It is a common assertion in villages that ‘it is enough if you rear five or six goats so that one can liberally earn a livelihood without enslaving ourselves to someone’. This statement is proved true by Jeyakumar, an engineering graduate from Thiruvannamalai district.
His farm is in the part of Polur, Thiruvannamalai district. We met him at his farm to learn his story of success.
“Polur is our native. This land was bought by my father. It is totally of 13 acres with well irrigation facility. In 1993 I completed by graduation and went for a job. I found my job boring to continue. But I could continue it somehow for 15 years. However, at a particular point I was not able to go any longer and therefore returned home to do agriculture. I began agriculture in the year 2008. But there was loss at that time due to many reasons. I realized that it is not wise to depend only on agriculture and so started to include goat rearing along with it. I brought ten goats, the pure breeds of Boer from Pune. Within six months of rearing them I gained confidence about it. Then I started raising more number of them.
At the beginning, I sent the goats for grazing outside. But many goats contracted infection from the outside. So I switched to rear them on the attic. For the past eight years I have been rearing them on attic only”. Jeyarkumar showed us the goats at the attic and continued his sharing.
“There are 27 rooms each with a dimension of 250 square feet (25 feet wide and 10 feet long). There are iron grills on four sides. I have increased the number of rooms based on the number of goats increasing every time. Up to twelve goats can be reared in each room.
At present I have 160 goats including 80 Boer goats, 10 Tellicherry goats, 40 Sirohi goats, 20 Parbatsary goats, 10 Osmanabadi goats. The total worth of these goats is Rs 25 lakhs. More income is earned only from Boer goats. They are more disease resistant. They can grow at the maximum weight of 130 kg. When Boer goats are bred with other goats, the offsprings gain more weight rapidly. Generally, goats reach at the maximum weight of ten kg at the age of three months. But Boer breeds can grow between 15 to 18 kg at the same time.
I grow green fodder from my farm itself. There are many varieties of fodder such as Veli masal, Subapul, Ko-4, Ko-5, Napier grass, and KO.F.S-29. As we provide goats with mixed fodder they get balanced nutrients”. Then he continued sharing the details of income.
“From Boer variety we get 120 calves annually. I grow them till four months and then sell them to other goat bearers at Rs 1000 to 1250 per kg of live weight. We could sell them at this price only because of the buyers who in turn wish to rear them. If a goat is not suitable for further rearing by the buyers, we sell them for mutton at Rs 300 per kg. Many people wish to rear Boer breeds as they are profitable to rear, the calves bred from male or female Boer goats are found to be of good health and with higher body weight, and they do not easily get affected by diseases due to high immunity. By selling to them a calf can easily be sold at the rate of Rs 15,000. With that calculation, we are able to gain an income of Rs 18,00,000 per year. Similarly, through other variety of breeds we could earn Rs 5,00,000 per year. In total we could earn not less than about Rs 23,00,000 per year. By subtracting the cost of Rs 6,00,000 towards the expenditure on fodder, health monitoring, and maintenance, we could earn a net profit of Rs 17,00,000 per year”.
“One should not impulsively get into this business of goat rearing on hearing the profit details that I have shared with you. This extent of profit has not happened just in a year. It has increased gradually year after year. We should find out the suitable variety of breed based on the climatic conditions of our area. We should also have adequate piece of land to grow green fodder. Similarly, we should have adequate water supply. Human labour should also be adequate. One should learn more about the required vaccination procedures. Equally important is the right location of the farm that should facilitate more marketing opportunities of the goats being reared. At the beginning it is advisable to rear less number of goats and grow more numbers on gaining more on field experience. If one considers all these factors and operate accordingly, surely there will be profits in lakhs”.
Essentials of Goat Rearing!
We have described the methods of goat rearing as shared by Jeyakumar.
After the goats are born required vaccination should be provided with the help of a veterinary doctor. And based on the advice of the doctor deworming should be carried out with specified periodicity.
Dense fodder (a mixture of maize, gram varieties, rice bran, wheat bran, groundnut oil cake, salt, mineral salts) should be provided to the goats daily before 9 o clock.
As supplement, corn flakes and groundnut leaves should be provided as dry fodders. At noon and evenings, green fodders like Veli masal, subapul, Ko-4, Ko-5, Napier grass, and KO.F.S-29 can be provided. The green fodder can also be mixed with grass varieties gram varieties and tree leaves.
One should ensure continuous supply of drinking water for the goats through 24 hours. The farm activities should be documented in a diary or register without fail. Birth, death, breeding details, vaccination schedule, weight of the goats, details of goats bought and sold and daily expenses are the essential details to be documented.
The attic should be cleaned daily in the morning. The goats can be allowed to move around outside during that period.