What is goat husbandry?
Animal husbandry in general refers to raising of livestock and the process of selective breeding. Simply, it means the Management and care of animals in a way that it improves the genetic qualities and associated behavior. Goat husbandry is a specific type of animal husbandry which involves goats as the main subject. There are number of farmers who completely depend on goat husbandry as their livelihood. Cows farming or cattle farming will be discussed on a different article.
Farming is the cultivation of domestic animals, fish, birds, plants, crop etc.
Types of Goat Husbandry
When considering about goat husbandry, the main types to be concerned are
- Dairy (Goat milk) farming
- Goat meat farming ( goat farming )
Dairy farming refers to agricultural techniques associated with long term production of milk. This milk is then further converted to various products such as curd, cheese, butter, cream etc.
This refers to the process of rearing goats to produce meat. In this scenario, the husbandry techniques are different from dairy farming.
- Husbandry Techniques
Goat husbandry techniques come into play from the moment the goat kid is born. Below are the main techniques which every farm should follow in goat husbandry.
Disbudding refers to the removal of very young horns which are not yet developed (at the earliest stage). Disbudding must always be performed by an experienced vet during the first and second weeks of age. It is commonly performed by using a hot iron under general anesthesia unit the drug SAFFAN
Castration is an action (chemical, surgical or otherwise) where the goats lose the use of their testicles. All male goats that will not be bred must be castrated at their early stage and kept for meat. Most of the time this is done during the first 2 months of age. Rubber rings, castrators, burdizzo or open methods can be used for castration
In this method a rubber ring will be inserted to both the testicles of the animal using an applicator. The process can be performed at the farm itself after some practice.
In this method burdizzos will be clamped on goat testicles
This includes the complete removal of testicles by operation. An experienced vet must be chosen for the process.
Farmers should be able to identify each of the animals separately so that they can keep records and to easily identify the animal’s age, breeding and usefulness of each animal. Following techniques are used for the identification process.
- Using of paint/ink
- Ear Tagging
- Naming and marking
Other important managerial practices
This refers to the removal of goat kids from the mother goats. Practice is usually performed at the age of two to three months. Main objective of weaning is to let the goat kids feed on hay and grains at their early age. However, when the goat kids start to feed on solid material, they are more likely to catch diseases such as Coccidiosis, Warm infections, and Enterotoxaemia. Therefore, Farmers must take necessary action on time to eradicate these diseases and health problems.
Goat hooves must be trimmed once they are overgrown. Trimming must be done carefully with small cuts so that hoof bleeding will not happen.