|The goat is a versatile animal. It is known as the ‘poor man’s cow’ in India. Goats can be kept with littler expense. Marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for other types of livestock may be used and any inexpensive shelter will suffice. Of all the domestic animals, the goat undoubtedly has the greatest range of adaptations. Goat thrives well on poor agricultural lands, where they browse on incidental vegetations. In arid areas where vegetation is sparse and is too steep for cultivation, goats roam more widely than other herbivores and meet their requirements from browsing on weeds neglected by others. They have a higher tolerance to feed deficient in crude protein and certain minerals. Goat milk is cheap, wholesome, easily digestible and nutritious. It is recommended for use in dyspepsia, peptic ulcer and pyloric stenosis. It is also preferred to cow milk for liver dysfunction, jaundice, biliary disorders, acidosis and insomnia.Goats fall into four categories: meat, wool, dairy and dual (multi) purpose. Some goat breeds are dual purpose (e.g. meat and wool, or meat and milk).|
|Breeds||High altitude: Saanen, Toggenburg, East African goatsMedium altitude: German Alpine, East African goats Gala, Boer, Toggenburg, Angora.Low altitude: East African goats, Gala, Boer.|
|Brooding||Selecting a breeding buck:
A healthy and good quality buck (he goat) must be healthy, strong and should have a well developed body frame. It must be of productive breed. It must have normal sexual organs and well developed testicles. The buck must be selected from does that produce a high volume of milk and are prolific.
The number of does per male should be limited (the recommended ratio is 1male for 35 does)
The Buck must be free of any physical defects e.g. undershot or overshot jaws
It should have a strong masculine head and neck and should seek out females on heat and mate them. If it’s shy and timid it should be culled.
Badly worn teeth indicate old age. Males with split, missing or worn teeth should not be selected for breeding as they are physically unable to browse or graze properly.
Replace bucks after 18-24 months of active service to prevent inbreeding.
Selection a breeding doe:
The doe must be well built and healthy. A female should not be mated unless it’s physically fit.
Legs should be checked for deformities and hooves trimmed. Good strong legs are essential from breeding doe.
It should produce kids every 8-10 months, It should produce twins frequently, It should produce enough milk to rear the twins and for the household consumption
The udder should be soft to touch with two functional teats. Any hardiness indicates the female has had a problem e.g. mastitis. Long and big udders predisposes the doe to mastitis.
Badly worn teeth indicate old age. Females with split, missing or worn teeth should not be selected for breeding.
Inbreeding – This is mating of closely related individuals without the introduction of new animals from outside.
Line breeding – This is a mild form of inbreeding designed to concentrate the genes of a specific ancestor.
Crossbreeding – This is system where two different parent breeds are mated. The first generation crosses are intermediate to the parent breeds. The offspring are superior to the parental breed in some cases (hybrid vigour).
Backcrossing – This involves crossbred offspring’s being bred to one of the parents.
Signs of a doe on heat are The vulva appears swollen and reddened, loosing of appetite and restlessness, Frequent urination, Bleating and nervousness, Wagging of the tail and Slight mucus discharge from the vulva
|Feeds and feeding||Goats require five major classes of feeds i.e. Energy, Protein, Vitamins, Water and Mineral salts. Goats consume a wide variety of grasses, weeds and small branches of bushes and trees. They can consume leaves, peelings and roots of vegetables, husks of corn, citrus and banana peeling and other waste plant residues. Goats are ruminant and therefore chew cud and are able to utilise roughage with high fibre content. They produce protein, vitamin B and K in the rumen.Sources of Protein: Leucaena, Calliandra, Mulberry, Grevellia, Gliricidia, Sesbania, Tithonia, Lantana camara, Siratro and Sweet potato vine.
Energy feeds: Rhodes grass, Napier grass, Panicum spp, Cenchrus spp, Sorghum, Bana grass.
Crop residues: Maize, millet, Rice, Wheat, Barley, oats Sorghum others include bean haulms, Sugar cane tops, Sunflower heads.
Care of Pregnant Doe (She-goat): Protein supplements are important during the dry period. Deworm the doe two weeks prior to kidding. The complete meal should comprise of both the protein and energy feed. Provide the does with salt lick and at least either half a kilo of dairy meal per day or a mixture of pollard and bran. Provide adequate clean water all the time.
|Husbandry||Excess male kids of dairy breeds are typically slaughtered for meat. Both does and bucks of meat breeds may be slaughtered for meat, as well as older animals of any breed. The meat of older bucks (more than one year old) is generally considered not desirable for meat for human consumption. Castration at a young age prevents the development of typical buck odor.Goats can be field grazed or reared in Cut and Carry. Cut-and-carry is the practice of cutting down grasses, corn or cane for feed rather than allowing the animal access to the field, is particularly suited for types of feed, such as corn or cane, that are easily destroyed by trampling.|
|Pest & Diseases||Pest Name||Symptoms||Control|
|Mastitis||Swollen under, painful to touch||Observe cleanliness while milking|
|Brucellosis||High fever, diarrhea||Vaccination|
|Foot rot||Lameness, redding around the coronet||Clean and dry beddings|
|Abscesses||Suparative swellings||Avoid sharp objects that can harm the animal.|
|housing||Housing is an important factor for profitable goat farming business. Small scale farmer generally keep their goats with their other livestock animals. But for commercial production, a good quality goat housing is highly recommended for better production. A good house not only give shelter and protects the goats from predators but also prevent them from various types of goat diseases. Always keep the house neat, clean and dry. Make proper ventilation and drainage system inside the house. Also ensure the availability of sufficient fresh air and light inside the house.|
|Regions||Nakuru, Trans Nzoia and Kajiado|
|Expected yields||10-20 goats per acre depending on the availability of pasture. The cut and carry system can accommodate more.|
|Goat milk and meat is usually sold locally. Due to their high level of nutrition, they are good for consumption by children, pregnant women, cancer and HIV patients.|
|Price||Goat Milk cost Ksh 60 -100 per litre|
|Products / Uses||Goat products are milk, meat and fiber. Milk is used for drinking and cheese while fiber is used by spinners and weavers to make clothes.|
|Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values||Total fat 6%, saturated fat 3g 13%, cholesterol 11mg 4%, sodium 50mg 2%, carbohydrates 4g 1%, sugar 4g, vitamin A 4%, vitamin C 2%, Calcium 13% and iron 0%.|
FACTS & FIGURES
|Goats were the first animals domesticated by man in 10,000 B.C. The phrase Judas goat is a tern that has been used to describea goat that is trained to herd other animals to slaughter whileits own life is spared.Most goats can be found in Asia and the Mid-East. Goats were the first animals to be used for milk by humans.There are over 210 breeds of goats in the world. There are approximately 450 million goats around the world. Goats were first brought to America by Columbus in 1493. Goats were regularly imported into America in the early 1900’s.
The female goat is called a “doe” or “nanny.”The male goat is called a “buck” or “billy.”A castrated male goat is called a “wether.” A baby goat is called a “kid.”
The doe can have 1 to 6 kids per litter, however, 4 to 6 kids are rare.
Goats do not have teeth in their upper front jaw. Goats have 24 molars and 8 incisors. Both male and female goats can have beards.