Thursday, August 11, 2016

How To Start A Goat Farm

Be sure to check with your local authorities to make sure goats are legally acceptable in your community.   Goats don’t like wet and damp; they prefer a dry pasture with a good barn or shelter. Remember that goats are extremely social; so plan for at least two.  A goat left on its own may noisily call for a friend and become a four-legged vehicle of destruction.
Check and double-check your budget.  Goats eat lots and continuously throughout the day. Plan to invest a significant portion of your budget into feeding and veterinary care. Every bit of food eaten affects the flavor of the milk you harvest and the cheese you make.  Opt for clean foods and healthy pasture vegetation.
Goats have a somewhat delicate constitution that requires regular veterinary care and monitoring. Goats can get sick easily and die quickly. Their curiosity makes them susceptible to accidents; they need to be closely monitored.  Milk dairy goats on, at least, a daily basis to prevent painful infections. If you plan to leave the farm for any amount of time, hire a knowledgeable farm sitter to take care of the animals.
What is a goat’s environment?
Goats graze grass, just like cattle and sheep.  The difference is that they can live off of thinner grass cover than other animals of similar size. Ever seen wild goats on your favorite animal show?  They live in hilly terrain, similar to the craggy highlands their ancestors once roamed. Feral goats also occupy pine meadows and tropical and temperate forests.
Domestic goats may also be kept in areas without any vegetation, as long as they are cared for daily by humans. They can survive on dry roughage, such as hay, for long periods of time.
What are the top-selling farm goats?
Some good examples of top-selling farm milk goats are Alpine, Nubian, Kinder  and Toggenberg to name just a few.  Breeds such as Angora, Nigora and Pygora are popular for their fleece and used for producing cashmere and mohair.
Goats are kept by farmers, both commercial and hobbyist, for  milk, fleece and meat. Many cultures around the world include goat meat as a staple of their diets;  but, as of 2016, there is little demand in the US.  Nigerian Dwarf goats are one popular breed that have traditionally been bred for both meat and dairy, but they have also become popular as pets due to their small size and simple maintenance.

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