Green Rich

Goat Farming

Goat Farming

Goat Farming

Goats are reared for milk and meat. Goat is a multi functional animal and plays a significant role in the economy and nutrition of landless, small and marginal farmers in the country. Goat rearing is an enterprise, which has been practiced by a large section of population in rural areas. Goats can efficiently survive on available shrubs and trees in adverse harsh environment in low fertility lands where no other crop can be grown. Around the world, more people drink goat milk than cow milk. Also, more people eat chevon (goat meat) than beef. The World Health Organization says that more than 70% of the world’s population has some allergy to cow milk. The allergic symptoms could be stomachaches, gas, skin rashes and ear infections. An allergy to goat milk is very rare. According to many historians, goats were the first animals to be domesticated. For thousands of years, they have been utilized for their milk, meat, hair, and skins all over the world.

Selection of goat

Malabari (Tellichery), Attappady, Sannen x Malabari cross-breeds are available in the state. When buying an adult goat, be sure to check its milk production. Milk yield per day assessed by recording two consecutive milking, should be more than 0.5 kg (including milk sucked by kids). When selecting young goats, the dam’s production may be checked. A one year old she-goat should weigh about 20 kg. Doeling at 6 months should weigh not less than 10 kg. The doeling must also be free from physical defects. Selection of does should be based on their previous 120 days’ milk production record. Those, which have kidded at least by 2 years of age, should be preferred.

Goats Breeds - Indian

Himalayan - Region (Hilly tract)

This region comprises the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

Himalayan breed: The goats of this breed are white haired and sturdily built. The breed is also known as gaddi, jamba, kashmiri according to their localities where they are reared. They inhabit kangra and kulu valleys, chamba, sirmur and Simla in Himachal pradesh and parts of Jammu hills. Castrated bucks are used for transporting merchandise in the hilly tracts.

Pashmina: These are small dainty animals with quick movements. They are raised above 3400 m elevations in the Himalayas, Ladakh and Lahaul and spiti valleys. They produce the softest and warmest animal fibre used for high quality fabrics. The yield of pashmina varies from 75-150 g/goat.

Chegu: This breed is found in the mountainous range of spiti, yaksar and Kashmir. The goats of this breed yield of pashmina, good meat and a small quantity of milk.

Northern Region        
The states which comes under the region are Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The important milch breeds of goats are distributed in this region only.

Jamnunapari: Native of Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. These are large sized, tall, leggy with large folded pendulous ears and prominent Roman nose. They carry long and thick hair on their hind quarters and has a glossy goat. Horns are short flat. The body weight of adult bucks and does varies from 65 to 86 kg and 45-61 respectively. The average daily milk yield in 2.25 to 2.7 kg. The milk yield in a lactation period of, 250 days varies from 250 - 300 kg with 3.5 percent fat content. The Jamunapari goats have been used for evolving the famous Anglo -Nubian breed of goats in England.

Mainly found in Punjab and this breed is evolved from Jamunapari breed. Color is red and tan, heavily spotted on white. Bucks weight 65 - 86 kg does weight 45-61 kg does yield about 1 kg milk daily, bucks may have a beard.

Barbari: This breed is found in Etawah, Etah, Agra and Mathura districts of U.P, kamal, Paniphat and Rothak in Hariyana, color varies with white, red and tan sports being common. These are small and short haired, with erect horns. Adult buck weighs from 36 - 45 kg and the doe from 27 -36 kg. They are usually stall fed and yield 0.90 to 1.25 kg of milk (fat 5%) per day in a lactation period of 108 days. They are prolific breeders and usually kid twice in 12 -15 months. This breed is highly fit for intensive rearing.

Central region
This region includes Rajasthan, Madya pradesh, Gujarat and northern parts of Maharastra, Marwari, Mehsana and Zalwadi. They are derived from Jamunapari breed. Commonly found in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhypradesh. These breeds comes in different color combinations. They yield between 0.75 -1 kg of milk per day.

Berari: found in Nagpur and wardha district of Maharastra and Ninar district of Madhya Pradesh. These are tall and dark colored breeds. Doe yields about 0.6 kg of milk per day.

Kathiiawari: This breed is native of Kutch, Northern Gujarat and Rajasthan. The goats have black coat with reddish color marks on the neck. The doe yields about 1.25 k.g of milk per day.

Southern region
The states under these region include parts of Maharastra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Surti: Surti goats resemble Berari goats and possess white, short legs. Surti is popular in Bombay, Nasik and Surat. Does are good milk producers yielding 2.25 kg per day.

Deccania or Osmanabadi: These have originated from a mixture of the goats of the plains. They are black, mixtures of white and black or red are also found. The milk yield is 1.4 to 2.25 kg per day.

Malarbar (or) Tellicherry: found in Northern Kerala

GBRI: This is a mixture of two more type of goats. The color is not uniform and may vary from black to white. The milk yield in is 0.9 to 2.8 kg/day.

Eastern Region 
This region consists of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Orissa and Part of Bihar.

Bengal: The goats of this breed are found in 3 colours viz. Black, Brown and White. They are small short breeds. The meat of this breed is of superior quality. Bucks weigh 14-16 kg and nannies 9-14 kg. Does kids twice in a year, twins are common. The skin of Bengal goats are of excellent quality and is in great demand in India and abroad in foot-wear industry.

Assam Hilly breed: These are smaller dwarf breeds of goats found in the hilly tract of Assam and other eastern states.

Exotic Breeds
The principal exotic dairy breeds of goats are Toggenberg, Sannen, French Alpine and Nubian. They are all noted for their higher milk yield and most of these breed, were imported to India to improve milk yield of our local breeds and to upgrade our non descript goats.

Toggenberg: it is originated in the Toggenberg valley in north Switzerland. Skin is very soft and pliable. Usually both male and female are hornless. The adult doe weights 65 kg or more and the bucks more than 80 kg. Average milk production is 5.5 kg per day. The butter fat content of milk 3-4 percent. The male usually has longer hair than females.

Sannen: Native of Sannen valley of Switzerland noted for its consistency and high production. Color is white or light cream. The face may be slightly dished and the ears point upward and forward. Both sexes are normally polled but sometimes horns do appear. Does weight 65 kg and the bucks 95 kg. Average milk yield is 2 - 5 kg per day during a lactation period of 8 -10 months. Milk fat 3 - 5%.

Alpine: This breed was originated in Alps mountains. It was derived from French, Swiss and Rock Alpine breeds. No distinct color has been established. Excellent milkers and they have horns. Average milk yield is 2 - 3 kg with buffer fat of 3 -4%.

Nubian: Originated in Nubia of North eastern Africa. Also found in Ethiopia and Egypt. It is a long legged and hardy animal. This breed along with Jamunapari of India together with native breeds of U.K. formed the cross bred Anglo Nubian breed of goat.

Anglo Nubian: It is a big animal with a fine skin and glossy coat, -pendulous ears and Roman nose. Anglo Nubian is known as the Jersey cow of the goat world. Udder is large and pendulous with bigger teats. There is no fixed color. Bucks weight 65 - 80 kg and does from 50 -60 kg. Average milk yield in 3 - 4 kg/day. Peak yield may even go up to 6.5 kg or more.

Angora: Originated in Turkey or Asia minor. It produces a superior quality fibre called mohair. The soft silky hairs cover the white body. If not shorn during spring the fleece drops off naturally as summer approaches. Average fleece yield is 1.2 kg. Good animals yields even up to 6 kg. The Angora is small in size with shorter legs. Horns are grey, spirally twisted and inclined backward and outward. Tail is short and erect.


'Lean-to' Type Shed 
The cheapest form of building is the 'lean-to' type shed located against the side of an existing building. Such a shed for a family of two goats should be 1·5 m wide and 3·0 m long. This length provides 0.3 m for the manger and 1·2 m for the goats; the remaining 1·5 m space is sufficient for two milking does with a stub wall between them. The height nearest the wall should be 2·3 m and on the lower side 1·7 m giving a slope of 0·6 11) to the roof, which may be tiled or thatched. An open-framed window of good size on the lower side and an open-­framed door should be provided. Arrangements for storing hay or dried feed can be made overhead.

The plan for a house varies with the climatic conditions and the type of flock to be sheltered. In dry climates with a rainfall of 50 to 75 cm a long shed open on the sides, little exposed to weather and built on well ­drained ground makes an excellent shelter.

A goat, when reared singly, can be housed in any building provided it is dry, free from draft and well ventilated. The space allowed should be 1·8 m x 1·8 m. A plain board, 28 cm wide and 2·5 cm thick with two circular holes sufficiently large for receiving two small galvanized iron pails, may be used in place of the manger or a trough for food. It should be raised 50 to 60 cm from the floor, supported on wooden or iron brackets fixed to the wall. These pails, one for water and the other for food, are preferred to the manger, as the accumulated residue of feed can be easily removed from them. 

In the tropics because of high temperature, heavy rainfall and the susceptibility of goats-to parasitism, the most practical goat houses are those which are raised above the ground level, are well ventilated, and have long eaves to prevent heavy rain showers to splash in from the sides. The floor must be strong (wooden strips with small slits in between) and the roof material should provide effective insulation from the solar radiation. The roofing material would be made of bamboo or tree leaves or earthen tiles which are cheap and practical. Provision must be made for collection of dung and urine periodically.

Shelter for Buck 
The buck should be housed separately. A single stall measuring 2·5 m x 2·0 m with the usual fittings for food and water would be suitable for the bucks. Two bucks should not be kept together, particularly during the breeding season, because they might fight.

Space for Goats in Stanchions and Confinement 
The size of the stanchion where the goat is kept should be 0·75 m wide and 1·2 m long. Goats kept longer in a pen should have a floor space of 2m2.

Loose Stalls for Pregnant Does and Kids 
Kids should be provided with separate loose stalls, away from adult females. The walls and doors of these stalls should be about 1·3 m high. A box barrel or a log is provided for exercise. One stall measuring 1·8 m2 can accommodate up to 10 kids. Such loose stalls are also suitable for goats at the time of kidding. All stalls should be provided with an enclosure in which the animals can be let loose during the day. This loose housing system reduces the housing cost and labour.

Elevated Platform

In the tropics because of high temperature, heavy rainfall and the susceptibility of goats-to parasitism, the most practical goat houses are those which are raised above the ground level, are well ventilated, and have long eaves to prevent heavy rain showers to splash in from the sides. The floor must be strong (wooden strips with small slits in between) and the roof material should provide effective insulation from the solar radiation. The roofing material would be made of bamboo or tree leaves or earthen tiles which are cheap and practical. Provision must be made for collection of dung and urine periodically.

Farming systems


In this system goats are usually tied with a rope to a tree or on a peg and they will be able to browse from the surrounding. It is a convenient method from the standpoint of minimum labour input and utilization of feeds. This system is suitable for farmers with one or two goats.

Extensive production 
This system can be adopted if grazing land is available where goats are allowed to browse on free range and provided with shelter during nighttime.

Intensive production

This method is suitable in urban areas where there is scarcity of land. In this method goats are confined exclusively in sheds and fed on leaves/grass and concentrates.


This method represents varying degrees of compromise between extensive and intensive production. In this system the goats are allowed to go out of the shed for a few hours daily.

Integration with cropping system
In this case goats can be allowed to browse under plantation crops. It ensures increased fertility of land by return of dung and urine and controls the weeds. The manure output from an adult goat per day varies from 0.5 to 1 kg.


The majority of the goats kept in villages are seldom given any grain or good fodder; as a result their average milk production is very low. Milch goats respond readily to good care and proper feeding, and to ensure best results they should be tended like other milch animals.

Feeding Habits 

Goats are sensitive animals with peculiar feeding habits. They are 'fastidious about cleanliness and like frequent change in the feed. Feeds given must be clean and fresh, since goats eat nothing that is dirty or foul-smelling. They dislike wet, stale or trampled fodder. For this reason it is advisable to feed them in hay-racks or hang the feed in bundles from a peg in a wall or from a branch of a tree. Double-sided portable hay-racks are the most suitable and convenient for stall feeding. It is preferable to serve them small quantities at a time; when served in large; quantities at a time, they waste a lot of it by trampling.

Nutrients Required 

The nutrients needed may be divided into maintenance, production (for milk, meat and hair production) and pregnancy requirements.

Maintenance ration: The maintenance requirements are related to surface area and basal metabolic rate. Goats have higher basal metabolic 
rate than cattle; therefore, their maintenance requirements are higher than those of cattle. The requirement by weight is calculated and an additional feed of about 25 to 30 per cent for maintenance is allowed. The maintenance requirement thus calculated is 0·09 per cent digestible crude protein (DCP) and 0·09 per cent total digestible nutrients (TDN). It will be desirable to point out one interesting aspect. For its size the goat can consume substantially more feed than cattle or sheep, viz. 6·5 to 11 per cent of its body weight in dry matter when compared with 2·5 to 3 per cent for cattle or sheep. This means that the goat can satisfy its maintenance requirement and produce milk from forage alone.

Production ration: 

Requirements for the production of 1 litre of milk with 3·0 per cent fat is 43 g of DCP and 200 g of starch equivalent (SE), whereas for the production of 1 litre of milk with 4·5 per cent fat it is 60 g of DCP and 285 g of SE. 

The nutritional requirements of a goat weighing 50 kg and yielding 2 litres of milk with 4 per cent fat may be met by feeding 400 g of concentrate mixture and 5 kg of Berseem or Lucerne. The ration should have 12 to 15 per cent protein content, depending on the amount of protein in their hay and in the milk produced.

Mineral mixture:

Minerals should be given as an essential part of the ration as they contribute to the building of the skeleton, physiological functions and production of milk. The more important of these salts are calcium and phosphorus. The requirements of calcium and phosphorus for maintenance are 6·5 and 3·5 g, respectively, per 50 kg body weight. Goats require slightly larger quantities of calcium than sheep. The mineral mixture may be included in the concentrate ration at the rate of 0·2 per cent.

Common salt: 

Lumps of rock salt are just the' thing for them. These lumps of salt, of fairly good size, should be hung up in some suitable place where goats can easily get at them, or else they may be kept in the manger. The provision of salt licks is very important for goats as they secrete a good amount of sodium and chloride ions in milk. The salt often helps to tone up the system and may even have some effect in removing worms from the body. Salt to the extent of 2 percent may also be mixed with the daily grain ration of goats.

Vitamins and antibiotics: 

Goats need particularly vitamins A, D and E. The microbes in the rumen synthesize most of the other needed vitamins. Vitamin A can be supplied by feeding green forage and yellow maize. One kg of lush-green fodder will provide. Synthetic vitamins A and D may be included in the ration of growing kids.

Feeding of aureomycin or terramycin increase the growth rate of young kids, reduces the incidence of scours and other infectious diseases and improves the general appearance of the kids. 


Generally goats are resistant to many diseases. However when we rear more number of animals in one place and insufficiency of pasture facilities, intensive system of rearing leads to spread of many diseases. This causes reduced production potential and more mortality which in turn causes economic losses to the farmers. Hence identification of diseases in goat and its prevention is most important.

Health management is more important especially worm load. Hence the kids must be dewormed at first month of age and then once in a month upto 6 months of age. Ecoto-parasites must be treated carefully because it not only affect the growth and also affect skin quality.

Common control measures

  1. Proper drainage, sprinkling of copper sulphate near watter bodies will help to control fluke infection
  2. Avoid early morning and late evening grazing
  3. Keep the shed clean and provide clean quality drinking water
  4. Separate infected animal from healthy one
  5. Provide proper quarantine measures while purchasing new animals
  6. Proper disposal of dead animals
  7. Rotational grazing to control infection


Bloat will be formed when animal consume young leaves and grasses, unknown weeds, easily digestible cereals, rotten vegetables and fruits. Bloat will be followed by diarrhoea, dysentery leads to decumbency and death. Administration of vegetable oil  (50-100 ml) orally in a careful manner can help in control of bloat as a first aid and then get veterinary doctor help. Sometime feeding potato, brinjal may also obstruct the food passage and leads to bloat due to obstruction of gas from the rumen.


Low quality feed, fungal contaminated feed, change of feed may also cause indigestion. Sometime non-availability of quality water for drinking, feeding of some toxic plat also cause indigestion.


Goat-pox is not of uncommon occurrence, but it is less severe than the sheep-pox.  The nature of the disease is similar to that of pox in sheep.  The incubation period varies from 5 to 10 days.  The disease tends to attack male kids and ewes in milk.  Initially there may be slight pyrexia.  The lesions are not so side spread as in sheep-pox, being confined to the hairless regions of the body such as axilla, things, nose and mouth.  In the female the udder may also be involved.  The lesions are typically of pox but usually are much smaller than those of the sheep-pox. The goat-pox virus is antigenically distinct from the sheep pox virus, although it is transmissible experimentally to both goats and sheep.  The goat-pox in sheep is more severe than the sheep-pox.  The goat-pox virus is anitgenically distinct from the sheep pox virus, although it is transmissible experimentally the sheep-pox.  The lesions occur on  the lips and oral mucosa, the teats and udder.  The goat-pox virus affords solid protection in sheep against both goat-and sheep-pox, but the sheep-pox virus does not protect goats against the goat pox.

Disease Management

  • Be on the alert for signs of illness such as reduced feed intake, fever, abnormal discharge or unusual behavior.
  • Consult the nearest veterinary aid centre for help if illness is suspected.
  • Protect the animals against common diseases.
  • In case of outbreak of contagious diseases, immediately segregate the sick animals from healthy one and take necessary disease control measures.
  • De-worm the animals regularly.
  • Examine the faeces of adult animals to detect eggs of internal parasites and treat the animals with suitable drugs.
  • Provide clean and uncontaminated feed and water for minimizing the health disorders.
  • Strictly follow the recommended vaccine schedule.