Solid farming businesses in Kenya are hard to come by and goat farming is one of them. Goat farming is easy to start and very rewarding. Goat meat is popular in Kenya with mbuzi choma joints (Goat meat restaurants) springing up in Kenya every year. Goat meat is also widely accepted and consumed around the globe, while the milk demand is steadily rising.
Though not very popular in Kenya, goat milk is consumed widely in several other parts of the world (even Gandhi loved it, by the way). And there’s a reason for that. The milk is rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, B2, C, and D. All of these nutrients offer some of the best benefits you can ever think of.
Some of the benefits of goat milk include;
- Could Be Good For The Heart
- Fights Inflammation
- Strengthens Bones
- Is A Good Metabolic Agent
- Is Easily Digestible
- Works Well For Lactose Intolerants
- Is Better Than Cow Milk
- Might Improve Brain Health
Other products that can be derived from goat milk are cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter.
I don’t understand why goat milk is not widely consumed in Kenya. These benefits alone are good marketing points for farmers who want to get into dairy goat farming. With the increase of lifestyle diseases, goat milk provides a good alternative for consumers looking for a healthy milk choice.
Goat meat is another story altogether. Goat meat is believed to be the best animal meat available in Kenya and for good reasons. Not only does the meat taste great, but it is also lower in fat than chicken but contains higher protein than beef, which makes it better than chicken and beef.
What you need to get started in Goat Farming
Grow feeds before introducing goats into your farm. This will make you more prepared and not get into a rut when your venture is up and running. Goats are foragers of weeds and leaves and can eat a wide variety of plants while browsing. If you are planning to practice zero-grazing on your goat farm, feed them grass, silage, hay, and grain just like cattle. Zero-grazing is the best option for those who have a small piece of land. 2 acres of silage can sustain 50 goats for a whole year. Understand that goats multiply very quickly – a pregnancy will always result in the birth of twins. Sometimes they can give birth to a single kid or even triplet which is very rare. You, therefore, need to maintain your herd so that you don’t get food shortages arising from the multiplication effect.
Construct a fence around your goat pasture or living area to contain them. Use a 6-foot chain-link fence as goats like to go around obstacles, electric fencing is sometimes used. Many producers provide ‘play areas’ with things to climb to amuse them and to prevent damaging behavior”
Build a comfortable house for your goats. Goats like to live in a dry area that is free from urine and poop. Generally, goats prefer raised houses. If you are doing a floor house, keep it clean by checking it daily. You can use straws on the floor to absorb the urine.
There is a large number of goat breeds suitable for different purposes of rearing. Some are very good for milk production, some are good for the meat, others are preferable for the fiber. Blow are breeds that do well in Kenya;
- German Alpine
- Anglo Nubian
You will need to have an appointment with veterinary Doctors near you for periodic check-up and vaccination. This is very important if you hope to keep the mortality at the lowest or completely eliminated. You can use Government agencies near you or appoint a private vet doctor.
With all these in place, you are very good to go in your goat rearing business. Since goat does not necessarily feed on processed animal feeds, your cost of production will be highly reduced because they will be eating natural nutritious plants in their pasture that grows on their own.