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Goat Breeding in the Miranda State

Joselyn Moreno interviewing Producer Armando Lozano.

caprine producer Pedro Maneiro, Miranda State, Venezuela

Sembrando un País 1st Season, Joselyn Moreno interviewing Producer Pedro Maneiro.

Joselyn Moreno interviewing goat producer
chivo pimp or stallion in corral

Sembrando un País 1st Season. Mi Añoranza Farm. Caucagua, Miranda State.

goat producer milking goat

Milking Canarian half blood goat in  Rivereña Farm. Miranda State.

Corral in Finca Mi Añoranza, Miranda State.

corral with goats
goat cattle in the Paraguaná Peninsula, Falcón State

Goat cattle in the Paraguaná Peninsula, Falcón State.

It is well known that in Venezuela the states producing goat milk and goat meat par excellence are Lara and Falcón, because to a large extent the agricultural areas of these Venezuelan states are comprised of semi-arid places, where goats have no problem some to adapt and prosper.


However, other areas of Venezuela have the possibility of raising this type of livestock, because if they adapt well in places where water and grazing are scarce, a better result can be achieved in areas with greater humidity and availability of forage, such as occurs in the case of the Barlovento Region, Miranda State.


In Chapter 39: Goat Cattle of the 1st Season of "Sembrando un País" we visited two production units located in the mentioned region. One of these units is the Mi Añoranza Farm, located in Caucagua.


This farm has a well established corral area that has a roof, concrete floor with bed for goats, metal grills, feeders and drinking fountains. In the different corrals the kids are located, the goats that are in milk production and the stallions, it is necessary to mention that to separate the goats and goats in different corrals according to their condition, it is convenient to avoid the fights as well as to avoid the mounts between parents and daughters, or between children and mothers, which is usually harmful to the genetics of the herd.

Producer Pedro Maneiro doing milking. Rivereña Farm, State Miranda.

goat milking in Sotillo, Brión Municipality, Miranda State
goat with breeding Saanen breed

Goat breed Saanen with breeding. Rivereña farm. Sotillo, Miranda State.

goat udders in corral

In firts plane Udders of Canarian half blood goats, in the background goats of breed Saanen. Rivereña Farm.

It is important to point out that this way, there are very adequate spaces for raising goats, as in the case of this farm, goats are animals that need to go out to graze. At this point we find one of the most outstanding advantages presented by goats compared to other cattle, it is the ease with which they can adapt to eat almost any type of grass or vegetation.


In places like Lara or Falcón, these animals can eat plants such as the Mouse Tail (Gliricidia sepium), the Cují or the Cardón de Lefaria, which would hardly accept other types of cattle. In Miranda State there is a great diversity of pastures and plants that goats can use, and there is also a strong need to produce food since Miranda is the second State of Venezuela with the largest population.

On the other hand it is noteworthy that goat milk has a lower percentage of lactose than cow's milk, and some people who are lactose intolerant can consume it without problems. Another advantage of goat's milk is that it is more soluble for the human body than cow's milk, although goat's milk contains more fat, this also allows it to yield more at the time of making the cheese. Point that is very important to take into account in a State that needs to increase the amount of food it produces to feed a large number of inhabitants.


The second goat production unit that we visited in Miranda is Rivereña Farm, located in the Sotillo sector of the Brión Municipality. There we were welcomed by Pedro Maneiro, a Caprino Producer with great knowledge and Entrepreneur from Miranda State.


One of the advantages that Pedro shows us in this farm is that goat breeds such as Canarian half Blood and Saanen are very tame when it comes to milking. It is true that the  goats of first calving can be a bit rebels, but if they are treated with love, they are spoken in a gentle tone while the milking and they are caressed, after 3 or 4 days they get used to this work.


In fact, Pedro's method works so well that in this farm the goats are milked at the back without the producers running the risk of being kicked by the goat. The milk obtained with milking is strained twice and then it is introduced to a container, to store it at -23 ° C.


A goat can produce an average of 1 to 1.5 liters and production is daily, the gestation of the goat lasts 150 days and can give birth to a maximum of 2 to 3 young.

Another reason why it is important to separate goats in corrals is weaning, at Finca Rivereña the goats that will be used for breeding and milk production are weaned at 3 months of age, while the males that will not be used as stallions will be Wean approximately 1 week of age. Goats that are weaned are placed in separate corrals to separate them from the mother. Equally it is convenient the separation by corals of the males and females in the units of goat production, to control the reproduction and to be able to calculate more accurately the time in which the births will take place.


Previously we mentioned two goat breeds: the Canarian half blood breed and Saanen breed. With regard to the first one, it should be noted that this breed has high milk production and a very globose udder, but after several births it is common for the breasts of this breed to touch the ground, which increases the risk of mastitis.

Para ayudar a evitar los riesgos de mastitis a los que están expuestas las cabras mestizas canarias, el Productor Pedro Manerio introdujo cabras de raza saanen en el rebaño, con la intención de cruzar estas dos razas y obtener cabras con las ubres un poco menos globosas y más recogidas, que a su vez sean de alta producción lechera.


Con respecto a los corrales que encontramos en la Finca Rivereña, la estructura consta de techo, rejas de madera y piso de tierra con cama de acerrín y viruta de pino. Es importante tomar en cuenta que esta cama se debe limpiar de ser posible diariamente, al igual que si el corral es afectado por inundaciones se deben mover los caprinos a otro lugar seco, pues tanto los encharcamientos como la humedad en exceso en la cama aumentan el riesgo de mastitis en las cabras, e igualmente pueden afectar gravemente las pezuñas de las mismas.

To avoid the problems of flooding or ponding of corrals in flat areas and very susceptible to it, as in much of the Barlovento Region, it is recommended to fill and raise the land where the pens will be established, which can mean an investment difficult for many producers. Mentioning also that Barlovento has zones composed of hills on which the corrals of goat production units could be established without risk of flooding.


With regard to the construction of corrals, goats can have greater advantages because they are less bulky animals than bovine or buffalo. For adult goats in production in a region of warm and humid climate such as Barlovento, a proportion of 2.5 to 3 m2 per animal can be taken, in the case of young animals up to 3 months of age, a proportion of 2 m2 can be taken for every 3 youngs, and in the case of the males for being bigger animals it is necessary to take a proportion of 5 m2 for each male goat.


This point is very important to take into account because in smaller space can be located more goats in comparison to cows or buffalo, and is less investment in corrals and structure that should make the producer.


Finally we would like to invite more entrepreneurs to join the breeding of this type of livestock and to introduce it in areas where it can adapt with great success, such as in the Barlovento Region, Miranda State. Venezuela needs more producers who can innovate and diversify food production in all regions of our country.


We have a very extensive territory that gives us the possibility of producing a wide variety of agricultural and livestock products and to achieve sustainable growth in these areas, which ultimately constitutes welfare for Venezuela, growth opportunities for committed producers, y entrepreneurs, and equally higher quality employment for all people who live in different regions of the country.