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With the cost of living constantly increasing everyone is now looking at alternative ways to generate more income. Of the many small businesses out there, raising goats and more specifically boer goats, has become a very popular way to increase your family’s income.
One of the main reasons that breeding boer goats has become so popular is that unlike poultry or other animals, goats are relatively easy to take care of. As long as you provide them with sufficient food and water and somewhere safe against the weather they can survive with very little supervision.
How To Earn a Living Raising Goats
There are a number of ways you can earn a living from raising goats, depending on which you choose will determine the types of goats you will want to breed:
- The first way is to breed goats for milk production. Many people prefer using goats milk instead of cows milk as it is easier to digest, making it more suitable for babies and sick people. Goats milk is also widely used in the production of soaps and lotions. You should be able to find plenty of dairy producers who will buy your goats milk.
- The other way to make money from your goats is to raise them for their meat. This way tends to be the most popular. The meat from your goats will sell at a much higher price than you could sell pork or beef. If you are thinking of breeding goats for meat then the best breed of goat for this purpose is the boer goat. Boer goats have been bred to be lean and meaty animals.
- Most people will opt to raise goats for either milk or meat but you can also sell the wool from shearing the goats. You will get a decent price for your goat wool provided it is in excellent condition.
The majority of people will think of raising goats but then discount it as they think that you need the experience of living in the country to manage a goat farming business. However becoming a goat breeder is not a complicated business, you require some land, a shelter and the willingness to learn. There are many places where you can find information on breeding boer goats, you can soon start breeding your own herd of goats.
The first thing you need to assess before you start breeding boer goats is the location. is it large enough for your herd. It does not need to be a massive open field, but it does need to be large enough for the goats to be able to wander around comfortably. On the land you will need some form of shelter for the goats to go on a night and when the weather turns bad. And obviously you will need to buy food for your goats and have them checked regularly by a vet.
Check in your area or on places like Facebook for others who have been raising boer goats for a while as they can share with you the best practices. If you are in the UK then I would advise joining The British Boer Goat Society
A video of newly born Boer Goat kids from Whalandaw Boer Goats
FREE Guide to Profitable Livestock
Boer Goats Diseases
Boer goats just like any living thing can be susceptible to various diseases, especially if you fail to get them vaccinated. Due to most of these diseases having identical symptoms they are very hard to distinguish by yourself. But as a boer goat breeder it is important that you have at least some understanding of the various diseases that may affect a member of your herd. Learning about the main symptoms and how to treat them would also greatly help to minimise the risk of you losing one of your boer goats, or even the whole herd. Giving your boer goats lots of love and care will give you less worrys and healthy goats to enjoy.
One of the most common goats diseases is known as ‘big head’. Big head occurs when the goat becomes infested with worms. The main symptom of big head is that your goat will suddenly look pale and develop a swollen head. This should not be confused with another common goat problem known as ‘bloating’. Other symptoms you may find if your goat has ‘big head’ would be, frequent urination, anxiousness and it will behave different from the rest of the herd. If you discover this in any of your herd it should be examined as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary complications.
Many of the goat diseases can easily be prevented by simply getting your herd regularly checked. A once-a-month visit to the veterinarian would not only protect your herd, but would also protect your farm. Being vigilante for any possible trouble occurring within your herd will also help in protecting them and your farm. Here are a few simple ways to spot if something is possibly not right with one of your boer goats.
- Watch your goats and see if any of the herd starts to isolate themselves from the rest. Boer goats are naturally sociable and friendly animals, therefore separation from the herd could be the sign of a problem.
- Check your goats faeces and droppings for any abnormalities. If a boer goat is unwell then its droppings and urine could give you a clue that something is not right. Among the most easily recognisable symptoms for boer goats diseases are diarrhea (with blood), pus from the ears, mouth, vulva or any other part of your goat’s body.
- Other signs of your goat being unwell is, swelling of the chin, any defects in movements and behaviour.
You could also do your own goat check up as well as the observations to ensure that your herd is healthy. The main areas to check are the rectal temperature which should be at least 39 degrees and the goats pulse rate that must be 80 or less beats per minute.
Raising sheep can be very rewarding, whether you are raising sheep for their meat or their wool. This article will cover some of the main factors to think of before buying your herd and starting your journey into raising sheep.
Correct Housing for Raising Sheep
It is simple to forget the importance of having the correct housing for your herd, this is really one of the more essential factors that you’ll have to deal with when raising sheep. Certain easy shelters might be sufficient if you live in an area with a mild temperature, but if you live were the weather is colder, then you will need a more sturdy shelter for raising sheep in. If you are looking to build the ideal environment for your sheep then the following 5 factors will help you with your preparations.
1) Area Required
To begin with, you need to identify the size of the building you will require. Because sheep respond better to open areas, you need to ensure that your herd will have sufficient area to move around as they wish. If you crowded them into a building, then it will most certainly make them a lot more vulnerable to sharing illness.
2) Sort of housing
Next, you have to select the kind of building you want for your herd. Sheep housing can range from a simple hut to a full size barn. The type of housing you pick will depend on the the budget you have available and the climate of your area. You need to make a decision as to what you think would be the most ideal for your herd.
3) Air flow
If you’ll be raising sheep indoors then air flow needs to be your main concern. Your sheep need to have access to fresh air in their housing, especially if they are confined to it.
The kind of product you decide to use for bedding is an essential decision. Whether you pick hay, straw, shavings or even timber chips, the bedding you chose needs to provide heat and comfort to your sheep. Check out the advantages as well as disadvantages of each type of bedding to ensure that you pick the best one for your climate and herd.
5) Sheep behaviors
Last but not the least, each breed of sheep has differing behaviours so you have to consider your sheeps innate behaviors when choosing which housing style will be best for them. So whether your breed likes to group together or chooses to forage and forage separately, you should make your decision as to the type of structure that you consider would suit your herd the best. This is the only way that you’ll manage to breed healthy happy sheep.
Goats as pets are great to have but for a lot of people, the two main reasons that they get into breeding boer goats is for the milk and meat. Milk and meat are two very important daily staples for a lot of people, and with the state that the economy is currently in, a lot of people are looking into breeding boer goats for their meat and milk. The South African boer meat goat is renowned as the best goat to breed for meat. Some people breed them for the cashmere, but not many.
Farming A Boer Meat Goat Herd
When it comes to creating a boer milk goat or a boer meat goat herd there is very little difference, because raising these goats is extremely similar. As a boer meat goat can also be milked most people will focus on boer meat goat farming. This gives you the best of both worlds as you are getting both milk and meat from one herd.
Between August and March, it is when boer goats get to breed. As soon as a goat turns 7 months, it is ready to breed, even though it is said that the best age is at 10 months to 12 months. However when it comes to being milked, they should only be milked when they are a year old.
As with humans, it is much better for the baby goats be fed by their mothers as opposed to bottle feeding. Not only do they benefit more from their mother’s milk, it also ensures that the the baby goat also gets the colostrums that they require. The colostrums contains minerals, vitamins as well as the antibodies which will help the baby to develop into a healthy adult goat. Therefore producing better milk and meat.
Boer goats can feed on pasture, grain as well as hay – you should be going for the best quality there is to get the most out of your herd.
Boer meat goat farming basics comprise essentially of providing 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.
When it comes to Boer meat goat farming basics, the best guide to get is the Boer Goats Profits Guide. It will take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know about raising Boer meat goats. Click Here to get it.
A short video of my goats out to pasture
By Cathy Whale http://whalandawboergoats.com
Pigs, the small pink mammals associated with farmyards, being smelly, dirty and greedy and, dare I mention it, bacon sandwiches.
But pigs are much more than the butt of jokes and breakfast food stuff. Pigs are super intelligent mammals who get a bit too much bad press and, frankly, are treated appallingly particularly in intense farming conditions.
So as an accolade to this wonderfully cute, smart trotter, here are some facts that you (maybe) never knew about them.
- There are many different breeds of pig. From the wild boar of the Eastern European and Russian forests, to prized Gloucester Old Spots.
- Pigs run wild in the jungles of South East Asia and the islands of the Indian Ocean.
- Wild pigs can be found widespread across Europe and Asia, from Ireland to Japan, and from Siberia to the Indonesian Islands.
- In North & South America and Australia, domesticated pigs have become feral, and now live in the wild.
- Pigs do not have a fully functional sweat gland. When they are rolling in mud, they’re not being dirty, they are simply keeping cool. They also have the sense to realise that this mud acts as a sun screen as well.
- Vietnamese pigs make good companion pets, if given the correct care and attention. They can be relatively easy to live with, if a little attention seeking. The huge craze for owning a Vietnamese Potbellied pig, in the United States in the 1990’s has become less popular. This is due to people becaming wise to the fact that these pigs grow quite large and are territorial like any other animal. Famous owners include George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
- Truffle hunting pigs have been taught to snuffle out truffle’s and are used by truffle hunters in Europe to find the prized fungi. Unfortunately as some pigs tend to eat the expensive and rare mushrooms, pigs are sometimes being replaced by sniffer dogs, which tend not to eat their bounty.
- Pigs are known to be excellent football players, as in, they, like dogs, derive pleasure from playing with a ball and generally being social. This emphasizes their intelligence and need for social interaction.
- As already discussed, pigs have their reasons for rolling in mud. Which is something God obviously didn’t know about when in the bible he decreed pigs and swine to be unclean. As a result, certain religions do not eat pigs including Seventh Day Adventists.
- Jews and Muslims have their own reasons for not eating the meat of the pig. But the one I like best is that God or Allah made all animals for a reason, and it is sinful to be unkind to them. So eating any meat is forbidden.
- What other animal is so celebrated in works of art literature and popular culture?
Here are a few of the best:
Babe, Piglet from Winnie the Pooh and Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web – the ultimate cute, loveable good guys.
Napoleon in Animal Farm and Jodie from Amityville Horror – Scary and villainous.
And, more famous today Peppa Pig, every toddlers favourite character.
Who else can you think of?
Interested in owning a pot bellied pig check out How To Keep Micro Pigs
Squeaky The Micro Pig Learns To Sit
3 Key Dog Training Tips
There are a few real keys to dog training, whether you are trying to train your dog to come when called, sit, stop barking or any other behavior. Understanding their importance is critical to achieving rapid results that are long lasting and help develop the bond between you and your dog.
1. Win your dogs mind.
If you don’t win your dogs mind first then you will be struggling all the way. What winning your dogs mind really means is that your dog will look for you to make all the decisions. Before you try to do anything else with your dog I would watch one of the amazing video sites that show you the 5 Golden rules to establishing yourself as the pack leader. Basically if you aren’t putting these % golden rules in place then you are simply setting yourself up to fail. You dog will be off doing his own thing just at the crucial point where you really want them to listen. Certainly your dog may play ball occasionally or even most of the time, you could even have a dog that is obedient 99% of the time, however if you want a dog who always listens to you and does as you ask then you need to win your dogs mind.
2. Motivate your dog.
One of the most important factors is that you must discover what it is that your dog enjoys. Not all dogs like the same activities. Some dogs love to fetch, others love agility, and other dogs simply love obedience training, or swimming out into water and retrieve. To start you have to find out what your dogs love is and then help them develop this, work with your dog continuously.
In addition to finding out what exercise and play your dog likes you also need to find out what is their favourite reward. Reward them often. The more enjoyable you make the experience, the more you will both achieve and the more you will both look forward to training.
Rewarding your dog
- Food – anything from a single dry biscuit to a whole piece of sausage!
- Affection – Lots of pats, cuddles, and lots of verbal praise.
- Toys – games, throwing a stick or object, chasing your dog etc.
Your dog will always work harder the fairer you are in the training.
If you want to use food rewards then always follow these simple tips:
Tips for food treats
- Always vary food rewards.
- Do not give food rewards every time.
- Never let your dog know what the reward is.
- If your dog doesn’t come first time then do not give them the reward.
If you do not want to use food as a reward then you should ensure that you use affection accordingly when your dog does well.
The third key to achieving perfection is practice! You must learn how to encourage behavior that is closer to what you want consistently. Again this is where rewards come in so handy! You motivate your dog and then show them what it is that you want. With this method there is no need for any negative training!
One of the best sites that shows you all of this and more is The Online Dog Trainer, put together by top Dog Trainer, Doggy Dan. CLICK HERE to find out more: http://keithbuk.doggyd4n.hop.clickbank.net
Check this video here
Building A Chicken Coop – 5 Things To Consider
Bringing up chickens is a passion for many people, but before we can start bringing up chickens we first need to have a chicken coop for the chickens to live in. We can either buy a chicken coop or we could simply build our own. If you are considering building a chicken coop of your own then check out our FREE Chicken Coop Plans
If you are new to bringing up chickens then it can have a lot of benefits.
- You can produce your own organic food (chicken eggs and poultry meat).
- The chickens produce excellent manure for your gardens.
- Chickens can also make loveable household pets!
When we start to bring up chickens, one of the main things that we can not ignore is having a decent chicken coop. In this post I am going to simply outline my ideas on the main points you should be looking for whether you are buying a new chicken coop or building your own chicken coop. Ensuring your chickens are happy and your chicken coop lasts you a long time.
The fence is obviously an integral part of the chicken coop. It keeps the chickens in and also keeps any predators out. In addition to predators attempting to break in and causing damage to the fence. Your fence can become unstable over time due to many other things, such as the wind & rain, poor timber used initially etc. So ensuring the fence is sturdy is of paramount importance. Once built you need to do a monthly thorough check of your fence to ensure that your fence is always in top concdition. A fence in poor condition will not keep your flock in and will not protect them from predators. Any problems with the fence should be repaired as soon as possible.
The door of the chicken coop again is something you need to ensure is sturdy and should be checked very regularly. The chicken coop door is constanly opened and shut as you are feeding the chickens. The main points you should be looking for are:
- Ensure that the hinges are sturdy and are working correctly.
- Check the latch to make sure it holds in place correctly.
Each person will have their own preference as to the type of latch they will use on the door. Some are obviously better than others. If you are are constantly having problems with the latch you have chosen, then you might be wise to replace it for a different type or simply a more secure one.
Depending on how many chickens you intend to keep will determine how many feeders you will require. It is essential to keep a very close eye on the bird feeders in the chicken coop as if they become extremely pummelled this is usually a sign that the birds are probably fighting over the food. Therefore an idication that you should be thinking about installing another feeder.
A point that is usually overlooked with the feeders is the way the chickens interact with the height of the bird feeders. Now and again you will get birds that will prefer the bird feeder either higher or lower than what you have placed it. Adjusting this now and again will ensure the comfort of all your birds. Most of the time it only needs to be adjusted by an inch or two, but this can make a huge improvement in how the birds are able to access the food. Making for happier, healthier chickens.
The Water Source
Your chickens require a consistent supply of fresh water so having a good tap within the chicken coop is essential. If you have a larger coop then one tap might not be enough. You might need to look into adding another water tap to ensure your birds have an ample supply of fresh water.
Finally ensure that you have a good perches in your coop for the chickens to nap on. Ample perches ensures that the birds get plenty of sleep and therefore will produce more eggs.
Again like the tap the number of chickens you have in your coop will determine how many perches you are going to need. You need to ensure that all the birds have ample room on the perch so they are not fighting for a space. And that the perches are wide enough for when the chickens grow they still have enough space for taking a nap.
It is not too difficult building a chicken coop and then maintain it so that it is a nice comfortable, secure place for your chickens. You simply need to follow the above tips plus invest a little bit of time, money and love and you will be rewarded with a bountiful supply of fresh eggs.
Check out our FREE Chicken Coop Plans
What To Feed Your Koi Carp
With a little basic information you can ensure that your koi carp are getting exactly what food they need at the right time of the year. Also, at the right time in their life. Is it Winter? Is the weather super hot? Are they babies (fry)? All of these things matter when deciding which koi carp food is best.
During the winter months, in cold weather, koi carp do not require as much food and tend to eat less. You want to cut back on the amount of food you are feeding them. If the temperature is less that 55 degrees, you can skip feeding them. Especially in a mature pond.
During the hot, summer months you will need to feed your koi carp up to 8 times a day. During warm weather the fish are more active and grow faster. They will need more protein to compensate for the extra energy being used.
Koi carp have no stomach. A very basic way to describe the way they use food is that what goes in essentially goes out. Except for what they are able to convert to needed energy. This is the reason for their need for frequent feedings when they are active and growing. You may need to increase the amount of protein in their meals to approximately 55% from 40%-45%.
Serving several small meals is a much better option than one or two larger meals. This also helps to reduce the amount of food that is left over and makes it’s way to the bottom of your pond. Excess food in a pond can create problems. Waste and excess food need to be vacuumed from the bottom of the pond.
When deciding what to feed your koi carp, you will want to make sure that fish is the number one or two ingredient in your pellets. Corn should not be in the pellet. At least, corn should not be in the top 4 or 5 ingredients. Sprinkle just enough pellets over the top of the water.
Some believe you should mix two or three different types of pellets to ensure your fish will get all of the ingredients in their food that they need. This is up to you. Just make sure that their diet is rich in fish proteins.
Of course, you will want to give your koi carp some treats. They love fruit, vegetables, pieces of cut up shrimp, and some koi carp even love earthworms. You can also grow water celery in a pot and put in at the edge of their pond. If you grow several pots at once, you can trade them out as the fish eat the leaves off of the plants. I recommend growing 3-4 at the same time.
Koi carp will eat smaller fish. You will need to be careful about what fish you put them in the pond with.
I hope this post has given you a basic idea of the type of food you want to serve your fish.
If you would like to learn how to build your own Koi Carp pond then go here