Goat management. The management of goat from breeding to market weight or size is grouped into three phases. These are:
(i) from breeding to kidding during goat management,
(ii) from kidding (birth of kid) to weaning
(iii) from weaning to finishing (market size).
Goat Management: A Comprehensive Guide
Goats are among the most versatile and hardy livestock animals and have been domesticated for thousands of years. They are easy to manage and provide a variety of products such as meat, milk, and fiber, making them a popular choice for small-scale farmers and homesteaders. However, to ensure the health and productivity of your goat herd, it’s important to have a solid understanding of goat management, including the types of goats, common diseases, and appropriate housing. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully raise and manage your goat herd.
Types of Goats
There are numerous breeds of goats, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. Some of the most popular breeds include:
- Alpine: These goats are known for their high-quality milk production and are often used for dairy purposes.
- Boer: These goats are known for their meat production and are highly valued for their fast growth and high-quality meat.
- LaMancha: These goats are known for their sweet and docile personalities, making them a popular choice for those who want a pet goat.
- Nubian: These goats are known for their high-quality milk that has a higher butterfat content than other breeds, making it ideal for cheese and butter production.
- Pygmy: These goats are known for their small size and playful personalities, making them popular as pets.
Common Diseases in Goats
Goats are generally hardy animals, but they are susceptible to several diseases. Some of the most common diseases include:
- Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA): This is a chronic and contagious disease that affects the lymph nodes of the goat.
- Foot Rot: This is a bacterial infection that affects the hooves of the goat and can cause lameness.
- Johnes Disease: This is a chronic and degenerative disease that affects the digestive system of the goat.
- Mastitis: This is an inflammation of the mammary glands that can cause pain, swelling, and reduced milk production.
- Parasites: Goats are susceptible to a variety of internal and external parasites, including lice, mites, and worms.
Types of Goat Housing
The type of housing you choose for your goats will depend on several factors, including the size of your herd, the climate in your area, and your budget. Some of the most common types of goat housing include:
- Loafing Sheds: These are simple structures that provide shelter from the elements and can be used for feeding and loafing.
- Barns: These are more permanent structures that provide protection from the elements and can be used for housing, feeding, and milking.
- Pens: These are enclosed areas that are used for feeding and loafing and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and concrete.
Preventing Diseases in Goats
To prevent diseases in your goat herd, it’s important to follow a few basic management practices, including:
- Maintaining good hygiene: Regular cleaning of pens, feeding areas, and water troughs will help to reduce the spread of disease.
- Providing proper nutrition: A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals will help to keep your goats healthy and prevent diseases.
- Quarantine new animals: Before introducing new goats to your herd, it’s important to quarantine them for several weeks to ensure that they are not carrying any diseases.
- Regular check-ups
BREEDING IN GOAT MANAGEMENT
Buck and doe meant for breeding are kept in a building which is well ventilated, railed and walled. The floors should be made with concrete and the roof with corrugated iron sheets
Buck and doe should be at least 12months of age before they are used for breeding. Seven to ten days of mating, the doe should be given a high plane of nutrition in order to increase the number of kids ovulated, and consequently, an increase in the number of kids to be given birth to. This process of increasing the feed intake of goat is called flushing.
Before flushing, it is advisable to deworm the goats to get rid of endo-parasites. The buck is brought to mate the doe (hand mating) during the heat period.
The gestation period of the doe is about 145 – 150days. During the gestation period, the doe days. During the gestation period, the doe should be allowed to graze in the pasture and supplementary feeds in form of concentrates should fed to the doe. Clean drinkable water should also be provided for the doe.
Few days to parturition, adequate sanitation, comfortable bedding and clean water should be provided. Signs of approaching parturition include mucus discharge from vulva, undue noise making, frequent urination and restlessness. At kidding, the doe should not be disturbed unless in case of difficult kidding during which the attendant can render some help to save the doe and the kid.
BIRTH OF KID TO WEANING
When the kid is born, mucus membrane is wiped from their nose to enhance normal breathing prevent suffocation. The navel cord which can break off on its own is dipped in iodine solution to prevent infection and to promote fast healing. The doe is allowed to lick up the mucus from the body of the kid because it derives satisfaction from it and it also promotes milk let-down. The placenta, which should come out few hours after birth should be disposed of and the pen cleaned. The udder should be washed and disinfected.
The feed intake of the doe should be increased to promote easy production of milk to feed the kid. At about two weeks of age, creep feed, which is rich in protein, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins should be given to the kid. This promotes rapid growth of the kid and early weaning.
Kids not required for breeding are castrated to prevent indiscriminate mating. Identification marks, either by branding, tattooing or ear notching, should be given old. The kids should also be vaccinated against foot and mouth disease, rinderpest and anthrax diseases.
During weaning, the kids should be introduced to roughages in order to promote the functioning of the rumen. Throughout this period, high level of sanitation has to be maintained to prevent diseases and parasitic infection.
Weaning to Finishing or Market Size
The kids are weaned and separated from the doe at about eight weeks of age. They are kept in the growing house from where they can go out to browse and graze on grasses and legumes.
The semi-intensive system is the best method of rearing goat in Nigeria. In addition to the roughages they feed on by rotational grazing, supplementary yam and banana peelings and other household wastes can be given to the goat to feed on. Salt licks, which is rich in minerals and vitamins as well as cool and clean water should be provided regularly.
In order to prevent parasitic infestation, good sanitary conditions has to be maintained through regular dipping of the animals in chemical solution, to eradicate ecto-parasites, and regular deworming with lead arsenate or phenothiazine using drenching gun to administer the dewormer which kills endo-parasites like tapeworm and ascaris.
The vaccination programme on rinderpest, brucellosis, foot and mouth, and anthrax diseases should be repeated.
With good housing, feeding and healthcare, the goat will mature within four to six months
HERE YOU WILL FIND EVERY AVAILABLE TOPICS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY. AND THE LINKS TO THEIR VARIOUS SOURCES.
- imited liability companies
- market concept
- money market
- how companies raises funds for expansion
- BALANCED DIETS
141. LACTATION DIETS
- RINDER PESTS
148. NEWCASTLE DISEASE
149. BACTERIA DISEASES
153. FUNGAL DISEASES
- PROTOZOAN DISEASES
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