Goats are domesticated ruminant animals, with backward-curving horns, reared in several parts of the world with little or no special skills required.
A profitable and rewarding business, goats are kept for several purposes, including meat, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter or leather. Anything cow milk can do, goat milk also can.
Not only does the meat taste unique and great, it contains lower amount of fat compared to chicken and higher protein than beef. This is one amongst many reasons, why it is very lucrative and in high demand.
There are several varieties of goats. Amongst the popular in Nigeria include Sokoto Red, Bornu Red, West African long-legged goat, West African Dwarf (WAD) goat, Kano Brown, Bauchi time, Kalahari Red (originally imported from South Africa by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
WHAT BREED SHOULD YOU OPT IN FOR?
“Rearing goats is largely dependent on your capital”, said Dr Suleiman M Yashim, an expert in Feed Resources and Ruminant Nutrition, at the Department of Animal Science (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria).
He went further to say,
“If you are in the north, from Abuja upwards there are good breeds that do well like the Red Sokoto breed and the Sahelian/ Desert breed that can do well in Borno, Sokoto and Katsina states.
“While for the southern part of the country, especially the rain forest areas, there’s the West African dwarf goat that does very well there and weighs between 20kg and 25kg,” he said.
On the number of goats needed to start goat farming, the expert said, “for a household that wants to start small, you require two females and one male goat (buck), but if you’re in an environment where people have bucks, and you don’t intend to confine your own, then you don’t need to buy a male goat.”
For raise-and-sell farmers, you could raise only male goats because breeding is not in focus.