Granny paves the way for dairy goat farming
Ten years ago, 71-year-old Nicerata Kaguna Njue received Sh 4,000 from a local women’s group of which she is a member to this day.
Of the total amount, she used 3,500 shillings to buy a mature goat of a local breed and used the other 500 shillings for labor when building a simple goat barn at her house.
This marked the start of his adventure in raising dairy goats which today is the envy of his village of Kiathari in the Kanja sublet in Embu North sub-county.
“As women, united by the virtue of being village comrades, we created a group to which we contributed Sh10 every week. After a few years, however, we split the money we had donated and each member received Sh 4,000. I used mine to start this project, ”she explains.
Kaguna says she considered venturing into goat farming because it is not an expensive business and their milk was so scarce in the area when it was in high demand. Initially, she was just a simple farmer, growing corn and beans.
She adds that in addition to being an easy project to undertake, she learned that the nutritional value of goat’s milk is high and that it is a cure for several diseases including cough.
“Some parents had been advised to give goat milk to their children who had a persistent cough. They were having a hard time getting milk, so I thought if I raised goats I would be of great help to them and many others, ”she says.
Kaguna says she bought a local breed of goat first because she didn’t have enough money to buy a hybrid breed that costs between Sh 6,500-20,000 depending on age. But by dint of determination and mixing, she has since arrived there.
Today she has 12 pure alpine goats of which she currently treats four, thus obtaining around six liters per day.
She sells the milk to her neighbors with every liter of fetching Sh75. Experts say goat’s milk has the ability to aid weight loss, strengthen bones, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and optimize digestion, among other health benefits.
The chemical composition of goat’s milk is also said to be closer to that of human milk, so that the bodies of its consumers (goat’s milk) are able to extract more nutrients from the milk as it travels through the bodily system. and puts less stress on the digestive processes.
Kaguna feeds his goat dry grass which is plentiful on his farm and his dairy meal. She reveals that when food is scarce during drought seasons, goats can also feed on shrubs.
The fact that goats can feed on almost any shrub helps reduce the cost of feeding and save money. She says she likes to sell her goats when they are mature because they bring in a lot of money – at least Sh15,000 each.
Selling when ripe means she will first benefit from the manure she uses to grow crops such as corn, bananas, pineapples and arrowroot. “Goat manure is very good for agriculture.
The dairy goat farmer says any serious goat farmer should build a raised shed with a wooden floor for the goats to keep them away from disease and leakage.
Hanging shed with wooden floor also allows the farmer to easily collect goat droppings which form good manure.
The elderly farmer also advises constant deworming, good housing and hygiene conditions, saying it would help keep diseases away from the herd.
For breeding purposes, she says a farmer should have a separate house for whelping which should be warm.