By DailyNewsUG Business Correspondent
Kitagwenda RDC Madam Birungi Kobusingye Jackeline yesterday presided the handover of hybrid goats to the residents of Mahyoro Sub county for Kyendangala and Zambia LC1.
She said the hybrid goats were from some of the funds used from the revenue sharing given by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Madam RDC Kobusingye advised her Farmer audience to focus on goat farming as a business venture and grow their revenue.
She advised that it is important to define farming objectives clearly. Farming objectives could be:
- It could be to produce meat,
- milk and
- breeding stock for other farmers.
If the objective is breeding, then emphasis in management will be on high quality foundation stock, batch breeding, detailed breeding plan and good recording system.
If the objective is profit making, the emphasis in management will be on low cost infrastructure, simple management system, few staff to reduce labour costs and good financial management.
RDC Kobusingye on Goat Rearing
Know the resources needed/available to attain that farming objective Resources to consider are:
- Labour – untrained either causal or regular and trained/skilled personnel Goat management skills and experience of available staff and of veterinary personnel are important. Remember very few animals per man are very uneconomical.
The bigger the number of animals, the better are the returns to labour, for instance, commercial enterprises with more than 140 goats is better than a medium scaled on say of 33 goats which in turn is better than a small scale of 16 goats.
RDC Kobusingye on Capital
Capital is of two types: Fixed capital and circulating or working capital.
- Fixed capital is required for putting up farm structures like housing, fencing and equipment. Circulating capital is required to finance the production cycle e.g. purchase inputs such as feed supplements, drugs, equipment, forage seed, fertilizers, irrigation equipment, building materials, fencing. Returns on initial capital are very important. Goats or sheep kept at commercial and medium scale and milking goats have higher returns to capital than small-scale enterprise.
- Land and feed resources – Flock size will be affected by size and type of land including current fodder production. Is any land irrigable for forage? Are the rights to land long or short term? Feed resources are divided into maintenance and production rations.
RDC Kobusingye on Practice good enterprise management
Goat management entails combining in a prudent (well organized) manner all phases of production i.e. breeding. Feeding, health and marketing.
RDC Jackie Kobusingye on How to carry out proper breeding
- Get the right type of breed for your purpose or farming objective
- Avoid in breeding, breed unrelated animals. Male to female ratio of 1:30
- Make and follow mating plans
- Carry out selections, retain big animals if for meat production
- Remember the important considerations in small ruminant reproduction
RDC Jackie Kobusingye on Goat Feeding
- Ensure proper feeding of small ruminants
- When feeding goats target goats with special needs for growth, conception/parturition (pregnancy, lactation and racing to cater for different requirements for energy, protein and minerals. Indigenous goats eat 2-3% body weight in dry matter.
RDC Jackie Kobusingye on how to know how the animals age
Aging of a goat is known by its teeth
Kobusingye on Good Goat Health
- To ensure good health of ruminants, carry out preventive and curative measures through vaccinations at the right time e.g. kids are usually vaccinated at 6 weeks of age against a number of diseases e.g. pulpy kidney, toxemia and tetanus and CCPP vaccine is given annually. Prompt treatment in case of doubt call a Vet. A good keeper is an observant one.
- The normal parameters for goat are: Temperature (39 centigrade), respiration rate (15-12 per minute, heart rate 90-99 beat/minute for sheep, normal temperature is 40 centigrade.
- A good relationship between a Veterinarian and producers will help achieve increased production. The role of a Vet includes treatment, prevention and technical guidance.
- Role of production technicians include appropriate practices and management for maintenance of health all lead to increase production efficiency. Efficient in production of farm animals is defined as production per unit of food per animal.
RDC Kobusingye on How to Follow good goat husbandry practices
- Housing – Proper housing with enough space for the goats and with good lighting and ventilation is important. Permanent housing pen 1.5 metre square + exercise yard + feed rack and water trough. Permanent buck pen/kidding pen per Doe: 3-metre square. Stocking rate – Correct stocking rate for animals on free range. Guide: 1-3 total livestock units (TLU) = 250Kg about 8-15 goats per Ha.
- Clean watering and feeding utensils
- Animal care
- Record keeping
- Annual planning
- Goat management
Madam Kobusingye on Good marketing
- Aim to market your products when the demand is high.
- Ensure there is a ready market for your products and that the products are of good quality in order to fetch a good price.
- The farmer should aim at making profits all the time.
- Small ruminant farming should be run as a business.
The role of Madam RDC Kobusingye is to also to assist Local Government members in the preparation of local development plans, local investment programs, and in the preparation of program/project proposals for possible official development assistance.