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Animal Husbandry > Goat

Selection of goat

Malabari (Tellichery), Attappady, Sannen x Malabari cross-breds are available in the state. When buying an adult goat, be sure to check its milk production. Milk yield per day assessed by recording two consecutive milkings, should be more than 0.5 kg (including milk sucked by kids). When selecting young goats, the dam’s production may be checked. A one year old she-goat should weigh about 20 kg. Doeling at 6 months should weigh not less than 10 kg. The doeling must also be free from physical defects. Selection of does should be based on their previous 120 days’ milk production record. Those, which have kidded at least by 2 years of age, should be preferred.

Farming systems

Tethering

In this system goats are usually tied with a rope to a tree or on a peg and they will be able to browse from the surrounding. It is a convenient method from the standpoint of minimum labour input and utilisation of feeds. This system is suitable for farmers with one or two goats.

Extensive production

This system can be adopted if grazing land is available where goats are allowed to browse on free range and provided with shelter during nighttime.

Intensive production

This method is suitable in urban areas where there is scarcity of land. In this method goats are confined exclusively in sheds and fed on leaves/grass and concentrates.

Semi-intensive

This method represents varying degrees of compromise between extensive and intensive production. In this system the goats are allowed to go out of the shed for a few hours daily.

Integration with cropping system

In this case goats can be allowed to browse under plantation crops. It ensures increased fertility of land by return of dung and urine and controls the weeds. The manure output from an adult goat per day varies from 0.5 to 1 kg.

Housing

For goats, an elaborate house or barn is not necessary. The cheapest form of building will be the lean-to-type of shed placed at the side of an existing building. A model plan for two goats and their kids is provided. Such a shed should have a plinth area of about 6 m2. The floor should be made of raised wooden/bamboo platform. The arrangements for storing fodder can be made overhead below the roof. Cheap roofing materials will reduce the cost of construction. Large-scale goat rearing sheds can be constructed for accommodating 50 to 60 goats with provision for 1 m2 per goat. Like the does, kids should be provided with loose stalls. Bucks may be housed individually in stalls measuring 2.5 m2 per buck.

Housing pattern for goats

Sl. No. Type of goats Space requirement (m2/head) Maximum No. of animals per pen

1

Adult doe

1.00

60

2

Milch doe

1.68

Individual pens

3

Buck

3.4

Individual pens

4

Kids

0.4

75

(Source: Kerala Agricultural University)

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