Goats can be a great animal to add to your farm. They’re easy to handle and produce lots of delicious and healthful milk as well as low-fat meat. Plus, goat manure makes the great fertilizer. Furthermore, they can be a great animals to add to your farm. They’re easy to handle and produce lots of delicious and healthful milk as well as low-fat meat. Here is how to raise goats in your small farm
Why you should raise them
One female goat will produce 90 quarts of fresh milk every month for 10 months of the year. That said, you can’t keep just one – you’ll need to keep two goats at a minimum, so they don’t get lonely.
Each castrated male goat, will produce 25 to 40 pounds of meat. And each female goat will give birth to one kid annually at minimum. Goats don’t need fussy housing, but they do require some serious fencing to keep them where they belong. They will graze pasture but are great browsers, who will eat bushes.
Housing and Fencing Goats
Goat housing is simple: just keep them dry and draft-free and they are happy. A three-sided structure is enough for mild climates. It’s helpful to have a small stall for isolating a sick or injured goat or for a pregnant goat to give birth. Packed dirt will suffice for a floor in the goat house, but it should be covered with a thick layer of bedding: wood shavings, straw, or waste hay. Since hay is goats’ primary food and they tend to waste up to one-third of it, you can pitch the waste hay into the bedding area each day, saving money. Keep bedding clean and dry, spreading new layers on top and removing and replacing all of it as needed.
Fencing is a little more complex. Goats need a very strong fence that they can’t climb over, knock down or otherwise escape from. If there is so much as a tiny hole, they will find a way to get out. They use their lips to explore their world, so if a gate latch is loose, they can wiggle it open with their lips and escape. They also chew almost everything like rope and electrical wiring. And goats can jump and climb. Your goat house should have a climbing-proof roof.
Goats can be pastured on grass or browse in the woods, eating shrubs, and young trees. It’s important to rotate goats to new pasture so that they graze it evenly. This will help in avoiding parasites buildup. Goats require additional hay even when they have pasture, as they can’t eat all fresh grass.
As much as goat may prove difficult to deal with, they can prove worthwhile for you as a farmer with these tip in mind.