How to Choose the Goat Breeds For Your Farm

Cute and cuddly: those are the two terms people associate with goats. This can be true, if you are raising goats as pets. However, if you are trying to establish a goat farm, you will quickly discover that these two terms are the farthest descriptions you can give your animal wards. Like all animal husbandry practices, raising goats also means having to deal with housing units, choosing feeds and dietary supplements, keeping out unwanted predators (especially wild animals in the surrounding areas,) health check ups done by the vet, updating or buying tools and machineries, regular inspection done by the authorities, knowing the breeding cycle of goats, and most important of all, choosing what breed of goats you intend to keep.
Although you can buy any breed of animal you want, raising goats according to their output will help you quickly regain your investments, and make your endeavors into a profitable business. As such, there are four types of goat farming. These are:
1. Raising goats for their fibers.
Wool is the most common fiber to be harvested from goats. But you can also acquire mohair and cashmere wool; both of which are usually prized for their silken texture and softness. For medium class wool, which is similar to sheep wool but only somewhat thicker, you would need to buy nigora and pygora goats (hybrid goats.)
Angora goats produce mohair and cashmere goats produce cashmere wool. And these are about 100 times more expensive than the common wool. However, you can only every successfully establish a goat farm of this kind in areas that are very cold or experience near freezing temperatures.
2. Raising goats for their meat.
The South African Boer goats are considered as the true meat yielding goats because of their fast growth rate, the high litter count, and their resiliency to almost all kinds of animal diseases. Very young goats are highly prized for their tender meats which are sold as fresh produce in the market. On the other hand, meat coming from older animals is usually incorporated in processed food items like cured, salted or smoked meat.
Other types of meat producing breeds are the: Brush, Kiko, Myotonic (also called Fainting goats,) Spanish, and the West African Dwarf goats.
3. Raising goats for their milk.
Goat milk can be used as a substitute for cow's milk because it contains fewer levels of lactose, which makes it perfect for lactose intolerant people. However, goat's milk can also be used in: buttermilk, candy, cheese (and cream cheese), clarified butterfat (ghee,) kefir (alcoholic beverage,) yogurt... or incorporated in a number of bath and beauty care products as well.
The Anglo-Nubian breed is considered as the best producers of quality goat milk. But other breeds like the: Alpine, La Mancha, Oberhasli, Saanen and Toggenburg also yield great milk outputs.
4. Raising goats as pets.
Pet goats are usually chosen for their quiet and docile demeanors. However, many people choose animals that are low maintenance as well. Some of the best breeds that can be raised as home or farm pets are the: Anglo-Nubian, Pygmy goat, and the South African Boer goat.

5 Tips to Help You Start Raising Goats

Without a doubt, goat farming is one of the more profitable businesses these days. Aside from selling fresh and processed meats in the markets, there is also goat milk that can be harvested and sold fresh or used as ingredients to other food items (e.g. candy, cheese, yogurt, etc.) and skin care products (e.g. lotions, soaps and creams.) Fibers from these animals also yield wool, mohair and cashmere wool; and there are now farms that raise and sell docile goats as pets. If you are thinking about raising goats as a business venture, here are 5 guide to raising goats tips you might want to consider.
Guide to raising goats tip #1: Consider what kind of production you want to get into. Would you like to sell goat meat, milk, fibers or pets? Naturally enough, you can sell both goat milk and meat at the same time, (or whatever combination you would want.) But that would entail a huge overhead expenditure right from the very beginning. It would also mean getting a very large number of animals, and an equally large farm space. Try to start this business venture small. This will help keep your expenses down while you learn the ropes of raising goats on a commercial scale.
Guide to raising goats tip #2: Now that you have chosen what kind of production you want to get into, you need to choose carefully what breed of goats you can order in. Goat breeds like the Angora, Cashmere, Nigora and the Pygora are excellent for fiber production. The best producers of goat meat are the: South African Boer, Kiko, Brush, Myotonic (also known as the Fainting goats,) West African Dwarf and the Spanish goats. Goats breeds like the Alpine, Anglo-Nubian, La Mancha, Saanen, Toggenburg and Oberhasli are the best milk producers; while docile breeds like the: Anglo-Nubian, South African Boer and the Pygmy goats can be raised and sold as pets.
Guide to raising goats tip #3: Learn all you can about commercial goat raising. Subscribe to lessons in goat rearing, and how to harvest and sell goat based products. Ask local goat farmers for tips and a few tricks of the trade. The more you know about this kind of business endeavor, the more you can quickly regain your overhead expenses and profit from your hard work.
Guide to raising goats tip #4: Always seek out the services of a veterinarian. As a rule, goats are very hardy animals, and are quite low maintenance too. But if you are selling the meat and milk of the animals, you need the animals to be issued clean bills of health. Besides, having a vet on your farm's payroll is mandatory in most states.
Guide to raising goats tip #5: Build adequate housing for your animals. Goats would need protection from both the elements and potential predatory animals. In order to thrive, one goat would need at least 4 meters of indoor floor space with a lot of head room so that it can stand. Housing should also include a separate feeding area, watering station, beddings, and milking or shearing stations, especially if you are raising goats for milk or fiber production respectively.
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