Most people are on the lookout for ways to earn quick profits. If you are one of them, you might think of entering the arena of small businesses that demand minimal investments, but award high gains. These businesses are not only popular in India, but also in the rest of the world. One such business is goat farming which is very profitable and one can start with minimum investment in India. In this article, I am going to share some useful information and business plan sample for profitable commercial goat farming in India.
Opportunities in Goat Farming in India
- You are well aware that goat meat is extremely popular across the globe. This is because there are several breeds that serve as excellent quality meat, such as Black Bengal, Boer, Matou, etc.
- Then again, goat milk is highly digestible and rich in nutrients. Breeds, such as Jamunapari, Black Bengal, Sirohi, etc, should prove to very useful for this purpose.
- Some breeds have splendidly smooth and good quality skins. They include Maradi, Black Bengal, etc. These skins sell well in both, local and international marketplaces.
- The Angora and Cashmere breeds produce marvelous fiber.
- Finally, you may sell the goat’s droppings as organic fertilizer to farmers.
Commercial Goat Farming Business Plan
Now, you cannot have all the breeds in the world on your farm!
- You will have to decide what direction your business is going to take, prior to purchasing pure breeds or cross breeds suitable for the purpose.
- Note that pure breeds tend to flourish in particular climatic conditions only.
- For instance, the Sirohi loves the dry and hot weather of Rajasthan in India.
- In case, you wish to have it in another part of the country, you would have to go in for a crossbreed, such as the progeny of an uncastrated Sirohi male and a Black Bengal female.
- Request an experienced professional for help in selecting your ‘goat’ breeds.
Next, consider how many males and females you would like to house on your farm. We categorize goats as uncastrated males or bucks, castrated males or wethers and females or does. It is possible to have both, kids and adults, on your farm.
Land and Fencing – Goat Shed Construction Plan
There are no specifics as far as selection of land is concerned. You are welcome to go ahead with whatever you have, as long as it has some greenery in it and suffices as a healthy grazing area for your goats.
At the same time, ensure that there is sufficient space for housing your goats, as well as their caretakers, separately. The caretakers will have to reside there 24 x 7 x 365.
In case, the farm is on the outskirts of the town/city, your goats will be able to live in peace! Regardless of the location of the farm, it requires a well-defined boundary.
Towards this end, you may go in for fencing with bamboo sticks, which should not prove too costly. Alternatively, you may opt for a brick-and-cement wall with a specific entrance, such that your goats gain greater security.
Constructing a Goat Shed
No, you cannot just leave your goats in the open all the time, and forget all about them! You have to offer them a spacious, clean, well-sanitized and hygienic shed.
- The dimensions of the shed will depend upon the amount of land area you possess, the amount you are willing to expend and the strength of your goat farm.
- To illustrate, if you plan to have 100 goats, you must have a shed measuring 60-70 feet x 18 to 20 feet.
- According to the rules, every goat is supposed to have about 10 square feet to call its own.
- Ensure that you use bricks and cement for constructing the walls of the shed.
- The walls should be high, for the goats require proper ventilation.
- Depending upon the climatic conditions evident in your region, you may opt for a roof constructed from asbestos (absorbs heat) or bricks-and-cement.
- The goats have a house, but they need their own yard too, for free movement.
- Place a bamboo fence around the shed, leaving sufficient space for the goats to take morning and evening walks!
- At one side, construct a cement water tank or a water reservoir.
- Keep this filled with fresh drinking water always.
- A bore well, which functions with a submersible pump or motor, should suffice to provide fresh drinking water.
- Your goats require feeding stalls too.
- Create the stall from cement, when placing it inside the shed.
- Create it from steel menzer, when placing it outside the shed.
Fodder for the Goats
Your goats need nutrient-rich food, in order to grow well.
- With regard to newborn kids, grant them access to mother’s milk for two to three months at least.
- The colostrum in the milk enhances their immunity.
- Ten to twelve days after their birth, give them supplementary special kid ration too.
- As they grow, kid goats relish extremely succulent maize and lucern (green fodder).
- Adult goats enjoy feeding on the richly green leaves of Pangara, Subabhul, Anjan, Sheyari and Babulbeans.
- If you plan to go in for complete stall-feeding, then ensure that your goats receive a couple of kilograms of dry fodder, 3 to 4 kg of green fodder and around 200 or 250 grams of readymade seeds (concentrates).
- If your goats will stall feed for some time and engage in free range the rest of the time, then divide the above-mentioned quantities into half-and-half.
- Regardless of what you feed them, your goats must be able to graze naturally too.
- When they do so, their digestive systems function properly and their metabolism remains intact.
Preparation of Silage
If you have the patience and the inclination to do so, you might go in for making silage from green fodder. It will help your goats consume high-quality fodder even during the lean season.
- Silage refers to the production of soft, moist, fruity and green material from green fodder.
- Bajra (pearl millets), maize, jowar (sorghum), etc, are rich in carbohydrates or soluble sugars.
- Cereal fodders or grasses and legumes (ratio of 3:1) are good too, as are dry forage and unwilted leguminous leafy fodders (ratio of 1:4).
You will need a silo or a receptacle for preparing silage.
- Just dig a pit, which is anywhere between 2.5 to 3.0 meters deep.
- It would be best to have it dug on elevated ground.
- Ensure that there is enough space for the fodder to go in comfortably.
- Calculate how much feed your goats will require based on their numbers and the duration of feeding.
- Line the walls with mortar, brick or cement, for water must not enter the silo.
If you have selected the crop that you would like to ensile (conserve the green fodder), you may begin the process of preparing silage. Ensure that the weather is not rainy.
- Does your selected crop have 30% to 35% of dry matter? If not, allow it to dry for a few hours.
- Although you may fill the silo with long fodder too, go in for chaffed/chopped fodder. You will be able to preserve the nutrients better, as well as fill and remove silage easily.
- If you add urea at 1% and salt at 0.5% to grasses and cereals, the nitrogen content and palatability may be improved.
- Addition of molasses (3% to 3.5%) to grasses helps to improve the sugar content.
- Distribute the fodder evenly in the pit. Also, ensure that it rises three to four feet above ground level.
- Use manual labor, bullocks or tractors for tramping upon the fodder.
- Cover the fodder completely with long grasses or paddy straw.
- The covering may be four to five inches in thickness.
- Your silage should be ready within the next couple of months.
When legumes and grasses go into conserving (ensiling) of green fodder, we refer to it as haylage. When we use organic wastes (bovine dung, poultry droppings or litter, swine excreta, etc.) for ensiling, we call it wastelage.
- Excellent silage will exhibit an acidic odor and taste, a pH between 3.5 and 4.2, lactic acid content of 1-2% and ammoniacal nitrogen being less than 10% of the total nitrogen. There is also the absence of sliminess, butyric acid and moulds.
- Good silage will have acidic odor and taste, pH between 4.2 and 4.5, traces of butyric acid and ammoniacal nitrogen going up to 10% or 15% of the total nitrogen.
- Fair silage will show the presence of moulds, butyric acid, ammoniacal nitrogen 20% of the total nitrogen and a pH of 4.8.
- While the rumen has good microbes for synthesizing other vitamins, goats require vitamins E, A and D from external sources. Vitamin A is present in yellow maize and green forage. Vitamins D and E are available as supplements.
- With regard to kids, you may feed them with Terramycin or Aureomycin (antibiotics) for improving their general appearance and keeping infectious diseases at bay.
- Goats consume higher amounts of feed than sheep or cattle do, especially in the form of dry forage. They also have a higher basal metabolic rate.
- If your goats must have strong skeletons, healthy functioning of organ systems and the females producing large quantities of milk, they need phosphorus and calcium.
- Phosphorus should be 3.5 g/50 kg of body weight.
- Calcium should be 6.5 g/50 kg of body weight.
- Hang up lumps of salt at suitable places in the shed. Licking salt helps the goats to have well-toned systems, and even help remove worms from their bodies.
- Based upon the weight of the female goat and how much milk it can produce, it must receive its fair share of a balanced diet.
Goats are prone to various diseases, such as Foot and Mouth (FMD) disease, contagious pneumonia, Anthrax, etc. Therefore, they need placement onto a vaccination schedule. Some of the common vaccinations include –
- Once a year dosage for FMD (either in February or December)
- Annual vaccination for Anthrax (either in May or June)
- IVRI/CCPP vaccine (once a year)
- Annual vaccination for Enterotoxemia (May or June)
- The PPR vaccine is due once in three years.
It would be best to consult a veterinarian and decide what is best for your goats.
Risk Factors in Goat Farming in India
Since you are dealing with living creatures, you are bound to face some risks too, in your goat farming business.
- Mortality Rate – You will have to ensure that the surroundings are extremely hygienic, vaccinations are timely in nature, and food remains uncontaminated. Drinking water must be fresh. Keen vigilance and proper feed management are the keys to keeping the mortality rate down. With regard to kids, provide them with an electric room heater in cold conditions. Allow them to access mother’s milk, to build up immunity.
- Fencing – High and strong boundaries are necessary, if your goats are to remain safe from thieves and wild animals. You will have to maintain a daily head count.
- Infections and Diseases – Goats are more prone to contagious diseases than to other kinds of illnesses. You cannot afford to be negligent in identifying sick animals and keeping them in isolation.
- High Feeding Costs – It would not be wise to lessen the percentage of concentrate in the food. Instead, allow them to graze naturally as often as possible. Alternatively, you may try the Hydroponic System of fodder production. Here, grains are placed in Hydroponic trays and water sprinkled on them at timely intervals. You may gain complete and detailed knowledge about the lengthy process from an expert.
- Marketing – There are specific markets, which demand a high supply of goats, in comparison to others. Check them out. Also, keep track of festivals, for the demand is more on such days.
There are pros and cons to every business venture. Nonetheless, do not allow the ‘cons’ to scare you off the profitable goat farming business.