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Small livestock does not require such care and material costs for keeping as cattle. Goat breeding is becoming popular, because the abundance of breeds allows you to choose animals that are suitable for growing conditions and feed base. Breeding of pedigree goats gives the greatest effect on the productivity of meat, wool, milk, but requires certain knowledge and experience.
Breed selection rules
Specialization in goat breeding is based on the demand and profitability of the end product. In turn, the profitability of a farm depends on the compliance of the requirements for keeping animals with climatic conditions, fodder base, and financial capabilities.
Dairy goats are selected for productivity and requirements for maintenance and care. The most productive breeds are considered from Switzerland:
Saanen goats, if well kept, can produce up to 1000 liters of milk per year (8-10 liters per day for 2 milkings). The peak of productivity is after 4 lambing. Average fertility is 1.8-2.5 kid per uterus.
Alpine milking breed pleases breeders with annual milk yield up to 1500 liters, with an annual offspring of 2 kids. Toggenburg goats are inferior in size and milk yield to Zaanen and Alpies, but surpass them in milk fat content, and are unpretentious to keeping conditions.
In Russia, Swiss women are rarely found in goats due to the high cost of breeding animals. Among farmers, when breeding goats for milk, the Russian White breed and its hybrid with the Zaanen - Gorky breed are popular. The cultivation of these breeds gives a good result: with lactation of 9-10 months - from 500 to 700 liters of milk with a fat content of up to 5%.
Goat down is highly valued, from which the finest thread is produced for knitting the famous Orenburg shawls and other woolen products. From the downy goats of the Orenburg and Don breeds, they receive 300-400 grams of down per individual, as well as up to 300 liters of milk per year and meat that is not inferior in taste to mutton.
The breeds bred for meat have scanty milk yield and fur quality. Animals are distinguished by their large constitution, large mass, and fertility. The most famous breeds in Russia are Boer, Kiko, Spanish. A distinctive feature of goat meat is its dietary qualities, the absence of a specific aftertaste.
Dwarf breeds, which include the Cameroon pygmy and the Nigerian dwarf, bred in the United States, have African roots. Small animals require little space and feed. Up to 300 liters of milk with a fat content of 6% are produced per year.
For breeding animals, goat houses, pens, feeders and drinkers are needed.
Requirements for the premises
Rooms where goats will be kept must be dry and well ventilated. To avoid drafts, the entrance to the goat's house is arranged through the vestibule. The floors can be wood or earthen. The following are used as bedding:
Lighting is provided for natural and artificial: through high-positioned windows and electrical appliances. In autumn and winter, the light should be on for 12 hours a day.
1 animal is allowed at least 25 square meters. Inside, it is necessary to have partitions so that it is possible to separate cat goats, young animals, newborn kids from the herd.
Feeder and drinker
Feeders and drinkers are installed at a height of 30-40 centimeters above floor level. There should be a separate feeder for each animal.
Buying breeding animals
Breeding animals must have passports, certificates, certificates from a veterinarian. It is more profitable to buy a goat after lambing, not older than 7 years. She should have a smooth, shiny coat, 32 teeth, matching the external features to the description of the breed.
Features of the content
In temperate latitudes, with cold winters, autumn rains, goats are kept in a pasture-stable way.
In spring, summer and autumn
In the warm season, goats are free grazing. Animals eat green mass, tree bark, branches, young growth. As a supplementary feed, the breeder gives them some hay in the morning and evening, as well as succulent feed. Constant access to fresh water in the pasture and in the goat's house is required.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
If there are few animals and no pasture, they are kept in a corral or on a leash, providing fresh grass. Fresh air, active movements temper the goats, allow them to grow healthy young animals.
With the onset of cold weather, the goats are transferred to the goat's house, keeping daily walks in the fresh air in the corral. The duration of the walks depends on the air temperature and the breed. Downy and long-haired goats are not afraid of the cold. Conversely, frosty weather stimulates the regrowth of a thick undercoat.
The goat herd has a clear hierarchy by sex and age. Each group has its own physiological characteristics and requires special care.
It is important for goats that the room where they are kept is dry, clean, without harmful odors. For animals, it is necessary to have sun beds on which they sleep, separate feeders and drinkers. The floor is covered with a mat. The common corral is cleaned once a week, the individual corrals are cleaned daily. You need to take care of goats all year round:
- trim hooves;
- cut the wool from the udder;
- comb out fur;
- process the skin with a soda solution from lice;
- get vaccinated.
Goats are contact animals, they can be kept with other livestock and poultry, with the exception of chickens (as a source of lice). It is important for milking goats to have easy access to water.
For newborn kids
There are two ways to raise newborn kids: by leaving them in the care of the uterus or by removing them to a separate room. In the first case, the cubs are fed by a goat. It is the responsibility of the breeder to milk the milk after feeding so that there is no mastitis and to maintain milk yield. The kids receive colostrum for the first 20 days, and then milk 4 times a day. On day 21, chalk and salt are introduced into complementary foods (5 grams per day). At 3 months, the rate is increased to 10 grams.
When kids grow up without a mother, they get colostrum and milk from human hands. The goat is served to obtain the maximum amount of product.
For the young
In the second month, concentrates are added to the milk, starting from 50 grams. At 3 months, the rate increases to 300 grams, the kids are transferred to an adult diet. They should drink plenty of water, spend as much time as possible in the fresh air. Young animals do not require as much space as adult animals. The paddock can be equipped in the country, where, on free walks and with the right diet, the kids will gain from 3 to 5 kilograms per month.
Behind the goats
Breeding goats is beneficial if the number of females is more than 50 individuals. In the village, they keep 1 goat, which provides mating for all females. In dairy breeds, males are kept separately from dairy goats so that the milk does not acquire the smell of goat meat. For meat, downy breeds, for pasture breeding, this does not matter. The role of the goats is the continuation of the breed. The producer is fed in the intervals between mating in the same way as goats, preventing obesity. During mating, the proportion of concentrated feed containing proteins is increased in the diet.
Breeding a breeding herd on a private farm includes the purchase of a breeding animal, the correct organization of coverage.
Selection of animals for breeding
Before purchasing, a goat should be carefully examined to determine whether it is healthy, to clarify its age, to compare the description of the breed with its appearance.
The main signs by which you can determine the varieties of breeds:
- Dairy. The head is light, the neck is thin, the ears are small, erect, the legs are straight, the hooves are strong, the udder is pear-shaped or cone-shaped. The coat is thin, shiny, adjacent to the rump.
- Downy. Down from the eyes to the hocks. Down length - from 6 to 10 centimeters (depending on the specific breed). Legs are straight, black hooves, strong. The horns are medium in size.
- Meat. Large head, strong bones, height at the withers - 70-90 centimeters. The ears are long, drooping.
The milkiness of the goat is checked by the udder: it should be firm, elastic, covered with sparse hairs, with nipples of medium length.
At home, a breeding goat is found for goats. An adult, healthy male covers up to 50 females (2 mats per day). For young goats who have come to hunt for the first time, a goat is selected from 6 months to a year.
Signs of the hunt
A goat does not become pregnant, which means it does not reproduce until it is in heat. The period when she is ready to meet the male lasts 24-72 hours. The animal looks restless, irritable, wags its tail, often marks. The genitals swell, mucus is secreted from them.
Types of mating
There are 4 ways to knit:
- artificial (on large farms, without a male);
- manual (under human supervision);
- free (with herd keeping of goats and goats);
- harem (one goat with 20 goats in the hunt).
For beginner goat breeders, hand knitting is best.
How to conduct correctly
They begin preparing for mating from the fence on the site. A small area is separated by a net, the goat is tied and the goat is launched. After two effective cages, the male animals are bred and the behavior of the goat is observed. There are no trifles in goat breeding, especially when raising breeding stock.
Pregnancy and lambing
The duration of gestation in goats lasts, on average, 150 days (+/- 10 days). Most often, pregnancy is multiple: 2 and 3 kid. The number of cubs does not depend on the number of cubs. The cover of the goat is determined by external signs:
- a change in the shape of the genital loop;
- swelling of the udder;
- an increase in the abdomen.
Not all goat breeders can listen and feel the fruit. With downy, long-haired animals, this is impossible.
An important preparation for lambing dairy animals is the start-up, during which the goats will not be milked. This is necessary for the formation of the fetus and the preparation of the animal's body for postpartum activities: the production of colostrum. If you do not stop milking before lambing, then the amount of colostrum will not be enough to feed the goat offspring.
During the launch, after giving birth, a special diet is established for the goats, thanks to which it will give birth to healthy kids and preserve milk production.
In goats of meat, downy, wool breeds, lactation, most often, begins after the birth of young and ends with their transfer to pasture. When carrying a pregnancy and after lambing, they also need a special diet with an easily digestible feed rich in microelements and vitamins.