Toggenburg Goat Farming Guide:
Introduction of Toggenburg Goat:- This goat breed is famous for milk production and one of the very popular dairy goats originated in the Toggenburg Valley in north-east Switzerland. These goats are credited as being the oldest known dairy goat breeds in the region. This goat breed performs best in cooler conditions. These goats have known for their excellent udder development and high milk production. Toggenburg breed is distributed throughout the world. Other names of this goat include; Toggenburger Ziege, Chèvre du Toggenbourg and Capra del Toggenburgo. Goat farmers can consider Toggenburg breed for commercial dairy production due to their high production of milk. However, this breed can also be reared and raised for meat purpose.
Purpose of Toggenburg Breed:- These goats are reared and raised for dairy (milk).
Toggenburg Goat Description /Conformation:- This Toggenburg breed is medium in size, sturdy, vigorous, and alert in appearance. These goats are slightly smaller than the other Alpine goat breeds. The Toggenburg coat colour ranges from light brown to grey, with white Swiss markings to the face, lower legs and tail area. Male and Female goats may be horned or hornless. The Toggenburg goat facial profile may be concave or straight, but not convex. The ears of Toggenburg are erect and carried forward.
Toggenburg Goat Breed Characteristics and Performance:-
- Toggenburg goats are noted for their excellent udder development.
- Toggenburg goats smaller than Alpine goat breeds.
- The udder of Toggenburg breed goats is well attached and carried high.
- Twinning is common in Toggenburg breed goats and triplets are also possible.
- Toggenburg male goat (buck) weighs up to 90 kg and female (doe) weighs up to 55 to 60 kg.
- When it comes to milk production, on an average they produce 1 to 3 liters per day with fat content of 3.0 to 3.5%. The lactation period may extend up to 10 months.
- Toggenburg kidding intervals though initially long decreased with time to reasonable levels to 302±117 days and the average birth weight of Toggenburg is about 3.25 kg.
Advantages of Toggenburg Goat:- The following are the advantages of Toggenburg goat breed.
- Toggenburg goats are an excellent dairy breeds.
- Toggenburg goats can able to survive in variety of climatic conditions.
- Toggenburg goats have high feed conversion (FCR) ratio.
- This goat breed can also be fed with jack leaves and coconut oil cakes to help in gaining the weight.
- For best growth Toggenburg goats, Alfalfa hay, Sorghum, Molato, Gini Grass, corn silage, pellets, legumes and various types of green grasses can be used for daily fodder requirement.
- Toggenburg goats are suitable for both open grazing and stall feeding.
- Toggenburg goats are helpful in reducing un-employment in rural areas because of their excellent milk production skills.
- Fat and Protein content of Toggenburg milk is high.
Toggenburg Goat Farming Tips: – The following tips are for Toggenburg goat farmers who wants to go for a small scale or large scale commercial goat farming business.
- Should prepare a proper goat farming business plan before implementing Toggenburg goat farming business.
- For breeding purpose, select the Toggenburg goats primarily on body size.
- Before starting the farm, watch you tube videos and read any articles related to Toggenburg goat farming on the web.
- Avoid any poisonous plants/ pasture/feed in the Toggenburg goat farming.
- When you are planning for commercial Toggenburg goat farming, visit nearest farms to know ins and outs of Toggenburg goat characteristics and their management.
- Separate goat kids from adults immediately at birth and feed them pasteurized milk.
- Keep the Toggenburg goat herd separated from sheep and cattle.
- Trim hooves at least four times yearly. Brush Toggenburg goats when needed to remove loose hair and dirt that might contaminate the milk.
- Buy Toggenburg goats only from certified animal breeders and avoid buying from unknown individuals as this may bring many unhealthy animals into your farm.
- For safety, make sure to have a fence around the goat farm/house.
- Make sure the Toggenburg goat house has very good ventilation for fresh air and light.
- All Toggenburg goats should be given proper initial vaccinations before entering into your farm.
- It is advised to have a veterinary doctor to examine the Toggenburg goats on regular basis.
- Pregnant goats, newly born Toggenburg kids should be provided with minerals and nutritious feed.
- Select quality Toggenburg male goats and good reproductive Toggenburg female goats for breeding.
- Pregnant Toggenburg goats should be given special attention for healthy kidding.
- Timely vaccinations in Toggenburg goats will reduce the mortality rate and result in great weight gain and milk production.
- Clean water and timely feeding is important in Toggenburg goat farming.
- Milking machinery and equipment should be kept clean to avoid any contamination in Toggenburg goat farming.
- Isolate the sick Toggenburg goats from the goat flock as soon as possible.
- Making home grown silage will reduce the cost of feed in Toggenburg goat farming.
- Should act quickly with any unexpected diseases in Toggenburg goats.
- Toggenburg Goat kids should be given a special care to ensure sufficient food and milk till they attain certain age and weight.
- Milking the female Toggenburg goats twice a day is advisable especially before providing the fodder/feed.
- One should ensure better feeding and pasturing practices in Toggenburg goat farming.
- Have a proper plan of marketing Toggenburg goats and their milk. This plan should be prepared well before starting of Toggenburg goat farming.
Breeding in Toggenburg Goats:- If you are planning for commercial breeding of Toggenburg goats, it is better to consider various factors when planning the breeding cycle.
- Fodder/Feed flow and feed availability.
- Natural estrus cycle of the Toggenburg goats.
- Market cycle.
- Marketing date and personal management factors.
There are various factors which affect the reproduction percentage of the ewes which are listed below.
- Season of breeding.
- Age of Toggenburg goat.
- Body mass of Toggenburg
- Feed and nutrition.
Mass Mating in Toggenburg Goat Farming:- Find the mating ration of male and female with local animal husbandry. (In most of the goat cases, it is 1 male (buck) per 25 to 30 does). One should make sure that the mating the young ewes happen separately from the mature ewes.
Single Mating in Toggenburg Goat Farming:- Find the mating ratio of male and female with local animal husbandry (In most of the breeds, it is 1 male (buck) per 20 to 25 females (does). With regard to the above, it is very important to keep male goats in small shady camps during hot periods with a small amount of growing supplement and Male Toggenburg goats 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 Toggenburg Goat Farming:- Well, there is an option for artificial insemination in any goat breeding. For artificial insemination in Toggenburg goats, contact local animal husbandry for more information.
Toggenburg Goat Housing:- Proper goat housing is very important and should be secured when you are going for stall-fed Toggenburg goat farming. Wooden flooring is considered best for their house. The place selected for farming of Toggenburg goats 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 Toggenburg goat farming.
Toggenburg Goat Price:- Goat price depends on many factors like breed, age, season and region. However, commercial breeders can bargain for best price. The Toggenburg 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. The Toggenburg goats are cheaper than Boer goats and costlier than other goat breeds.
Marketing of Toggenburg Goats:- A proper goat business plan should ensure the profits in goat farming. Commercial Toggenburg 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 Toggenburg goats.
Bottom Line of Toggenburg Goat Farming:- Toggenburg goat is an excellent breed for commercial dairy production.