This is a continuation of part 1. You may read the part here.
Demand for goat meat is really high in Ghana. You can easily sell your products in your nearest market. Commercial producers can target the international market and export the products in foreign countries.
Reproduction and Kids
It takes 5 months for a goat to give birth after it has been mated by a male. The young ones it produces are called kids.
Before the goat gives birth, there are three very important rules to know and note.
Firstly, ensure the kidding doe is put in a dry clean and quiet place at the time of kidding.
Secondly, the kidding place should be under a shelter (in the house) or shade. This is to protect the kid from too much sun
Thirdly, the Doe must have water as soon as she has given birth so she can make sure she has enough to balance the loss of water from giving birth and to have enough milk to feed the new born.
A doe, which is female goat, will produce between 1-4 kids when gestation period is over.
Here are some signs to watch out for kidding:
• Enlarged vulva.
• Restlessness of the doe.
• Doe seeks a quiet place away from other goats.
• Udder is enlarged, full and firm.
• Muscles either side of tail will become sunken and on either side of tail a hollow appears.
• Often stand or lie down and stretch her neck pointing her head skyward.
• Will have a clear discharge from the vulva.
Always try to take good care of your goats. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water. Avoid using kitchen waste. Keep their house as much neat and clean as possible. And clean their house on a regular basis. For commercial production, keep kids, bucks and does separated for each other.
Take extra care of the breeding bucks, kids and pregnant does. Keep the kids with their mother for several weeks after their birth.
Avoid using same buck for mating with numerous does at same day. Artificial insemination is also a great way for breeding your does. Vaccinate regularly to keep them free from all types of diseases and health problems. If possible, stock some necessary vaccines and medicines and keep good relation with a veterinary doctor.
Some diseases associated with Goat Farming
The symptons below will help you identify sick goats.
• Sick goat stands apart from the others in a group. (Animals about to give birth also behave like this)
• They are restless
• They do not lie down and rest even when others in their group do so unless it gets very ill
• They hold their head down
• They have dull eyes and show little interest in their surroundings
• Often have rough coat and look weak and tired
• Do not like to feed
Let’s now look at some of the diseases which affect the goats.
• Sudden onset of Diarrhoea
• Foul smelling faeces containing mucus and blood.
• Anus smeared with blood stained faeces
• Sudden death may occur
• Severe straining
• Eat less
• Common in housed goats.
• The disease dies out on its own, so to save deaths you must treat at as soon as you note it.
• Give sulphur antibiotics or a drug called coccid.
• Reduce stock rate
• Clean and make sure pens are well drained and dry
• Fever at the beginning and later, fever drops down
• Mouth dry and cold
• Diarrhoea (yellowish to whitish)
• Depression and weakness
• Goat found lying down
• Survivors of the infection may show nervous signs and problems with joints
• Give plenty of clean water (oral fluids)
• Give antibiotic preparation on vets advice
• Isolate affected goats
• Treat new cases immediately
• Give colostrum at birth
• House new born kids separately
• Disinfect the navel with iodine solution at birth
• Avoid contamination of feeds and utensils by keeping clean
• Avoid overcrowding
• Regular feeding should be kept
Source: Animal Production & Health Department, Ghana, roysfarm, letstalkagric, FAO