Goat rearing is becoming increasingly popular in India. Technological development and improved management practices can maximize returns from the enterprise. However, starting off a goat rearing farm is the most integral factor to ensure good profits in a short period of time.
Here are some tips to get one started:
Location is an important criterion for setting up goat farm. The first thing to check is whether the place has necessary facilities like water, labor. It is good if the place is well connected for travelling so that products can be transported to the nearest market easily and in less time. Also, one should check that the place is quiet, dust-free and the goats have enough empty space nearby for them to graze.
- Right Products
A preliminary survey should be done in the nearby area to find out whether the demand for milk products or goat meat is available. If the place is well connected with good transport facilities to other towns or villages nearby then the farm can start production of all types of products possible.
Selecting the correct goat breed for the goat farm is also important as different breeds are good for milk production, meat or good quality skin for leather and it is necessary to select the most productive breed for each.
- Good Housing
A properly designed house with good air flow, light and drainage is essential for getting good productivity and revenue from the farm. Around 1.5 to 2 sq meter of space is required for each goat and with this the total area for the goat house is to be calculated. Keeping a separate room for milking will be useful for smooth running of the farm.
A fence or boundary around the farm built with ordinary or electric wire is essential to protect the goats from dogs and other animals.
- Proper Feeding
Feeding the goats with enough green nutritious forage is important for good production and returns in a farm. The feed for the goats should be carefully kept in a safe place and wet or contaminated food should be thrown away.
Natural breeding is best for a small farm with a lesser number of goats. Artificial insemination is being used for breeding by modern farmers in large farms nowadays.
- Medical Services
Though diseases are very rare in goats, their health is important to run a farm profitably. It is good to have necessary medical facilities like a veterinary clinic or center available nearby and the required medicines and vaccines can be kept in the farm itself to provide immediate treatment.
A green pasture for grazing is important as it reduces the cost of other food and provides exercise for the goats.
Marketing is an important aspect of a commercial goat farm to introduce the products to small markets in the vicinity and other bigger markets in the country and abroad. This should be given priority right from the starting with the help of reputed consultants with a good track record.
To become successful in goat farming business always try to keep the goats hygienically and always feed them fresh and nutritious goat food as certain feeds can affect the taste of milk and meat of goat. One must always try to keep goats inside the fence and check occasionally if there any holes in the fence.
Prasanna Manogaran, Co-Founder, Aqgromalin