It’s a humorous saying, ‘Desirous to rule but lucky only to graze the goats’. But rearing goats is a prospective business than a profession of ruling. It has become one of the dignified professions with high returns.
Proof is the growing numbers of goat rearing farms in Tamilnadu. Rajan from Udayarpalayam, Ariyalur district, is one such example profiting from the business of goat farming. He is a graduate in commerce and owns a photo studio.
Helping hand from herbal treatment
His magnificent farm holds about 250 majestic looking goats. He started speaking with us while feeding the goats with green fodder.
“I am an ardent reader of Pasumai Vikatan. In 2009, November, I started this business with an investment of 7 lakhs. I began with a total of 126 goats, 86 Thalachery, 10 Boer, 15 Sirohi and 15 Thalachery-Boer hybrids. As it was winter they were affected by respiratory problems and some of them were suffering from pneumonia. In spite of treating them with allopathy medicine we could not cure them. About 20 goats died of infection. At last, based on the advice by Dr Punyamoorthy, Head – Veterinary College and Research Centre, Tanjore, I treated them with herbal medicines. They recovered from the infection and started growing well. Therefore we have started growing medicinal plants along the bunds and have been using them for treating the goats, whenever needed.
Fodder cultivation using organic manure
For the purpose of fodder, I grow Co-4 in 3 acres, fodder sorghum in 1.5 acres and Velimasal (Hedge lucerne) in 1.5 acres, Agathi (Sesbania sp.) in half an acre. As we produce green fodder on our own we are able to feed the goats fully and therefore they are healthy and strong, growing faster. This also helps in reducing the expenditure on buying fodder from outside. The fifteen cows that we own also being fed by the same fodder. For the purpose of dense fodder, we grow sorghum in 3 acres. The balance fodder after using for the farm is also sold out.
There are also paddy, ground nut, sesame and banana plants in 10.5 acres. We add 500 kg of goat manure and 2.5 tons of cow manure to the soil. We don’t use chemical fertilizers for green fodder. But small amount of urea is used for paddy, sorghum and groundnut. On the whole, there is a reduction in manure spending. He continued.
An asbestos shed is built four feet above the ground as an attic. As it is fully ventilated there will not be heat buildup under the shed. The shed is 220 feet long and 21 feet broad. It is divided into 13 parts. In one part at least 20 adult goats can be housed and 30 if they are very young. There is a gap on the floor so as to enable the excreta falling down the land. We collect the dung gathered under the shed on weekly basis.
4 kg green fodder, half a kg dense fodder
For an adult goat a fodder mix composed of 40% of CO-4, Velimasal 20%, fodder sorghum 25%, Agathi 10% and glyricidia, subabul and Kalyana murungai together 5%. It is divided into three portions and provided to them three times. Calves are fed with 1.5 kg of fodder every time. Besides, by midday, dense fodder is provided to them daily. Broken sorghum 40%, wheat husk 10%, paddy husk 21%, groundnut cake 15%, sorghum flour 10%, mineral salt 3% and common salt 1%, all mixed together and provided to adults 500 grams daily and for calves 200 grams”. He proceeded to describe about the maintenance work.
“We sweep the attic once in every fifteen days. We keep the goats under the sun, both in the morning and evening. Twice in a year they are vaccinated against pox and brucellosis. They are treated every quarterly for intestinal worms. During winter, the shed will be covered on all sides by polythene sheets so as to keep the shed warmer. They will be treated with herbal medicines as soon as they are showing symptoms of disease.
During night, we fumigate the area by creating smoke through burning of neem seeds in fire. This will keep the area warm at the same time preventing the goats from mosquitoes and other insects. Summer heat can be tolerated by them as there is green crops around the shed all the time.
Cohabitation is done in the ratio of 20 females with a male. An adult will give birth thrice in two years. Therefore we get 6 goats and on an average it will be five calves in two years.
INR 300 per Kg
Male goats can be sold between the age of 5-6 months. At that age Thalachery and Sirohi strains will reach 15 kg weight whereas the Thalachery-Boer hybrid will reach 20 kg in six months. Males are bought mostly for the purpose of mutton. A kg of live weight will be sold for INR 225. Females are bought for rearing. Therefore they are sold between the age of 6-10 months. As they are bought for farming they are sold for 300 per kg, live weight. Males and females of Boer varieties are bought farming only. In that variety, the male will be sold for INR 1000 live weight and females for INR 1500. But we cannot rear them in more numbers just because there is a high price because they are bought only in small numbers,” he cautioned us.
For cold and phlegm
Thoodhuvalai leaves – 10 (Solanum trilobatum)
Garlic - 10 buds (Allium sativum)
Omavalli leaves - 10 (Plectranthus ambonicus)
Thulasi leaves - 10 ()
Murungai tender leaves - 10 handfuls (Moringa oleifera)
Large leaves of Adathoda – 2 (Adathoda vasica)
Kalyanamurungai leaves – 4 (Erythrina indica)
Musumusukkai - 4 handfuls (Mukia maderaspatana)
Pirandai - 10 cuts (Cissus quadrangularis)
Avaram leaves - 4 handfuls (Senna auriculata)
Mix the above plant parts and grind them together. Grind separately 20 gram of fenugreek, 20 gram of cumin, pepper seeds 20, 10 numbers of onion and garlic, turmeric powder 4 spoonful and common salt 3 spoonful, together. Mix this preparation with the above mentioned herbal paste and add ¼ kg of palm jaggery. Make it in to a bolus of 10 and provide one bolus for every goat so that cold is contained.
1000 goats in 4 years
“Within four years we have reared about 1000 goats of all varieties. So far, we have sold 850 goats for 51 lakhs. Deducting the expenditure on fodder, salary, medicine, electricity and maintenance, we got a net profit of 30 lakhs. And there are 250 goats remaining in the shed for sale.
After utilizing the manure for the farm, we sell it in the market at the rate of INR 2500 per ton. Annually we sell it up to 20 tons. This also fetches considerable return. Altogether, if we calculate, I will be tempted to ask what kind of profit one could get more than that,” he concluded with a smile of satisfaction and pride of success.
(This article written in Tamil K Ramakrishnan for Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced by V Amalan Stanley in English)