Goat keeping, useful management practices for smallholders

Goats are important in many regions because they provide people with valuable food and or income. They supply animal protein in the form of milk and meat for consumption or sale. This is particularly important for families of low-income farmers and the landless that do not have the resources to keep a cow and cannot afford to purchase meat and milk. This Agrodok gives information about the main aspects of goat farming in the tropics such as feeding, breeding, health care, reproduction and recording It is meant for farmers with some education and some knowledge about goats. The second target group are technicians like extension and animal production officers, who as advisers can assist smallholders planning to start or improve goat production. The main focus is on relatively small scale production.

The booklet is the product of intensive cooperation between the three authors, who together have over 100 years of experience in livestock production in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. We sincerely thank everyone who helped in its preparation, including the peer readers Willem Brinckman, Peter Hofs and Ralph Roothaert. The Chapter about Health, diseases and parasites has been revised, but is basically the same as in the previous edition. Special thanks go to Barbera Oranje who did the drawings.

While we hope this Agrodok will help farmers make their goat production more profitable, we are grateful for any comments, suggestions, additions and criticism.

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