“If you start goat farming, you have to persevere”, said Dr. Rufo T. Llorin, Sr. during the 1st Regional Livestock Congress last May 22-13, 2018 at the Benguet State University Gymnasium, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Dr. Llorin is the president of the Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers and Associations of the Philippines, Inc.
Goat is dubbed as the “poor man’s cow”. Dr. Llorin said that the production of dairy goats must highlight its importance and potentials as a staple food in the country.
“The goat farming industry in the Philippines is now aiming for longevity and productivity”, he added.
Starting a dairy goat
Feasibility study on location, climate and weather condition is one of the points to consider when starting a dairy goat project, explained by Llorin.
He added that the following must also be considered when starting a goat dairy: market of milk and goat by-product; trainings and seminars on dairy goats; housing facilities; source of food and water; farm equipment; funds for biologics, medicines and vitamins.
In terms of goat breeding and selection, Llorin said that the correct conformation of dairy goats is essential for a productive and successful operation. He added that it is also important to evaluate the differences of goats as they relate to each other as well as how they relate to the breed ideal.
He also presented the characteristics to be considered when selecting a breed. These are volume of milk produced, butterfat, and protein content.
“The higher the butterfat, the higher the cheese to be produced”, he added.
Dr. Llorin listed different goat breeds that are good for starting a dairy farm. These are Alpine (French Alps); LaMancha (Oregon); Nubian (Oriental); Saanen (Switzerland); and Toggenburg (Switzerland).
Dairy goat is right for you
There are characteristic considerations for an ideal goat milker, Dr. Llorin explained. One is the rump- the pelvic portion of the dairy goat. It is important in kidding (giving birth) and milking, not just one season but over the lifetime of the goat. He further explained that a wide rump allows easier kidding and bigger udder (mammary glands) gives more milk.
Second, the thurls- located at the top of the thighbones attached to the pelvis. The width of the thurls helps the legs to walk comfortably around a full capacious udder.
The Milk Zone Program
To strengthen the goat industry in the country, a program called, “Single Dairy Multiplier Zone Operation and Production for Dairy Goats” was established. Dr. Llorin discussed its objectives such as targetting small hold farmers (communal); supporting milk feeding program and transforming farmers into agripreneurs.
The said program was a collective effort of the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Dairy Authority (NDA), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), local government units (LGUs), and among others.
It is a five-year program which is expected to increase the milk production every year.
The program operation is a municipal-based multiplier farm consisting of 25 purebred does, 2 purebred bucks, pasture, housing, forages, milk machine, and portable pasteurizer among others.
The major benefits of the program includes livelihood, available nutritious milk for children and elderly, farmer director business enterprise, gender significant, preservation of genetics, and creation of milk zone.
Looking beyond raising goats
“The economic, social and health significance is a plus factor to the value of dairy goat farming”, said Llorin.
He added that goat milk is hypoallergenic, nutritious and therapeutic. It is also said to be nearest to the mother’s milk. A consensus document issued by the European Concerted Action on Science of Functional Food states that goat’s milk and products is a potentially functional food that adds effect beyond nutrition, improve health and wellness, and decrease the risk of developing diseases.
Aside from the milk and chevon (goat meat), Dr. Llorin listed other source of income in dairy goat farming such as farm tourism; sales from kids, cull does, breeding stock, and composting; goat milk soap and skin care products among others.//Herman Danis