This article focuses on goat farming in Kenya. Goat farming is a common practice in Kenya. It is one of the most profitable agribusiness ventures. Many farmers rear goats for meat.
Goat meat is widely consumed in the country, especially in nyama choma joints where it is the most preferred meat. Apart from meat, goats can also be reared for milk which is very nutritious compared to milk from cows.
Goat Breeds Reared In Kenya
- Saanen goats.
- Toggenburg goats.
- German alpine goats.
- African boer goats.
- Jamunapari goats.
- Black bengal.
- Galla goats.
- Anglo nubian goats.
Housing Of Goats
Goats can be reared in pens which should be well fenced, ventilated, clean and with a proper shade. For bedding, you can use fresh hay.
Feeding Of Goats
Goats are ruminants that can feed on leaves or any types of crops. There are also formulated feeds/focus feeds that farmers can buy to speed up the growth rate of the goats or for fattening.
For goat kids, they can be fed with colostrum when they are around 5 weeks old. They can also be fed with green leguminous fodder.
Methods/ Systems Of Raising Goats
1. Open grazing/ Extensive System
This system is best practised where there is abundant pasture for grazing. It requires a huge parcel of land.
2. Semi-intensive System
This is a system where the goats are fed with concentrate feeds after grazing outside due to limited land for grazing. The concentrate feeds are used as supplements for what the goats fed on the grazing land.
3. Intensive System
It is a type of system where the goats are fed within pens or houses. The goats are not allowed to graze in the open fields or grazing land.
Like any other animals, goats are susceptible to diseases such as salmonella infection, tuberculosis, rinderpest… etc. To avoid the spread of the diseases, you can isolate or segregate the affected goats.
Benefits of Rearing Goats
- Goats are fast-growing animals that attain maturity age after 10-12 months.
- The gestation period for goats is short. Most start producing milk after about 15 months.
- Require less capital to raise compared to other animals.
- Goats are known to be hardy animals that can be raised in any environment.
- Goat milk is rich in protein. The goats can be milked several times a day.
The market for Goats in Kenya
There is a ready market for goats in Kenya. As mentioned earlier, goats are mainly reared for meat which means there is a high demand for goat meat in the country.
Goats in the country are mostly sold in local open-air markets, especially during market days. Alternatively, with good connections, a serious farmer can sell his/her goats directly to slaughterhouses. The average market price of a mature goat is around Kshs 6,000.