Goat exhibitors at agricultural shows around Southern NSW aren’t always there in big numbers, but their passion for their animals and the products they produce is comparable with the bigger classes like beef and sheep.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has just released a guide to support those in the industry or wanting to break in.
Lead author of the new Dairy Goats AgGuide and DPI Education Officer, Jennifer Laffan says the practical guide includes information on building a herd, animal husbandry, health and welfare, biosecurity and market opportunities.
“The Dairy Goats AgGuide will assist people who are keen to enter the industry or people already in the business and has case studies on dairy goat farms from across the country,” Ms Laffan says.
“Goats have the reputation of being quite intelligent, which is noticeable in their response to human handling.
“Good general care and nutrition, correct hygiene practices, segregation and specific disease management programs all contribute to a healthy herd.
“Energy and protein are the major contributions when feeding dairy goats. Energy deficiencies are a common reason for reduced productivity and protein deficiencies can limit animal growth, milk production and health during pregnancy.
“It is important to take care to avoid importing health problems to your farm or herd and check the history of the herd when buying goats.”
In 2016 there were 68 dairy goat farms licenced to make food products in NSW producing nearly 17 million litres of milk with a farm gate value greater than $20 million per year.
AgriFutures Australia regards the dairy goat industry as an important emerging industry with significant potential.
You can download the new Dairy Goats AgGuide from the DPI website.