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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderLivestock and fodder
View the documentFeed Shortages and Seasonality Issues of Livestock in the Hills
View the documentSilage and Crop Residues as Fodder Supplement
View the documentFodder Sources from Trees and Shrubs of Nepal
View the documentExotic Fodder Species as Potential Alternatives to Ipil-Ipil
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Grasses
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Trees
View the documentGrasses and Fodder Trees for Terrace Risers
View the documentNB-21 Grass on Terrace Risers and Bunds
View the documentSalt Licks for Livestock
View the documentThe Large Leafed Mulberry: A Promising Nutritive Fodder for Scarcity Period
View the documentManagement of Breeding Pigs
View the documentUse of Sihundi for the Treatment of roundworms in Pigs
View the documentSmall-Scale Goat Raising
View the documentAngora Rabbit for Wool Production

Small-Scale Goat Raising

Goats are versatile animals for farmers, they can be raised for milk, meat, pelts, hair and manure. The ability of the goats to adapt to harsh environments, their digestion efficiency and their prolific reproduction have made them popular among farmers. Income can be maximized if they are reared, using proper management techniques. Farm families which are unable to rear cattle and buffaloes are easily able to keep a few goats, thus serving as an important source of family income.


· Selection of suitable breeding animals from indigenous local goats: A good buck should have a wide chest, well developed barrel, straight body and strong legs. He should be a twin, aggressive and he should have well developed reproductive organs with both testicles. A doe should be large with excellent conformation and long legs. She should be a twin, have a well-formed udder and be a good milker.

· Upgrade the quality of local goats by crossing with improved breeds. Production can be increased through upgrading.

· Avoid inbreeding.

Genetic improvement


· Properly fed does give birth to healthy kids, have higher milk yields and have a higher incidence of multiple births.

· Goats Drefer selective grazing and consume dry matter at the rate of 5-6% of their live weight. Goats show a higher tolerance, over cattle or buffalo, for fodder with bitter taste.

· Goats should be stall-fed with the grasses and fodder planted onthe terraces and marginal lands, as well as farm by-products and crop residues. Dependency on forest for fodder should be reduced to a minimum thus farmland should be planted with fodder trees and grasses. Concentrates can also be supplied for better production.

· Clean drinking water and salt should be available in the shed at all times.



· Goats refuse to eat anything dropped on the ground or soiled by other animals and are known to waste their feed. To minimize the wastage, a fodder rack with a wooden trough underneath is essential. If only 1 or 2 goats are kept, the fodder can be hung by a rope.

fodder rack


· Goats should be protected from strong winds, cold, rain and predators by adequate housing.

· Locally available material can be used to construct a low-cost shed.

· The shed should be easy to clean and provide plenty of fresh air and adequate floor space. An adult goat requires about 10-15 sq ft of floor space.

· The floor level should be 2-3 ft above the ground to facilitate easy cleaning and removal of manure.

· If only one or two goats are kept, they can be housed in the barandah.

· Separate pens or partitions are required for kids, males and pregnant does.

· If possible an area near the shed can be set aside for the coats to play in.



· A pregnant doe requires special care; provide nutritious feeds and clean drinking water. Special emphasis must be given to feed concentrates and nutritious fodder during the last two months of pregnancy. When a milking doe is pregnant, the doe should be "dried off" at least one to two months before kidding.

· Regular exercise is needed to facilitate easy kidding. To ensure the birth of healthy, well developed kids, the pregnant doe should be kept separately from other animals during the last month of pregnancy.


· Clean the nose and mouth soon after the kid is born to enable breathing.

· Cut the navel cord at a length of 5-10 cm. below the navel and apply antiseptic (e.g., tincture of iodine or a tumeric powder and mustard oil mixture) to avoid infection.

· Kids should be dried and kept in a dry, warm, clean shed. Protect newborn kids from the cold.

· Wash the doe's udder with warm water and assist kids to suckle colostrum. Sucking colostral milk is essential to ensure healthy kids. If the mother does not have milk or produces little milk, then the kid should be bottle-fed or allowed to nurse other lactating does.

· Ensure cleanliness and regular feeding. Clean drinking water should be made available at all times.

· Observe the kids regularly for parasitic infestation and diseases.


· Castrate unwanted males.
· Hoof-trimming should be done every 4-5 months.
· Deworm regularly to control parasites.
· Control external parasites.
· Keep the shed clean.
· Wean kids at 4 months of age.