Farming has taken a big part of Uganda’s economy and it has greatly impacted on the livelihoods of the people positively. Goat rearing can be done for meat as the meat has a large market in Uganda and it can also be reared for milk purposes, manure, the skin and fiber. Goat farming can be done for subsistence purposes as well as commercial but you should note that most people in Uganda are now venturing into commercial goat farming because of the many profits it has.
Setting up a good farm for the goats takes a step by step process and the following can be done to achieve a good goat farm.
This determines how many goats you are to start with and how much money will be needed. You do need to start with a lot of goats if you have limited money, it is advisable to start with one buck and two does. Through the mating and feeding, the number will keep on increasing.
Search for a good farm area
When you choose to start goat farming, you need to get the best land for it and this should have the following which make goat rearing easy
- The land should be fertile for easy growth of other greenery and grass that can be used for feeding the goats.
- Transportation to and from the farm should be easily accessible.
- There should be availability of clean and fresh water on the farm for both goats and the labor.
- The farm should be located in an area where you can easily access labor because sometimes you cannot take care of the goats and an isolated area will hinder this.
- Lastly, the farm should be located almost near the market area. This means one can easily buy products to be used on the farm and sell their byproducts from the farm.
The goat house
When constructing the goat house, make sure you build it according to the number of goats that you have a leave a bit of space for future livestock to be got. A good goats’ house should averagely be 1.5 to 2.0 square meters per goat.
The house should be with different segments that separate the weaning goats, the does and the bucks from each other.
If you are into goat rearing for the milk, then they should be separated into a room where the milking can take place and the rooms should be kept clean and the ventilation should also be good.
Lastly the housing should be constructed on a raised area so that the manure droppings drop under the house and well facilitated if you want to reap big from goat farming.
Select the right goat breed
There are different species that can be reared in Uganda and these include:
- The Saanen and Toggenburg breeds which is commonly raised for milk and other dairy products. This has an average normal weight of 91 kilograms for the buck and 68 kilograms or more for the doe.
- The sebei goat, this is raised mostly in mountainous area and can be raised for both meat and milk. The good thing about this goat is that it can withstand cold temperatures.
- The kigezi goat is found in the kabaale hills. It’s characterized with short legs, can withstand the cold weather and is raised for both meat and milk purposes.
With the few listed above, you should be able to choose the breed that will suite your purposes.
Vaccination for the goats
There are different diseases that attack the goats like goat pox, brucellosis and anthrax among others but there should be proper vaccination that is vaccinate the goats at five months of gestation period if they have not yet been vaccinated. PPR should be vaccinated at five months to the kids
A farmer should always take care of their goats by vaccinating them regularly and in the right doses. This prevents spread of unwanted diseases and hazards on the farm and below is a table showing the vaccines that need to be given to the goats and in what dozes for some of the diseases.
|Vaccine Name||Dosage||Method of application|
|Anthrax||1 ml||Injection under the skin|
|PPR||1 ml||Injection under the skin|
|Foot and Mouth Disease||2 ml||Injection under the skin|
Security and fencing
This might not be important to some people but if you want to keep your goats safe, then you need to take security seriously and construct a fence.
The fence keeps the animals inside the farm and the unwanted predators and people out of the farm. This reduces the loss of goats due to theft and attacks from predators.
The fencing also reduces spread of diseases from the other farms hence keeping you goats safe.
Feeding of the goats
Food is also an important aspect when it comes to rearing goats. The goats can be fed on green pastures found in gardens or around the house and you can get them maize bran, and salt blocks known as Ekisula. This helps the goats have a balanced diet and stay healthy.
Marketing of the goats
This is very important because you cannot rear goats without a targeted market. You need to research more about your market, which group of people are you intending to sell the goats’ products to. You can also get international market if you have goat products like ghee that can be exported.
Care for the goats
Although goats can take care of themselves in form of feeding, taking care of their kids they still need to be taken care of by the farmer.
If you are feeding your goats make sure that the food being given to them is clean and not contaminated, the water should also be clean.
You should clean the farm house everyday if possible in the morning and evening to avoid spread of diseases among the goats.
During the mating, make sure it’s a different buck mounting the doe. A buck should not mount more than two bucks in a single day to avoid breeding from the same buck. This increases the quality of the breed.
You should separate the kids from the bucks and does and does from bucks especially if you are into commercial farming. This will ease the overseeing of all the goats on the farm and will reduce congestion. You must also keep the kid with their mothers a few weeks after birth for nurturing.
What can be done when a doe is giving birth?
A female goat also known as a doe has a gestation period of months and the farmer should monitor it while it is pregnant so that they get to know the due date.
A bed should be prepared and it should be free from all infections and this is where the doe will give birth from.
The room from where the doe is going to give birth from should be warm and not cold and iodine should be used in case there is an infection to prevent the kid from falling sick.
After the doe giving birth, you should make sure that they start breast feeding within 48 hours from the mother and if the kid is born on pasture, transfer it to a warm conducive room.
Advantages of goat farming in Uganda
Goat products like milk can be used to make different foods like ghee and scientifically it is more digestible than the cow’s milk for the humans.
Goats relatively take up minimal space due to their small nature and this means that you can spend less money when setting up the goat farm.
Goats have no taboo when it comes to rearing pigs making it easy to rear them and earn profits.
Goats can easily adapt to the weather, food provided and when they can also look for their own food. They can tolerate both hot and cold weather conditions unlike other livestock.
Goats are good for rearing since they reach their maturity age faster at 7 to 12 months than the other animals and hence early slaughter and more money for the farmer.
Goats breed faster than other animals and this increases the number of goats being reared on the farm. Expansion of the farm increases money for the famer.
It is not too expensive to set up a goat farm therefore less capital is needed and it also reduces unemployment by providing jobs to the laborers on the farm.
In conclusion, goat rearing is known to be a less risk business and they have been reared since time immemorial but it is liked because of the fast growing rate of kids. If you want to mint money then goat farming is the way to go since you can earn from the milk, the meat and the skin and you need to do to get good quality breeds is to feed them and continue feeding them on a balanced diet. Good luck with as you start goat farming.