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Sunday, January 25, 2009


Goat Farming

Goat Breeds

Goat breeds that may be used for meat production usually have a leaner body than dairy goats. The udder is also not as large as dairy goats.
Breeds that may be used:

Kacang (Katjang) goat
Anglo Nubian

The goat farming industry in Malaysia aims to produce milk and meat. Goat breeds that are good producers of milk and meat are imported, such as Jamnapari, Saanen, Anglo Nubian and Toggenburg, for cross-breeding with local breeds. This produces offsprings that are acclimatised, faster growing and are better milkers.

Kacang (Katjang) Goat

Birth weight Adult weight
Male 1.6 kg Female 20 - 25 kg
Female 1.8 kg Male 25 - 30 kg

originated from Malaysia and Indonesia.
small and short body
horns directed upwards and backwards
erect ears, goatee present in males but rarely in females
facial profile is straight and tirus.
short neck, hind quarters higher than shoulders, average height of 50-60 cm
thin skinned, rough coat, black and brown occasionally with white spots on body and limbs
twin births
milk production of 0.3 kg per day in the first 3 months and 0.2 kg within 4 - 6 months


Body is bigger and taller than Katjang goats
Horns curved upwards and backwards
Fur is thick at rump and the neck regions. Coarse fur with a mixture of yellowish and black
Birth weight Adult weight
Male 3 - 4 kg Male 68 - 91 kg
Female 3-4 kg Female 36 - 63 kg

Anglo Nubian

Birth weight Adult weight
Male 3.5 kg Male 70 - 85 kg
Female 3.9 kg Female 55 - 70 kg

tough and adaptable to the environment
Dual purpose - meat and milk producer
Large body, long ears
Nose bent downwards with long legs, average height of 80 cm.
Usually have no horns, short body fur
Reddish brown fur with reddish spots like deer, dark coloerd or a combination of these colours

Cross Bred

Birth weight Adult weight
Male 2 - 2.5 kg -
Female 2 - 2.5 kg -

Cross between Katjang and foreign breeds like Anglo Nubian, Jamnapari. Also crosses with dairy breeds like Saanen, Toggenburg and British Alpine.
Most of the village goats are cross-breds while 40% are Katjang breed
No special body features
Body weight of 18 - 25 kg. at one year of age
Adult cross-breds has higher body weights than Katjang goats


originated from the Saanen Valley of Switzerland.
Short white or cream fur with black spots at the nose, ears and teats
Straight nose, triangular face
Medium ears erect towards the side and forwards
Short tail
Both sexes with horns
Skin lobes atthe neck
Milk output of 500kg-1,200 kg within 250 days
Birth weight Adult weight
Male 3.0 kg
Male 68-91 kg
Female 3.3 kg
Female 36-63 kg

Selection methods for good breeds

Breed and Lineage
Body shape or Conformation:
Observation technique
Palpation technique
Evaluation technique
Selection method for Breed and Lineage

Requires records of the breeders' performance. This method is difficult to apply as records are not well maintained

Records of the following are required for selection:

High birth weight
Rapid weight gain
Body weight at 1 year
Good milk production
Close inter-kidding intervals

Selection method for Body Conformation

Cara-cara Pengamatan

Cara-cara Pengamatan
Character Male Female
Colour Warna berbeza mengikut jenis baka. Sama
Skin and fur Lembut, pendek dan berkilat, tiada kulit berlebihan atau berlipat di bawah dagu dan tengkuk. Lembut, pendek, licin dan berkilat tidak kusut.
Size Besar dan berat badan tidak lebih dari 25 kg. (had minimum berbeza mengikut baka) Sedang atau besar tidak kurang 20 kg (had minimum berbeza mengikut baka)
Head Sederhana, bertanduk atau tidak bertanduk; mata bersinar; dagu sama rata. Panjang dan sederhana, bersih, tiada ketul-ketul daging yang berlebihan.

Neck and shoulder Tidak panjang; berdaging pejal Leher jinjang; bahu kecil dan sempit
Chest Bidang dan gempal menunjukkan kekuatan Sederhana
Skeleton Bulat dan sama besar; tulang rangka sama jarak menunjukkan paru-paru yang baik. Rangka dada lebar dan sama jarak supaya badan narnpak bulat. Perut jangan menonjol ke bahagian dada.
Body Gempal, panjang besar Badan tegap menurun ke hadapan dari perut ke bahu depan
Rear portion Lurus, tegap, lebar dan belakang berdaging penuh Lurus, tegap dan lebar di bahagian "rump" dan punggung. "Rump" menurun sedikit tidak terlalu mencuram
Front Limbs Lurus, tegap, dan teguh; keduanya selari Lurus, kuat, tulangnya baik dan teguh. Keduanya selari.
Hind Limbs Tegap dan kukuh. Keduanya selari apabila berdiri tegak. Bila berjalan tidak mengarah keluar (meraut). Pastern tidak jatuh dan jari mengadap ke hadapan. Peha lebar dan besar. Lurus, tegap dan mengadap ke hadapan selari jika dilihat dari belakang; "Hock" pendek sedikit; "Pastern" pendek dan tidak terjatuh.
Tapak Kaki Rata di bawah memboleh kambing berdiri tegap dan melangkah dengan baik.Kuku pendek dan menghala ke hadapan Rata di bawah memboleh kaki kambing berdiri tegap dan melangkah dengan baik. Kuku pendek dan sama rata
Testicles Zakarnya baik dan boleh dikeluarkan dan masuk dengan baik; dua buah zakar yang sama besar tergantung dengan baik dan. tidak terlalu labuh.
Udder and teats Ambingnya besar dan tergantung dengan baik dan susu tidak meleret. Kulitnya lembut dan licin. Pembuluh susu nyata tetapi tidak berketul-ketul. Dua puting yang sederhana dan menghala ke hadapan dan terletak dengan baik.
Tabiat Cergas, garang serta gagah Cergas
Kesihatan Sihat Sihat

Cara Perabaan

Cara perabaan adalah perlu apabila kambing yang bakal dipilih itu adalah dari jenis yang mempunyai bulu yang panjang. Ini adalah untuk menentukan kepadatan isi yang mungkin diselubungi oleh bulu atau memastikan tiada sebarang kecacatan.

Teknik berdasarkan penilaian

Penggunaan cara ini belum begitu meluas di negara kita. Nilaian gred diberikan kepada setiap bahagian fizikal badan.

Livestock Management

From birth, pregnant till kidding, the management is divided likewise

Birth till weaning (3 – 4 months)
Weaning till pregnant
Adult goat managemen
Management of pregnant doe until kidding
Management of breeder buck
Management during fattening stage until sale
Birth to 3 months

Within 6 hours of birth, kids are given colostrum

Colostrum are excreted for 3 days by the doe

Usually kids suckle without assistance, if not, the doe is milked and the kids are bottle-fed

colostrum intake is very important for antibody production to fight against diseases and it also initiates immune response

Kids' navels are dipped in iodine to hasten drying and it also prevents infection (if it is wet, it encouranges the multiplication of bacteria)

Kids depend on mothers milk from 3 – 4 months. Beyond 2 months milk intake decreases and the kids start grazing a little. After 3 - 4 months, kids are weaned and start grazing

Weaning is done in stages, whereby the concentrates, grass and milk are given during this conversion stage. The doe and kids are kept in the pens. After 4 - 6 weeks, they are grazed in nearby areas for easy monitoring.

Pens for kidding doe and kids should be clean and dry. Damp pens are chilly. As kids are sensitive to cold and thus may easily contract pneumonia.

If colostrum are not given, a mixture of milk with a bit of vegetable oil and egg white can be used to stimulate intestinal peristalsis

Kids can be fed from other does' milk after milking or suckled directly from other does if they permit. Powdered milk can be mixed and given. Cows' milk can also be given by mixing with 1-2 drops of fish oil at each feed. About 170 grams of milk are given (less than a cupful) every 4 hour (QID). This amount can be increased as the animal gets older

Post-weaning till adult

After weaning at about 3-4 months, kids are separated from the does. They remain separated in the pens and grazing pastures. Feed intake are monitored closely as drops in bodyweight commonly occur after weaning due to stress from separation from the doe

Male and female kids are separated as goats start breeding at 9 months. Kids not meant for breeding can be sold

Adult Goat Management

Management of adult goats are the same as for kids from 4 months to 1 year of age

Pregnancy and post kidding

Pregnant females and those just kidded must be separated from the kids to avoid accidental trampling of the newborn. This simplifies management. Pregnant does require close attention a month or a forthnight before and after kidding. Good quality feed is provided. This is to ensure healthy mothers and kids. Clean jute sacks can be placed on the floor and the pens' sides to protect kids from the draft.

Breeder Bucks

Male and female are kept in separate pens. They are only brought together for mating. All males are kept in separate pens to avoid fighting and injury.

Each male may serve 20 females

All potential breeder males must be well looked after in terms of their nutrition and health. They need a lot of exercise and movement. If insufficient, the animal can become lazy and lethargic. They should have good strong legs and have their hooves trimmed regularly, as overgrown nails can hinder mating activities and cause health problems.

Male kids can mate and breed at 9 months, but they are best used at 1 year of age.

Fattening Management

It is easy to farm goats for fattening and sale for chervone. The only important factor is feed which must be high in nutrients and of good quality.

Kids from 6 months of age can be placed in the fattening scheme. Fattening needs 6 months to 1 year to achieve a bodyweight of 20-25 kg. This is base on the type of feed and ability of goat to gain weight. One to 2 months before sale, they should be given quality high protein feed.

Management of sick/injured goats

All sick or injured goats must be separated from the group and given immediate treatment. Please contact the neaest Veterinary Office for further tratment and advice

General Management
Type of Management Explanation
Area The cleanliness of the pen area and surrounding is important. The must be good drainage around the pen and area. Droppings are discarded away from the pen. Pature for grazing or cut and carry must be fenced, to make grazing easier and to prevent mixing to prevent accidental mating that might arise
Labour All work must be systematic and simple. Whilst wating for the goat to be let out for grazing, clean all feed troughs and cut the grass. After goats are let out to graze the stalls are cleaned

Management schedule Daily husbandry and long term management must be planned from time to time. Planned systematic management are like breeding, kidding, dehorning, castration, deticking, deworming. Other management are like paddock roation, fertilizing, as the used of machinery, labour and other implements can be done routinely.

Livestock Identification Every kid born must be given a record card. Identification by ear tagging or tattooing must be done
Separation Separation of males not intended for breeding is done at the age of 4 – 5 weeks old to promote faster growth. This is beneficial for fattening and can increase effiency of breeding management
Dehorning This is done during the kid stage to minimize injury caused by fighting or accidents. Horn that regrows must be removed.
Hoof trimming Goat that are penned for long durations develop long hoofs that cause difficulty in walking and can be a source of infection
Hair Trimming Crossbreds have long hair that need to be cleaned. Soiled hair can be a source of infection and breeding place for lice. Hair around the udder are trimmed for easy milking and prevent any hair from getting into the milk
Deticking Deticked by spraying or dipping

Intensive System

needs good housing as goats are not let out to graze
Feed and water provided daily- concentrate, grass and salt lick
This is practiced by farmers with limited land space or for pregnant doe and those that had kidded and also for breeder buck
Chances for infection are high
Stalls must always be clean and dry. This also make monitoring of goats for treatment and disease suveillance easy

Intensive System

needs good housing as goats are not let out to graze
Feed and water provided daily- concentrate, grass and salt lick
This is practiced by farmers with limited land space or for pregnant doe and those that had kidded and also for breeder buck
Chances for infection are high
Stalls must always be clean and dry. This also make monitoring of goats for treatment and disease suveillance easy

Semi Intensive System

Animals are let out to graze in the day and are stalled at night
The benefits are they are protected at night and during bad weather, it also gives them liberty to graze better quality grass and herbage
This also gives opportunity for kids to exercise and get enough sun
health checks can be done when the animal are brought in in the evening

Choosing an Area
Choosing an area for farming is important. Area chosen should be:

There should be big trees for shade and to act as wind breakers

There should be a mixture of hilly and low areas with good irrigation and good air movement

Far from busy highways

This is a must for goat farming in Malaysia, the animal needs protection from the hot sun and rain

The siting of the housing should take into consideration:

Minimize distances for movement during feeding. Example, grazing area/feed store must be near the stalls
If it is required to build more than one house, the distance between the houses must be at least equivalent to the width of the stall. This is to prevent infections

Sample Layout Plans:
1. Side view
2.Oblique view
3.Simple plan
4.Simple plan - front view
5.Simple plan for 80-100 head of goats
6.Ground level housing
7.Plan for 15-20 head of Goats
8.Goat shed plan

Important Criteria for Building Goats' Shed

Good ventilation is important to cool the air flow in the shed
To allow as much morning sun into the shed. The shed is in the North-South Orientation
Do not get damp easily. Good drainage system around the goat houses
Do not get strong winds
Protected from rain and heat
Waste/droppings easily collected and disposed
Sufficient room for feed and water
Suitable flooring which does not cause injuries such as sprains and fractures which may result in the spread of diseases
Building the shed

The shed can be on the ground or a raised floor system. Raised flooring is recommended as it provides good ventilation and is easy to keep clean


The flooring should -
for example should withstand chemicals and urine
easily cleaned
not slippery
does not cause injuries
does not get damp easily
the flooring should be made of strong material such as wood measuring 1.5 cm (thickness) and 3.5 cm (width). Split bamboo or split trunk of areca nut tree, or branches and normal wood. For excrement and urine to fall through below, the planks or wood are spaced 1.2 – 1.8 cm apart; but not too far apart to prevent legs from getting stuck
The floor area per adult goat is between 0.7 - 1.4 square meters (8 - 15 square feet).

Walls must be of hardy material. This is due to the goats' habit of ramming their horn, biting or rubbing against the wall. Recommended material are bamboo, round wood (jungle wood) and planks.
The wall is divided into two parts:
from the floor to about a meter up it may be made of planks, with a gap of 1.5 – 2.0 cm, providing some cover to prevent chills)
Above this, strong wood, bamboo or sago, branches can be used. The gap between them is 9-12 cm)


Materials that may be used for roofing include:

Sago palm fronds (Nipah) - good for ventillation and cooling. (generally, goats have been seen to eat the sago fronds)
Zinc - easy to assemble but can cause the shed temperature to soar, especially if there are no shade trees around. The height of the roof must be increased to provide good ventilation
Asbestos - the best material for roofing but costly. Its not only cooling but also do not burn easily
Aluminium - reduces effects of heating but costly

Feed troughs

feed troughs can be built outside or inside the stalls, along the center of the shed. It is 0.3 m wide at the bottom and 0.45 m wide at the top. For stalls without feeding trough, grass are tied about 0.5 cm above the floor. Enough water should be provided in buckets or basins


These are needed for growth, breeding and health. It affects the profitability of the livestock enterprise. Green feed has high moisture content and it is a source of energy, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates has high dry matter content, is rich in protein, fat, mineral and energy. Insufficient and unbalanced feed may cause diseases in livestock

A balance meal contains the following nutrients:

Nutrient Information
Proteins Building strong muscles and for tissue repair
Carbohydrates growth
Vitamins Required only in minute amounts but it is essential. If not balanced it can lead to diseases and the animal is more susceptible to infections
Minerals Minerals are essential for bone, teeth and health. These minerals include calcium, phosphorous, sodium. E.g.:
- ordinary salt
- salt lick
- calcium phosphate
- bone meal
- fish meal

Water This is also essential in feed, not only as a thermoregulator, but also for mineral transport and helps mineral intake in the body

Grass and Legumes

Grass and legumes are important greens. Grass and legumes at the right age, not only contains valuble feed and important nutrients, but also contain essential fibres for high quality milk production. High fibre content in the feed stimilates the rumen to be more efficient in digestion. An adult goat needs about 4.5 kg per day of fresh green in the form of grass and legumes. Examples of good types of grass and legumes for feed are:
i Guinea grass (Panicum)
ii. Elephant grass (Panisetum purpureurn)
iii. Setaria
iv. Legume: lpil-ipil / Leucaenia leucocephala

Native grasses and local plants can also be a feed source for goats, like

i. Tapioca leaves need to be slightly dried before it is given as feed to lower the cynide content

ii. Jackfruit leaves are good for fattening goats

iii. Too much of Asystacia sp. / Israel Grass must not be given as it causes bloat in goats

iv. Sesbania grandiflora

iv.Glyricidia maculata

vi. Merinda citriplia

vii. Banana leaves are a favourite, especially the young leaves

Supplementary Feed (Concentrates)

Supplementary feed is important during gestation, milking and does with a newborn kid. Pregnant Does or high milk producers is given more concentrates ( ½ - ¾ kg. per day ), whereres dry mothers and growing kids need about ¼ kg. per day

At weaning when stress due to weaning and adjustment to new feed, kids can be given supplementary feed in stages from 1 – 15 months

Feed for strengthening are from fine concentrate, maize, coconut pellets, groundnut pellets, soya waste and others. As a guide, these extra feed can be a mixture of concentrate and agriculture waste, examples:

. 2 parts maize

I part bran or concentrate

I part dried copra

40 kg. concentrate meal

39 kg. maize meal

18 kg. coconut pellets
3 kg. mineral mix (mineral salts)


The salt lick can be hung or placed in containers. Salt licks must be continually provided especially for pregnant breeder stock. During dry weather, water intake for dairy goats will increase. The amount of water will depend on the dry matter intake, environment, type of feed, water temperature and the goats' physiology. The ratio of dry matter is to water is 1:4

It is important to be able to detect if the goat is healthy Sick Healthy
looks down and lethargic appears robust and energetic
refuses to eat has an appetite
isolates itself always in a group
makes noise
droppings not well formed (not round) droppings are hard and round
coat is dry and hairs are on ends smooth and shiny coat
emaciated not emaciated

Common diseases encountered in goat farming :

Disease Symptoms
Eradication Drugs/Treatment
Puru (Contagious Ecthyma)
caused by viral infection in suckling kids

kids are emaciated due to eating difficulties
Water blisters at soft tissues, mouth, gums and lips. When these blisters burst, they form scabs and some may bleed


Vaccinated at 3 weeks – 1 month and booster shots at 3 to 4 months.
Isolate the affected kids in order to prevent infections from burst blisters
Clean and medicate wounds resulting from burst blisters using iodine or gentian violet


Bloat occurs due to sccumalation of gas in the rumen. These is due to nitrogen-rich food like legumes
bloated abdomen especially on the left side
loud ping sound on percussion
laboured breathing
restless, noisy and frequent urination
reduce legume and other nitrogen-rich food
maintain pastures with less than 50% legumes
i. feed with legume oil

ii. vegetable or corn oil

Plegmy cough due to bacterial infection caused by stress such as cold, bad ventilation and chest congestion
down and isolates itself
weak and lethargic
rapid breathing
occasional cough and thick exudates from the nostrils. Extreme stress can result in death
Isolate to prevent spread of infection
pens kept clean to prevent damp
shelter from the rain

i. worms
ii. Protozoa (coccidiosis)
iii. Bacteria
iv. food poisoning

watery faeces, not well formed
soiled tail and perineum
goat appears down and isolates itself
occassionally droppings are foul smelling
Reduce worm load with deworming medication
Keep pens clean and free from bacteria
Provide proper feed. Changes in feed should be done gradually
Give plenty of fluids, especially with glucose
Kaolin pectate given to reduce gastric inflammation
Disinfectant or deworming medicine

Anaemia is due to low haemoglobin counts
pale face
pale lips, gums and tongue
pale sclera
ruffled fur
Provide sufficient nutritious feed
Increase mineral iron
Give vitamins to improve appetite
Deworming medicine

Lock jaw
Caused by toxins excreted by a bacterium that destroy nerves. This occurs from open wounds on the animal.
The whole body is affected by uncontrollable shivering. All the four legs can become stiff and rigid
The jaw will become locked and the head is usually tilted upwards. The animal may collapse if this occurs when the animal is standing
The symptoms are aggravated by loud sound or bright light
Vaccinated at 3 months with anti-tetanus toxoid
Early treatment especially for puncture wounds
Tetanus antitoxin and toxoid

Wounds can be caused by sharp objects. Wounds untreated can become smelly and get infected with maggots

Shave area around the wound and clean it with iodine
Apply chlorohexane on the wound
Spray fly repellant like `Gusanex' or `negasunt'

Skin diseases
skin disease are cause by ectoparasites (mange) and fungal infections
Hair drop at various parts of the body, usually accompanied by alopecia and exudative scabs due to parasites that burrow under the skin, causing itchiness and damage to the hair roots

Skin irritation caused by fungal infections may be swabed with iodine
Skin irritation due to mange require treatment with insecticides like 1% malathion solution which kills the adult parasites

Treatment are to be repeated 3 times a day for 10 - 14 days

Hoof Infections
(Damp conditions can cause this problem. This is caused by bacterial infections at the hoof

The goat appears to be lame
Cleft of the hoof is swollen and smelly
The infected hooves are trimmed and cleaned. Feet are than soaked in 5% formaline or 10% Copper Sulphate (CuSO4) once a day for 3 days


There are two methods:

i. using breeder bucks

ii. using artificial insemination

Pros and cons of Artificial Insemination:

Pro Con
can control venereal diseases heat detection and timing of insemination
maximisation of selected breeds ensure correct application of current insemination techniques

semen from good breeds may be stored and used beyond the lifespan of the breeder buck may damage the reproductive organs if improperly or roughly applied
reduces costs of maintaining a male breeder stock

Best Age and Weight to start Breeding

At the age of nine months, the animal is capable of breeding
at this age, breeding is discouraged as the animal is too young and offsprings will be of poor quality

1 - 1 1/2 year old - body weight of 20 - 25 kg

Heat detection

Signs of heat indicate that the female is matured and may be mated

Signs of heat:

waging of tail and rubs its body against the stall
frequent baaing
frequent urination
vaginal swelling / reddish mucus discharge

Heat lasts for 12 – 48 hrs every 18 – 24 day cycles, averaging 20 days per cycle

Gestation Period
Gestation of 145 - 155 days, averaging 151 days :

Kidding Interval
(The kidding interval of goats in Malaysia is between 207 – 259 days. The twinning rates is about 50% therefore on the average about 13 to 15 kids per mother per year

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