Dairy Goat Farming Guide:
Introduction to Dairy Goat Farming:- Well, now a days most of the younger generation looking for goat farming. Goat is being popularly known in India as poor man’s cow. The reason being for this is that successful goat farming defiantly yield good profits. Basically goats are raised for meat, milk, skin and manure. Dairy goat farming involves rearing goats for dairy/milk purpose. Goat milk is very nutritious and contains essential vitamins and minerals. Goat milk is easily digestible when compared with cow milk. However, you should find a proper marketing channel before starting dairy goat business. You must do some basic research about selling goat milk in local area. Dairy goat business is a proven profitable throughout the world. Goat milk is being used in making many commercial dairy products. Goat milk has unique taste and flavor. Dairy goat farmers can also profit from skin, manure and meat apart from milk production. Commercial dairy goat farming profits mainly depends on breed, feed, and other goat management practices. When starting a dairy goat business, a thorough research should be done on breeds and basics of goat farming. When you are ready, prepare a commercial dairy goat farming business plan which may include end to end information about your farm.
Goat Milk Nutrition Facts: The following facts are about 1 glass of goat milk.
- Calories – 168
- Saturated Fat – 6.5 grams / 33 %t DV
- Carbohydrates – 11 grams / 4 % DV
- Protein – 10.9 grams / 4 % DV
- Cholesterol- 27 milligrams / 9 % DV
- Sugars – 11 grams
- Sodium – 12 milligrams / 5 % DV
- Vitamin A – 483 IU / 10 % DV
- Vitamin B2 – 0.3 milligrams / 20 % DV
- Vitamin C – 3.2 milligrams / 5 % DV
- Vitamin D – 29.3 IU / 7 % DV
- Calcium – 327 milligrams / 33 % DV
- Phosphorous – 271 milligrams / 27 % DV
- Magnesium – 34.2 milligrams / 9 % DV
- Potassium -498 milligrams / 14 % DV
- Copper – 0.1 milligrams / 6 % DV
- Zinc – 0.7 milligrams / 5 % DV
Advantages of Dairy Goat Farming:- The following are main advantages of Dairy goat farming.
- Dairy goat farm can easily be maintained even by women
- Setting dairy goat farm will cost you less when compared to cattle dairy or any other dairy farm
- Goat milk is very nutritious and easily digestible over the cow milk
- The demand for goat milk and its products increasing every year
- Goat milk is also used in some Ayurvedic medicines
- Goat milk and its products have excellent demand in domestic and international markets
- Dairy goat business provides rural employment
- Apart from milk, manure, selling meat is added advantage of dairy goat farming
- Goats are disease resistant hence mortality is less compared to other livestock
Starting a Dairy Goat Farming:- How and where to begin? Dairy goat farming is better option if you have proper marketing channel. Before we talk anything, you must have basic knowledge of goat farming business. Gain some basic knowledge by visiting nearby farms, get the goat farming training, and watch YouTube videos, read any other goat farming related information online. After preparing the proper dairy goat farming business plan, follow the instructions step by step. Keep in mind, the initial investment depends on the farm size. You may have to build the goat house/shed with all required water facility. You may have to other equipment such as milking cans, milking pumps etc.
Selection of Goat Breeds in Dairy Goat Farming:- Selection of appropriate high milk yielding dairy goat breed is very important to reach your goals. Select the goat breeds which are suitable to your region and require less maintenance. The best dairy goat breeds are; Alpine, Saanen, Jamunapari, Toggenburg, LaMancha, Anglo Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, Oberhasli, Sable, and Guernsey.
- The Alpine goat yield up to 1 to 2 gallons of milk and the average fat in the Alpines milk is about 3.5%.
- LaMancha goat milk has 4.2% fat concentration.
- Nubian goats can produce the milk yield of 0.5 to 1.5 gallons of milk/day and the fat content in the milk is about 5%.
- Saanen dairy goats can produce 1 gallon of milk/day and its milk contains 2.5 to 3% of fat.
- Jamunapari goats are highly milk productive and these goats can produce about 3 to 3.5 kg milk/day. They are very much similar to Saanen breed.
- Toggenburg goats can produce milk with 3.3% fat content in it.
- Oberhasli goats can produce milk of 0.5 to 1.5 gallons/day and the milk contains about 3.6% fat.
- Nigerian Dwarf goats can only produce a couple of pints of milk/day. However, butter fat content of the milk is about 6.1%.
- Sable goats can produce milk daily with a fat content between 3 to 4%.
- Guernsey goats can produce milk daily with a fat content of 3.72%.
Goat Shed in Dairy Goat Farming:- Providing good and protective shelter for your goats is upmost priority and should be carried this by building a goat shed. The following things should be kept in the mind when starting shed.
- Make sure the shed is constructed in such a way that enough light and air flows to and from the house
- Keep the shed always clean and dry
- Make good space to accommodate feeders and drinkers so that goats can have free move around them
- It recommended to construct a shed on high points so that there is no chance of getting rain water into shed
- Make sure the shed is free from all insects and dirt
- In hot summers, cooling systems and in severe winters, heating systems should be arranged in the goat house
- Fence the goat farm so that no predators are allowed
- Male goats and female goats should be separately kept in the house
Goat Care in Dairy Goat Farming:- Timely vaccinations and de-worming should be done. Pregnant does (females) and new born goat should be given extra attention especially at the time of feeding. Sick goats always should be isolated and given appropriate treatment. Regular habits of goat should be observed and make your veterinary doctor visit at least weekly once. Make sure to provide fresh and clean water.
Goat Feeding in Dairy Goat Farming:- Dairy goats require enough nutritious food for producing more milk. Usually any good feed includes; corn silage, Wheat, Groundnut cake, Sorghum, Maize, and Broken rice. Hay, Grains, Tree leaves, any type of green grasses. Preparing silage is an excellent idea of saving feed cost and providing nutritious feed, you can use the manure from goat shed and grow green forage crops to make silage. Finally, vitamins and minerals should be fed as part of supplemental feed.
- Green Crops for Dairy Goat Farming:- The following fodder crops are suitable for dairy goat farming. One can grow these crop in 1 to 2 acre land for 100 dairy goats.
- Green Crops: Maize, Bahiagrass, Alfalfa, Bromegrass, Clover, Fescue, Millet crops, Ryegrass, Co F.S-29, Co.27, Co-2, Co-3 Co-4, Co-7, Co-10.
- Legume Crops: Cowpea, Stylo, Hedge lucerne, and Desmanthus.
- Tree Crops: Arasu, Subabul, Neem, Agathi, Vagai ,Glyricidia, Kodukapuli, Karuvel, Velvel and Seemaikaruvel.
- Concentrate Feed Ingredients: Groundnut cake, Sorghum, Wheat, Broken rice and Corn.
How to Care Breeding Goats in Dairy Goat Farming:- In dairy goat farming, natural breeding and artificial insemination can be carried out as part of breeding process. Now a days commercial goat farmers are preferring for artificial insemination as it is very prompt and can improve the genetics, quality and production of dairy goats. Caring of Breeding goats is very important and usually the ratio of male and female goats is about 1:25. Make sure to feed breeding goats with more nutrients than regular goats. You should Increase their intake at the time of breeding. Raising dairy goat kids one of the tedious tasks and extra attention should be given to new born goat kids. You can keep all female goat kids and sell the male goat kids. Generally goat kids live on cow colostrum for some time and then replace with bottles or with an automatic kid feeder.
Vaccinations in Dairy Goat Farming:- De-worming and seasonal vaccinations are common practices in dairy goat farming. It is advised to get all the goats vaccinated before entering into goat shed.
Milking Goats in Dairy Goat Farming:- If you are running a commercial dairy goat business, you should have all milking equipment. You can by all these milking equipment in open market or online. Usually goats are milked milk parlours or tables.
Marketing of Dairy Goat Milk: The trick in dairy goat farming is to find out the channel to supply the goat milk. You can try to sell local people or contact any cheese companies who uses goat milk in their products. However, without marketing plan don’t enter into dairy goat business.
Bottom Line of Dairy Goat Farming:- Profits in goat farming depends on many factors like feed management, health management, Breed selection and others. If you have a perfect plan, you never fail in this business.