It is important to understand criteria to select proper goat breed does as this is is the most important aspect of commercial goat farming. In India, as of now it will be difficult for you to get the required number of breeders from an established stall fed goat farm at a reasonable price. Most of the stall fed farms are selling breeders at 275-300 per kg. If you go to villages, you can get for lesser price, but most of them are not conditioned to stall feeding and there is higher chances of diseases, high mortality rate. It is therefore essential for you to learn the art of breed selection, breed conditioning to stall feeding and finally managing the breeds in your farm.
Goat Breeds Selection Criteria
- Don’t select does with poor conformation of the udder and teats as this will not be conducive for suckling of milk.
- Select those which have good structural conformation including feminine body shape, strong feet and legs.
- The udder should not be too big or too small. They should be of equal size with teats protruding outwards.
- If possible, ask about the history in terms of number of kids in previous kidding, any previous abortion, milk yield etc.
- If there is inflammation in udder, reject the animal.
- Ensure that the does is not more than 2 year old. Only two teeth – four teeth should be selected.
- Preferably if you are starting farm for the first time, rely on a known stall fed farm, or an expert, you can’t get it all right in first go.
Goat Breeds Conditioning
- It is quite common to see weight loss during breed conditioning stage from natural grazing to stall feeding conversion.
- Maintain same set of labors during the conditioning stage. Let them spend most of their time with goats, familiarize themselves with goats
- Give feed more # of times, less feed each time. Goats are known to eat less at one go, but prefer multiple feeds.
- Give variety of feed, if possible, during first week of conditioning
- Ensure that all vaccinations like ET, Deworming are already given
- Don’t introduce concentrate on first day. Also don’t give high quantity during conditioning stage. Gradually introduce and increase the concentrate feed
- Ensure that dominant females are taken out and put in separate compartment. Less dominant should be given opportunity to eat