Vet on call: Are you farming goats or just keeping them?

Joseph Thaara checks on goats in his farm in Bahati, Nakuru County. Serious goat farming calls for investment in knowledge on the animal, its production requirements and the market for goats and their products. PHOTO | PHYLLIS MUSASIA | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Despite the heightened interest, a majority of those who enquire do not have adequate knowledge on goat farming. I always advise them that goat farming and goat keeping are miles apart.
  • Good goat farming means that the owner takes proper care of the animals and targets to achieve set objectives with them.
  • Goat keeping, on the other hand, is a hobby where the “farmer” has the animals, rarely understanding and providing their needs. Such animals mainly end up dying or sold without considering whether the owners make a profit or loss.
  • In addition to the unappealing appearance of the goats, the animals were exposed to bacterial and coccidial infections because inevitably, they consumed the infectious agents from their soiled coats as they groomed themselves.

The shrinking land sizes are encouraging more people to keep goats because the animals require less space, feed less and are not labour-intensive, unlike cows.

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