Guide for Goat Farming in India

Goat Farming:-

Stall-fed goats in intensive integrated farming:
Stall Feeding Goat Farming
Stall Feeding Goat Farming
STALL-FED GOATS  can ideally fit into the intensive integrated farming system (IIFS). The small animals are the most efficient converters of farm and crop residues into excellent organic manure. Several farmers have successfully run stall-fed goat farms, and they have found that such an integrated farming venture was more productive and profitable as well.Goats relish the stalks and residues of most of the nutritious cereals, and they do well particularly when mixed with green fodder such as grasses and subabul. Special goat-feeds can be formulated using farm-grown millets and oilcakes. As the cost of the feed and also the labor gets distributed over other farming operations, the actual cost of raising the goats becomes minimal. The rich goat manure is ideal for fertilizing fishponds and all other crops. It is also a good base material for vermi-composting.Goat farming needs less capital when compared with dairying, and the animals can be raised in small farms. The floor space requirement per adult animal is about one square meter. Stall-fed goat farming is an ideal occupation for the small, marginal and landless agricultural laborers. A properly fed and managed milky goat will yield at least as much milk (on average two liters per day) as low yielding desi cows. The she-goat will deliver 2-4 kids at each parturition after a short gestation period of 150 days.A few exotic goats such as Saanen, Toggenburg, Angora, Anglo-Nubian, British Alpine, French Alpine have been found to be well adapted to Indian conditions, and they are crossed with superior Indian breeds to get good progeny. The popular Indian breeds are Sirohi, Jamnapari, Surti, Tellicherry, Beetal, Malabari, Barbari and Gujarati. The milky-type animals are ideal for integrated farming system.A small shed with good cross ventilation is enough to keep a small herd. A deep-litter system with paddy husk and groundnut shell as bedding material is ideal for raising goats. The biological activity in the litter keeps the housing warm in winter and cool in summer. The bedding material will last for about six months, and after that it will have to be changed.The bedding has to be turned periodically to remove the foul odour in the pen. The bedding material collects all the dung and urine efficiently and it is found to be an enriched organic manure. An adult goat will add about a tone of rich manure to the farm every year.Though the goats are robust animals and are resistant to many diseases, they need to be vaccinated against foot and mouth disease, rinder pest and tetanus regularly. The animals need to be dewormed at least twice a year to keep in good stead.Goat farming with stall-feeding can be managed in small yards just like poultry, and it will prove to be an economical and rewarding enterprise for the small, marginal and landless farmers.

Exercise Paddock For Stall Fed Goats

When goats are reared in stall fed system it is of utmost importance to provide the exercise paddock. An enclosure measuring 12m x18 m is adequate for 100 to 125 goats. Some shade trees may be planted to provide adequate comfort in summer. The animals should be allowed to roam about in the enclosed area for some fixed period to have sufficient fresh air and exercise.


Breeds Lactation yield (kg) Lactation Length (days) Av.Daily Yield kg. Peak Yield kg. Dry Period
Jamunapari 160 190 0.900 3.20 115
Beetal 175 180 1.25 125
Barbari 95 152 0.75 2.100 155
Sirohi 73 158 0.700
Malabari 66 172 0.500 0.696 145
Jhakrana 121 114 0.988

Goat milk is easily digestible because of smaller sized fat globules making softer curd. It also has much less allergic problems than milk of other species of livestock. It has medicinal qualities. Goats can be milked as often as required preventing milk storage problem.


1. By means of their mobile upper lips and very prehensile tongues, goats are able to graze on very short grass and to browse on foliage not normally eaten by other domestic livestock.
2. Goats have fastidious eating habits. They will accept a wide variety of feed, appreciate it and thrive on it, but what is acceptable to one goat is not always acceptable to others. In general goat will refuse any kind of feed which has been soiled either by himself or by other animals.
3. Goats consumes wide varieties of feeds and vegetation than either sheep or cattle.
4. It has been shown that goats can distinguish between bitter, sweet, salty and sour tastes and that goats have higher tolerance for bitter tastes than cattle.
5. Goats will consumes certain species at definite stages of maturity and reject them at other times.
6. The rumen is not developed at birth, but young kids start picking at hay or grass at 2-3 weeks of age and by 3-4 months the rumen is fully functional.
7 Unlike sheep, goats relish eating aromatic herbs in areas of sparse food supply, and hence can penetrate deep into the desert.
8. Browse (means eating of leaves of bush and trees) forms an important part of the diet of goats. It has been observed that when goats find opportunities to browse for about 8-9 hours a day the goats can take care of their maintenance and slow rate of growth.
9. The practical rationing of goats should be based on cheap foods such as browse pasture, and agricultural and industrial waste. In rationing goats, it must be firmly borne in mind that they cannot compete with pigs and poultry in efficiency of conversion of concentrates to protein food , nor under most circumstances, can they compete with advanced dairy cattle in utilization of concentrates for milk production.
10. Despite goats similarity to other livestock in general digestive efficiency, there is considerable evidence that it is exceptionally efficient at digesting crude fiber. Jang and Majumdar compared the digestive efficiency of goats, sheep buffaloes and cattle fed on spear grass in its post flowering stage and groundnut cake. Crude fiber is exceptionally well digested by goats.
11. There is evidence that the basal metabolic rate and thyroxin production of goats are higher than in sheep and cattle, which may be why goats appear to require a some what greater maintenance ration than is usually recommended for sheep and cattle.
12. Goats are fond of leguminous fodders. They do not relish fodders like sorghum and maize silage or straw. They reluctantly eat hay prepared from forest grasses, if cut in early stages, but very much relish hay prepared from leguminous crops.
13. The nutrients conversion efficiency for milk production of a dairy cow is on an average 38%, whereas for goat it ranges between 45% to 71%.
14. Goat has also an outstanding mineral requirement. A small body with a high metabolic rate; a digestive system occupying at least a third of its body, and producing milk richer in minerals than the cows.
Composition of Mineral Mixture Added at a 2%

a. Sterilized bone meal 35 Parts
b. Finely ground high grade limestone 45 Parts
c. Iodized salt 20 Parts
d. Copper sulphate 22 gms/ton mineral mixture
e. Zinc Oxide 11 gms/ton mineral mixture/td>
f. Ferrous Carbonate 11 gms/ton mineral mixture
15. The energy requirements for maintenance in goats are similar to those of sheep, being 725.8 g starch equivalent (SE) per day per 100 kg live weight. For live weight gain the energy requirement would be 3.0 gm SE per kg live weight gain.


Dry Matter Goat Requires The dry matter intake is an important consideration since it reflects the capacity in terms of voluntary food intake to utilize the feed. With goats there appears to be distinct difference in intake between meat and dairy types. Meat goats have a dry matter intake of 3-4 percent of their live weight whereas dairy goats have a dry mater intake of 5-7 percent of their live weight. The other factors which affect the DM (dry matter) consumptions are availability of feeds, palatability, moisture content and amount of fibrous material present in feed.
Dry matter requirements as has been observed by ICAR for kids with 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 kg body and growing at the rate of 50g/day are 425, 600, 700, 800 and 950 g respectively. For maintenance of adult it seems to vary between 66 to 70 g/w. Variations observed might be due to the size of the species and density of the energy in the feed. However, DM intake of pregnant goat was found to be 2.96 kg/100kg body weight and 76.30 g/W.

Energy Goat Requires Energy is vital component of goat diets affecting the utilization of other nutrients and overall productivity. The basic maintenance requirement for energy in goat diets is similar to the requirements for sheep. Additional energy is needed in the diet for increased activity, type of terrain, amount of vegetation on range, and distance traveled to get feed. Stall fed goats with minimum activity need a basic maintenance level in the diet. Light activity requires about 25% more energy. Goats on hilly, semiarid range land need an increase of about 50% above basic maintenance requirements. When vegetation is sparse and goats must travel long distances to graze, the energy requirement is about 75% above the basic maintenance requirements. Wool type goats viz., Angora, Gaddi and Pashmina goats require more energy in the diets after shearing, specially during cold weather.
Energy requirements can be made by good quality roughages in the diet, except for early weaned kids, for does during the last two months of gestation, and lactating dairy goats. Concentrate needs to be added in the diet to meet the energy requirements of these animals. Angora goats will respond to supplemental feeding of grains with higher production of mohair. Goats will also gain weight faster if more energy is provided in the diet.

Proteins Goat Requires The basic requirement for protein in goat diets is similar to that of sheep and dairy cattle. A minimum level of 6% total protein needs to be provided otherwise feed intake will be reduced. This leads to deficiencies in both energy and protein, which results in reduced rumen activity and lowers the efficiency of feed utilization.
Additional protein is required in the diet for growth, pregnancy, lactation and mohair production. Goats on range need higher levels of protein in the diet than do stall fed goats because of the increased activity required to get feed. Adding concentrate to the ration will provide the additional protein needed. An excessive amount of protein in the diet of goats with light activity is also undesirable.
The most commonly used protein supplements are linseed meal, soyabean meal, brewers dried grains, and cotton seed meal. One of the most economical sources of protein is good quality Lucerne hay, fed as long hay, chopped or pellets.
Protein deficiency symptoms in goats are anorexia, loss of weight, poor hair growth, depressed milk yield and impaired reproduction. Severe deficiencies can lead to digestive disturbances, anemia and/or edema.

Minerals Goat Requires Generally, feeds used in goat nutrition provide adequate quantities of the necessary minerals. In some instances, deficiencies may occur, specially of the major minerals. Of the macro minerals that have been shown to be supplemented in goats are salt, calcium, phosphorus and sulphurSodium Chloride:Lactating does often requires additional salt as milk contains high amounts of sodium.
Calcium: Must be added to the diets of lactating goats. Milk fever can occur when calcium levels in the blood drop.
Phosphorus: Deficiency may occur with goats grazing on range lands if the forage is deficient in this mineral.


Despite similarities in sheep and cattle, goats differ markedly from them in grazing habits, sensitivity to sweet, salty, bitter and sour taste in accepting or rejecting the feeds. Goats are more tolerant of eating feeds containing bitter principles and refuse any soiled feed.
In general goat feeding agrees with the expectations based on universal formula of feeding ruminants. However, it is noted that a goat generally produces more milk than a cow from the same quantity of nutrients. The nutrients conversion efficiency for milk production of a dairy cow is on an average 38%, whereas for goat it ranges between 45-71%. It has been observed that goats were 4.04% superior to sheep, 7.90% to buffaloes and 8.60% to cows in crude fiber utilization, a goat uses less feed for its maintenance than a cow and a goat uses more fodder for digestion and metabolism than a cow does.

A Feeding Table For Goats

Age and Stage of Production Feed Ingredients Daily Amount to be Fed
Birth to 3 days Colostrums Ad libitum
3 days to 3 weeks Whole milk or replacer,
water, salt
450 c.c. Ad libitum
3 weeks to 4 months Whole milk, , water, salt
Creep feed, Lucerne hay
450c.c up to 8 weeks,
450 g daily, Ad libitum
4 months to freshening Conc. Mixture 15-16% C.P. @ 450 g
Dry Pregnant Conc. mixture,
Lucerne Hay
Water, Salt
15% C.P. @ 400-500 g
Ad libitum
Ad libitum
Milking Doe Conc. mixture,
Lucerne Hay
Water, Salt
15% C.P. @ 400-500 g
Ad libitum
Ad libitum
Buck Only pasture
Conc. mixture
non-breeding season
@400 g daily at breeding season


Kids must receive colostrum from the doe within one hour after birth and should continue for 3 days as the total energy reserves of new born kids from well fed does is about 800-900 kcal and kids of under nourished does oly 400 kcal. These reserves would be adequate to meet the energy demand in drying the birth coat in a reasonable warm environment, but in winter the heat loss could well approach 150 kcal/hour in kids weighing 3 kg body weight. Thus after the reserves are over and if the suckling is not established, the kids will die, colostrum is rich in all essential nutrients, it provides antibodies for protection of man diseases and it has got laxative properties, cleans from its intestine the accumulated faucal matter known as meconium, which is often of a dry, putty-like nature.

Feeding Schedule For Kids

Body Weight (kg) Milk (ml/day)
Morning           Evening
Green Fodder (kg/day) Concentrate (g/day) Composition of Kids Starter
2.5 200 200 Gram 20.0
3.0 250 250 Maize 22.0
3.5 300 300 Ground Nuts Cake 35.0
4.0 300 300 Mineral and Mixture 02.5
5.0 300 300 Ad-libitum 50 Wheat
6.0 350 350 -do- 100 Bran 20.0
7.0 350 350 -do- 150 Comman
8.0 300 300 -do- 200 Salt .05
9.0 250 250 -do- 250 100%
10.0 100 150 -do- 350
15.0 100 100 -do- 350
20.0 1.5 350
25.0 2.0 350
30.0 2.5 350

Always provide clean, fresh water and minerals to kids as they grow. Commercial mineral mixture may be used.

Feeding Schedule for growing and adult Goats (Feed Per Day)

Body Weight (kg) Milk (ml/day)
Morning Evening
Concentrate Mixture (g) of kid starter Green Fodder (kg.) Others
02.5 200 200 Sulmet 5 ml from 5th day upto 3 days.
Benminth 1/2 tab. 10th day Piparazing 5 g in 2 days at 1 month age. Benminth 1 tab at 1.5 month age.
Phenovis 5 g in 2 days at 2 months age. Benminth 1 tab at 3 months age.
Following de-worming at the onset and at the end of monsoon season every year or during flock worm infestation period.
03.0 250 250
04.0 300 300
05.0 300 300 50 Ad lib
06.0 350 350 100 Ad lib
07.0 350 350 350 Ad lib
08.0 300 300 200 Ad lib
09.0 250 250 250 Ad lib
10.0 150 150 350 Ad lib
15.0 100 100 350 Ad lib
20.0 350 1.5
25.0 350 2.0
30.0 350 2.5
40.0 400 4.0
50.0 500 5.0
60.0 500 5.5
70.0 500 6.0
Composition of kid starter (kg) % Compostition of concentrate mixture (kg) %
Gram 20.0 Gram 15.0
Maize 22.0 Maize 37.0
Ground nut Cake 35.0 Ground nut Cake 25.0
Wheat bran 20.0 Wheat bran 20.0
Mineral Mixture 2.0 Mineral Mixture 2.5
Common Salt 00.5 Common Salt 00.5
100% 100%

Green Lucerne (Rijka) and berseem are normally preferred for Stall Fed Goats.


Since goats are slaughtered mostly for lean meat, the ration should be planned to include 30-40% of the dry matter from roughage source and the balance amount from concentrate portion having 12-14% protein and 60-65% TDN. Feeding concentrate more than this amount will yield fat in carcass. In general goat attains slaughtering age by 10-12 months having variable body weights (20-30 kg.) as specific for various breeds.

Concentrate Mixtures for Dairy Goats

Ingredient 14% 16% 18%
Ground Maize 37.0 35.0 32.5
Crushed Oats 37.0 35.0 32.5
Wheat Bran 16.0 14.0 15.0
Wheat bran 20.0 Wheat bran 20.0
Soybean Oil Meal (45%CP) 9.0 15.0 20.0
Iodized Salt 01.0 01.0 01.0

Feeding of Pregnant Goats High quality roughages provide the basic nutrients needed during the last 6 to 8 weeks of gestation when 70 to 80% gain in foetal mass is made. Therefore, liberal feeding of quality leguminous fodder and concentrate having 25% protein should be offered between 400 to 500 g depending upon the condition of doe should be fed. A free choice lick of mineral mixture will take care for the calcium and Phosphorus requirement of dam and foetus. Allow good grazing if available and make sure that does get plenty of exercise.
Several days before the does freshen reduce the quantum of concentrate ration to one half and add bran to provide more bulk. After kidding, feed a bran mash for a few days, gradually bringing the doe to the full feed for milk production.

Feeding of Lactating Goats Nutrient requirements are higher during lactation. The ration for lactating does should contain high quality roughages like Lucerne, berseem and other cereal grasses through which it will receive not only fresh nutrients particularly of minerals, vitamins and proteins but also the bulk needed for volatile fatty acids, viz., acetic, prop ionic and butyric needed for high milk production. To supplement more nutrients particularly of energy, cereal grains at the rate of 350 g for each liter of milk must be provided. The protein percent may vary from 14 to 16 %, the feed may be fed in two lots, at the time of morning and evening milking.
Add 1% trace mineralized salt and 1% calcium phosphorus mineral mixture to concentrate mixture. Molasses (5-7% of concentrate mixture) may be used to increase palatability and to reduce dustiness of feed.
Keep a clean, fresh supply of water available at all times. After two weeks gradually increase the concentrate level to that suggested by milk yield. As soon as the doe leaves some concentrate, reduce the amount until she again cleans it up. The concentrate should be fed on individual requirement basis of each doe. This can be done most easily by feeding the concentrate at milking times.

Feeding Breeding Bucks During the non-breeding season, the buck does not require additional grain if he is on good pasture. During the breeding season, the same concentrate mixture fed to the does may be fed at the rate of 450-900 g (depending on the body weight) daily. Provide roughage free choice along with clean fresh water and minerals. Care must be taken not to allow the buck to get too fat. Reduce the intake of energy feeds as needed to prevent this. Make sure the buck gets plenty of exercise.


Handling of Goats Goats are seldom difficult to handle and frequently learn to come for food and milking when called. They dislike being held by horns and ears and care should be taken not to disturb the nostrils. For an ideal handling it is preferable to hold them with neck or head collars.

Castration The Bucks

It is done at the age of 2 to 4 weeks although castration at later stage is successful. For this method the Burdizzo’s castrator is used. Care should be taken to pass the spermatic chord of each testis in two places, half apart. At that time testis should be held by hand in such a way that it never reaches near the hinge of the castrator. After castration there may be swelling of the testis which soon becomes normal within 2 or 3 days.

Advantages of Castration:
1. The palatability of the meat increases.
2. The body weight increases at a rapid rate.
3. The quality of the skin becomes superior.
4. The profit from such castrated goat is always more.

Dehorning The Goats Dehorning is done to avoid keeping horned and polled goats together. It is practiced within one week of birth by using caustic potash.

Care of the Goat Feet Goats frequently suffer from overgrown feet, a condition which causes much unnecessary discomfort and even deformity and arthritis old age. These conditions can be prevented by pairing the hooves when they become overgrown.

Marking Goats Three means for marking goats are ear-tattooing, ear-tagging and ear-notching which should be carried out with-in one week after kidding.


Common Diseases Found In Goats

Disease Symptoms Prevention & Treatment
Mastitis Enlarged hot, painful udder. Fever. Milk watery with flakes of blood. Improve hygiene. Application of antibiotics.
FootRot Lameness, Hoof will look as if it is rotten and it will smell bad. Signs of pain is seen if pressed. Trimming, soaking in bath of water with CuSo4
Brucellosis Abortion in late pregnancy. Retention of placenta and metritis. In bucks infertility, orchitis and swollen joints are seen. Isolation of infected animals. Vaccination Blood testing and culling of positive animals.
Internal Parasites Loss of weight. Reduction in milk yield. Diarrhoea Anemia Good quality food and clean water. Proper medication.
External parasites Restlessness, scratching, loss of weight. reduction in milk yield. Application of proper chemical as a dust, spray or a dip.
Poisoning Unsteadiness followed by dullness and unconsciousness. Great pain and vomiting. Convulsion and eventual death. Keeping goats away from poisonous plants and chemicals. Immediate treatment.
Bloat Distended abdomen on left side, respiratory difficulty, restlessness. Too much fresh green grass should be avoided. A cup of mineral oil may bring relief. In acute cases removal of gas by making puncture is needed.


Months Vaccine Adult Goat Kids (above 6 months)
January Contagious pleuro pneumonia (C.C.P.P.) 0.2 ml I/dermal 0.2 ml I/dermal
March Haemorrhagic Septicaemia 5 ml S/c 2.5 ml S/c
April Goat Pox Scrach method Scrach method
May Entero toxaemia 5 ml S/c 2.5 ml S/c
F.M.D. 5 ml S/c 5 ml S/c
June Rinderpest 1 ml S/c 1 ml S/c
July Black Quarter 5 ml S/c 2.5 ml S/c
August F.M.D. 5 ml S/c 0.5 ml S/c
September Enterotoxaemia 5 ml S/c 2.5 ml S/c

Fodders For Goats:-  Goats require energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber (bulk) and water. Energy (calories) is usually the most limiting nutrient, whereas protein is the most expensive. Deficiencies, excesses and imbalances of vitamins and minerals can limit animal performance and lead to various health problems. Fiber is necessary to maintain a healthy rumen environment and prevent digestive disturbances. Water is the cheapest feed ingredient and often the most neglected.
Many factors affect the nutritional requirements of goats: maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation, fiber production, activity and environment. As a general rule of thumb, goats will consume at least 3% of their body weight on a dry matter basis in feed. The exact percentage varies according to the size (weight) of the goat, with smaller animals needing a higher intake (percentage-wise) to maintain their weight. Maintenance requirements increase as the level of the goat’s activity increases. For example, a goat that has to travel farther for feed will have a higher maintenance requirement than a goat in a feed lot. Environmental conditions also affect maintenance requirements. In cold and severe weather, goats require more feed to maintain body heat. The added stresses of pregnancy, lactation and growth further increase nutrient requirements. The following chart gives the nutritional requirements for various classes of meat goats.
Green Grass, African Grass, Berseem, Guinea, Hybrid Napier, Lucerne(rijka), mulato, para, sweet sorghum, stylo.


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