If you have thought of going into goat farming in Nigeria and are looking for the right information on how to start the goat farming business without making mistakes, you have come to the right place.
In this article we will be analyzing the goat farming business and we will give you a quick introduction on how you could start a profitable goat farm.
Goat farming, also known as goat keeping or goat rearing, is widely regarded as a practice for retirees and rural Nigerians. Most times, when youths decide to go into goat farming, the decision is greeted with surprise by their families and friends. “You no see better thing to do?” they are asked. Thus, this highly lucrative business has suffered neglect and is still mostly being practiced in the traditional way by rural families.
The unpleasant smell of the goat could be the reason people abhor this venture but this smell has not decreased the demand for goat meat across the country. Honestly, you may never find a restaurant, bar, ‘buka’ or ‘mama put’ where goat meat is not served.
Goat meat is called the new ‘lean meat’ because of its low-fat nature in comparison to beef or ‘agric’ chicken. Its acceptance across all religions and culture makes the demand for goat meat insatiable. Consequently, Nigeria imports most of her goats from Niger, Chad and Sudan.
Apart from the meat, goat milk and the cheese made from it have gained popularity in Nigeria and worldwide. Recently, a project tagged ‘No goat left behind’ was aimed at increasing western consumption of goat and its success has just opened a new market for goat farmers.
Why is goat farming is a lucrative business?
Goat farming is very lucrative because the demand for goat meat is so huge! If you have ever been to a bar, then must have noticed how desired the ‘isi-ewu’ (goat head) is in Nigeria.
It is almost impossible to get an exact figure for the goat meat market size but experts estimate that the annual goat meat sale is at N20 billion with a possibility of growth if the supply increases.
Besides, the goat farmers can earn from goat milk and goat cheese before they finally use the goat as meat. This means you will have more than one stream of income by beginning a goat farm.
What and what would you need for goat farming?
If you are thinking of exploring goat farming as a business venture, it is important to note that goat farming will be highly profitable if you consider it a commercial venture from the onset. Some of the things you will need to get started in the goat farming business are:
1. Learn all you can about goats and goat farming
Goats are of different kinds. Some are kept for their meat and some are kept for their milk. You will have to learn about goats and choose the type you would like to keep then learn a bit more about the specific type you’ve chosen.
Also there is a need to gain knowledge about goat farming. If nobody you know rears goats, it may be time to make some ‘aboki’ friends. Read about commercial goat production as this will be quite different from what your ‘aboki friend will tell you. Never begin any business without adequate knowledge of what you are going into.
2. Craft a business plan
After becoming knowledgeable in matters concerning goats and goat farming, you will need to plan out how to structure your goat farming business to make it profitable. One thing to keep in mind is that goat farming may not be capital-intensive but it takes longer time to produce returns unlike chicken or fish.
A goat farm will typically take two to three years before it becomes an income generating ventures so there is a need for you to have a plan on how you will finance the farm before it starts yielding. The process of coming up with a business plan will help you understand the business aspect of your goat farm better
You could begin a goat fattening business before graduating into goat farming if you are short on cash.
3. Find a suitable location
Goats are herbivorous animals. They feed on plants therefore a good location for setting up a goat farm will be a place where you can easily find pasture or set up a grazing land. You will need to build a shelter for the goats against rain. The shelter has to be well ventilated and comfortable enough for the goats to relax and chew-the-cud.
Goats can roam very far if not restricted therefore, a fence will help restrict their movement and keep predators and thieves away. Your goat farm needs to have access to water – not necessarily clean water because goats are resilient animals – but they need lots of water.
4. Buy your goats
After deciding on what type of goats you want to rear, and making a suitable habitat for your goats, you will need to acquire very high quality breed of the goats. Every goat you bring into your farm must be very healthy so as to avoid a spread of infection that could make you lose your investment.
For the Nigerian weather, you should consider stocking you farm with the Nigerian dwarf, Pygmy, Nubians, Saanen, Boer or the Maradi breed. You should consult a Veterinarian to inquire which of this is appropriate for milk and meat production.
Goat farming FAQs
Q: what type of food should I give my goats if I am raising them for commercial purposes?
You can give goats all types of food like leaves, plants, corns, grasses etc. But they love to eat green leaves and grasses most. Their feed should contain 10-14% protein and sufficient calories for energy. They drink a lot of water daily.
Q: How much do I need to begin my own goat farm? Can a N 100, 000 suffice?
Sure… you can start a goat rearing business with a hundred thousand but that will mean that you already own a pasture land. That way you can use your money to buy the goats. By the way, you should get more female goats so that they can begin to multiply and supply you with milk.
However, if you don’t have your own land, then N 100,000 is not enough to start a goat farm.