The domestic goat, also known as Capra aegagrus hircus, is one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. Goats are an excellent source of milk, meat, hair, and skin. They are beneficial to humans whether they are alive or deceased. Additionally, since goats are widely farmed, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recorded that there are more than 924 million species of goats in the world during 2011.
Since goats are a source of numerous resources, there are a large number of people who are interested in investing in them. Buying your first goat, however, is not as easy as picking one out from a herd. There are health considerations to think of as well as other logistic requirements of goat raising.
In buying your first goat, there are a few very important details that you must keep in mind. One of the first considerations is buying from a recognized breeder that tests their animals. There are a number of breeders that are accredited with industry regulators and expert organizations. This is important to ensure that the goat you are buying is healthy.
These breeders test their goats regularly for diseases such as Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE), Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), and Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease). These diseases are common in goats. As these diseases are contagious to both goats and humans, buying a sick goat could endanger the health of those caring for them as well as other goats in the area. This means that you will be wasting your money on a goat that is not likely to survive. What’s more, you might also have to spend more money when you or your other goats get sick.
Preparing Your Goat’s Home
After buying your first goat, you have to consider the space where the goat will stay. You will need a shelter where your goat will be comfortable and healthy. In some cases, the fences and shelters are either too small or not sturdy enough to cater the livestock. Basically, a goat fence should be around 4-feet tall. A sturdy goat fence should be either field fencing, cattle or hog panels, or reinforced with electric wire. In building a goat shelter, it is vital to consider the flooring, bedding, dimensions, climate, herd composition, storage, access to water, and general area for routine care.
The recommended flooring is dirt or gravel since the materials are excellent for absorbing urine. The bedding has to be properly insulated so putting down three to four inches of wood shavings or straw is advised. As far as the dimensions of the goat shelter is concerned, goats typically require ten to fifteen square feet of housing if provided an outdoor area.
The shelter must also be designed to withstand the climate of the area. Which means the climate will determine whether the shelter will be an open or closed goat shelter. The composition of the herd will be the determining factor on how big the shelter will become. It is also advisable to have a storage area in the goat shelter to make herding tools much more accessible. Lastly, access to water is vital since it saves time and energy from gathering water from a distant water source.
Caring for Your Goat’s Health
It is imperative to monitor the health of the goat. There are many methods in checking for a sick goat. A farmer must be well aware of the difference in the goat’s behavior. Particularly in its moaning and bleating. Typically, healthy goats are quiet animals that are full of energy. Sick goats, on the other hand, tend to be dull and have a certain bleat that indicates that they are ill. It is important to recognize these signs so that you can attend to their needs immediately. For instance, Goats who are suffering from lice can already receive Cythion at a monthly interval. A solution of 5% Sevin dust is given for goats with dry skin and flaky dandruff.
It is also important to note that goats are highly uncomfortable during the summer. This is a time when they need more attention. Be extra watchful for signs of dullness or sluggishness. It is all the more necessary for you to keep their shelter comfortable to make the summer heat bearable. To counter the heat, you have to keep your goats cool by ensuring that they have ample supply of water. Other ways to keep them cool would be to freeze their vitamins and supplements and then mix them into the goats’ water bucket to drink. It would also help to spray the goats with cold water daily. Be careful, however, of using ice cold water as you can shock them with the extreme change in temperature.
Making a Wise Investment in Goats
When you keep the reminders above in mind when you invest in goats, you have a good chance at making the most of your investment. Buying your first goat from a respectable breeder who tests for CAE, CL, and Johne’s disease gives you a great start. What you do after you buy your goat, however, will have an impact on whether or not you will succeed in goat raising. Be sure to learn everything you can about proper goat raising to increase your chances of having a growing herd of healthy goats. You can then start reaping the benefits of your investment. Note that this will take some time and a lot of effort on your part. Be ready with the knowledge and tools to make the endeavor worthwhile.
There is no denying that goats are some of the most useful animals around. Wanting to cash in on this fact is but natural. More than the profits, you have to carefully think about whether or not you are ready for the responsibility of goat raising. You cannot expect to earn your fortune right after you bring your first goat home. Do your homework and find out everything you can about raising goats for profit. Put in the elbow grease to make sure that your goats have the provisions they need. Pretty soon, you will start seeing the results of your hard work.