Benefits of sheep and goat farming
Sheep and goat are considered the most affordable animals as they can be accommodated in any weather conditions. They are often referred to as poor man’s cow as they play a key role in the livelihood of the landless, small and marginal farmers. They can survive in drought areas and can be stall-fed. They need low investment, less space, less maintenance, minimal housing requirements, fewer production costs which include infrastructure, feeding and treatment. They can be accommodated with other livestock in small scale firms and hence suitable for mixed farming. They feed on a variety of bushes, crop residues and other agricultural by-products that litter the environment. In addition to green fodder, the sheep should be given feed concentrate such as sorghum, maize, broken rice, jowar, soya bean cake, groundnut cake etc as per its needs. Proper amount of freshwater should also be provided. In semi-arid conditions, goats are considered more economical than sheep on free-range gazing. Goats are less prone to diseases as compared to other domestic animals.
Sheep and goat products
Rearing sheep and goat generates a lot of employment and revenue in terms of exports and imports. The most important products from sheep and goat are wool and meat. Also, their skin and milk are being highly marketed across the world. Meat is a delicacy that most people enjoy across the world. Cross breeders gain meat in a short amount of time. Goat meat is lean and has low cholesterol content. Goat milk is rich in vitamin and mineral content and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is interesting to know that the goat milk is naturally homogenized and contains smaller fat globules making it easily digestible. Hence it is medically recommended for infants and elderly people. Owing to its health benefits over cow’s milk, goat milk is gaining high importance in the market in recent times. Their manure acts as natural compost as it is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that enhance soil fertility and ensure healthy crop growth and productivity. The benefits the sheep and goat offer justify the need for their breeding.
Breeds of sheep and goat
Mecheri, Chennai red, Ramanandhapuram white, Keezhakaraisal, Vembur, Neelagiri, Trichy black, Coimbatore, Deccan, Nellore, Mandya, Marwari and Gaddi are some of the sheep breeds local to India. The exotic sheep breeds include Dorset, Suffolk, Merino, Rambouillet, Cheviot and Southdown. Indian goat breeds include Jamunapari, Beetal, Barbari, Tellicherry, Sirohi, Osmanabadi, Kanni aadu, Kodi aadu, Black Bengal, Chegu and Changthangi. Saanen, Alpine, Anglo-Nubian, Toggenburg, Angora and Boer are some of the exotic goat breeds.
Online Course in Agribusiness at James Lind Institute
To know about sheep and goat farming in detail, enrol in an online training program in agribusiness being launched at James Lind Institute. This course acquaints you with various aspects of animal husbandry including various systems of livestock production, the role of livestock in integrated farming systems, breeding, housing management, care of pregnant animals, milk and animal farming along with a broad overview of animal husbandry in Africa. The globally accredited and industry-specific training fine-tunes your skills to match the needs of the ever-growing market. James Lind Institute has launched online training programs in agribusiness. For more details, please visit www.jliedu.com