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Editor, thank you very much for your response on poultry farming last week. Can you, again, explain the simple ways I can start a goat…

Editor, thank you very much for your response on poultry farming last week. Can you, again, explain the simple ways I can start a goat farm.

Habibat Umar, Suleja, Niger State



Goat farming is one of the best ways to raise money and get engaged. One interesting thing about goat farming is that it is easy and anybody can start it along with his/her job.

You can start raising goats for the purpose of producing meat, milk, skin, fiber and manure or for outright sale at the market.

Although the purpose will inform the kind of stock and housing you need, generally it is easier to keep goats.

If you want to start a goat farm, create a fenced in area on your property using no-climb fencing that’s at least 6 feet tall. Next, build or provide a covered shelter in the area, like a small pole barn, for the goats to use during winter and rain storms.

The next thing is to select a goat breed, age, and gender, then buy at least two goats to get your farm started.

One important thing you must note about goat rearing is that housing plays a very important role. Good housing with all types of required facilities available, directly influence the overall production and health of your goats.

Each adult goat requires about 16 square feet of housing area. You also need to make a separate room for doe who has just kidded (give birth of kids) because the kids must be kept in a dry and clean area until they reach 14 weeks of age.

Goats eat almost all types of food, however, feed them a weedy but leafy hay with clover, brush and dandelions. To prevent messes, you can keep the hay in a manger. Your goats will require less grain if you feed them higher quality hay. Never feed your goats excessive grains.

According to Roys Farm, too much grain can cause various types of health problems. Usually, a pregnant doe will need about half kilogram of grains each day.

As a beginner, you always have to be conscious of your goat’s health. Always keep the contact numbers of your nearest vet, so that you can immediately call him/her in case of any emergency.

Take good care of them along with providing good housing and nutritious feeding.

Vaccinate your goats yearly on a regular basis to prevent various types of diseases and health issues. Your adult goats will require yearly vaccines for enterotoxemia and tetanus.

They must be dewormed and also given tick and lice prevention during every fall and spring. Perform regular hoof trimmings for preventing all types of foot injuries.

Other key points you need to know is to allow your budget to guide your plan and size of the farm.

Initially, you can start with couple of goats and then slowly increase.

Go for breeds that are suitable to your area. If you are to start big, buy goats only from certified breeders.

For small holder farmers who buy goats in their towns, they must get veterinary doctor that will check their health and age.

Emmanuel Afolayan, a retired Extension Service Officer, is based in Offa, Kwara State

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