Rearing livestock like Goats is one of the easiest ways of making money in the Agricultural sector without having to risk your capital. In fact, it’s one of the most profitable farming businesses any farmer can invest in, this is because the demand for goat meat unlike its supply is very high in Nigeria and overseas especially during festive seasons like Christmas, Easter, Sallah and some personal occasions like Wedding, Naming and Burial ceremonies.
The truth is that goat farming is very profitable considering factors like low cost of feeding due to the availability of grasses for these Ruminants. To be precise, Nigeria is home to assorted Goat breeds whose gestation period is 135 days, making your goats to deliver two times per year and in essence, doubling your herd stock in a commercial scale within a short period.
For beginners, it’s advisable to start with between 2 to 10 Goats in other to gain valuable experience before going into commercial production. At least a male and others should be female.
If you want to go into goat farming, there are requirements and practices you’ll want to consider first before venturing into this business of Animal Husbandry. In this article, you’ll learn how to do the following:
- Design of Goat Structure
- Proper Selection of Brood Stock
- General Goat Rearing and Management
- Treatment and Vaccination of the Sokoto Maradi breed.
- General Disease Management of Goats
- Cost of Different breeds of Goats 2021
- General Cost of Setting up a Goat Farm
Design of Goat Structure
When designing a house specifically for goat, one thing that will come to your mind is ventilation. The shed has to be well ventilated. Therefore an open space structure is good for goats.
Another thing that’ll come to your mind is raising the structure high only if the place is waterlogged. If the place isn’t waterlogged, no need for high structures.
Thirdly, you should consider building Goat pens with respect to the population density of goats. Building smaller pens for the goats and stocking many Goats in a small pen might not be good for the Goats and therefore might affect their health. You might consider using 5ft by 3ft for a single Boer goat or a single South African Kalahari goat as population density of goats or two West African Dwarf goats for same space. Two Sokoto Maradi Breed of goats can equally be in 5ft by 3ft and gain easy comfort. When designing structures for Sokoto Maradi goats, make sure it’s well insulated in order to avoid cold. Cold is their major problem. However, wood shaven and or sawdust can be used as insulators.
Proper Selection of Goat Breed stock
Good selection of breed stock plays the major role in the success of any farm. When you want to select good breed stock for your goat farming, always consider first their stature. Never buy animals that show signs of small stature. Secondly, look at their anus (where they pass out faeces to see if they’re excreting watery faeces. If the anus is dry, then consider it diarrhea free. Lastly, look at their eyes. If you notice any form of whitish mucus in their eyes, just know that the goat is sick. Whitish substance in their eyes may also be as a result of cold.
Goat Rearing and Management practices
As I mentioned earlier, Goat Farming is a very lucrative venture if properly managed. There are different management approaches given to different breeds of goats. For example, the West African Dwarf goats are very strong and are very resistant to diseases. They eat green grasses and withstand stresses more than the Sokoto Maradi goats. So you cannot apply same management techniques to the Sokoto Maradi breed, if you do, they’ll all die. The Sokoto Maradi Breed is allergic to cold and doesn’t do well in very cold regions. This is why it’s important to always give it an anti-cold Oxytetracycline injection on weekly basis, if not, their mortality rate would be high enough. If you are already experiencing this, this must be why your goats are dying. Never you apply same management techniques to all breeds of goats.
Treatment and Vaccination of the Sokoto Maradi Breed and General Goat Disease Management
The two major symptoms shown by the Sokoto Maradi Breed are Cold and Diarrhea.
Cold in goats are being treated with weekly injection of Oxytetracycline. Cold has a symptom of whitish substance on the eyes of the affected Goat. In order to treat the affected goat, give 2.5mls of Oxytetracycline injection per Goat. Also make sure you give 2.5mls of Vitamin injection alongside the Oxytetracycline injection. By doing this on weekly basis, your goats cannot die of cold. Another reason why your goats die is due to improper management.
Another common disease suffered by all goats is Diarrhea. When a goat suffers diarrhea, the Faeces changes to watery Faeces. It’ll result to weakness of the affected goat. In order to treat such goats, give Diaroak to the affected goat. This Diaroak is to be forced into the mouth of the affected goat. All you need to do is to divide a sachet of Diaroak into two, dissolve half in water and give to the goat in the morning and the other half in the evening, the diarrhea is expected to stop after a day, if it doesn’t, repeat the second day, then give 5mls of Sulphor injection. You can buy VTS sulphor injectable solution. No mater how stubborn the diarrhea is, it’s expected to stop after the the Sulphor injection.
Treatment of PPR virus infection in Goats.
PPR virus infection is a very deadly infection in goats, sheep and other ruminants. It kills goats faster than any other infection or disease. The survival of goats with this virus depends on the goat’s immune system.
Symptoms include: Watery faeces, fluid substance oozing out from the mouth and or nostrils. The fluid could be catarrh or in another form. Another symptom include weak or paralyzed legs. If a goat dies without showing any symptoms, leave it for few hours, if mucus or catarrh starts oozing out from the mouth or nostrils, just know that it purely PPR disease. This virus infection is very deadly and doesn’t pity animals. PPR virus infection has no cure but can be managed by giving the animals PPR vaccination. When affected, use Tylosin medicine to manage it and always add vitamin to their water for strength.
Deworming of goats
Make sure you deworm all your goats and on monthly basis. The best deworming medicine is Invermectin. Use 1½ for big goats and 1 for small goats. Dissolve in water and force it into their mouth.
Feeding of Goats
Feeding of Goats are mainly in two systems, one is the Extensive Goat rearing and the other is the Intensive Goat rearing (zero grazing) system. There is also an intermediary called Semi-intensive system which along with other categories, affect the feed and feeding pattern of these ruminants. Goats generally feed on leaves of shrubs and vegetables. The Sokoto Maradi breed also enjoys feeding on dry grasses and vegetables too. Goats love eating Beans chaff, Soyabean chaff, Rice chaff etc. But if you want your Goats to look more healthy especially the Sokoto Maradi Breed, bring them out for open grazing within a controlled environment. Since we are discussing goat farming on a commercial scale, emphasis will be on the Zero Grazing method which is feasible owing to its large-scale-friendly nature.
Zero Grazing Goat farming in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and other countries
Zero grazing is the process of rearing goats without bringing them out for grazing or without any pasture or field for grazing. This type of farming is mostly found in the urban city where there are no grazing field or pasture for the animals or where open grazing is prohibited by law.
Zero grazing Feeds
Besides green grasses and other green vegetables, these goats can eat a lot of what we generally call wastes. Wastes like Cassava peels, chaff from processed Pap (Akamu/Ogi chaff), PKC, Beans chaff, Soybeans chaff, Maize chaff, Wheat offal, Brewery waste etc. Another important zero grazing feed which some farmers neglect or are ignorant of is poultry droppings. Poultry droppings is highly rich in proteins and minerals. Poultry droppings contains about 60% protein. Just like Snails, Goats feed on dry poultry droppings. Please do not give your goats fresh poultry droppings. The droppings should be well dried before giving the goats. Also make sure that the dry poultry droppings is free from foreign materials such as paper, metallic objects or other materials that aren’t part of the droppings. Make sure you mix, formulate feeds for them. For example, don’t give your goats only Brewery waste. Give them varieties of feed containing the required nutritious components so as to look healthy for you.
Cost of Different breeds of Goats
The price of Goats in Nigeria is as low as ₦6,000 naira and as high as ₦350,000 naira depending on the size.
Below are the detailed rates in the local markets.
Goat prices in Nigeria 2021
|West African Dwarf (WAD)||Female||₦6,000||₦12,000||₦20,000|
|West African Dwarf (WAD)||Male||₦6,000||₦15,000||₦25,000|
|South African Kalahari||Female||₦45,000||₦80,000||₦150,000|
|South African Kalahari||Male||₦65,500||₦115,000||₦250,000|
Cost of Setting up a Goat farm
The cost of setting up a Goat farm is largely dependent on the capacity and type of structure you would want to put in place. We have different types of goat structures. There are the wooden and brick structures. The difference between the two is that the brick houses have pony walls built with 150 or 225 cement blocks of about 900mm height while the wooden pony walls are built with timber and of the same height.
Required cost components for a 4,500 square feet Goat house
- Needed land area: 4,500 square feet
- Number of Meta or wooden poles to carry the roof: 34 poles
- Number of Cement blocks needed for the pony walls: 4,410
- Quantity of Sand needed for mortar: 4.52 m3
- Quantity of Cement needed for mortar: 33 bags
- Alternatively, use 300mm Wood (facing board) to build stud walls. About 100800 meter length will be needed.
- 455 Zinc corrugated roofing sheets of about 660×1800 will be needed
- Purlins (Timber) needed is 1850 in linear quantity
- 177 m2 Wire mesh to keep away intruders like snakes
- Then get a Capenter and a gang of Bricklayers to put everything to shape.
Most, if not all of these building materials will be required to construct a habitable 100 capacity goat pen. In that case, the average cost of starting a goat farm in Nigeria is between ₦450,000 to ₦1,000,000 naira (depending on your location).
Profit: How much Goat farmers make
Having bought good breed stock of goats of about 100 in number with about 85 Does or Nannys. As a Goat farmer, the amount of money you are going to make in a year is about ₦2,000,000. Assuming you spent up to 20% in taking care of them, profit margin will still not go below 80 to 70 percent.That is how lucrative the business can be.