08 Apr Goat Farming Training at STRZBOER Farm
I never had any background in farming. Believe me. I have never imagined myself being in this line of business. I currently work in the field of IT and Marketing. Being here in Singapore for so many years, one of the regular activities that I do is attending seminars that discuss various investment opportunities in my home country- Philippines. Thanks to TGFI (The Global Filipino Investors) for awakening the minds of the OFWs through their talks & seminars. Agriculture is one of the investment vehicles being offered to investors since Philippines is gifted with natural resources unlike Singapore. TGFI invited a guest speaker last February 2016 to talk about raising goats. That talk ignited my farming instinct. From then on, I became interested in agriculture. I didn’t know before that there is gold in the farm. I met Dexter Villamin, a pastry chef and owner of DV Boer Farm. He came up with a programme on landless goat farming, that means, OFWs all over the world can farm goats by letting his company breed and take care of the animals. During the seminar, he shared his vision which is to encourage Filipino farmers to promote goat farming business in the Philippines as not only that there is a high demand in goat meat and dairy products but it’s a lucrative business for entrepreneurs. Along with the program is to send Investors to Australia to learn more about Goat Farming especially taking care of Boers.
I was one of the lucky winners to fly to Australia to go to Dean and Fiona’s farm at Cohuna. I could definitely say that Australia is one of the best countries I have seen in terms of promoting agriculture.
Some pictures to share during my training:
Things I have learned during the training with Dean Smith
(owner of STRZBOER Farm, Cohuna, Australia)
1. BENEFITS OF GOAT FARMING
Raising Boer goats is particularly rampant in New Zealand, Australia and United States. Compared to breeding sheep or cattle, goat raising benefits is more lucrative. The focal point for Boer business is meat quality. And the drivers to produce high quality meat are proper nutrition and environment management.
2. GOAT CHARACTERISTICS
The animals on the farm should be relatively clean also and not have runny eyes, runny nose, cough, limp or have runny poop. The breeder should have no problem providing you with documentation about testing, and vaccination schedules for the animals. You should only buy animals that appear to be healthy, and spending time with the animals will give you a good idea of their health. Dean also stressed that if you want to create a profitable goat farming business, the first thing you need to decide on is the breed. It is extremely important that you acquire goats that are strong, fertile, and healthy. It is necessary to point out that there are breeds of goats that grow to more than 100 pounds and there are those that can only between 70 and 90 pounds.
3. GOAT DIET
Fresh hay is one of the best feeds you can give your goat. Your goat will need less supplements with green grass and hay. This feed is much higher in nutrients than brown feed. Good feeding not only helps to keep your goats healthy and productive but also help to keep them free from all types of diseases. So always try to feed your goats adequate amount of nutritious foods. And provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to their demand.
Goat farming basics comprise essentially of clean water for them, adequate fencing so that they are safe and for them to have plenty of room so that they are able to play around. Also, shelter and pasture is important.
Constantly hire the services of a veterinarian. A vet is a necessary partner in this kind of endeavor, and you would need to consult him or her for almost every aspect of raising goats. From choosing what feeds or supplements you can give to the animals, to setting up housing and more importantly, to providing you documentation (to be presented to the local government) that you are treating your animals well and that there are no issues on your farm that can constitute to animal cruelty or abuse.
I am very grateful to Dean for sharing his knowledge in goat farming and tips on how to choose the right breed if ever you are buying Boer goats from a breeder. Knowing all of these, raising goats (either for business or for pets) will surely be a fun experience.