Stall Fed Goat Farming System:
Introduction to Stall Fed Goat Farming:- Well, what is stall fed goat farming? It is a system in which goats are being grown in protected area with well maintenance and feed of cultivated fodders, forages, silage and concentrate feed. In other words, goats will not graze on open fields and stick to protected or controlled area (shed / house). This is also considered as zero grazing intensive system. Stall feeding of goats growing day by day as it has many advantages over traditional grazing method. Most of the commercial growers are choosing the stall fed goat farming because this system suits very well to commercial goat meat production. Other advantage is the manure being collected from shed can be sold for profit or used in the field to grow green fodders. There are many loans and schemes available from local agriculture banks to avail subsidies on stall fed goat farming. This will cover from fodder cutting machine to shed construction. Let’s us discuss more about “how to start a stall fed goat farming”.
Advantages of Stall Fed Goat Farming:- The following are main advantages of stall fed goat farming.
- Stress of goats is very less when compared to traditional goat farming.
- Goats are being raised in hygienic disease free environment.
- Easy to produce quality of goat meat.
- Goats are protected from heat, wind, predators and other severe climatic conditions.
- One place to feed all the goats on time with proper feed ratio.
- This system requires less space when compared to traditional goat farming.
- Close monitoring of goats and record keeping is very easy.
- Stall fed goat farming provides the control of contagious and non-contagious diseases by regular medical check-ups.
- Stall fed farming allows more efficient utilization of forage as there is no loss from falling and trampling.
- This system allows providing clean water on time.
- In stall fed goat farming, conservation of energy is more; conversion of energy from fodder and feeds is quickly converted into flesh and milk.
- There is greater control measure of bloat, if forages are wilted before feeding to the goats.
- There is minimal chance of getting infections and diseases because they do not move about.
- Goats can be fed (feed control) based on their age and weight by doing frequent check-ups.
- Chances of contaminated feed are almost zero as they won’t graze on open fields.
- It allows collecting the manure so that it can be used in growing green fodder crops. This will reduce the feed cost as well.
- Overall, goats gain weight in short period of time and kidding percentage will increase (if the farm is intended for breeding), and goat kids care will become easy.
Starting a Stall Fed Goat Farming:- Stall fed goat farming is better option for commercial meat goat farming business. In order to enter into this, you must have basic knowledge of goat business. For this, you can watch YouTube videos, read other goat blogs and forums to get more details. You should have proper goat farming business plan which details from shed construction to forage growing based on your requirement. Let us get into details of stall fed goat farming business in next sections.
Selection of Goat Breeds in Stall Fed Goat Farming: When you plan on large scale, proper goat breed selection plays major role in successful goat farming. You must select goat breeds that are suitable for stall-fed conditions. For example, Boer goats are excellent breeds for stall fed farming. some of the popular meat goat breeds that are suitable for stall fed goat farming are; Boer, Beetal, Spanish, Kashmiri Goat, Kiko, Pygmy, Angora, Frisian, Matou Goat, Black Bengal, Sirohi. These goats are highly meat productive breeds gain excellent weight in short period of time. Select quality and healthy breed (disease free) and try to buy 6 months old female goats and 6 to 10 months old male goats. Buy these only from certified goat breeders not from regular markets. You can take veterinary doctor with you to check for any problems in goats.
- Goat Shed Design and Construction in Stall Fed Goat Farming: Proper ventilated and elevated shed is required for stall fed goat farming. Usually each goat occupies 10 to 12 sq. feet space in stall fed method. Based on your funding, you can build the shed with concrete, bamboo or wood. Make sure construct in such a way that, regular cleaning will be easy. Disinfect the house once in a while and make sure always the floor is dry. Feeders and drinkers should be kept clean after every use. You can fix extra fencing outside the shed which can be used during shed cleaning. It is better idea to construct a feed room which will have direct access into shed. For goat shed construction details: Read Here.
- Goat Care in Stall Fed Goat Farming: Monitor goats and goat kids regularly. Watch out for any abnormal or unusual feeding habits or sickness. Appoint a veterinary doctor who can come on weekly basis and give proper medication. Careful with seasonal diseases as well. Isolate any sick goats from the flock. Pregnant goats, newly born kids should be handled with extra care. Newly born kids should be provided with mother milk (colostrum) immediately after their birth. These newly born kids should have separate shelter in the shed and always being kept with their mother as they require frequent milk feeding.
- Goat Feeding in Stall Fed Goat Farming: Timely feeding is another important factor that influence the growth rate especially body weight. Generally, Goats consume 5 to 6% food/day of their total body weight. Along with green forage, provide 30 % of supplementary feed. Growing castrated male goat requires 1.5 to 2 kg of green feed and 250 to 300 grams of supplementary feed daily. When it comes to female goats, each female goat weighing 20 kg and having 2 kids requires kg green forage and 400 grams of supplementary feed/day. To reduce the feed cost, you can produce silage from green fodders and make this silage available in dry seasons. For silage making process: Read Here.
- Crops Suitable for Stall Fed Goat Farming:- The following fodder crops suitable for goat farming. You can grow these in 1 to 2 acre land for 100 to 150 goats.
- Green Fodder Crops: Co F.S-29, Co.27, Co-2, Co-3 Co-4, Co-7, Co-10 and Maize (fodder corn), Bahiagrass, Alfalfa, Bromegrass, Clover, Fescue, Millet, Ryegrass.
- Legume Fodder Crops: Cowpea, Stylo, Hedge lucerne, and Desmanthus.
- Tree Fodder Crops: Glyricidia, Kodukapuli, Arasu, Subabul, Neem, Agathi, Vagai, Karuvel, Velvel and Seemaikaruvel.
- Concentrate Feed Ingredients: Wheat, Groundnut cake, Sorghum, Maize, and Broken rice.
- How to Care Breeding Male Goats: Caring of Breeding goats is very important and usually 1 male goat is enough for 25 female goats. Castrate other male goats in your farm which are not necessary for breeding purposes. Castrate the male goats within 2-3 weeks after their birth. Breeding goats should be fed with more nutrients than regular goats. Increase their intake at the time of breeding.
- Health Care in Stall Fed Goat Farming:- De-worming is regular practice of caring goats. It should be done once in 3 months. Get all the goats vaccinated before entering into your farm. For all critical diseases, they should be vaccinated with the help of veterinary doctor. For diseases and vaccination schedule in Goats: Read Here.
- Breeding in Stall Fed Goat Farming:- Usually, female goats (Does) are ready for breeding within 8 months of their age. These female goats should be introduced with male goats during heat time. After successful breeding, one can expect kids after 160 days (this depends on goat breed). Strong and healthy male goat will produce healthy kids.
Marketing of Stall Fed Goats: Have contract with local meat shop owners or sell in open markets. There is a huge demand and get more profits especially during Bakrid festival.
Bottom Line of in Stall Fed Goat Farming: Being said, most of the activities performed in goat farming are in our control hence there is a good chance of getting short term profits in stall fed goat farming.