Goat Fattening Information Guide:
Introduction to Goat Fattening:- What is Goat fattening? Well, Goat fattening is nothing but “intensive feeding of goats in feedlots to slaughter weight with adequate fat deposit (finish)”. More goat farmers showing interest in this as it generates quick income. Let is discuss more about this process in the following write-up.
Advantages Goat Fattening:- The following are main advantages of goat fattening.
- Goat fattening is simple process and can be achieved within the capabilities of small farmers to implement
- The results of goat fattening are highly visible can be realized within a short period of time
- Goat fattening generates quick cash for goat farmers
- Goat fattening is profitable because of the value/kg (weight) of goat live weight increases as both weight and condition increase
- Goat fattening is easily manageable without putting much effort
Goat Fattening Systems:- There are two types of fattening systems are popular.
Traditional Goat Fattening system:
- In this system, natural or planted pastures with variable degrees of supplementation is provided
- Usually, goats require long period of time to gain market weight (slaughter) and condition
- In this system, goats often experience large fluctuations in weight gains & conditions as feed availability is not stable
- In traditional goat fattening, feeds/fodders are offered in ad-hoc and unregulated fashion
- In this system, usually goat farmers feed goats whatever feed/fodder happens to be available at that point in time. This leads to huge feed wastage & growth rates below the genetic potential of the goats. The combination of low growth rates and long fattening periods makes traditional goat fattening system unprofitable
Agro-industrial Byproduct Based Fattening System:
- This system is based on agro-industrial byproducts like ground nut cakes/millet stovers.
Selection of Goat for Fattening:- Selection of proper quality goats is very important if you are planning for goat fattening.
- Select goats that are healthy without any physical defects
- Select goats with medium body condition scores of 2.0 to 2.5
- Avoid emaciated (thin or weak, due to illness or a lack of food) goats as they often take a long time to recover
- Selected goats should have a large skeletal frame
- Goat farmers should be aware of castration as it influences the fattening process.
- The selection of castrated or uncastrated goats depends on the final product desired & market conditions
- Generally, castrated goats deposit more fat (gain weight) when compared to uncastrated goats
- Generally, uncastrated goats have more muscular growth. However castrated goats have higher demand in the market
- Select goat breeds with the better potential for growth and fattening
- Select goats with weights ranging from 20 to 25 kg for better fattening
- Avoid goats that are too old as they are not suitable for fattening process and no demand in the local market
- It is better to select goats between 2 and 4 years of age for fattening process
Management of Fat Deposit (Finishing) Goats:-
- You should start fattening process only after the necessary feed supplies are secured
- Avoid underfeeding and incorrect timing as these are most common causes of failures in fattening system
- It is mandatory to minimize the movement of goats during the fattening period/process as our motto is to convert as much of the feed/fodder to body tissue as possible
- Goats should be fed in a dry lot / pens to reduce movement and increase the efficiency of converting feed / fodder into body weight
- Success of a gaining weight / fattening operation depends on the first 2 weeks after arrival of goats into your farm
- After getting the goats into the shed make sure to rest the goats for a few hours in a dry, clean, sheltered area with clean drinking water availability
- After couple of hours of resting, you can provide grass hay or mixed grass-legume hay to the goat flock
- The first and foremost thing you should do is sort out the goats based on weight / size / gender and feed in uniform weight / gender groups
- Goats should be fed with fresh water availability at all times including evenings
- In case of no feed left in the morning, feed supply should be increased for the following day to cover up
- Make sure to adjust goats to the fattening diet over a 2 week timeframe (period).
- Should limit feed concentrate after the goats have taken / consumed enough roughage
- It is better idea to gradually increase feed concentrate intake every 2 days
- Some goats do not adjust / adapt to intensive feeding system irrespective of breed, gender or age
- It is better to cull (remove these goats from the flock and sell to slaughtering) these animals as soon as possible and these can be identified by poor performance in the initial stages
- Usually, fattening system consists of feeding length of 3 months to 4 months (90 – 120 days). However it depends on desired goat condition and type of ration fed
- Don’t construct expensive goat houses or sheds. However, the shed should be strong enough to protect goats from adverse environments and any predators.
- When it comes to building shed, use locally available material like bamboo or mud walls. Make sure to have good ventilation and fresh flowing air.
- Provide feed racks (hay, water, mineral and concentrate) providing 20 linear centimeters/ goat should be accessible to both goats and caretaker.
- The shelter area should be cleaned regularly and kept dry to minimize disease outbreak and fly infestation
- Usually each goat requires 2 square meter of space in the shed
- Purchase goats when prices are low especially in some low demand seasons like in summer. You should plan to sell in such a way that when the market prices are high
Feeding Fat Deposit (Finishing) Goats:-
- To reduce the feed cost, try to buy the feed when prices are low. Some feed you can make on your own by growing green fodder/ millet crops and making silage at your farm
- Fat deposit can be accomplished with rations containing different proportions of roughages & concentrates
- Proportion depends on types of feeds /fodders available, the desired length of feeding & the types of goats to be fattened
- Usually higher concentrate proportions shorten fattening period
- Grain related products commonly fed in fattening are shelled corn, oats, sorghum (Jowar), and wheat
- Liquid related products commonly fed are such as molasses and other energy sources like fodder beet and sweet potato can be fed
- Most commonly fed high protein concentrates in goat fattening are; sunflower cake, cotton seed cake, linseed (flaxseed) cake, and other similar feeds such as groundnut/peanut cake ,oil seed cake or any other grain cakes.
- A wide variety of roughages can be fed to growing and fat depositing goats and the amount to be fed depends on the objective of feeding the roughage
Sample Goat Feeding in Fattening System:
- Sample Feeding Program (% wise) for Goat Fattening:
|Ingredients||Diet I (%)||Diet II (%)||Diet III (%)|
|Weight (kg)||Weight (kg)||Weight (kg)|
|To 30||30-40||40 to Market||To 30||30-40||40 to Market||To 30||30-40||40 to market|
|Ground corn cobs||20||10||–||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Chopped grass hay||33||23||13||—||—||—|
|Dried legume hay||10||10||10||—||—||—||23||23||23|
|Trace mineral salt||1||1||1||1||1||1||1.5||1.5||1.5|
Record Keeping in Goat Fattening:- Though it is not very important for small goat farmer to keep the records, it is a good practice and may be reference and useful for future goat farming (fattening)
- Keep health records including morbidity, symptoms, mortality and diagnosis, treatments
- Keep growth or weight records including body condition scores
- Keep feed consumption in detail
- It is better to keep financial records which includes all expenses/profits and receipts
Bottom Line of Goat Fattening:- Goat fattening is very profitable in a short period of time without waiting for long run.