Goat farming could be your source of extra income only if you have the right information about the business.
With an increase in the rate at which Agriculture is being promoted, many are now having an interest in venturing into Agricultural businesses.
However, some are skeptical about it, for some reason.
To some, their concern may be capital while for some, it is understanding the concept of the business idea.
Whichever the case may be, the purpose of this article is to address whatever concerns you may have.
Goat keeping is one of the profitable small scale business ideas in Nigeria you could easily venture into because it is less capital intensive.
Yes, you heard me right! Commercial Goat farming in Nigeria is very popular and common.
The majority are already rearing goats at home locally for the consumption of their family members, they only need a few know-how techniques to expand and convert into commercial goat farming.
The agriculture sector of Nigeria is greatly contributing to the total national income and economic growth.
For example, according to farmcrowdy, check out this quick fact about Agriculture in Nigeria:
- Nigeria is currently the highest producer of rice in Africa.
- The Cocoa House in Ibadan was once the tallest building in tropical Africa. It was formerly known as “Ile Awon Agbe” which translates to “House of Farmers.”
- The current Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria and Rural Development is Sabo Nanono. He was appointed 21st August 2019.
- According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization 1987 estimate, there were 12.2 million cattle, 13.2 million sheep, 26.0 million goats, 1.3 million pigs, 700,000 donkeys, 250,000 horses, and 18,000 camels in Nigeria.
- FAO reports that 7.5 million cattle slaughtered annually in Nigeria.
- Lagos consumes N1.6bn worth of cattle daily, which is about 8,000 cows daily.
- The world’s highest producer of cassava in the world is Nigeria.
- The agricultural sector in Nigeria employs 70% of the nation’s working population.
- Nigeria has 84 million hectares of fertile land.
- The average Nigerian cow weighs 317kg and produces 2.2 liters of milk per day.
That’s just 10 serious facts! Are you seeing what I’m seeing?
Commercial goat farming is very popular in the northern part of Nigeria than the southern part.
Goat meat is very popular throughout the country and has a great demand in the local restaurants, hotels and the head sells like hot cake in catteries.
Due to the high demand for goat meat and other products, there is a great opportunity for establishing a commercial goat farming business in Nigeria.
Some Fun Facts About Goats
- Goats hit puberty when they are about three to fifteen months of age.
- They are adaptable to climatic conditions.
- Goats being herd animals do not thrive singly, they tend to be depressed.
- Life expectancy is between fifteen and eighteen years.
- Intestines of goats are used in the production of catgut, a surgical instrument.
- Each kid has a unique scent with which its mother recognizes it.
Starting Goat Farming Business
Before you start goat farming business, there are some things I need to let you know about it.
I created a formula to assist in setting up goat farming, which will be called 5W which translate into:
- Where? and
Let’s begin with what to produce.
What to Produce?
Meat, Milk or Wool?
Determine what type of products has a great demand in your location.
If goat meat has high demands, which is true in almost every part of the country, mostly due to its meat being lean unlike other sources of meat, there is an absence of fat.
Bars and restaurants who engage in the sale of isi ewu, asun, are always in demand of goat meat, then you can easily establish a meat goat farm.
If goat milk has a great demand in your location, then you can set up a dairy goat farming business.
Dairy products ranging from yogurt, milk, and cheese can be processed from goats, although this is not a very common practice in Nigeria.
Also, the production of wool from goat is not a common practice in Nigeria, however, it is an opportunity too.
The fact that it is yet to become a common business makes it an ideal business to set up. If the wool can be extracted and exported to other countries or sold to clothing companies, that would bring in more profit.
Goats are multi-purpose animals. Apart from the production of meat, milk, and wool from the same goat, its feces can also be used for manure. Leather-based materials can also be gotten from the skin.
So, before starting goat farming in Nigeria, analyze your local market and start producing those products which have great demand.
Meanwhile, you can decide to be a versatile farmer producing the three products, selling the manure to other farmers who engage in crop farming and the skin to those who produce leather.
Benefits of Goat Farming In Nigeria
The following will address why you should venture into goat farming in Nigeria
- The weather and climate of Nigeria are very suitable for goat farming.
- Goat produces high-quality meat, milk, and wool for human consumption. Also, goat products have a great demand in Nigeria.
- People of any profession can establish a goat farming business alongside their current job because goat farming doesn’t require much labor.
- The initial investment for starting goat farming in Nigeria is very less, however, it yields a high profit.
- Housing, feeding, caring and other management costs are less in goat rearing.
- Goat farming in Nigeria can be a great source for earning extra income from foreign countries. For example, the production of wool.
- Goat produces meat, milk, skin, fiber, manure, etc. and none of those is a waste. Every product of goats are all marketable from the skin, they are all in high demand.
- Goat farming is a great source of self-employment for the unemployed educated people and housewives of Nigeria.
- Goat farming is very easy and simple. Even the care and management process can be done by the children and housewives.
- Goat manure is a great organic fertilizer which directly helps to increase the crop production.
- Shoes, bags, belts and other leather-based materials are made from goatskin which is a very good source of leather.
- They also reproduce a lot which means continuity for your business.
- Aside from normal consumption, goat milk is used in the production of cosmetics.
- Pharmacists also make use of goat offal for drug production.
These are the reasons rearing goat is considered by wise farmers as a very lucrative business.
Truth be told, it’s increasingly becoming very popular among modern farmers.
Now let’s talk about the “Which?”
Which types of goat breed should be considered and the type of scale to venture into?
Farming generally in which goat farming is inclusive can be divided into small, medium and large scales depending on the capital at hand.
One of the focus of this article is to make sure everyone is involved, even with a little amount of money you can start your own goat farming business.
The female goats (Doe) should be more than the male goats (Buck) because the females are majorly used for breeding.
The Buck mate with the Doe to produce more goats.
For the small scale goat farming, you can always start from here with the intention of expansion later in the future.
This is especially true if the capital at hand is not enough to start big.
I recently spoke with a farmer who started from this stage and he is gradually moving into the medium goat farming scale.
He said with initial capital between ₦25,000 and ₦55,000 you can set up your own farm, putting some factors into consideration.
With ₦25,000 you can acquire three goats, two Does, and one Buck.
With ₦55,000 you can get seven goats, five Does two Bucks. Only one person or at most two can easily manage the goats for this scale
However, for a medium scale, about thirty goats will be needed. The ratio of males to females can be 5:25. About three persons will be required to manage this.
Capital needed for this will range from ₦200,000 to ₦300,000.
The large scale goat farm will require as many as possible goats depending on how large you intend it to be.
About 300 goats will be enough to start the business on a large scale with the ratio of males to females at 50:250.
This can be considered especially if there is someone to sponsor the business or a grant or loan is being applied for.
It is advisable that the Does should be kid goats between 5 to 6 months old while the male goat can be a mature Buck.
The price for the kid goat is between ₦4,000 and ₦6,000 while the mature buck can be gotten between the prices of ₦10,000 and ₦15,000.
Common Types of Goat Breeds In Nigeria
Below are some common goat breeds in Nigeria and West Africa:
- Sahelian Goats
- Maradi or Red Sokoto
- West African Dwarfs
- Pygmy Goats
Others include kano brown, west African long-legged goat, Bauchi type, amongst others.
Some farmers tend to import foreign breeds so as to crossbreed for rearing purposes.
Depending on choice and business target, goat farmers can either go for: Goat breeding or Goat fattening.
Goat Breeding: In this system, you are required to mate the doe (female goat) with the buck (a male goat) to produce offspring. You have to be familiar with the heat period of the doe.
After successful mating, fertilization occurs, the gestation period takes about five months.
This technique is time-consuming, unlike goat fattening.
But for those that are really concerned about specific breeds, or those who would like to engage in cross-breeding, this system is for them.
Goat Fattening: This system involves feeding the goat intensively just so they can attain a market value weight.
Only goats in healthy conditions are fit for this. Advantages include; being easy to manage, quick cash, the results of fattening are visible.
The next on our list of the formula is selecting a suitable location which is the “Where?”
Where to Rear Your Goats?
For the small scale farmers, the backyard of your house or somewhere suitable in the compound can be used.
To prevent missing goats, you can construct a small fence in the form of pegs to restrict their movement.
However, for the medium and large scale farmers, selecting a suitable land for your farm is very important.
It goes without saying that the cost of setting it up will be added to the initial capital mentioned above.
Because the price of land varies in proportion with the location of the land and the city, it will be difficult to make a general estimate for it.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Location
Consider the following factors while you select your location:
- Select a land which is not too far from the town.
- The place must have to be suitable enough to set up a pasture or grazing place.
- A market near the farmland, so that you can easily buy necessary equipment and sell the goat products
- Availability of all types of veterinary services.
- Great source of fresh and clean water.
- Good transportation network
When to Start?
When can you start goat farming? With the above in mind, you can start now. Do not forget that writing a simple business plan for your goat business will help you along the way.
When can you sell your goat products? They can be sold at the market at any time.
A fully mature goat can be sold for nothing less than ₦20,000 depending on their sizes.
Therefore, feeding them right is of utmost importance.
Although everyone thinks the best food for goats is grasses, for growth which will enhance productivity, carbohydrates, roughages, and essential protein would be needed in their diet.
Always serve them a sufficient amount of fresh and clean water according to their demand.
The gestation period in goats lasts from one to 150 days, a goat farmer said, adding that goats attain a market size that is fully mature between 8 and 12 months.
Still, it could get up to 18 months if not properly fed.
In Nigeria, goats have some special characteristic features that make it easy for them to thrive in any environment.
Additionally, these features contribute to the ability of these animals to tolerate any environment (friendly and/or harsh).
For example, goats have tough skin coat to withstand high temperature and cold, and they are good scavengers.
While you cannot rule out veterinary services, less amount of money will be spent on this compared to the amount spent on other animals.
Goats give birth generally twice in a year and can give birth to 2 kids.
Once the Doe has been used for breeding for 3 years, it can also be sold at the market.
Depending on your location, you should make some finding to know how much each product goes for.
This will help you have a better understanding and not sell below or above the normal amount.
There is a high demand for goat meat. Demands are also on the rise during festive periods such as the Muslim celebrations and December period.
So, next time you think of becoming a farmer, think of becoming a Goat Farmer!
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