Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why Dairy Goats?

"Why Dairy Goats?" most of the people I met asked me that question. When we talk of dairy, what usually comes in our mind is cows. I said "Dont you know that goats milk is almost similar to human's milk?" Most of them were amazed. "Yes, scientific studies reveals that. My parents didn't buy expensive powdered milk for us since we have goats milk in our back yard. " It helped a lot and I believe it can help you too. You might be a goat fanatics or a businessman who want to engage into dairy goat farming. Here are few steps and tips I can share with you:

1. Know the technical aspect of goat raising. It is always good that before you engage in any business, you atleast know the fundamentals of raising goats. Attend seminars or trainings near your area else you can organize one for your community. We can come give you lectures if you want too.

2. Prepare the goat feed ahead. Most of the farmers that failed in goat farming business is due to lack of feeds. Native pasture is not enough. You need to plant good pasture such as leguminous plant like ipil-ipil, flemengia, rensonii, indigo, etc.

3. Build your goat shed. Most of the farmers think that any shed will be enough. That is not the case in dairy goats. Remember we need to maintain cleanliness since we are handling milk. We dont want that udders of our does (female goat) to be dirty nor the animals get wet during rainy period. Bottom line we want the both the animals and caretaker to be comfortable in their sheds. Remember, potable water should be available.

4. Select the best breeder. Anglo Nubian goats are producing well in Philippines. You can buy them from known breeder farms like WLFarms. Goats should be free from any physical defects therefore you need to select them carefully. Select the does that have good udder size and good milking ability with a buck that are sexually aggresive and physically fit.

5. Feed your goats regularly. Goats needs about 10% of its body weight of fresh grass and legumes. It is recommended to give 50% grass 50% legumes. Lactating goats should be given supplement feed like concentrate atmost (1kg of feed per liter of milk). You can mix your own feed supplement using yellow corn, rice bran, soybean meal, copra meal, ipil-ipil leaf meal, etc. This topic is given during the practical lecture (learning by doing).

6. Milk your goats on time. Regular milking of does will give you regular amount of milk. My experience shows that if the goats are not regularly milked, the milk production decreases and goats experiences mastitis. Before milking, wash the udder with warm water and soap. Rinse it well and dry it off using dry towel.

7. Pasteurize your milk. Pasteurizing your milk will destroy harmful microorganism. You can use a double broiler for pasteurization so that there will be no off-odor in milk. Cool down the milk immeditaely. Chill and serve. You can also make ice candy, sorbet, ice cream, bars, and other dairy products.

For further information dont hesistate to contact me. Happy goat dairying everyone!