GOAT REARING. Goat is a hollow horned small ruminant also belonging to the family Bovidea of the genus capra. Goat is reared for its meat, milk and hide and skin, e.g, morocco leather from Sokoto Red. Goat milk is the richest of all the milk produced by animals including man.
BREEDS OF GOAT
(i) Sokoto Red (ii)Bornu Red (iii) West African long legged goat (iv)West African dwarf goat (v) Bantu (vi) Anglo-Nubian (vii) Aiphine (viii) Saanen (ix) Kano Brown (x)Bauchi type (xi)Togenburg (xii) Nubian (xiii)Boer (xiv) Anglo (xv)Nandi (xvi) East Africa Small Goat (xvii) Angora.
TERMINOLOGIES USED IN GOAT
Buck (Billy) Adult male goat
Doe (Nanny) Adult female goat
Kid A young or baby goat
Wether A castrated male goat
Kidding Act of giving birth (parturition) in goat
Chevon Meat of goat
Reasons for rearing Goats in West Africa: Reasons for rearing goats in W Africa are: for meat (food) production, I skin production, for milk production highly prolific; producing twins a triplets two times a year, hardy animals which are exceptionally healthy, easier keep, high economic value/feeding cos low, for festivals and sacrificial offerings, for prestige purposes, for income, employment, for educational purposes e teaching and research.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF GOAT
(i) Goats are tough and hardy animals that can survive unfavourable environmental conditions
(ii) They are small bodied animals
(iii) They can produce kids twice in a year
(iv) Goats are reared mainly for skin, meat, milk and fibre
(v) Male goats are often bearded
(vi) Goats are very inquisitive animals
(vii) Both male and female goats have horns
(viii) They are mostly reared on the extensive system of management
(ix) They have a gestation period of between 145 – 154 days or four to five months
(x) They can browse on many forage plants. Hence, the cost of producing goats is cheap
SYSTEM OF REARING GOAT
There are three main systems of rearing goat. These are extensive, semi-intensive and intensive systems.
: Under this system, the goat is allowed to roam about in search of pasture and water. A goat can thrive on any edible material and browses even in extreme condition of drought and rain. It can fend for itself under any condition. It requires very little care as no good housing, feeding and health care are provided. Although the system is cheap, the animals are exposed to adverse weather conditions and thieves.
ADVANTAGES OF THE EXTENSIVE SYSTEM OF REARING GOATS
(i) Low cost of labour
(ii) Low cost of feeding
(iii) Low capital investment e.g. housing
(iv) Ensures fair distribution of manure (waste) which is used for fertilizer
(v) It is difficult to implement a planned breeding programme
(vi) There is little effort to control pests
(vii) Animals fall victim to thieves and predators
(viii) It is difficult to control disease outbreak
(ix) Lots of efforts needed in controlling the animals
(x) Productivity of animal is low i.e. low growth in meat and milk production
Semi-intensive System of goat rearing
: In this system, goats are provided with house which protects them against adverse weather conditions like heat, cold, rain, etc. However, they are allowed to come out and graze in the pasture which is fenced round the goat house. In some cases, feed is provided for the goats in the house which includes grass, household waste and other remnants. The system needs little initial capital outlay but large labour requirement. Disease and parasite incidence are slightly high.
Intensive System in goat rearing
: In this system, the goats are confined within, the stall in a building with limited access to grazing. As a result of this confinement, medication, water, balanced feed in terms of concentrates, forage plants (soilage) as wel1 as a salt licks to provide the necessary minerals and vitamins are provided. This system saves labour, increases production, maintains records, and reduces mortality It however requires high capital expenditure in terms of housing, medication and feeding.
Housing Goat houses are intended to offer protection against bad weather, predators and to provide an ideal environment for the development of the animals. Common features of the goat house are:
(i) It must provide shade from the sun and protection against rain.
(ii) It must be well ventilated and kept dry.
(iii) The shape may vary from the circular type to rectangular structures with series of stalls.
(iv) Walls can be made of bricks, mud or wood.
(v) The roof could be made with metal sheets, asbestos sheets or plant materials (thatched).
(vi) Bedding materials could be straw, wood shavings, etc. The materials chosen must be very absorbent.
(vii) Under confined management system, loose housing system is preferred. Animals are not tied and can therefore move about freely within the building.
(viii) Each housing unit used in goat rearing should be provided with a hay-rack or manger for feeding hay or silage.
(ix) Gates should be strong and the fence should be made with woven wires, barbed wires or chain link.
FEEDING REQUIREMENT FOR GOAT REARING
(i) The feed for goat must be a balanced diet, i.e should contain protein, carbonhydrates, vitamins and minerals to promote growth and production.
(ii) A goat feeds mainly on roughages, i.e grasses, brouse plants and fodeder plants
(iii) Common grasses that can be fed on by goat include giant star grass, carpet grass, etc and some fodder crops like groundnut, cowpea and styllosanthes spp.
(iv) Goat can also feed on concentrate feeds to provide the required nutrients for fast growth and high production
(v) Goat can feed on household and kitchen waste as they are capable of converting these waster into meat
(vi) Zero-grazing (soilage) can be practiced for goat – a system where grasses and legumes are cut and taken to the goats in the peins
(vii) Rotational grazing can also be practiced, whereby goats are moved about in paddocks as they graze on the pasture
HEALTH CARE AND SANITATION
Common routine measures that can adopted for goat health care and sanitation include:
(i) The goat pens and stalls should washed and cleaned daily.
(ii) Sick animals should be isolated treated urgently.
(iii) Dead animals should be buried.
(iv) Goats should be dewormed on regular basis.
(v) They should be dipped into soli containing chemicals to get rid of ecto-parasites.
(vi) Rotational grazing should be practised to avoid parasites bi up
(vii) The environment ought to be c at all times.
Common diseases of goat are anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis rinderpest, red water fever, etc. Drugs vaccines should be administered at appropriate time to prevent the outbreak of these diseases.