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Goat Farming is a billion dollar industry in India and provides livelihood for millions of farmers. However, there are new challenges faced by farmers today than in the past like less grazing ground, change in climatic conditions and increase in price of feed and medications. There is a need for modern solution of current problems. I was told semi-stall fed is the way to go, however I do not believe in posting as long as there is no definite facts supporting it. For which I’ve started my own farm, the biggest in the Sikar District in Rajasthan a capacity to hold more than a 1000 goats. I would update you with my experience and facts and figures on breeds as what you search online is outdated. Seen in the image below is a pure line single colour Sirohi Breed which was in the LOT A (each lot of 50 Goats) of the breeds I got to my farm.
A few tips and where I went wrong.
1. Make sure you shade is complete before you buy any goats NO MATTER how hard the supplier tells you he has no place and that it would increase price or that he would sell it off to someone else or that I would have to pay for the feed cost of the goats. NO MATTER what the reason is DO NOT buy them till you do not have your shade complete 100%.
2. Make sure you adequate feed for the next 3 months, if you can have you silage made, nothing like it. If its the summer months and the price increases in your area. Make sure you have enough feed to survive try the dry months. Local crops is what is preferred. Try and grow your feed as much as you can. And get the feed the animal is used to at least for the first week from the place of purchase. In this week you can slowly mix your feed and get them off. Adaptability of the goat is a key to success.
3. Labor: Taking care of the goats is not an easy job. You have to have a back up plan, not of the manager as they would stay but the junior labour as they tend to disappear monthly. From experience, this is one of the bigger challenges. Annual contract is the way to go or 6 months.
4. Vaccinations: If you already have a stock do not mix the new one immediately. Get them vaccines, keep them in different stall at least for a month while your done with your PPR’s and serve the 21 day period for the second one.
5. Buying Goats: For rare breed and as a registered farm, its recommended to initially buy a few goats try farms as farms are only interested in purchasing the pure line breed. Once you have a good understanding of the breeds and understand the characteristics of the breed may you look into the local market native to the breed. However, the biggest plus remains in buying from the farm as you know exactly what you are buying. The pedigree of the goats altho not practiced as much by the Indian farms as yet. But this is a market of high potential.
6. Pregnant Goats: From the 50 Does I purchased, 40 does were pregnant. Obviously, I had paid a higher premium for those. However only 5-6 delivered. As most of them has miscarriages either on the transportation to the farm or due to fights within or with local goats or a few died due to adaptability issues. I would recommend getting the normal does and not to be worried with the whole pregnant issue. Make sure the goats are mature, weight min 30 kgs and the buck is 50 kgs. Does should be more than 11 months old and the buck more than 15 months. The weight is of a medium- large breed goat. However, if you get heavier goats go for it. 2nd kidding goats is what is recommended for farm.
More tips and tricks, do’s and do NOT’s in follow up blogs.
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Qureshi Farm - Fatehpur, District Sikar, Rajasthan INDIA
The Goat Farming Project to empower the rural farming population of India was selected as one of the eleven projects selected worldwide by Nations United in the Faces of Transformation and Akbar Khan Qureshi, owner of Qureshi Farm represented India in the competition and made it as a Top 3 finalist in Toronto, Canada.