Goat Farming(Research ramble & Cut & Paste from many different websites)

GOAT husbandry has been part of agriculture since almost the first use of domestic animals and presently, its popularity is increasing throughout the world.

Further, it is worthwhile to compare the milk of goats with that of cows and note benefits or limitations which may result from differences found. Goat’s milk derives many of its most distinctive properties from its lipid fraction.

However, the quality and quantity of feeds, genetics season, stage of lactation, etc. all influence the average percentage of goat milk fat.

In terms of cholesterol, goat’s milk appears to offer a specific distinction in comparison to cow’s milk, which typically contains about 14 to 17 mg cholesterol per 100 g milk, while goat’s milk is more usually recorded at 11 to 25 mg per 100 gram of milk.

Research carried out at the Department of Physiology of the University of Granada (USA) has revealed that goat milk has more beneficial properties to health than cow milk. Among these properties, it helps to prevent ferropenic anaemia (iron deficiency) and bone demineralisation (softening of the bones).

It is also reported to be more suitable for HIV positive people and others suffering lactose intolerance.

New world record price for mohair

The second sale of the 2010 mohair summer selling season was highlighted by the extremely good competition for adult mohair from all international and local buyers.

The highest ever average indicator for adults was registered at R83,37/kg at the auction. A bale of BSFFH of Mr David and Mr Richard Herold of Graaff-Reinet attained a new world record price of R98,50/kg for adults as offered on the auction by the mohair broker, Cape Mohair & Wool (CMW). It was bought by Samil, one of two local processors. Samil is a South African company and showing their commitment to the industry. They are involved with local industry development programs, and donate angora goats for training for BEE projects. They are also involved with a project where existing young South African angora goat farmers can benefit and become mohair farmers on the long term.

Prices for good quality Boer goat breeding stock in South Africa have shown significant growth this year as demand strains the ability of the local industry to supply quality registered animals.

Growing buying power from a growing market are contributing to the growth although many question the sustainability of this government-funded grant system driving the market. Importantly however, is the fact that interest in the South African Boergoat internationally is also very healthy. In recent weeks countries as diverse as Tanzania, Canada, Norway, Ireland and Nigeria have expressed interest in upgrading indigenous goats, importing genetic material or joint venture projects in combination with South African producers.

Dwindling numbers of farmers worldwide, pressure on productive farmland, rapidly rising food prices and other factors are causing farmers to investigate all opportunities to maintain profitability, improve production and raise prices. The Boer goat has a well established reputation as the yardstick against which all other meat-producing goats worldwide are measured and many producers are discovering the breed’s benefits.

The challenge for South African producers is to educate the market about the benefits of quality, registered animals with performance statistics as opposed to sub-standard animals, often being offered at what appear to be bargain prices on slaughter auctions.

A new South African record for a stud ewe was obtained on the combined auction of the Soetdorings and Nico Botha studs. The Nico Botha ewe was sold for the excellent price of R44000 (US$6400). The average price for rams was R11632 (US$1690) and ewes averaged R13970 (US$2030).

On-farm prices for quality flock ewes on the open market currently range between R1800 to roughly R2500 (US$260 – US$365) while flock rams can be bought for between R3500 and R6000 (US$508 – US$870).

Market your lambs and kapaters between the age of six months and two years in order to obtain the best prices for quality animals. At marketing time animals should weigh at least 30kg. The slaughter market generally requires an animal weighing between 30kg and 45kg on the hoof.

Remember that a well groomed and fed animal is more pleasing to the eye and it is likely that as a seller you would obtain a better price for your goats.

Develop your breeding calendar to take advantage of increases in the price of slaughter animals due to seasonal fluctuations such as religious festivals, holiday periods and seasons of the year. Certain times of the year see increases in the price of animals due to a shortage of slaughter animals. This is generally a good time to market your animals.

Try to negotiate a contract with a buyer so that you can be assured of a market for your sale animals at a price and at a time that suits both parties. Feeding slaughter animals for a period past their prime selling time eats into profits as there is usually no premium per kg for heavier animals.