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.