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Goats and Sheep

Goats and sheep are sometimes known as the poor man's cow because of their ability to provide sufficient meat, milk, skins and fibre for the farmer’s own use, with perhaps a little surplus left for sale. There are many reasons why these animals are more convenient than cattle for the smallholder:

  • They are cheaper to buy (and replace) and easier to obtain than cattle
  • They reproduce at an early age, more frequently and have more young
  • They produce manageable amounts of meat, milk, skins and fibre for family consumption or sale
  • They have an ability to survive on low quality foods or in difficult conditions on relatively small amounts of food
  • They integrate well with both crops and other livestock production
  • Their small size makes them ideal for women and children to keep or assist with

The animals also provide a useful form of savings and a means of easy income. Where farmers have no means of access to banking facilities, goats and sheep provide the ideal form of investment which also avoids the risk of loss in unstable economies.

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