Sheep & Goat Farming

Land selection:land is the basic requirement for construction of shed and for growing fodder crops. The extent of land required for sheep & goat farming is approximately 1 acre per 50 sheep’s / goats. At this rate one may require about 10 acres of land to rear 500 sheep/goat.We also undertake consultancy in assisting the entrepreneurs in procurement of land anywhere in Karnataka.
Breeding: Sheep & goats are seasonally polyestrous. Normally they breed & conceive in the months of march – July (1st season) & July – August (2nd season). Lambing/kidding periods are august (1st season) January (2nd season).

Male female ratio required
Sheep – 1 ram/per 25 sheep (4%)
Goats – 1 buck /per 20 does (5%)

sheep & goat come to conceiving age at 18 months (average) gestation period is 5 moths and lactation period is 3 months. One reproductive cycle is of 8 months thus they breed 3 times in 2 years. Cross breeding of local ewes / does with improved / exotic ram/ bucks gives instantaneous improvement on desired traits like body weight / wool quality etc.,

Fattening:This is a system of rearing sheep / goat for meat purpose. Male lambs / kids at the age of 3 months (after weaning) are selected and they are fed in zero grazing system for 6 months and are sold at the age of 9 months for mutton purpose in the meat market. This gives quick and frequent income to the farmer/entrepreneur.

Construction of shed for stall breeding under zero grazing system:A typical type designed shed comprises of two parts – covered area and open area. The floor space required is 10 sq.ft. / Animal in covered area and 20 sq ft / animal in open area. The shed must be inclined with its width north – south & length east – west. East west directions must be covered with complete walls with door, where as north south directions must be open with mesh for adequate cross ventilation after a 3 feet wall below. The animals are kept in batches / groups depending on their age and condition.

Feeding & Nutrition:Under stall feeding – zero grazing the sheep & goats are to be fed with the following regimen
1. Silage – 2 kg / day (morning – 1 kg / evening 1 kg)
2. Lucerne / leguminous fodder – 500 g / day / animal – once daily
3. Concentrate feed – 200 gm / animal / day – once daily
4. Mineral mixture – 10 gm / animal / day – once daily

Fodder development:Maize cultivation for silage – we require 1 acre of land per 100 s/g for maize cultivation to make silage.
Silage making: silage is a conserved green fodder. Maize crop/other green grasses are harvested to make small pieces of 1 – 1½ cm and are packed in silo pits after mixing with salt and molasses& silage culture.

Lucern cultivation we need 0.5 acre of land per 100 sheep & goat for lucerne cultivation lucerne is a dicotyledonous plant with high protein content. Alternative other dicotyledonous plants like desmanthes, subabul etc., can be used as well. These are perennial varieties and they give continuous fodder.

Irrigation equipments Like drip irrigation, sprinklers, rain guns etc., can be adopted to conserve water for intensive and extensive fodder cultivation, there are subsidies available from government for adopting these systems.

Crop management:There are 3 types of crops to be managed

  1. Maize: Is a unicut variety – 80 days crop – cultivation practices repeated every 3 months to grow 3 crops in one year. The maize yield must be proportionate the silage requirement for 3 years.
  2. Lucern: Perennial in nature, itgrows on again after each cutting, 1st crop comes with in 3 month and next cutting once in 40–50 days. Irrigation and fertilizer use is important in fodder plot management. Fodder trees gross better with drip irrigation and they are permanent sources for fodder especially in summer season.
  3. Fodder trees: There are different varieties of fodder trees, they act as good, rich and perennial sources of fodder for sheep & goat, and especially they are good for goats. Few of the important varieties of fodder trees are – drumstick, agase, thagache, subabul, glyrecedia, alavana, hebbevu, kamara, etc., these are fast growing trees, they can be planted along the boundary of the land and also on the bunds and in waste lands.

Disease control and vaccination schedule:Sheep & goat are susceptible to many contagious diseases. Major important diseases of sheep & goat are.

Haemorrlogic septicaeoria (HS)
Enterotoxaemia (ET)
Petets–de–pets ruminants (PPR)
Sheep pox ( goat pox) (SP/GP)
Blue tongue (BT)
Foot & mouth disease (F&MD)

Vaccines are available against all of the above disease. All animals are to be given preventive vaccination against all the preventable disease as per the following vaccination schedule.

First Vaccination                            Repitition

HS: 3 months of age                    once in 6 months
ET: 3 months of age                    once in 6 months
F&MD: 3 months of age             once in 6 months
PPR: 3 months of age                  once in a year
BT: 3 months of age                    once in a year
SP/GP: 6 months                         once in a year

De–worming:Sheep & goats are exposed frequently to internal parasites like – nematodes, tramatodes, and custodies. Therefore they are to be de wormed with appropriate de worming medicines once in 3 months regularly.1


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