Father Sez

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Posts Tagged ‘goat rearing’

Progress Update – My goat farm

Sunday, May 11th, 2008


Our first goat shed 

I have not updated all of you on the progress of our goat farm. 

Upon completion of the sheds and other ancillary buildings, we were scheduled to have our “kenduri” in early April. My mother’s untimely demise put paid to this plan and now a new date has been scheduled for the 22 June 08. 

Development Progress 

The first goat shed has been completed and is ready to receive the first goats. We have built a small open shed where the Napier grass would be shred before being fed to the goats.  

We are also growing other fodder trees, namely, Petai Belalang and Geti all around the farm. These trees have just been planted after being incubated in our house in poly bags for the last month. It’ll be about another 6 months or so before they’ll be reasonably well grown. 

The construction of the farm house to accommodate the workers is underway now. This house should be completed by the end of the next two weeks.  A chicken coop for about 100 free range hens is also under construction. This should also be completed at about the same time as the farm house. 

Electricity supply is in.  

Water supply will be from 2 wells. This week the water pump will be fitted and the water reticulation checked out for pressure and leakages. These two wells will be the source for the goats’ drinking water, cleaning of the sheds (another 3 sheds will be built over the next 6 months), watering the garden and for the workers sanitary needs.  

Identifying the Workers  

This has also been completed. The two young men are now back in their hometown in Indonesia and sorting out their travel papers. My wife is coordinating with the Malaysian Immigration Department for the necessary work permit papers. This may be a little convoluted process, but I think this should be sorted out before the end of this month.

Then there is the Indonesian side to sort out.  Hopefully the boys will be in by early July.  

Buying the first batch of goats 

The first batch will be 40 goats, 2 male and the rest female. These goats will be bought locally and only after the workers are in. In the meantime, Zai (my wife’s cousin and our partner in this project is identifying local sources. 

So far the plan seems to be on track. 

The critical path is the arrival of the workers at the farm. There are still a number of   things that have to be sorted out.  The biggest of which would be the waste disposal method. 250 goats can produce almost 10 tonnes of waste and we intend to dry the waste, powder them and then pack them for sale as organic fertiliser.  

I am going to enjoy this!    

The goat farm is coming up nicely

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

My wife and I dropped by the farm earlier today.

Whilst the goat shed is almost completed, there are still a number of items to be done. The fencing, the planting of geti and petai belalang trees, the store room, water tanks, electricity connections and general cleaning works should round it up.

The Napier grass will be planted next week and should be ready for harvest once the first intake of goats arrive.

The geti and petai belalang trees are in a nursery now and will be transplanted all around  the farm where bunds have been built. The leaves provide a rich source of food the goats love. (I could not find any web references for the geti trees. Both are local generic names).

So far the target date of 5th April 08 for the thanksgiving / opening “kenduri” appears to be on track.

The development budget for the farm has been exceeded. I am not that concerned, as none of the people involved, Zai, my wife or myself have ever set up a farm in our lives. I always had this contingency in mind from day one.

Operating expenses have been budgeted at a base of 1000 per month. Our cash breakeven would be selling about 5- 6 goats per month, something that we feel can be reasonably easily done.

In my mind, more important than this financial target are the operating targets. Like setting up and adhering to clear cut and understood systems for bringing in the goats, feeding them, tending them when sick, tending to pregnant goats and deliveries, looking after the young, maintaining goat records per goat and maintaining farm daily records.

And of course, marketing, logistics and sales.

I am using my Ghana experience as a benchmark. Despite all our initial studies, we still got taken in by a number of small issues that most people would overlook in doing feasibility studies. Like all payments to be in cash and not by cheques. Like payment for house rental one year in advance. As our ground knowledge increased, so did our ability to negotiate better and much more reasonable terms.

The rest of the year from 5th April 08 shall be dedicated to honing our skills in these activities.

We are intending to bring in only 20 - 30 females and 2 males to start with, whilst our learning process is going on.

To ramp up capacity once we are comfortable should be relatively easy to do. 

The side or non monetary benefit of the farm is that all, or rather, most children like visiting farms and playing with young animals. Today, our son, Abang came with us for the visit and we are sure the younger two girls will also join us from time to time.  At least this takes away their attention from video games and such and allow them additional outdoor activities.

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