March 16, 2008

Research Your Market BEFORE You Buy Your First Goat – Find out what kind of demand for goats exists in your area, then breed for that market. Then take a long hard look at yourself and your intended operation. Are you are going to be a hobbyist or a serious market-oriented producer? If your market is production of animals for meat or raising herd sires/dams, then solicit advice from experienced producers within your chosen field. Applying the wrong techniques to your herd will result in serious health problems for your goats, your bank balance and your sanity.

Choose the RIGHT Breed – Find a breed of goat that fits your climate and situation as well as your goals. Goats are primarily dry climate animals, but some breeds seem to be more adaptable than others to different climatic conditions. For example, Boers were developed for living in the hot and dry climate of the African veld and reportedly encounter serious stomach-worm problems in very rainy areas of the World.

Not Feeding Goats RIGHT & ENOUGH – Goats are picky eaters with easily-upset rumens needing a wide variety of high-quality forage/browse. Research how to feed them properly. Protein is only one element of a feed ration. Long fiber is essential to rumen function. The rumen is the goat’s digestive factory. Calcium-to-phosphorus ratios are critical. Copper, selenium, zinc, and thiamine (Vitamin B-1) are but a few of the important minerals and vitamins essential to a goats health and reproduction.

WRONG Breeding Techniques – Don’t breed large-framed males to small-framed females. Don’t breed does too young or too soon after kidding. Learn from the mistakes made by breeders of livestock and apply that information to your breeding program.

NO Medications and Health Supplies on hand – Learn and understand what you need to have on hand and purchase it before you need it. You won’t have the luxury of time to go get it when an emergency arises.

Do your “homework” before you start raising goats. Go into goat farming for the right reason and attitude. Its more work than you think, not just tethering the goat to a patch of grass all day and then expecting miracles. If you don’t, goats will die unnecessarily due to your laziness lack of knowledge and preparedness.


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