Goats occupy a unique place among domestic livestock in India because of their high population (140.54 m) and ability to survive and produce under unfavourable climatic and manage the mental condition. Goats possess superior efficiency for transforming feed into milk, meat and capable of selective browsing on undesirable vegetation. Goat is known as poor man’s cow because its milk is wholesome and nourishing. It is considered especially for infants and aged persons due to easy digestibility. Goat is the principal meat producing an animal in India and therefore goat meat i.e. chevron fetches more revenue than mutton and beef.
Advantage of goat farming
Goat farming has several advantages over the husbandry of other livestock species. They are as follows e.g.
(a) The initial investment for starting goatary is lesser than dairy, piggery, poultry.
(b) Goat consumes less feed, which is about one fifth of the consumption in cattle and buffalo.
(c) It does not compete with human beings for grains like pig and fowl. So, feed cost is lesser.
(d) Goat is a prolific animal, which usually produces twin and some breeds even produce triple and quadruple.
(e) Goat being a hardy animal, disease incidence is very less in comparison to cattle, pig, and fowl. Hence health management cost is lesser.
(f) Goat milk is rich in certain amino acids i.e. histidine, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, threonine; certain minerals i.e. sodium, iron, copper; certain vitamins i.e., vitamin A, nicotinic acid, and choline.
(g) Goat milk is being used to produce different products such as cheese; curd etc.
(h) Goat skin is of high values e.g. Skin form Bengal goat is of the best quality in the world.
(i) Besides meat, milk, skin, hair is another byproduct obtained from goat, e.g. pashmina and mohair are valued high in the international market due to its several uses.
(j) Faeces and urine of goat being rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium used in the field for improving soil fertility and to increase the productivity of the crop.
(k) There is no prejudice about the consumption of goat meat. Above mentioned points indicate that goat is a potential animal for economic growth and employment generation (Das, 2001).
Disadvantage of goat farming
If goat farming is practised in the extensive system, it may cause damage to crop and even soil erosion like all grazing animal e. g cattle, buffalo, and sheep. Secondly, consumption of goat milk is less due to bad smell.
Population dynamics of goat
Goat population in India is 140.54 million. State wise population revealed that highest goat population is in Rajasthan ie 21.50 m (15.30 %) followed by West Bengal (15.07 m, 10.72 %), Uttar Pradesh (14.79 m, 10.53 %) and Maharastra (10.39 m, 7.39 %). The population of male and female goat in India is 40.79 m and 99.75 m respectively. The goat population in the rural and urban area of India is 133.31 m and 7.23 m respectively.
The number of goats increased from 124.36 million in 2003 to 140.54 million in 2007. In India the annual growth rate in goat population during 1982 – 1987 was 2.96 %, during 1987-1992 was 0.90 %, during 1992 – 1997 was 1.26 %, during 1997 – 2003 was 0.22 %. However, growth during 2003-2007 was accelerated to 3.10 % (Anonymous, 2012). Breed wise population dynamics revealed that Black Bengal goat has the highest population in our country ie 20.93 m followed by Marwari (7.57 m) and Sirohi goat (2.91 m).
Meat, Milk and Manure Yield from goat
Goat milk is rich in certain amino acids, certain minerals, and certain vitamins. Average milk yield from a milch breed of goat is 1.25 – 1.50 litre/day with a lactation period of 150 -180 days. National milk yield from goat increased from 1.1 m MT in the year 1980 to 2.5 m MT in the year 1990 with a growth rate of 6.8 %. It has increased to 4.0 m MT in the year 2008 with a growth rate of 1.2 % (FAO, 2008). Goat meat is very rich in protein, energy, and fat. Best quality meat is obtained from a goat of age group 9 – 12 months.
At this time dressing per cent of goat is observed to be 50 – 55 %. In India, meat production from goat increased from 0.31 m MT in the year 1980 to 0.43 m MT in the year 1990 with a growth rate of 0.9 %. It has increased to 0.48 m MT in the year 2008 with a growth rate of 0.6 % (FAO, 2008).
On an average, each adult goat produces manure @ 500 g / head/day. The manual value of goat manure is also very high. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium content of fresh goat manure is 2.20 – 3.70 %, 0.25 – 1.80 % and 0.90 – 1.25 % respectively. Goat litter was reported to use as feed supplement replacing concentrate feed at different levels to all livestock species (Das and Pan, 1999). It was revealed that 5 % litter supplemented feed while fed to sheep and goat, sheep consumed 65.84 % whereas goat took only 30.74 %. In cattle, while 10 % and 15 % supplemented feed was provided, the intake was 64.5 % and 54.8 %. In the pig, the corresponding figure was 85.10 % and 80.30 % respectively.
The Black Bengal is found in the eastern region of India, in the states of West Bengal and adjoining areas in Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Mizoram, and Tripura. According to the 18th Livestock Census 2007, the number of Black Bengal goats in the country is 2, 09, 27, 557. This breed has the highest population in India. The animals are predominantly black, brown or grey and sometimes white. This breed is famous for quality meat production and skin quality. They have soft, glossy short hair and are dwarfed in size. The legs are short with a straight back and a beard is found in both sexes. The horns are slightly tilted upward or straight. It is the most prolific among Indian breeds..read more
Goat is basically animal of the arid and semi-arid region. They prefer hot, dry climate. The climate of Goa is hot and humid. Air temperature ranges from 25 – 35 0 C. Humidity ranges from 80 % to 99 %. So from the climatic and topographical point of view, Goa is not very suitable for goat rearing. However, breeds suitable for hot humid climates like Konkon Kanyal and Osmanabadi was tried to maintain at Goa..read more
In India in village condition goat does not need any special shelter and are usually kept in katcha house with thatched roof. Goats, however, need to be protected from the drastic weather during pick summer, rainy and winter. Goats are susceptible to cold hence should be kept in warm places..read more
Herbivorous animals may be classified into two broad categories i.e., the first preferring grasses e.g. cattle, sheep etc. and second preferring woody plants and pods with supplementations of grasses and herbages e.g. goat. Therefore, it is desirable that a balance between browsers and graziers be maintained for foolproof soil, plant, animal’s ecosystem. As the goats are browser in feeding habit they prefer shrubs and tree leaves to grasses and pasture (Skerman, 1977)..read more
Selection of buck and doe is important for selective breeding and obtaining maximum efficiency. Buck and doe should have strong, well-developed frame, good conformation and breed characters. Legs should be straight and well placed under the body..read more
- Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa