Sheep and Goat Farming;
How profitable is Sheep and Goat Farming Business in Nigeria?
This is the question majority of people ask me, but I am going to answer that question in this post, goat and sheep farming is actually one of the most lucrative Business in Nigeria today, do you know that the west African dwarf goat is recognized globally for the special ability to produce milk and other purpose it serves? Do you know also know people come from outside the country to buy sheep and goat from Nigeria?
Do you know each states in Nigeria slaughter Sheep and goat daily to meet up with the need for animal protein in daily diet? Do you know we don’t have enough to slaughter and sometimes, there used to be scarcity ad shortage in supply of this animal in the meat market?
During the EndSars protest in 2020, Lagos State had to buy sheep and goat for slaughter from iBADAN because the stay-at-home, hinder food distribution from North to south and west, we don’t have enough goat and sheep to meet up the demand for meat daily, if you are looking for a good business line where you should put your money, this is one.
I will be taking you in a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Goat and Sheep Farming in Nigeria and make good money from it.
This is actually not a new Business in Nigeria, so many of us see goat and sheep reared by various people around us while we were growing up, but these people did not take it seriously, as a result we don’t think there is more to it either,
The people that seems to have tapped into this opportunity the most in Nigeria today are the northerners, and this is because of their nomadic spirit towards animal husbandry, you don’t have to undergo that stress to raise a good farm of sheep and goat.
Sheep and goat can even be raised at the backyard of your house, and they will do excellently well, provided you embrace good management, feeding and hygiene.
Do People Eat Sheep and Goat?
Yes, They do, infact their taste is awesome and the demand for this amazing meat is growing daily especially as our country face the issue of insecurity, farmers herders clash, the people in the west are beginning to look for alternative meat source to beef, because the cow that gives us beef mainly come from the north, and insecurity is reducing inter-tribal trade right now.
There are many things gotten from sheep and goat, these includes, Meat, wool, leather, skin, bone meal, dungs use as manure for plants.
How to Start your Goat and Sheep Farm
The first recommendation I do give people when it comes to starting a farm or livestock is, ensure you love what you are doing, have passion for it, it takes doing what you love to make the most of it. If your interest is not in that thing, it will not succeed, so you must ensure you like it and do it.
So having believed you have passion and interest in it, let’s get started;
The first thing you need to do is to make a shed for their house, housing sheep and goat is not a difficult thing, one of the benefit of this business line is that it won’t cost you a fortune to setup and keep running it.
Unlike in Poultry farming where the price of feed can send you out of the venture, here you don’t need to spend all your life savings on them before they can produce and give you good result.
Goat and sheep does not like sun, direct sun ray is not good for them, neither do they want to be under the direct rain, this can be dangerous, so to be on a safer side, make a shed where they can easily enter at night and lay their head, the good thing about sheep and goat is, they have the unique ability to survive various adverse weather condition, they can strive in various high-temperature location. Building a good pen for them will go a long way to keep them in a good condition and improve their performance.
Goat skin is used in making bags, belt, purse, leather shoe, and other materials.
Very shortly, we will look at the essential aspect of goat farming and how to get started.
- Pick a Good Location: If you want to venture in commercial scale, you have to choose a good location for your goat and sheep farm, ensure the environment is friendly and secure, with access to fresh grass and clean water. Do not use a water logged area for rearing goat and sheep, it is not good for them, ensure it is a sandy and dry land. Goat and sheep are ruminant animals; they need fresh grasses always, so ensure there is access to green grass in the location.
- Make Shed Available : Goat and sheep need a good house, even though you can release them during the day to roam around and eat, but they need a shed where they can rest both during the day and at night, that way, they will be free from direct sun ray and direct rain, which can affect their health, if you are doing commercial scale and you want to get the best out of your venture, you need to consider a shed, you can use bamboo or palm stem to make that shed, it really does not cost much to raise a good shed for your animals in this Business. Ensure the floor is not wet, I discourage the use of water logged for housing sheep and goat, it will affect their performance. If you want your animals to be healthy always, ensure you remove their dungs, at least weekly if you are the busy type, if you allow it to pile it, it can bring infection to the animals. Hygiene is very important in making your animals grow and develop well.
- Feed and Feeding : Feeding Sheep and Goat is not hard at all, it only takes some observation and knowledge, you can allow them freely graze around the available green pasture, but if you want them to develop well, you have to include and add some concentrated formulated feed to their diet, and it is not even expensive to do this, because majority of their feed ingredients and nutrient sources are waste products, remember they are ruminant, so they have the great ability to convert cellulose into nutrient in the body. But there are other essential nutrients they need to grow fast, and these includes or can be gotten from PKC, Soya, Wheat bran, corn bran, maize, cassava peel, maize and cowpea chaff, sorghum chaff, groundnut hay, other farm products like maize, cassava and cowpea stem can also be fed to them. If you mix these together and feed your animals, you will be impressed with their growth rate. Very important also, is water, water is very important in this venture, your animals drink a lot of water, especially during the dry season, you must ensure you make water available to them always. There are some mineral nutrients that your animal need, and might not be gotten in the feed, you can get a salt lick for them, this can be gotten from the vet store,
Another question people ask is; how much water does sheep and goat need daily?
Goat takes 2 – 3 gallons of water daily, while sheep takes 3 to 4gallons, a nursing mother definitely takes higher volume to remedy the water lose during breastfeeding.
- Fencing: If you want to safeguard your Business, do well to fence the land you are using, goat especially can be crazy at times, they can jump over and fall into the hand of a predator or theif, but if you fence the land, you have increase the security condition greatly.
Breeds of Sheep and Goat in Nigeria
We have a number of goat breed and sheep commonly found and raised in Nigeria; I will list them below;
- Sahelian Goat
- Red Sokoto
- West African Dwarf (WAD)
- Pygmy goats
- West African Dwarf Sheep (WAD)
Though the most commonly found in the north is balami.
Marketing your Animals
What I will love to say here first, as a practicing farmer is that, Goat and sheep actually do market itself, the demand for this animal across Nigeria is high, in 2008, Abuja lone slaughters 10,000 goat daily, for meat consumption, I don’t know about now, but what will the demand be in Lagos? In Ibadan and other part of Nigeria, we have an increase in human population of 5million annually, so the demand for food is increasing, normally in every city, there is a goat and sheep market, I do not have the volume where I can sell on a daily basis yet, but I do raise and sell during the festive period, which is ileya that the muslim celebrates; this is actually where majority of sheep and goat farmers make the most of their return on investment. Even though Ram is the most commonly sort after animal during that festive period, the demand expands to other animals too like cattle, goat, chicken, fish and others.
I remember how I bought a small ram for #40,000 and I raised it till the next ileya, that’s like a year and few months interval, the animal has become bigger and I was able to sell it for #170,000, that is just 1 animal, and the demand then was so much that I saw all the ram in the market sold off, the same thing with goat, everything was completely gone, that is what happens during the festive period, if you want to go commercial, you cannot afford to ignore the festive period celebration and it benefit on your Business.
Apart from selling during the festive period, you can also sell at normal day, in the market, but above all, let people know you with your business, you will be surprise at the kind of patronage that will come to you on their own, agric products are needed daily, so if you have it, the market is coming to you.
Diseases Management and Medication in Goat and Sheep Farming;
Just like in any other livestock farming venture, Sheep and goat also have their own relative health challenge, even though they are very adaptive to adverse weather condition and it is true that they rarely fall sick, but still; they have issues that confront their health and we will look at a few ones in this article;
They have Endo and ecto parasite infection which do affect their health and growth alike;
- Endo parasite like protozoa (Trypanosoma spp), flatworms, tapeworms and ringworms.
- For the Ectoparasite infection, it is often cause by ticks and mites, the both can be handled by injection, but ensure you consult the service of a vet doctor.
- They are also have viral diseases like Foot and Mouth diseases, bluetongue, maedi-visna, orf, tick-borne encephalomyelitis, goatpox.
- The Bacteria infections includes; blackleg, fot rot, caprine pleuropneumonia and chlamydiosis.
How to know your Animal is Sick
These are the signs to watch out for, when you see any of these, it should help you know that your animals are sick;
- They won’t Eat or drink
- Swollen stomach, which is bloat condition.
- Cloudy and unpleasant nasal discharge.
- Showing symptoms of pain and emaciation.
- Having rapid or slow breathing.
- Kicking and pressing their head against the wall
- Saliva coming out of their mouth
- Their eyelid turn grey.
- When they have watery feaces, that stains their leg and backregion, it is a symbol of diarrhea or digestive problem.
When you see any of these symptoms, get across to your vet.
How Much does it cost to start Goat and Sheep Business in Nigeria
There are various factors that determines how you will spend on getting started with your farm Business, it ranges from;
- The size of your farm
- The building structure
- The numbers of animals
- Feed and medication
- Staffs, housing, transportation, water source and possibly power supply.
If you are looking at between 10 to 20 animals, probably the young ones for a start, you may consider budgeting your start-up capital as 200k to 300,000naira.
As more people are coming into the awareness of the benefits that comes with Goat and sheep farming in Nigeria, the value is increasing and the same with the price.
Goat and sheep have the same gestation period, which is 5months, they also attain maturity at 5 to 6months. Do not keep the male and female together, keep them separately, except if you are raising them in a free range.