Dairy goat farming is the rearing of goats for milk.
It is one of the easiest types of dairy farming and therefore good for farmers in the urban and peri-urban areas. Goats do not require one to own a big land to rear them and they are less expensive to buy as compared to cattle.The goat’s prices depend on the age, type and gender.
Why goat farming?
Dairy goat farming is an important enterprise especially for farmers with small parcels of land. Goat’s milk has much more benefits compared to cow’s milk. A goats milk is considered more easily digestible, the milk fat globules in goats milk are smaller than those in the cow’s milk, calcium content are higher in goat’s milk and iron contents lower in goat’s milk. The goat’s milk is also richer in most vitamins than cow’s milk.
Types of dairy goats reared in Kenya
The common breeds of dairy goats in Kenya even though are foreign breeds are Toggenburg, Boer, Saanen, British Alpine, German Alpine, Anglo Nubian, Angora, Oberhauzen. These goats survive on different climatic conditions. It is best for one to contact the Local Livestock Production Experts on the most suitable breeds or cross-breeding program in your area.
Feeding the dairy goat.
All the goat requires is good health for better yields. Good feeding increases milk production. Dairy goats can feed on the following: Calliandra, leucena, desmodium, mulbury, nappier grass, rhodes grass, sweet potato vines, fodder trees, hay…
The feed should be chopped and the goat should be given clean water and enough mineral salts. The mineral block should be kept dry. A healthy goat will produce an average of 4litres of milk every day.
Good housing keeps the goats healthy. It should have a raised floor to keep the goats dry and the roof not leaking. The feeding troughs should be easy to clean.
Worms and pneumonia are the most common diseases on the goats. The symptoms of worms are worms or eggs in the goat’s stool, poor health and low milk production or a thin or poor coat. This is normally treated by de-worming. If the goat is sneezing, coughing has heavy breathing and tends to isolate itself from others, consult a veterinary because these are symptoms of pneumonia. Also ensure that the goats are free from ticks and fleas. If you spot them or realize that the goat keeps rubbing itself or looses hair by tail, spray the goat, the house and the surrounding. Also spray any new goat coming into the house.