Farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative be it subsistence or for cash, because of the mild weather and availability of rainfall in most parts of the country. Farming can be divided into Crop and animal farming, all especially when they are focused at for cash profit are lucrative business ventures. This article will focus on animal farming and more primarily, goat farming.
A good background knowledge is always good when it comes to the business of goat farming, getting to know the animal analytically will go a long way in making sure that prospective goat farmers experience less hazards and more profit margin while engaging in the business. Goats are herbivorous (plant eating) animals which belong to the ruminant group of mammals. Ruminants are characterized by these features:
- Four stomachs
- Cud chewing behavior
The feeding habits of goats can be classified into ‘intermediates’ which mean they are both browsers (herbivores which consume highly nutritious shrubs and twigs) and grazers (herbivores which consume lower quality grasses. The major difference between ruminants and other single stomached animals is the presence of a four compartment or four partitioned stomach which includes the reticulum, omasum, abomasum and the rumen.
Types Of Goats In Nigeria
There are basically three breeds of goats in Nigeria:
Red Sokoto/Maradi Goat
This breed of goats is found mostly in the north-western parts of the country but have found their way to the savannah areas too. They carry a darkly red coat and weigh a maximum of 30kg when mature. Its bred for its valuable skin and mostly for its meat.
The Sahel Goat
These occupy the Sahel region of Nigeria. They come in an array of colours ranging from white, black and brown colours. They have pretty short ears, fine hair and long legs. When matured the Sahel goat weighs approximately 34kg. They adapt well to grazing and nomadic life. Their meat is most precious along with its milk and hide.
The West African Dwarf or popular called WAD goats
These breeds belong to the forest regions of Southern Nigeria, they are characteristic of the WAD breed its stocky hardiness and trypanotolerant. They have small bodies and short sometimes sturdy legs. Their colour vary from black, white and brown sometimes a combination of all colour. These breeds are known to give birth to twins, triplets, even quadruplets. At maturity they weigh 25kg at most and are valuable for their meat and dairy products.
Raising Goats for milk production
Prospective goat farmers who wish to rare goats for milk production should note that water is a primary nutrient for goats and also feeding goats with excellently nutritious forage will help in boosting milk produce.
Raising goats for meat production
Farmers wishing to raise goats for meat purpose should note that meat goats require high volume of water, energy, protein and vitamin rich diets. Water is the most vital nutrient for meat goats as they can go a long time without food but never without water, also fiber rich diets will help the animal to grow well.
Signs To Know A Goat In Heat Period
Heat periods in animals is when a female animal is ready to mate with the male.
- The doe wags her tail.
- The does act bucky or charged; the doe mounts other does in the herd or allows them to mount her back and will stand for mating.
- The doe gets talkative
- The doe urinates often.
- The buck acts goofy or silly; the buck will wag his tongue, slap a front hoof against the ground, urinate on his own face,
- Milk volume changes; she may resist getting on the milk stand and you may get little or no milk from the doe.
- Her tail gets sticky; the tail may become red, swollen, and wet with a gel-like vaginal discharge.
- Some Signs that shows your goat (doe) is pregnant;
- The doe appetite goes up and milk production goes down.
- The doe’s belly tightens.
- The doe’s personality changes; this is caused by a change of hormone and progesterone.
- The buck’s personality changes; the buck may become aggressive toward the bred doe.
- The doe’s udder swells.
- The doe snores; all goats snore but a pregnant doe snore more loudly. With the all we have discussed, you can see that starting a goat farming business in Nigeria is quite easy compares to the rearing of other livestock. We wish you a successful goat business
Signs Of A Sick Goat
- Sick goats won’t drink nor eat.
- Kicking or biting their stomach; bloated.
- The will have a green or cloudy nasal discharge.
- Fever (note; a Body temperature above 103.5 indicate fever and a body temperature above 101.5 indicates subnormal temperature)
- Showing symptoms of pain like grinding their teeth
- They have loose feces which indicates diarrhea or problems in their bowel movement
- Having a rapid or slow breathing
- They have a hard time urinating or they suffer pain when urinating
- Pressing their head against fences or walls
- Their eyelids turn gray or pale in color