If you’re thinking about starting a farm, then goats represent the key to insanely high profits.
These funny little creatures have been cultivated and herded by farmers for thousands of years, and they’ve always provided an income.
In 2019, new techniques and methods make goat farming lucrative, and it’s an okay time to get started in this business.
You can get started pretty much anywhere in the world with goat farming.
After all, goats are tough creatures and can adapt to most climates.
You can buy multiple sub-species of goats that are especially suited to your unique environment.
The domestic goat is also known as Capra aegagrus hircus.
This species originated in Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe, and goats are closely related to sheep and antelope.
There are almost 1 billion goats living throughout the world today.
The goat was one of the first ever animals domesticated by humans, and it began with neolithic farmers over 9,000 years ago.
Despite the fact that they’ve been domesticated for so long, goats are still very wild creatures.
• naturally curious,
• mischievous, and…
They can climb up trees and display a stunning ability to balance in very tight spaces.
This means that goats are notoriously good at escaping from pens and enclosures.
They routinely test every part of the fence until they find a weak spot and will continuously exploit that area.
Goats have also shown the tendency to communicate with people, in the same way as dogs or horses.
There are over 300 different breeds of goat which, for centuries, have also been linked to:
• various religions, and…
• occult beliefs such as Satanism.
If goats do manage to escape, they revert back to being wild animals almost seamlessly.
The only other domestic animal which reverts so easily back to life in the wild is the cat.
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What Can You Produce with a Goat Farm?
Goats can be used to produce a few different things on a commercial farm.
One of the most popular things to farm with goats is milk. Goat’s milk is highly valued across the world, and it can be used to make things like butter or goat’s cheese.
Goat’s milk is incredibly high in nutrients, and most doctors agree that it’s superior to cow’s milk in almost every way conceivable.
That being said, some people in the west aren’t used to the taste of the Goat’s milk and might prefer cow’s milk purely out of habit.
Of all products made from goat’s milk, cheese seems to be the most globally popular type.
Goats can also be farmed for their meat. While goat meat might be popular in certain parts of the world, it’s a little less desirable in the west. Goat meat is most popular in places like the middle east and India.
Goats can also be farmed for their furs and skin. There are even specific breeds which are known for high-quality furs and skins, such as Angora and Cashmere goats.
Along with luxurious cashmere, goat skins and furs are often used to make rugs, blankets, and other such items.
Cashmere goats are shorn for their fur, which means you don’t have to kill them in order to “harvest” this valuable resource.
This might appeal to many people who like the idea of living alongside goats for many years.
Not killing your goats also makes it easier to expand your business over a long period of time, as you won’t have to replace those killed for meat or skins constantly.
Finally, goat dropping can also be harvested and used for fertilizer.
You can sell this fertilizer to other farmers or use it yourself to plant crops on other areas of your own farm.
T to simply do a search engine query for “goat farm near me.”
Then, see if you’ll be able to take a tour or speak with that in-charge about the operation at-large.
Choosing the Right Breed of Goat for Your Farm
There are many different breeds available and choosing the right one for your farm is essential.
Different breeds are obviously suited to different things. You might find that your choices are relatively limited due to your geographic location.
You’ll also want to choose certain goat breeds depending on whether you’re farming them for meat, cheese, fur, or skins.
If you’re starting a farm in cold climates like Canada, Northern Europe, and other similar areas, you might want to choose goat breeds which are known for tolerating the cold and wet weather.
These breeds include Swiss varieties such as the Oberhasli and the Saanen.
There are also Toggenburgs, Russian Whites, and Alpines.
Keep in mind these breeds are mostly suited for dairy farming and might not work for other methods.
That being said, Cashmere goats are known for their thick furs and will thrive in cold temperatures.
For hot climates, you might want to choose breeds like Boer, Nubian, or Lamanchas.
That being said, goats are highly adaptable creatures.
They will easily survive in most environments, regardless of the weather or temperatures.
If you see your goats getting cold, you can always put jackets on them to keep their temperatures up!
Obviously, cashmere goats and Angora Goats are the best for producing cashmere.
These might also be referred to as Spanish Goats.
But what about goat breeds for other uses, such as meat, skins, and milk?
For milk, you might want to consider the following breeds:
• Nigerian Dwarf,
• Lamancha, and…
For meat, consider choosing:
• Tennessee Fainting Goats, or…
• Kiko Goats.
If you want to produce Goat skins, consider…
• the Don Goat,
• the Jining Grey, or…
• the Sahelian Goat.
As previously noted, there are over 300 different breeds of goat.
We’ve only mentioned a few here, and you might want to do more extensive research to find the perfect goat for your farm.
Buying Your Goats
Contact local farmers, check out online listings, and look for advertisements in local newspapers for opportunities to buy goats.
You might also want to:
• go to local farmer’s auctions.
• find common goat farming project cost assessments.
• understand the commercial goat farming industry a little more.
• confirm the numbers you’re looking at with a goat farm profit calculator.
When buying your goats, you should aim for the breeds that you picked out previously.
For goat farming in the USA (and possibly other countries in the world), there may or may not be industry regulations for licensing, breeding, and/or even purchasing.
It’s best to check first.
But, you might also want to buy crossbreeds, as they’re generally cheaper than purebreds.
As long as your crossbreed has some lineage of your targeted breed, they’ll probably be fine.
Consider things like whether or not your goats are dehorned, vaccinated, and other things of that nature.
And if you want to breed your goats in the future, you might want to buy male goats which haven’t been castrated.
Breeding Your Goats and Producing Goat’s Milk
If you want to expand your farm and produce more goats as time goes on, you’ll need to breed your goats.
To breed your goats, you’ll obviously need to start off with males and females on your farm.
Goats only breed seasonally – usually from August to December.
You can take multiple approaches when it comes to breeding your goats.
Either let them all roam together and let nature take its course, or pair up certain goats with each other to ensure that breeding occurs.
Some farmers like to keep one buck (a male goat) and one doe (female goat) together in a pasture together or in a smaller enclosure.
If you do keep all the goats together in the same pasture, you should be aware that bucks are quite aggressive during mating season and may fight each other.
When the doe becomes severely pregnant, you might want to isolate her and keep her comfortable.
Sometimes the doe gives birth to twins or triplets, but rarely more than that.
When the kids (young/baby goats) are born, you can keep them together with the other adult goats in the same pasture.
If you’re starting a Dairy Goat Farm, your breeding strategies will be a little different.
This is because you want to keep milk production as high as possible.
In order to do this, you might need to set up a slightly more aggressive breeding strategy, and make sure that all your does are fertile and producing milk as much as possible.
You might also choose to separate stop the kids feeding on the mother at a much younger age, in order to take that valuable goat’s milk for yourself.
As a replacement, you can give kids specialized cow’s milk instead.
Setting Up A Pasture for Your Goats
Goats will need a relatively well-planned pasture or enclosure, complete with strong fences.
Goats can thrive in most environments, as long as there are enough grass and plants to graze on.
Be aware that goats have very large appetites and will eat through entire fields in a relatively short amount of time.
The most important part of establishing your enclosure is the fencing.
As previously noted, goats are notorious escape artists.
This is why your fences need to be very strong and sturdy.
If you have neighbors with fruit trees or crops, it could be a disaster if your goats escape.
They will eat everything in their path.
Consider strong fencing elements like steel, wire, and even stone.
Brick walls are expensive, but they’re impossible for goats to get over.
By this point, I know I’m beginning to notice that this is more like a full-time job.
Farmers wake up at early hours in the day and often put in several hours after the sun goes down or go straight to bed to wake up early again.
I highly doubt that others had also looked at entrepreneurship and thought about…
How exciting it might be to slave away in fields and barns for 30 years at nearly 80+ hours per week.
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It may not have hoofs – and may not be required to keep it from ferocious predators –
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Setting Up A Shed or Barn for Your Goats
Goats need a shelter to sleep in, and also to keep them out of extreme cold and weather.
You’ll need to construct your own structure for your goats, and this is definitely something that requires a lot of planning and work.
The size of your structure obviously depends on the number of goats you have.
On that same note, you should also think about plans for the future.
How many goats would you like to have eventually, when your breeding plan is complete?
Build a structure that will hold all the goats you ever plan on having on your farm.
To put things in perspective, you can probably fit 100 goats in a structure measuring about 20 by 70 feet.
This should give each goat about 10 square feet of personal space, which is actually quite important.
Since goats have a tendency to damage and destroy their surroundings, you should probably construct this structure out of brick and stone, or cement.
Feeding and Watering Your Goats
Feeding and watering your goats is very important, and you’ll need to take several factors into mind as you organize this crucial aspect of your goat farm.
Hopefully, your farmland will already have some form of water supply.
Whether it’s a running river or a well, water is very important with most farming businesses.
If you haven’t already purchased or rented your farmland, you should always choose land which has some form of water supply.
If you haven’t already, figure out a way to pump up that water and store it in a large water reservoir or tank.
From the tank, you can pump the water directly to feeding troughs within the shelter and beside the pasture.
It’s very important that you keep your troughs filled with fresh, clean water at all times. Water is very important when raising animals of all kinds.
But what should you feed your goats?
When it comes to your kids (baby goats), this is easy.
Just let them drink their mother’s milk for two to three months after birth.
10 to 12 days after they’re born, you can start to supplement their diet with special food for baby goats.
As they start to grow older, they’ll become interested in normal food.
Adult goats love to eat leafy greens, maize, and grasses.
They are complete vegetarians.
Along with their grazing, you should give your goats special dry food.
You can put this dry food installs inside the goat’s shelter.
In most cases, half of your goats’ diet should come from dry food, and the other half should come from grazing.
Whatever you do, always provide a source of natural grass or shrubbery that your goats can graze on.
Goats need to graze in order to keep their digestive systems running properly.
Grasses and other similar food sources are what goats are naturally designed to consume.
Planning for Diseases and Illnesses
As with any livestock farm, it’s important to prepare for the possibility of diseases and illnesses within your herd of goats.
Diseases can easily spread from goat to goat, and soon enough, you’ll be faced with a massive epidemic that could wipe out your whole herd.
If you’re raising goats for meat or milk, you’ll notice that the quality of your finished products decreases with sickly herds.
The first step is prevention. Make sure your goats are all regularly vaccinated. Contact your local veterinarian and plan out a schedule of regular vaccinations and checkups.
It’s always important to develop a strong relationship with your local vet, as they can help immensely with many issued down the road.
There are quite a few potentially dangerous diseases that you might want to get your goats vaccinated for.
These diseases include things like Foot and Mouth Disease and Pneumonia. These diseases might require vaccinations on a yearly basis, or within every few years.
There might also be other diseases and illnesses that are unexpected, and your goats might not be vaccinated for these illnesses.
Your best option is to keep a close eye on your goats. Watch carefully for any signs of illness. These signs include low energy, excessive sleeping, slow movement, or decreased appetite.
Inspect your goats from time to time in order to watch for any visible signs of disease.
Another great prevention method is to keep everything as clean as possible.
This includes the goat’s living quarters, the drinking water, and other areas or items that goats might come into contact with routinely.
Simply allowing your kids to drink as much of their mother’s milk at a young age ensures the development of a healthy immune system later on in life.
If you’re raising cashmere goats, try not to shear their fur during the height of winter.
These goats rely on their thick fur to keep them warm, and suddenly removing this warm layer might shock them or even cause illness.
At the very least, try to provide your cashmere goats with thick jackets if you do have to hear them during the cold months.
Those prevention methods should do the trick, but what happens if your goats do develop some form of illness?
If it’s just one or two goats out of the entire herd, isolate them immediately.
You might want to build a separate structure far away from the other goats.
Isolating sick goats as quickly as possible ensures that the disease doesn’t spread throughout the rest of the herd.
Once you’ve isolated the sick goat, you can call in the vet and see what can be done. Most of the time, your vet should be able to treat the goat and return them to full health quickly.
Your vet might treat the sick goat with antiviral or antibiotic medicine.
If the disease has spread to the entire herd, there’s no use trying to isolate them. Call in the vet and take their advice on your next action.
If your entire herd becomes sick, you’ll need to pay much more for the required medicine and treatment. This is why it’s so important to isolate sick goats as soon as possible.
Protecting Your Goats Against Predators
There are a few other possible risk factors to consider when running a goat farm.
Wild animals might pose a significant threat.
Dependent upon your location of residence, there could be large predators lurking around, such as wolves, coyotes, wild dogs, cougars, and bears.
Even smaller predators such as foxes or raccoons will certainly attack baby goats and young kids.
Believe it or not, certain birds are also known for attacking goats. Ravens are known for attacking goats in flocks, pecking out their eyeballs for unknown reasons.
Larger birds such as eagles and vultures might even try to take baby goats away in their claws.
Male goats are naturally aggressive, but even they might not be able to protect themselves and others against larger and more vicious predators.
To combat this threat, you might choose to employ a variety of methods.
Hang a real or fake vulture carcass near your goats to deter vultures.
Not much can be done to protect against other birds, but you might consider employing methods such as scarecrows and other bird deterrents.
Some of the better ways to protect your goats are also the simplest. Never tether your goats, as this will make them sitting ducks for predators.
Keep your goats safely secured in a structure from dusk till dawn.
There should be no cracks or entry points that predators might enter. All doors should be latched firmly.
Remember, you need to keep your goats inside, and predators out. Both goats and predators are great at finding weak points in walls and doors.
Always take special care of your goat kids. Ideally, they should be sectioned off until they’re large enough to fend for themselves.
In the early stages after birth, they should be kept in specialized birthing pens.
If your birthing pens don’t have firm roofs, then you should put netting over the top to prevent birds from snatching your goat kids.
But even with all these precautions, there’s still the possibility of larger predators attacking your goats during the day when they’re out on the fields grazing.
To protect your goats in these scenarios, you might want to employ the use of a guardian animal.
Guardian animals are strong, protective animals that will scare away most predators. These animals are naturally brave and will protect the other goats in a herd.
There are a select few options when it comes to guardian animals.
Dogs are always a safe bet, although certain breeds are much more effective than others.
The best guardian dog breeds include the Great Pyrenees, Anatolian, the Tatra Sheepdog, and many others.
However, dogs might be too small to scare off larger predators, or those that operate in packs, such as wolves or coyotes.
An age-old favorite guardian animal is a donkey.
While donkeys might not sound like the most intimidating animal in the world, they’re strangely effective when it comes to warding off predators.
Wolves are naturally frightened of donkeys and will run away when they hear this beast braying.
Not only are wild dogs, wolves, and coyotes afraid of donkeys, but donkeys also absolutely hate dogs.
They are naturally aggressive towards these creatures, which is a great attribute for a guardian animal.
Donkeys are also herding animals, just like goats. If you raise a young donkey along with a herd of young goats, the donkey will behave as if it’s another member of the herd.
Donkeys graze alongside the other goats and will stick close by.
Another great option is Alpaca. These animals are brave, aggressive protectors.
In fact, they might even be a little too aggressive, as they have a tendency to be violent towards humans and other goats.
This is nearly true if you have an uncastrated male.
At the end of the day, a donkey is probably your best bet for a guardian animal.
If you take all most things into consideration, you should be able to protect your goats from wild animals fairly easily.
Marketing Your Goat Products
Before you even start this farm, you should think about how you’re going to market your goat products.
A large part of this revolves around doing some market research in order to assess the demand for goat related products in your area.
As previously noted, goat meat (otherwise known as chevon) might not be in high demand in your area, especially if you live in most western nations.
On the other hand, Goat’s milk is starting to become increasingly popular, especially among the health conscious and the so-called “fitness freaks.”
Since goat’s milk is so nutritious, it’s sought after by those who want to create the most potent protein shakes and smoothies.
While goat’s cheese is an acquired taste, there’s usually a strong market for this product wherever you are in the world.
The one goat product which seems to have the most global appeal is cashmere.
This is considered a luxury fabric everywhere in the world, and you won’t have to look very far to find prospective buyers.
Whatever related goat products you plan on selling, do some research, and determine whether there’s a demand before you start your farm.
Contact potential buyers and see whether they’re willing to buy your goat products.
As long as you have a few potential leads set up, you can start your goat farm with confidence.
When you are ready to sell, consider expanding your customer base with additional marketing efforts.
Online marketing works for pretty much any business – including Goat farms.
Focusing on the health benefits of goat milk is a great option.
You might want to start a blog or establish a social media account which targets health conscious, fitness-oriented individuals.
Establish a strong branding strategy for your goat’s milk and show how it can improve people’s fitness regimes.
Don’t be afraid to step up and reach out to local influencers with fitness blogs and social media accounts.
You might choose to pay them to run sponsored posts.
Those are only a few basic marketing methods, and we’re sure you can come up with many more interesting and innovative ideas yourself.
Generally speaking, there’s a strong market for goat related products, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding customers.
Profit Margins for a Goat Farm
So how much money could one really collect at a goat farm?
Like most farming businesses, the initial investment might be quite high. You’ll need to purchase or rent land, which could be quite expensive.
You’ll also need to build structures, fencing, and other specialized pens. This is both expensive and time-consuming.
You’ll also need to spend money on food for your goats, veterinarian bills, and many other necessities. You might also need to replenish your pastured with fresh grass for the goats to graze on.
And don’t forget the addition of a guardian animal. Larger animals, such as donkeys will consume even more food. They might also require specialized care and attention.
Finally, you’ll need a few basic pieces of farming equipment, tools, and supplies.
But while the initial investment and operating costs might be relatively high, the profit margins are very attractive.
Goat’s milk and cashmere are two very profitable products, and you should be able to find plenty of buyers. We recommend focusing on these two products, as you’ll probably stand the greatest chance of success.
Cashmere is widely praised and is valued highly across the world.
Goat’s milk is also very trendy right now, and you won’t have to go through the same manufacturing process as goat’s cheese.
Within a few months, you should be able to achieve a return on your investment. Within a few years, your goat’s farm should be raking in cash on all fronts.
People have been farming goats for thousands of years.
This is a highly profitable venture with proven success and a long-established method.
With 300 breeds to choose from, goats can be adapted to fit virtually any environment, for whatever farming purpose you deem necessary.
Goats can produce a wide range of different products, which might not be profitable with other livestock animals.
While goats are a little mischievous and destructive, humans naturally bond with these animals.
They’re clever and full of personality.
You might discover that raising these goats is a real joy.
If you’re looking for a profitable animal to raise as livestock in your new farming business, goats are an ideal option.
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