There are several issues that farmers must consider before selecting the goats to keep. Among these include whether they are breeding for meat or milk.
- Whereas all goats can produce meat, not all of them can produce milk. For milk, farmers should use the Toggenburg and saanen breeds.
- If one is breeding for meat, Mubende crossed with boers or Savannah is good. This is because both of these are big, hence producing off springs that carry these traits.
- Avoid mating related animals because this reduces productivity and increases incidences of diseases. Inbreeding can be avoided by frequently replacing breeding males and castrating all males related to current female stock that are not required for breeding.
- Goats multiply fast. For high twiners such as the Savannah and boer goats, you can have at least five out of each female every after two years. This means that if you have two females, they will give at least 10 kids after two years.
- Do not buy goats for breeding from open markets. This is because most of them have been discarded by their owners due to several weaknesses. Get them from a farm with proven kidding history.
Taking care of the goats
Goats are mainly raised under two systems. These include the low input intensive system that is based on free grazing. On most ranches, goats are reared with cattle on the same available foliage, for example, Napier and bracharia.
Goats feed on many leaves and plants that other livestock do not. Such include mutuba and acacia leaves.
- Goats should be provided with housing to protect them when they return from grazing.
- Shelters must have adequate ventilation.
- The sides from which rain comes must be covered using either bricks or timber because goats hate wet and damp environments.
- It should not be overcrowded, with kids given a separate shelter, so that they are not bullied by older goats. Older goats commonly attack kids and stop them from feeding
- If the goats are permanently inside, make sure that feeding troughs are provided. They must be placed in such way that they cannot be knocked over.