Farming of goats and cows is very popular among many farmers in different places. There are so many things to consider when you are trying to make a choice between the two. Farming is a very profitable venture because people will always eat and drink milk. As you try to make a decision on which of the two you would like to try out, it is important to consider which one of the two is most ideal.
Things to consider when considering between goat and cow farming:
It is important to know how much space the goats would need and how much the cows would need. Cows take more space but even then, you need to decide if you will be keeping cows for zero grazing or free range. If you have a lot of space where pasture is readily available for the cows, you may consider keeping cows that are free to move around as they eat.
If you do not have enough space but still feel you want to keep cows, you can consider zero grazing where cows almost never move around. They get their feeds and water brought to them. You can use feeders and drinkers so that the cows have a regular supply of food and water.
Goats, on the other hand, need less space compared to cows. However, it also depends on the breeds of goats and the purpose for which you are keeping them. Dairy goats need more space than goats kept for meat. The goats still need space to look for food because goats are more productive if they can get to shrubs and weeds they eat. However, compared to the space needed for cows, this space does not need to be really big.
The cost of acquiring the goats and cows:
Goat farming is relatively easier to begin because the cost of goats is much lower than that of cows. You can easily get a doe at between $50 and $200 depending on the breed and whether or not she has been papered. A dairy cow, on the other hand, will cost you anywhere between $700 and $3000 depending on the breed and age of the cow. Females in milk can be bought at between $200 and $400.
Feeding of cows and goats:
Goats are free range animals which feed on weeds, herbs, and shrubs. They will minor supplements and greens. Cows, on the other hand, are heavy feeders. They need a regular supply of pasture and sometimes supplementing it with commercial feeds, especially dairy cows. The cost of commercial feeds is approximately $15 per bag while hay goes for about $20.
Goats eat pretty much anything although they also tend to get bloated. This is why it is also important to ensure you do not give them extra food unless it has been some time since their last meal to give room for digestion. When goats get bloated, you can easily solve the problem with the use of a little baking soda. Of course, this needs to be done early otherwise you may need to request the services of a vet.
Dairy cows, on the other hand, if faced with similar discomfort may need a more expensive fix that will often require the assistance of a vet.
Breeding of goats is a lot easier than that of cows. If successful, a goat will give you kids of anywhere between one and three. A goats’ gestation is 150 days. A cow produces one calf at a time with a gestation of about 283 days. If you are looking at the productivity of these two animals, you will able to have more goats in a very short time compared to the cows.
If you have no experience when it comes to milking animals, you may be more comfortable with a goat because the size of goats is not as intimidating as that of cows. If the goat is in a foul mood, there is little chance of it trampling on you. Cows can actually do you a lot of harm especially if they are not well secured.
Goats have the tendency of getting close to their keepers. They behave just as dogs do when they hear the voice of someone they have gotten close to. They are very playful when in the company of their minders.
Cows are not quite interested in humans as long as they are well fed and kept. You will rarely see cows show excitement when they see you unless of course, they are looking forward to getting food or water. Cows are not as sociable as the goats.
Production of milk:
Cows need to be milked at specific times of the day. Most farmers do it in the morning and evening. This way the cow is given enough time to produce enough milk as they feed during the day. Some breeds of dairy cows produce as much as 20 liters or more of milk a day. Dairy goats, on the other hand, can be milked at any time as often as needed. However, the quantities of milk produced may not be as much as that of dairy cows.
Cow and goat farming may seem similar in many aspects but the demands of these animals are very different. It is important to understand this as you are making a decision on which of the two you would like to keep especially if you feel you can only keep one of them.
However, there are farmers who actually have enough space to keep both animals to achieve maximum profit. It really does not matter if you can only keep one of these, you will still be able to reap the fruits of your labor if you exercise caution in the construction of the facilities of keeping the animals so that they are kept in the best conditions that will ensure maximum productivity.