Goat Management

 

Package of Common Management Practices Recommended for Goat rearing Modern and well established scientific principles, practices and skills should be used to obtain maximum economic benefits from goat rearing. Some of the recommended practices are given here under :

Goats Housing management:

Construct shed on dry and properly raised ground.
Avoid water-logging, marshy areas.
In low lying and heavy rainfall areas the floors should be preferably elevated.
In temperate Himalayan region the floor may be made of wood.
The shed should be 10 ft. high and should have good ventilation.
Bucks should be housed in individual pens.
Does can be housed in groups up to 60 per pen.
Provide proper shade and cool drinking water in summer.
Dispose of dung and urine properly.
Give adequate space for the animals. 
Avoid over stocking or crowding.

Selection of Goat breeding stock and it's management:

Animals in good health and having good physical features must be purchased in consultation with Veterinarian/ Bank's technical officer.
Purchase animals which are ready to breed and in prime stage of production.
Identify the newly purchased animals by suitable identification mark.
Vaccinate the newly purchased animals against the diseases.
Keep the newly purchased animals under observation for about 15 days and then mix with the general flock.
Unproductive animals should be culled promptly and should be replaced by the newly purchased animals or farm born one.
Animals are to be bred at the interval of 8-9 months for maximum productivity.
Cull the old animals at the age of 6 years and above.
Avoid the kidding during peak periods of summer and winter.

Goat feeding management:

Ensure Bushes/shrubs for browsing of animals.As an alternative to above, supply of cultivated fodder from own farm or from surrounding farms may be ensured. Offer roughages adlib.As a thumb rule 2/3rds of the energy requirements should be met through roughages. Half of the roughages should be leguminous green fodders and rest half should be grasses/tender tree leaves.

In the absence of good quality green fodders, concentrates must be considered to replace them. Kids should be fed colostrums up to 5 days of age. Later on they can be put on Kid starter rations.

Green leguminous fodders should be offered adlib. to kids from 15 days onwards. Provide salt and water to kids at all times. Additional concentrates should be given to bucks and does during breeding season. Care should be taken to meet the nutrient requirements as recommended.

Protection Goats against diseases:

Be on the alert for signs of illness such as reduced feed intake, fever, abnormal discharge or unusual behavior.
Consult the nearest veterinary aid centre for help if illness is suspected.
Protect the animals against common diseases.
In case of outbreak of contagious diseases, immediately segregate the sick animals from healthy one and take necessary disease control measures.
Deworm the animals regularly.
Examine the faces of adult animals to detect eggs of internal parasites and treat the animals with suitable drugs.
Provide clean and uncontaminated feed and water for minimizing the health disorders.
Strictly follow the recommended vaccine schedule as given in Vaccination Program Section.

Goat Breeding Care:

It should be planned to obtain 3 kidding in 2 years period by adopting optimal management conditions.
For every 25 does one buck should be provided in one breeding season.
Breed the animals 12 hours after the onset of the first symptoms of heat for maximum conception.
Unreadable animals must be examined thoroughly as directed by veterinary doctor for prompt elimination of causes for anoestrus or cull them if necessary.

Care of Goats during pregnancy:

In advanced stage of pregnancy the does must be transferred to either kidding pens or separately earmarked space for kidding with in the main shed after thoroughly disinfecting it. After kidding, the does should be provided with warm bran mash for two days.

Care of Kids:

Almost immediately after birth, the kids, if healthy and strong, are on their legs and make attempts for their mother’s teats. Failure to reach the teats, however, is of no consequence, because the kids do not require nourishment for several hours after birth. If more than one kids is born, it may be necessary especially when they are very young, to ensure that the smallest of them gets its due share of milk, because it may be prevented from doing so by the stronger kids. In case the udder is too full, a proportion of the milk should be drawn from as otherwise the weight of the udder will cause discomfort to the animals. As soon as there is teats should be held by the hand and pressed into their mouths. Once they have drawn a little of the milk, it will not be long before they take to the normal methods of suckling.

Generally, male kids are heavier than the female kids. At birth, a male kid of the Beetal breed will weight about 3 kg. and a female kid about 2-3 kg. For the first three or four days after kidding, goat’s milk like cows milk is considered unsuitable for human consumption. This milk, the so-called colostrums, is yellowish in appearance and is viscous’ it coagulates on boiling. It is nature’s first provision of food for the new born and it must be given to the kids whether they are to be reared on the goat or artificially. Colostrums acts as a laxative and, because of its large contents of vitamin A and serum globulin, it confers immunity against certain diseases.

When about two weeks old, kids begin to nibble green food or dry fodder, and it would be well to see that small quantities of these are within their easy reach at this time. It is also important that kids are allowed plenty of open air and sunlight. In the hot weather, this can best be done by keeping them in an enclosure build round a tree so that they may also be provided with shade. The enclosure should be large enough to allow them plenty of exercise.

At the age of 2 to 3 months, the suckling may be practically discontinued and at four months the kids should be completely weaned because by this time they will become fit like the older goats to eat solid food, although they may as well be allowed to suckle a little longer.

Male kids, unless they are required for breeding purposes, should be castrated at the age of 2 to 3 months for it has been proved that castration improved the quality of meat. Otherwise, they should be kept separated from the female kids.

The rearing of kids may be either natural or by hand rearing and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In India, it is the natural method that is usually practiced and this consists of in leaving the kid to take what amount of milk it can obtain from its mother. Hand rearing is resorted to when weaning is practiced or when the goat dies. There are two methods of hand rearing’ one consists of feeding the kid with a bottle and the other is feeding it off the pail. Both methods are learned by them easily, but bottle feeding is to be preferred because the saliva that is produced during the process of suckling the milk aids digestion. Kids will also readily take to feeding on a foster mother when they are put on her teats.

Male kids for breeding should be fed and handled in much the same way as doe kids, except for the fact that they require a little more milk as well as gram ration than the female kids on account of the larger size they have to attain. Kids with body size below normal should be discarded, as they seldom prove good breeders when mature. They should be fed well at all ages to keep them in good condition, but excessive feeding should be avoided, particularly when they are old because, if fat, they become sluggish and are slow breeders. Where the animal is unduly fat, its grain ration should be cut. At one year, a buck should receive 1.8 kg of grain mixture the allowance being increased by 50 per cent during the breeding season. A liberal amount of fodder should be given. An average of 7 to 8 kg. of green fodder per day should be adequate for a full grown Jamunapari buck when entirely stall fed.

Take care of new born kids by providing guard rails.

Treat / disinfect the naval cord with tincture of iodine as soon as it is cut with a sharp knife.
Protect the kids from extreme weather conditions, particularly during the first two months.
Dehorn the kids during first two weeks of age.
Male kids should be castrated for better quality meat production.
Vaccinate the kids as per the recommended schedule.
Wean the kids at the age of 8 weeks.
Proper selection of kids on the basis of initial body weight and weaning weight should be initiated by maintaining appropriate records for replacing the culled adult stock as breeders.
Additional feed requirements of lactating does must be ensured for proper nursing of all the piglets born.

Marketing:

The marketable product of goat farming includes the fattened kids, manure, culled animals. Marketing avenues for the above products are slaughter houses and individual meat consuming customers and agriculture farms. Therefore availability of either slaughtering facilities or traders who will purchase live animals should be ensured to convert the fatteners into wholesome meat and meat products. Further, demand for manure from nearby agriculture farms must also be ensured.