Goat Farming in South Africa can be a very lucrative business if done right. Choose the right breeds of goats for your location and you could raise superior livestock. Goats are hardy animals and can survive under harsh environments. They have survived centuries of periodic drought’s and harsh temperatures. They also have the reputation of being resistant to the majority of tropical diseases and parasites.
Goats are a great source of income. Because of their small size, adaptive feed behavior and low management, goats are a viable option in improving cash flow.
Types of Goat Enterprises
Goat farming in South Africa is a diverse business. Goats produce dairy and have delicious meat, can be bread and even their skin can be used. As a business owner you need to explore these avenues where you can make the most money.
Decide on which area you want to focus:-
1. Meat Goats;
2. Dairy Goats;
3. Fibre Goats.
You can choose one type or combine all three systems in your operation. Your interest and abilities and physical resources on your farm should determine which type of enterprise you choose.
Goat Farming Products
- Goat’s meat;
- Goat’s milk;
- Goat’s cheese;
- Goat skin and fibre;
- Goat milk soap.
Additional sources of income:-
- Breeding Goats for sale;
- Sales of excess males from dairy operations;
- Leasing out goats to clear brush;
- Goat manure for fertilization.
How big should I start?
Determine the number of goats you want to begin with. Pick a number that would be sustainable enough to get things moving, depending on the purpose of your farming in South Africa. It might be 300 or 500 depending on the size and location of your pasture and type of goat breed. Fewer than 150 is usually not enough to support one person or a small family.
There are many types of goats, but the breed you choose will depend on your enterprise and what products you want to sell. Carefully decide on the breeds of goats you want to farm.
Goat meat is in high demand. The meat is widely consumed and accepted as an edible meat by people all around the world irrespective of tribal or religious differences.
Goat’s milk is enriched with many necessary nutrition elements and is easy to digest. Many consumer markets are currently shifting from the consumption of other dairy products in favor of goat’s milk.
If you want to produce fibre from your farm then Cashmere and Angora goats will be most suitable.
Location and Housing
Buy a sizeable expanse of land to comfortably accommodate your goats. You will need to fence the land for security purposes. If you are near a consumer population, consider farm tourism as part of your income. If your goal is to sell milk, then there is an advantage in decreasing trucking costs when you are located close to a milk purchaser. Goats are very adaptive animals and don’t need an elaborate goat barn. A simple three-sided shed facing away from prevailing winter winds will suffice.
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As the fifth-largest agriculture industry in South Africa, milk production provides a regular income for thousands of small and large producers. Commercial dairy farming is a demanding and complex operation. To succeed at it, you need to understand dairy cattle. Highly sophisticated equipment is used for milking, and it is essential to employ skilled well-trained workers and also adhere to strict quality control regulations.
Buying a Dairy Farm
Buying a dairy farm is not a decision you should make without talking to experts and considering various factors, as it involves investing a huge amount of money. Not only do you need enough money to buy the farm, you will need money to maintain farming activities and develop the farm in future. The neighbors, local vet, and agriculture expert at your bank can all provide valuable information and advice.
You should find out more about the following important factors:-
- Availability of dependable electricity;
- Existing milk facilities and equipment;
- Distance of the farm to the nearest town;
- Existing milk route of milk buying companies;
- Condition of the roads to the farm;
- Existing contract with a company that buys milk;
- Availability of sufficient water;
- Existing pastures and types of soil.
Getting the basics right:-
According to Milk SA preparing adequate infrastructure and establishing a market for your products are crucial for success:
1. Make sure that there is a co-op, shop, school, processor, or even a clinic that will buy your milk;
2. Find out the type of packaging your customer prefers. Some clients for example, want plastic bottles, while others may bring their own containers;
3. Refrigeration is crucial. Your customer will not want warm milk that will sour quickly;
4. If a buyer or processor collects milk from your farm ensure that the access roads are good and your reception area is up to standard;
5. A collection center will only buy milk that has been tested.
Understand the Dairy Market
Before you can sell your milk, it is necessary that you understand some basic principles. Once you understand these principles, you will be able to expand your milk sales with confidence. The production of milk follows a process that basically consists of four steps:-
1. Rearing Animals – feeding, breeding and caring for them.
2. Collecting, Chilling and Bulking – transporting your milk to the collection center or to your customers or the collection of milk on your farm.
3. Producing – milking your cows.
4. Marketing – the sales of your milk, directly to the public or to a buyer or co- operative.
Once you start selling your milk to a collection center, you will have to agree to the testing of your milk. A center will not buy milk if they are not sure that the milk is hygienic. If you are selling to a shop or to the community, it is your duty to supply safe, clean, fresh and hygienic milk.
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There are more than a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. The flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy. Colors range from white through yellows and reds. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7m in length. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.
The optimal temperature for spore germination is between 10 OC and 18 OC. Germination does not take place at temperatures below 5 OC and the spores are killed off when temperatures are above 27 OC. Spores survive on dried, fallen leaves for as long as one month.
Pruning took place during July and August and De-budding whenever necessary through the summer months. The reason for De- budding is that the stems grow longer and the plant doesn’t waste nutrition on buds that cannot be cut for bunches. It is important to leave three or four branches per plant, depending on the size and strength of the plant. To ensure better growth, the branches must not lie over each other and they should encircle the base of the plant. Pencil- thick stems are cut away to stimulate growth and length.
Cutting & Bunching
Cut roses are carried directly to the sorting table and grouped according to length, as this makes it easier to put the stems through the stripping machine, which removes leaves and thorns. Stems are then sorted into colors and similar lengths, and immediately placed in buckets of fresh water in the cold room. From here, they are bunched and wrapped in paper for delivery.
Cultivation & Propagation Methods
Rose plants are mainly propagated by the seeds, layers, by budding and cuttings. Budding is considered to be one of the best methods for propagating rose plants. They can be planted in the circular pits about 60 to 90cm across and 60 to 75cm deep. Remove all the broken and bruised leaves while planting is important in rose farming. Roses require at least 8 hours of direct sunlight for the growth. The rose plants requires Organic malter which include Farm Yard Manure (FMY) and some fertilizers at the time of planting.
If you are planning to start flower farming then a Rose Farming Business is the most profitable business for farmers to start. Roses are the king of all flowers and it is a very pretty flower which is grown in all around the world. Rose flowers and Rose Oil are very popular in the local market as well as in the global market.
Selection of the right variety of Rose is an important factor in Commercial Rose Farming. Production of quality roses are important to win in the international flower market. Roses have various uses depending on the species and varieties. They may be used as garden plant-sand cut flowers. They can also used in making rose water, rose oil and gulland.
Start your Rose Farming operation in a professional way by preparing a well-planned business plan or make use of a suitable consultant to assist you in the process.
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A Hunting and Game Farm is normally run as a joint enterprise, the one supporting the other. Game animals are farmed for the purposes of meat, skin and horn off-take (culling) and tourist viewing. The culling is usually combined with sport- hunting. Game farming may also yield benefits in term of photographic safaris, fishing and many others.
The Game Farm business concept is critical to the future of the hunting industry because game farmers supply the animals that populate the nation’s preserves. In some cases, game farm entrepreneurs also engage in the process and sale of game meat or the delivery of bred game stock to individuals and commercial growers.
Requirements for the efficient management of a game farm include:
- A facility for slaughtering, processing and packing of meat;
- Trophy processing;
- Vehicles for hunting;
- A likely minimum of 1000 ha of land;
- Wildlife Management;
- Marketing of carcasses and live game; and
- Research on the needs of the species of game that will survive in the area, water sources, soil type and the like.
In terms of economics, the value of game ranching can be summarized as follows:-
1. Game ranching works essentially on four levels. The first level is the “sale of hunting trips and venison”, the second level is the “sale of live game at auctions”; the third level is the “processing of animal products”; and the fourth level is the “provision of game lodges, conferences, facilities and related services”. Job opportunities open at all 4 levels.
2. The Eco- tourism industry accounts for at least R2.5 billion. There is a huge potential for future growth in Eco-tourism on game ranches, mainly because its market share of the total tourism industry is relatively small in South Africa.
3. The percentage income derived from auctions, hunting and Eco-tourism differs widely between the different regions and depends on the distance from the big cities and the availability of the Big Five.
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring farmers make is that they forget that while a farm is a lifestyle, it is also a business. Making a farm profitable requires planning and business savvy. Luckily there are professional consultants that can help writing a sound and professional business plan for you.
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Rabbit meat is considered a “niche” product and as a result the producer can expect a better price than most other industries. According to Pieter Keyser, a rabbit farmer from Coligny in the North West Province, the South African market has not even started to fully experience this industry due to substantial exports to Europe, feeding the unsatisfied market.
Why Rabbit Farming?
Rabbit meat has been put in the same category as Chicken meat (Poultry). Rabbit meat has been dubbed as the most nutritional meat known to men. This emanates from the following facts about rabbit meat:-
- Rabbit meat has the highest protein content of all meats;
- Rabbit meat has the lowest fat content in meat as compared to other meats. In addition, 63% of rabbit meat’s fat is unsaturated fat, which is regarded as good fat.
- Rabbit meat is also low in calories compared to all similar white meat i.e. content per gram.
Other than the aforementioned health benefits, the rabbit business itself is financially profitable when high standards are maintained in the rabbi try, which results in high meat quality being produced.
How to Raise meat Rabbits
Prepare your facilities.
Rabbits need very little space. Banks of cages can be installed in a shed, or barn. Covered hutches are all that is necessary. Decide how many rabbits you intend to keep as breeding stock, and prepare enough cages for all of them.
You need to decide whether you want to raise pure bred rabbits or if you are more concerned with producing the most efficient rabbits.
Choose a high protein food that will sustain breeding stock, but also will lead to fast growth rates. 14% – 16% feed should be sufficient, and will cause kits to grow at their fastest rates.
Breed rabbits regularly. Always take the doe to the buck’s cage so that they will not be distracted by the new environment of the doc’s cage. The gestation period for rabbits is about 30 days.
Feed kits all that they will eat. You want the kits-to grow as quickly as possible to butchering size. You can butcher kits at 8 weeks old, and they will be “fryer” size. Typically you want your kits to reach about 4-5 pounds by the time the kits are 8 weeks old.
Always keep rabbits healthy. Watch for diseases, and watch for bad teeth. Both of these can be detrimental to your herd.
To set up a rabbit farming business doesn’t need much money like every farming do, rather it takes a lot of knowledge about the animal husbandry and how best to raise animals, You have to start with a profitable rabbit farming business plan in order to gain high profit in the short term.
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