Goats in Nigeria: Ways to start small-scale goat rearing in Nigeria
While poultry, fish, and pig farming are common and popular agriculture business, goat rearing business is not.
While goats in Nigeria are of different breeds, you have a variety of options to choose the best that fits the type of business and location.
While goats are the main products that goats in Nigeria are reared, other products can be derived from it which include ice cream, milk, cheese, butter, and leather from the skin.
Just think of what the cow milk can offer? The goat milk can also do the same.
The above reasons are what’s making goat farming profitable in Nigeria and an increasing number of farmers going into the business.
Types of goats in Nigeria
Goat breeds vary from one location to another. Goats in Nigeria that is more popular in the north might not be popular in the south.
That makes it important that you know the types of goats in Nigeria and particularly the ones that thrive in your location.
One way to start is by trying to know the bread varieties in Nigeria. Some of which include:
- Sahelian goats
- Sokoto red or maradi
- West African Dwarf (WAD)
- Pygmy goats
- Kalahari red (South African origin used at the federal university of agriculture, Abeokuta-FUNAAB)
This type of goat in Nigeria has a fine coat that could be white, black, red, or spotted. This goat has longer legs with medium or large body size.
They can range between 25-30kg when fully matured. The Sahalian goats are mostly for meat.
Red Sokoto or Maradi
As the name implies it’s of Sokoto origin and one of the popular goats in Northern Nigeria. The goats are mostly red and valued for meat and leather production. They have sub-breeds called Boronu white and Kano brown.
When matured fully, they can weight between 20-30kg of weight.
West Africa Dwarf goats
With the small size of the body and short legs and mostly found in the forest region of the country. This goat type can survive severe weather conditions compared to the other breeds of goats in Nigeria.
They’re short with a height of 40 or 50cm weighing 18 to 20kg at maturity.
The pygmy goats were formerly called Cameroon dwarf goat and can weigh up to 39Kg at maturity but the small-sized type of goat in Nigeria. Unlike other breeds, the pygmy goats are a little bit plumpy.
Apart from the local breed, there’re other exotic breeds of goats in Nigeria. The breeds are:
These breeds originate from Switzerland and are mostly white and larger in size. The male and female can weigh up to 75kg and 65kg respectively at maturity. This form of the breed is mostly for milk production.
This breed comes as a result of crossing Nubian and local breeds in England. The white and brown colors are dominant.
Male and females can weigh up to 70kg and 60kg respectively.
Some of the exotic breeds worth mentioning are:
Note: The local breed is mostly reared for meat production while the exotic breed on the other hand is reared mostly for milk production.
Goat farming requirement
Now that you know the types of goats in Nigeria, it’s time to know the requirements for starting your small scale farming.
Decide on the type of farm
Is the farm going to focus on breeding or raise and sell? This is one of the questions you need to ask yourself.
If the focus is on breeding, you’ll need to buy more female goat than males. In my opinion, the female should be 80% and male 20%. This is because the chances of producing more goats are high.
However, if the focus is only about raise and sell, then you just need to buy males 100%.
But your decision should be based on what your customers want.
Get a shelter for the goat
Getting a suitable housing is important for goat farming business. This is simply because the shelter is for the animal to stay at night, saves them from unfriendly weather conditions (cold, sunlight, and rain), and provide security.
Before building a shelter or home for your goat business, here are some tips that you need to take into consideration.
- Select a dry and higher place for building your goats house. If you’re using your backyard, consider raising your floor to keep it safe from floods.
- Ensure the floor is always dry
- Ensure the house is well ventilated and properly lighted
- Make your house easier to control the temperature and moisture
- You should have a strong and has enough space for taking rest.
In building the house, you have some options you may choose. You may decide to build an overground or goat house over the pole.
Depending on the number of goats you want to raise, you’ll need a house of 5.5ft by 5.5ft by 8.5ft for 10 small goats.
It simply means if you want to double your goat you’ll need double of such space for shelter.
Facilities required in the house
Once your house is ready, you’ll need other facilities that properly and effectively make goat rearing effective.
Some of this includes feeding racks, drinkers, loafing sheds, and lightening equipment.
- Get your goats
Goats in Nigeria are mostly bought in the farmers market. There’s no location that you cannot find a farmers market. Although varieties of goats are found during the market days in your location.
If you’re still not sure whether you can get the best goat, go with someone who can know how to identify the goat that can give you a great return on investment.
2. Goat feed in Nigeria
Feeding the goats will not be a difficult task as you can use both local and formulated feed which can feed and grow the animal up to the size you want.
Some of the food are grasses, maize shaft, weedy hay, grain, garden, and kitchen scrap (orange peels, garlic skins, tomato ends, banana peels) are some of the food goats eat.
There’re many exotic or formulated goat food you may want to buy and feed the goat. As good as the feeds are, they can be expensive.
Note eggshells, paper, dog food, and cat feed are not goat food as they can make the goat sick and most often with deadly consequences.
In goats, the gestation period lasts between one to 150 days, under normal circumstances.
Under abnormal circumstances, infertility and stunting will alter the gestation period and could be salmonella which the goat gets from drinking contaminated water.
However, treatment from a qualified veterinarian is all the goat need to correct the problem.
Depending on the type goat you’re rearing in Nigeria, a goat fully matured between 9 to 12 months when the condition, food, and nutrients are favorable for the animal.
However, when not fed as expected, goat growth will take a longer period to grow, 18 months to be precise.
Goat in Nigeria diseases
Like all living things, the goat also has diseases that can affect their growth and lead to their mortality.
Even though goats have a strong immune system, they still can come down with some diseases.
Diseases like ketosis, pneumonia, anorexia, diarrhea, anthrax, coccidiosis, arthritis, and bronchitis are common diseases affecting goats in Nigeria.
Avoiding the disease is key to successful goat farming in Nigeria.
Things to do to avoid diseases
- The feed should be checked regularly to ensure it’s in good condition for the goat. Contaminated food is the number one way goat catch disease.
- Provide a balanced diet regularly.
- Ensure their drinking water is from a clean source.
- Hire a veterinarian to check your goat progress at least once in 3 months.
Return on investment
There is no denying that goat farming is fast-growing, however, the return on investment depends on the weight because the bigger the weight the more the price.
Another return on investment can come from the sales of their pooped which farmers can use as a source of fertilizer in their farm or garden.
Understanding the market can bring a good return on investment. By and large, a good full market size goat can be sold from N20, 000 and above. While the goat poop can be sold for N1, 500 per bag to the farmers.