Goats and sheep have a low keeping cost and survive well in semi-arid regions which makes them suitable for farming purposes in most parts of Africa.
Aspects of proper management of goat and sheep farming.
Goats require good nutrition to stay healthy. They sustain themselves by feeding on shrubs, forages, grass pastures and weed. It is important to rotate the goats while grazing, to allow the pasture to regrow and to ensure that the goats are consuming nutritional and comestible parts of the pastures. You can supplement grazing by using hay and grains.
- Disease control
Goats are prone to parasitic infections than most animals. Common disease you would encounter are Pneumonia, Tetanus, Botulism, Heart water, Coccidiosis, Worms, Scabies, Liver fluke disease, Arthritis and Mastitis. Monitor your goats regularly for any signs of illness, an indication could be a goat that separates itself from the rest of the herd, while looking lifeless and dull, coughing and diarrhea are also some of the symptoms. Vaccinating your goats and managing ticks, lice, and flies by dipping methods. Maintaining good hygiene is also a very important tool for controlling diseases. Ensure that you deworm your goats regularly and isolate the sick goats to minimize spreading the disease or infection to healthier ones.
Decide if you want your goat to produce dairy, meat, or wool. Other factors to support your decision could be,
- Mothering ability
- Growth rate
- Carcass characteristics
- Milk quality
- Milk quantity
Research and pick a good breeder, be accompanied with an experienced farmer. Purchase more than 1 goat because goats are herd animals, and they perform well in herds.
Provide your goats a shelter that would protect them from the sun and rain, they house should be well ventilated and properly cleaned to avoid diseases.
Keeping good records is also a great management practice. Be sure to include your goats: birthdate, birth weight, milk records, parent information and service dates.