Alpine Goat Farming:
Introduction of Alpine Goat:- This goat breed is one of the best commercial dairy breeds and mainly raised for commercial milk production. Commercial goat farming with Alpine breed is proven very successful in India, Malaysia, West Indies and Philippines. These goats became very popular due to their high milk production rate. The Alpine goat is native to French Alps and is also being termed as “French-alpine”. The Alpine goats are medium to big strong animals and can survive in any type of weather conditions. However, this goat breed is more adapted to mountainous areas and in tropical environment and not suitable in areas of high humidity. The average lifespan of the Alpine goat ranges from 8 to 13 years. Alpine goat milk is higher in niacin, calcium and vitamin ‘A’ than cow’s milk. Generally this goat milk contains vitamin ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘K’. The fat content of Alpine breed milk is about 3 to 4%. Alpine goat milk is being used to make cheese, butter, soap, ice cream. There are five types of this breed goats available in the world. These include British Alpine, American Alpine, Swiss Alpine, Rock Alpine and French Alpine.
Purpose of Alpine Goat Farming:-These goats are considers mainly as dairy goats due to their extremely good milking skills. Alpine goats have an excellent demand in commercial dairy goat farming.
Alpine Goat Description:- These goats are medium to large body type animals with white markings on their body. These markings will vanish as they grow older. Most of the alpine goats are available in a range of colour from gray or white to black and brown. Another specialty of this goat is, it is the only goat breed that has vertical ears. This goat breed hair is average to short, with the male breeds having an edge of extended hair along the back, and they have a marked beard. The female goats of this breed have big, well-formed udders with well-positioned tit or teat. Generally, these goat breeds have a fine, grey-colored undercoat.
Alpine Goat Breed Characteristics and Performance:-The following chart shows the Alpine goat characteristics and performance.
- Height at withers (males & females) is about 75 to 85 (cm).
- Matured Alpine Goat can reach up to 60 kg (live weight).
- Female Alpines Goats are pregnant (gestation) for 145 days to 150 days.
- Male goats reach puberty at the age between 5 to 8 months and the female is between 7 to 9 months.
- These goats produce about 5 liters of milk a day.
Advantages of Alpine Goat: – The following are the advantages of Alpine goat breed.
- The matured Alpine goat can reach the weight of 55 to 60 kg.
- This goat breed can also be fed with jack leaves and coconut oil cakes to help in gaining the weight.
- Male Alpine goats reach puberty at the age between 4 to 7 months and the female is between 7 to 10 months.
- This breed will mature for kidding at 7-10 months of age.
- These female goats give milk up to 5.5 litres a day.
- The lactation period of this goat is 250 to 280 days.
- This goat breed has an excellent milk production skill.
- This Alpine goat breed gives 1 to 3 kids at a time and twinning is common.
- For best growth, Alfalfa hay, CO-3, CO-4, corn silage, pellets, legumes and various types of green grasses can be used for daily fodder requirement.
- This goat breed can be adapted to most of the climatic conditions.
- These goats are suitable for both open grazing and stall-fed.
- These goat breeds are helpful in reducing unemployment in rural areas.
- These goats provide an excellent milk source for poor.
Alpine Goat Farming Tips:- The following tips are for Alpine goat farmers who just want to start a goat farm in small scale or large scale.
- Should prepare a proper goat farming business plan before implementing goat farming business.
- Before starting the farm, watch you tube videos and read any articles related to Alpine goat farming on the web.
- When you are planning for commercial Alpine goat farming, visit nearest farms to know ins and outs of Alpine goat characteristics and their management.
- Buy Alpine goats only from certified animal breeders and avoid buying from unknown individuals as this may bring many unhealthy animals into your farm.
- Select quality Alpine male goats and good reproductive Alpine female goats for breeding.
- Timely vaccinations in Alpine goats will reduce the mortality rate and result in great weight gain and milk production.
- Provide clean water and feed on time for proper development of goat body growth.
- Milking machinery and equipment should be kept clean to avoid any contamination.
- Pregnant goats should be given special attention for healthy kidding.
- Isolate the sick Alpine goats from the goat flock as soon as possible.
- Should act quickly with any unexpected diseases in Alpine goats.
- Alpine Goat kids should be given a special care to ensure sufficient food and milk till they attain certain age and weight.
- Milking the female Alpine goats twice a day is advisable especially before providing the fodder/feed.
- One should ensure better feeding and pasturing practices in Alpine goat farming.
- Have a proper plan of marketing Alpine goats. This plan should be prepared well before starting of Alpine goat farming.
Breeding in Alpine Goats:- If you are planning for commercial breeding of Alpine goats, it is better to consider various factors when planning the breeding cycle.
- Fodder/Feed flow and feed availability.
- Natural estrus cycle of the Alpine goats.
- Market cycle.
- Marketing date and personal management factors.
The reproduction rate of Alpine goats is one of the most beneficial characteristics for the meat producer or milk producer. Alpine goats are very profile breeders and Twinning and Triplets (2 and sometimes 3 kids in one delivery) are common in Alpine goat reproduction cycle. There are various factors which affect the reproduction percentage of the ewes which are listed below.
- Season of breeding.
- Age of animal.
- Body mass.
- Feed and nutrition.
Mass Mating in Alpine Goat Farming:- Find the mating ration of male and female with local animal husbandry. (In most of the goats, 1 male (Buck) per 25 to 30 ewes). One should make sure that the mating the young ewes happen separately from the mature ewes.
Single Mating in Alpine Goat Farming:- Find the mating ration of male and female with local animal husbandry (In most of the breeds, 1 male (ram) per 45 to 50 ewes). With regard to the above, it is very important to keep male goats (rams) in small shady camps during hot periods with a small amount of growing supplement and Male Alpine goats (rams) should only be let loose among ewes during the evening. This system works particularly well in cases where goats are penned at night.
Artificial insemination in Alpine Goat Farming:- Well, there is an option for artificial insemination in any goat breeding. For artificial insemination in Alpine goats, contact local animal husbandry for more information.
Alpine Goat Housing:- Proper goat housing is very important and should be secured when you are going for stall fed Alpine goat farming. Wooden flooring is considered best for their house. The place opted for the farming should be dry and free from any insect-pests and predators. The shed/house floor should be cleaned daily to make the goat house hygiene. Proper ventilation and airflow should be maintained for preventing any diseases. Supply of clean water to prevent from diseases is essential in Alpine goat farming.
Alpine Goat Price:- Goat price depends on many factors like breed, age, season and region. However, commercial breeders can bargain for best price. The Alpine goats which are cross bred with local goats may cost less whereas pure bred goats cost more. If the goats are bought in flocks at local markets or in professional breeding centers, one can get cheaper prices. It is advised to buy from certified breeders. The following prices may change according to area, and time.
- Female goat price in India : Rs.275/kg (live weight) (pure breed).
- Male goat price in India/kg : Rs.300/kg (live weight) (pure breed).
- Goat kids of 1 year or less age: Rs.320/Kg (live weight) (pure breed).
Marketing of Alpine Goats:- A proper goat business plan should ensure the profits in goat farming. Commercial goat farmers should have marketing plan for bulk goat sale. Goat farmers can also sell their goats in batches based on their age, weight. Local agents, meat shop owners can be contacted for regular supply of Alpine goats.
Bottom Line of Alpine Goat Farming:- Alpine goat is an excellent breed for commercial milk production. Goat farmers can get huge profits with this breed since these Alpine goats have an excellent milking skill.