Choosing a Goat: Tips for Livestock Farmers
So, you have decided that you are going to raise goats, and you are wondering the best one to choose. Before you start your search, it is important that you know exactly what you are going to do with the goat. Goats are a popular livestock option mainly because of their meat, milk, and fiber. Some consider raising goats as pets. What about you? What is your purpose for purchasing a goat? Your purpose will determine the best goat to buy.
The following are tips on choosing a goat based on the purpose of raising a goat.
If you plan to raise goats for meat, the best choice of goat breed is the South African Boer. It is considered the best meat-yielding goat breed because of its quick growth rate and strong immunity against goat diseases. Other goat breeds that yield quality meat include Brush, Spanish, West African Dwarf, Kiko, and Myotonic.
When choosing a meat-yielding goat, don’t just choose any breed. You must inspect the goat carefully to make sure that its appearance is healthy enough for your purpose. Choose a goat that looks wide and heavy. Also, its body must be square and stocky, and its back part must be flat and thick.
Goat milk contains low amounts of lactose, making it a great alternative for cow’s milk. It is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant but want to get the nutritional benefits of milk.
Appearance and breed are two main considerations when selecting a goat for its milk. The best milk-producing breeds are the Nigerian and Nubian goats because they produce large amounts of milk. Another good breed for this purpose is the Aline goat, but it is harder to raise because of its aggressive nature.
When it comes to appearance, opt for milking goats with a healthy bone structure. The goat’s udder is also an indication of its ability to produce lots of milk. The best choice is a goat with a firm udder that does not have any bump or scar.
Some goats are raised for their fiber, especially wool, mohair, and cashmere. The best fiber-yielding goats are Angora goats because they produce wool with a silky texture and beautiful appearance. Since they are more delicate than other types of goats, Angora goats should receive a great deal of care and attention.
Goats make great pets, especially if they are bred for companionship. When choosing a pet goat, make sure you get a neutered one. Neutered goats have better temperament than non-neutered ones. Male goats that are non-neutered, for example, tend to be very aggressive and uncontrollable at times.
It is also a good idea to choose pygmy or small-size goats since they are easier to raise as pets. Full-sized goats are harder to take care than their smaller counterparts. There are mini versions of popular goat breeds such as Nubian and La Mancha that are available in some pet stores.
Goats are versatile because of their many uses, thus making them a great livestock option. The best goat for you depends on what you intend to do with it.
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