Here are the aspects to consider when selecting rearing goats;
Goat skin with no wounds
- It has to be standing upright and active. This shows that it is free of diseases.
- Droppings must be firm and not watery. Watery droppings are a sign of sickness.
- The udder must be clearly visible and well-shaped with the teats visible.
- It should be actively feeding, unless it is clearly satisfied.
- Males must have a clear background breeding information.
- They should have two clearly developed testicles hanging in the scotrom.
- Very alert and feeding without problems.
Managing goats’ health
According to Dr James Muwanga, a veteran veterinary officer, housing is one of the key aspects that determine proper goat management.
Muwanga says in order to ensure good health of the goats, it starts with the housing structures.
Appropriate adequate housing is an absolute necessity for goat farming.
It is important that goats are adequately sheltered to protect them from adverse environmental and harsh conditions.
Goat keepers can lose up to 50% of their kids due to diseases and complications caused by poor and unhygienic housing. Goats need shelter and are usually afraid of rain.
Shelter is also necessary to protect goats, especially kids from predators, like dogs, wild animals and thieves.
Mature goats can suffer reduced and productivity due to bad weather. The types of goat house to be selected varies with;
Goat farming system, for example, goats under a semi-zero grazing system require a different house from those that are purely free range grazing.
While a simple covered shelter can do for goats under free range, the one for those under semi-zero grazing should have amenities like feeding troughs etc.
Size of herd: The larger the herd, the bigger the house.
Resources available: Farmers with more capital may afford more creative goats shelters.
Goat houses may be built using cheap materials, which are locally available. Different groups of goats have special housing requirements. These are:
Breeding males; the house should be able to keep them at bay.
Pregnant Does (in the last stage of pregnancy); these require seclusion from the rest of the goats.
Kids; it should be short and easy for them to access.
Sick goats; this is like a sickbay for the animal were they are kept, until they heal.