A bench mark survey was conducted to collect the base line information from the Pantja goat rearers regarding to various feeding management practices with special reference to Pantja goats under field condition of Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital districts of Tarai region of the Uttarakhand during a period of two year (April, 2015 to March, 2017). The results of present study revealed that maximum goat rearers (65.58%) adopted semi stall feeding system and grazing was done mostly on community land (95.97%). The dry fodder was provided by majority (65.12%) of the goat rearers in summer season followed by 45.43% in rainy and 33.33% in the winter seasons in the surveyed area. Majority of goat keepers (79.22%) fed concentrate to all goats. The maximum goat rearers (78.24 %) provided concentrate to the goats during morning time and 89.24% fed concentrate to the goat as such. Majority of goat keepers (88.68%) practised special feeding to the female goats post kidding. Only 10.85 and 39.38 per cent goatherds fed mineral mixture and common salt supplements, respectively to the goats regularly. It can be concluded from the study that the scientific feeding practices are generally not followed by most of the farmers. Creation of awareness regarding scientific feeding practices will help in improving the productivity of goats and income of the farmers.
Livestock sector plays an important role in the national economy and in the socio-economic development of the country. The contribution of livestock sector to the national economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product is 3.9 per cent at current prices (BAHFS, 2013). Goats have been an integral component of India’s livestock economy, hence development of goat production is considered to be a pathway for inclusive agricultural growth as out of 138 million operational holdings, the small and marginal holdings (below 2.00 ha) together constituted 85% (GOI, 2014) and these holdings are the main custodian (> 75% of total goat population).There is significant growth in population of goats across the agro-climatic regions in India.
Feeding management is one of the most important area which needs an in depth probe because the whole gamut of goat rearing and their economic feasibility depends much upon the availability of feed and fodder and type of feed offered by the goat keepers to the goats. Given the genetic potential of the goats, its production depends mostly on the managerial practices, which exhibits high variation across agro-climates. Understanding the goat management practices followed by goat keepers is necessary to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the rearing systems and to formulate suitable intervention policies. Keeping in view, above a study was conducted to find out the existing feeding management practices followed by Pantja goatherds in Tarai region of Uttarakhand.
Materials and Methods
A bench mark survey was conducted to collect the base line information from the Pantja goat rearers regarding to various breeding management practices with special reference to Pantja goats under field condition of Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital districts of Tarai region of the Uttarakhand during a period of two year (April, 2015 to March, 2017). Multistage sampling method was adopted for the selection of respondents. Four clusters (Bhimtal, Tilpuri, Bara and Kunda) were selected from two districts (Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital). Total one hundred thirteen villages were surveyed on the basis of availability of Pantja goats. An individual farmer rearing Pantja goats formed the unit of a sample. A list of goat rearing families of the selected villages was prepared with the help of village Pradhan and Patvari and mostly all Pantja goat rearers were selected for survey from each village. Thus 645 selected respondents were interviewed and the desired information was collected. The data were collected by personal interview techniques through an interview schedule by administrating a developed questionnaire and also by direct observation in the farmer’s flocks. Before administering interview schedule to the sample subjects, specific objectives and the purpose of the survey was explicitly explained. The questions in the schedule were presented to them in their own dialect ensuring than they perceive the questions correctly. The existing management practices relating to feeding management were separately enlisted. Personal particulars of the respondents included name, category, age, village; Tehsil, religion, main occupation, education, number of family members, etc. were recorded. Feeding management is the most critical input in goat production. The following information was incorporated in the survey schedule pertaining to feeding practices regarding mode of feeding, grazing period, grazing site, green and dry fodder feeding, tree lopping, concentrate feeding and feeding of mineral mixture and common salt, etc. The responses to each of the question in the schedule were coded and tabulated respondent wise in a master sheet. The qualitative data were quantified accordingly and tabulated to draw meaningful inferences. Therefore, appropriate tables were prepared, keeping in view the specific objectives of the study. The collected data were subjected to basic statistical analysis as per Snedecor and Cochran (1994). Chi Square (χ2) was used to observe the effect of districts on different goat management practices.
p q (Oij− Eij)2
χ2 = ∑ ∑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ∼⋉, (p−1) (q−1)
i=o i=1 Eij
Where, statistic χ2 has (p−1) (q−1) d.f.; Eij is the expected frequency corresponding to i th, and jth cell; Oij is the observe frequency
Results and Discussion
The data related to existing feeding management practices followed by goat keepers are presented in Table 1.
Table 1: Feeding management practices followed by goat keepers district wise
|Particulars||District U. S. Nagar (N=372)||Nainital (N=273)||Overall (N=645)||c2 Value|
|Mode of feeding|
|a. Winter season|
|< 4 hrs||166(44.95)||133(48.73)||299(46.36)||1.104|
|b. Summer season|
|< 4 hrs||26(6.99)||17(6.23)||43(6.67)||0.769|
|c. Rainy season|
|< 4 hrs||66(17.74)||41(15.01)||107(16.59)||1.08|
|Dry fodder fed during|
|a. Winter season|
|b. Summer season|
|c. Rainy season|
|Mode of dry fodder feeding|
|Green fodder fed during|
|a. Winter season|
|b. Summer season|
|c. Rainy season|
|Mode of green fodder feeding|
|Concentrate feeding to goats|
|If yes then fed to|
|Time of concentrate feeding|
|Mode of concentrate feeding|
|Source of concentrate|
|Special feeding- post kidding|
|Feeding of mineral mixture|
|Feeding of common salt|
Figure in parenthesis indicate percentage and *Significant (P<0.05), **Significant (P<0.01)
The results of present study revealed that maximum goat rearers (65.58%) adopted semi stall feeding system followed by those who adopted complete grazing (32.56%) and stall feeding system (1.86%). Present findings are in agreement with those reported by Gurjar et al. (2009), Sabapara (2010) Kumar (2011) Jana et al. (2014), Singh et al. (2014) and Sorathiya et al. (2016). Majority of the goat keepers (80.46%) grazed the goats on an average 5-8 hrs followed by those who grazed the animals for more than 8 hrs (12.87%) and those who grazed the goats for less than 5 hrs during summer season (6.67%). The corresponding values of winter and rainy season were 48.84, 4.81 and 46.36 and 65.89, 17.52 and 16.59 per cent, respectively. The grazing was done mostly on community land (95.97%). On the other hand, remaining 4.03 per cent goat rearers used their own land for grazing of the goats. Similar findings were also reported by Gokhale et al. (2002), Sabapara (2010), Kumar (2011), Jana et al. (2014) and Singh (2015).in their study area. The dry fodder was provided by majority (65.12%) of the goat rearers in summer season followed by 45.43% in rainy and 33.33% in the winter seasons in the surveyed area. More or less similar findings were also reported by Pathodiya (2003), Sharma (2005), Kumar (2011) and Jana et al. (2014). Majority of goat rearers (38.57%) used chaffed dry fodder followed by 34.05% goat keepers who used both (chaffed and unchaffed) and 27.38% using unchaffed dry fodder to feed the goats. Majority (66.82 %) of goat rearers provided green fodder to the goats in winter season followed by 64.96% and 62.79% of farmers who provided green fodder to the goats in summer and rainy seasons, respectively. Majority of goat rearers (40.92 %) used chaffed and unchaffed fodder (both) to feed the goats followed by 39.77% who fed the fodder unchaffed and 19.31% who fed chaffed green fodder to the goats. The information collected on tree lopping for feeding the goats revealed that maximum (at 80.00 per cent) goat rearers followed this practice while 20.00 per cent of the surveyed population did not practice lopping of trees. The maximum proportion of respondents who practiced lopping of trees belonged to Nainital district. Majority of goat owners (63.41%) fed concentrate to the goats. Majority of goat keepers (79.22%) fed concentrate to all goats followed by 16.62% who fed concentrate only to lactating goats whereas 41.6% fed concentrate to the goat during breeding. These findings are in agreement with the results obtained by Gurjar et al. (2009), Kumar (2011), Singh et al. (2014), Sabapara and Kharadi (2015) and Sorathiya et al. (2016). The maximum goat rearers (78.24 %) provided concentrate to the goats during morning time followed by those offering it during evening (21.76 per cent). Majority of goat rearers (89.24%) fed concentrate to the goat as such followed by those (9.54%) who soaked the feed and then by those (1.22%) who also cooked the feed. Most (54.28%) of the respondent fed homemade concentrate mixture to the goats followed by those feeding a mixture of home prepared and readymade (33.01%) and then by those feeding readymade concentrate mixture purchased from market (6.25%). Present findings are in agreement with those reported by Gurjar et al. (2009) and Jana et al. (2014). The data related to special feeding post kidding were encouraging, because majority of goat keepers (88.68%) practised special feeding to the female goats post kidding but 11.32 per cent goat rearers did not adopt this practice. Energy rich jaggery, wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), paddy (Oriza sativa L.) and coconut (Cocos nucifera) mixed with ajuvayan (Trachyspermum ammi), Sowa (Anethum sowa) and Methi (Trigonella foenum-graecum) were fed to the goats to prevent stress and to provide sufficient energy for freshening and increasing milk production. This was a good practice adopted by goat keepers because just after kidding does require more energy to relieve stress. Present findings are an indication of successful communication by the technical agencies working in this area which has resulted in adoption of this practice by the farmers. Only 10.85 per cent goatherds fed mineral mixture supplements to the goats regularly. It might be due to the fact that the goat rearers were not aware about the benefits of mineral mixture feeding and unwillingness in its use due to additional cost of mineral mixture involved. Maximum goat rearers at 60.62 per cent did not use common salt feeding practice whereas, 39.38 per cent goat rearers were aware of feeding common salt with concentrate to the goats. The maximum (49.82%) proportion of respondents who practiced feeding of common salt belonged to Nainital district as compared to U.S. Nagar (31.72%). The reason behind this might have been that in Nainital district goiter in goats had a higher incidence due to deficiency of iodine, therefore extension functionaries had advised the goat keepers to feed iodized common salt to avoid this problem. The overall data revealed that average concentrate fed per goat was found to be 98.35± 4.26g/ day, it was maximum in Nainital district (101.87±5.46g) and minimum in U.S. Nagar district (94.84± 4.70g). The maximum proportion of goat rearers (43.26%) fed 100-200g concentrate per goat per day followed by 12.40% who fed less than 100g concentrate/day/goat, while few goat rearers (7.75%) fed more than 200g concentrate/day/goat. A good number of beneficiaries (36.59%) never used concentrate mixture (Table 2) to feed the goats. Present findings are in agreement with those reported by Gurjar et al. (2009), Kumar (2011), Singh et al. (2014a) and Singh (2015).
Table 2: Means and their SE (g) for quantity of concentrate fed to goats by goat keepers
feed /day (g)
|U.S.Nagar (N=372)||Nainital (N=273)|
|> 200||271.89±4.06||23||6.18||264.14±4.14||27||15.43||268.02± 2.93||50||7.75|
|Overall||94.84± 4.70||372||100||101.87±5.46||273||100||98.35± 4.26||645||100|
The association between district and feeding management practices followed by goat keepers’ viz., mode of feeding, grazing hours, feeding of dry and green fodder, mode of green fodder feeding, concentrate feeding, time and mode of concentrate feeding, provision of special feeding post kidding, feeding of mineral mixture and was found to be non-significant whereas, grazing site, mode of dry fodder feeding, tree lopping, source of concentrate, common salt feeding was significant.
Based on results of present study it was concluded that the goat keepers of the region were not fully aware about improved feeding management practices. It can be achieved by following improved husbandry practices, which will not only improve the production performance of the goats but also improve the socio-economic conditions of the goat rearers.
The authors are thankful to the Director Experiment, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand for encouragement and providing facilities for the study.