intensive system for commercial production has been gaining momentum for the couple of years.
The following are some of the tips in Goat management that can help you earn good money from this business especially during post-COVID-19.
Goat management can be in terms of; spraying, de-worming, disbudding, castration, hoof trimming, proper milking practices and general hygiene.
Manage parasitic infestation
Goats carry parasites burdens, but the pressure of parasites is not serious until the population rises to the extent that the host animal starts showing signs e.g. weight loss, diarrhea, unthriftness, bottle jaw, coughs, loss of hair, scratching against the wall.
The parasites are divided into two; Ecto and Endo –parasites.
These are mainly the ticks, biting flies, fleas and mites. These can be controlled by spraying with appropriate acaricide or using a pour-on acaricide as recommended by your area vet doctor.
These are mainly worms e.g. round worms, hookworms, tapeworms, lung worms and flukes. They can be controlled through,
regular deworming of goats and kids after every 3 months. Repeat deworming to any animal showing worm infestation. Also, avoid grazing animals on pastures in early morning
This is a management practice to control abnormal growth of hooves that may lead to lameness in goats. Lameness in goats hinders locomotion, mating and may cause injury to both the handler and other goats on the farm.
The overgrown hooves can be trimmed using hoof knife and dipping the hooves in copper sulphate solution. The stock should have their feet regularly checked for damage due to overgrown hooves.
Castrate the young males not intended for breeding at six months. This can be done by using the rubber-ring elastrator. Castration helps the Goat to add more kilo grams which in end earn you good money out of the meat.
Disbudding is when a farmer prevents his/her goat’s horns from growing. This is done at 3 months of age using hot bars (disbudding irons). It is always done to both male and female kids.
Goats must consume a higher quality diet than cattle because their digestive tract size is smaller with regard to their maintenance energy needs. Relative to their body weight, the amount of feed needed by meat goats is approximately twice that of cattle.
When the density of high quality forage is low and the stocking rate is low, goats will still perform well because their grazing/browsing behavior allow them to select only the highest quality forage from that on offer.
Thus, they are able to perform well in these situations, even though their nutrient requirements exceed those of most domesticated ruminant species.
-Office of Agric Minister