Goat meat and goat milk are known as Cabrito. Both are very useful and healthy. Goat meat is very easily digested and the milk is less in lactose content. So either way, goat products are very useful for humans. This must be one of the reasons why more than 60% of the red meat that is consumed across the world is goat meat. No wonder there is a new trend (or an old trend in a new package) in the form of raising goats. The demand for goat meat is so high that farmers have started raising meat goats for profit.
There are very few other animals that can be as easily-reared as goats. Goats require very less maintenance as compared to many other pets and livestock. There are a few things that must be considered before raising goats for money or any other kind of profit. Goats are also a great option for those who are looking to raise them just as pets. Given below are a few things to consider before beginning to raise goats.
A quality pasture is required for raising goats properly. A pasture that can support 6 to 8 goats per acre is more than sufficient. Adding 1 or 2 goats per head of cattle can be a good thing for a start as well. Goats improve the grazing of the cattle by eating weeds that cattle do not eat. If there are no cattle, then you can always improve and rotate several better forage species into the pasture, which will ultimately increase the stocking capacity of the land. For starters, it is best to have only a few goats so that there will not be much stress on the newly-formed business.
Prior consideration of the shelter for the goats is very important. You will want to consider building a quality barn or pen for the goats that will protect them from the winter cold. Each doe will require approximately 20 square feet of space. The space will vary as per the type of your production system and the breed of the goats. Slaughter goats will require moderate space as compared to lactating goats. Old dairies, machine sheds, and old outbuildings can also prove to be a great shelter for the goats. Remember, goats need an area that is more open, dry, and cold.
Raising goats for profit requires a basic thing and that is the equipment and the machinery that is required for the care and maintenance of the goats. Equipment for clipping the pastures and cleaning the barns, maintaining the hay, proper fences that are made of high-tensile elastic, sorting pens, holding pens, and chutes to control the goats are a few things that are needed. There are several instruments available that are required for trimming the feet, ear tagging, and shearing the Angora goats for mohair.
The most important thing of all is, of course, the goats. It is very important to select the right breed. One has to make sure what breed he wants to raise for making money. There are two types of goats, namely, meat goats (slaughter goats) and dairy goats (lactating goats). There are many kinds of meat goats to choose from, like Boer, Kiko, Savannah, Spanish, and Pygmy goats. Dairy goats include Nubian, French Alpine, Saanen, LaMancha, Toggenburg, Oberhasli, etc.
Health and Care
The health of the goats is a prime thing to consider. There are a lot of things that will demand serious amount of personal attention. These things are buck care, baby kid care, weaning, vaccination, internal as well as external parasite control, foot trimming, feeding, and many more. Labor and capital are the two things that play a vital role in maintaining the health of the goats.
Goats are a great source of milk and cheese that is low in lactose, low-fat and cholesterol-free meat, and the smooth mohair that can be very useful for clothing. Goats can also be great pets and are fun to watch, raise, and breed. However, raising goats for making money requires something more than just fun. They are very easy to raise, and anyone can do that with just a little bit of TLC. However, if you are looking for raising meat goats for profit, then you will need to be a little selective about several things. It will require a fair evaluation of all the available resources that you will have to devote to the project.
- The primary thing is that raising goats for business purposes will be a full-time commitment. You will have to pay attention to it no matter what other obligations you have. Once you have come to the decision of raising goats to make money, the most important thing that remains is the marketing of the goats.
- Raising goats can be a mistake if there are no profitable outlets available for them. Raising goats to make money will be very profitable if you are located in a city, because there can be a large ethnic diversity there.
- This activity can be timeserving only when there are enough buying stations, sale barns, goat pools, restaurants, or processing plants nearby. Selling the goats directly to the customer will be a great advantage.
- You can sell the goats to other goat producers, breed organizations, breeding stock sales, state organizations, and several farm websites. There are several goat breeding registries like 4H or FFA that can make a good deal and help your plan succeed.