Feedback: Is brachiaria the ‘miracle fodder’? And where can you get best goats?

IS BRACHIARIA THE ‘MIRACLE FODDER’?

I want to start dairy farming in Kinangop, Nyandarua County, on a 10-acre piece of land. I am looking for advice on the types of cattle fodder that will do well in Kinangop apart from oats which generally grow rapidly.

I have learned of a ‘miracle fodder’ as they put it, brachiaria grass. Can this fodder grow in Kinangop and which type of Napier grass to plant and where to get it. Kindly recommend any type of fodder suitable to dairy cattle that will do well in Kinangop.

Peter muriithi

In dairy business, fodder production at farm level is crucial for producing milk at minimal cost per litre.

In deed Nyandarua County is one of the ‘milk bucket’ of our country due to the climate that is favourable in some parts, so you can maximise this opportunity.

I have seen farmers in your county buy hay from Naivasha but with good organisation, you can grow forages for your own stock and probably sell if in surplus, translating to better land usage.

Among the forages you can plant are Napier, Bracharia, Boma Rhodes grasses, Maize fodder and other legume trees. Narrowing down to Brachiaria, the grass is not only hardy, nutritious and easy to digest, it has crude protein content of more than 15 per cent plus other minerals which are necessary in milk production.

Napier on the other hand is not revered by many because of relatively lower milk production associated to it.

However, Karlo developed the new Giant Napier grass variety with a higher protein content and yields up to 100 tonnnes per acre in a year.

Get in touch with Kalro Katumani for more details.

Felix Akatch Opinya, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

****

SEARCH FOR GOAT KIDS MY MAIN CHALLENGE

I have been looking for two young kids (male and female) of the Boer goat. Kindly advice if I can get one within Nairobi and how much can they cost.

I need to improve my local East African breed with a Boer goat to better meat quality. Also advice on that.

Farmer

Raising goats for commercial meat production is a great approach to business as consumer tastes and preferences change.

Boer is one of the goats that do well for meat production and can be used to upgrade the Small East African breed.

They are mainly owned by individual farmers while some import though this might not be the best option considering the logistics involved.

fdbkimg02 Feedback: Is brachiaria the ‘miracle fodder’? And where can you get best goats?

A goats farmer attends to her kids. Raising goats for commercial meat production is a great approach to business as consumer tastes and preferences change. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Locally, government institutions such as Karlo Naivasha and Egerton University also have this breed as well as ranches like in Laikipia or Naivasha Sheep and Goats Station.

Felix Akatch Opinya, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

****

GIVING ANIMALS LAUNDRY WATER

Is it advisable to give water that has been used for washing clothes to animals and if not, what are the effects?
Alphayo

Water is essential for life and it accounts for a bigger percentage of animal body weight. For maintenance, production and reproduction purposes, good quality water is needed to ensure optimal metabolic activities are undertaken within the animal for better performance.

Laundry water contains detergents that could alter the pH within ruminants thereby limiting microbial activity. This in the long run would affect the overall performance of the animal.

Always strive to give good quality and clean water ad lib for maximum growth, maintenance, production and reproduction functions within animals.
Fredrick Agutu, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

****
PRODUCTION OF MORINGA

What is the production life of moringa tree and can it do well in dry areas?

James Murathe

Moringa tree takes 6-8 months to mature and has a productive life of 30-40 years. It is drought-resistant and, therefore, can do well in dry areas.

fdbkimg3 Feedback: Is brachiaria the ‘miracle fodder’? And where can you get best goats?

Two women pick moringa leaves in a farm. The tree takes 6-8 months to mature and has a productive life of 30-40 years. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

****
SEEKING CANOLA SEEDS

I am looking for canola seeds, where can I get them?
Hamza

For best canola seeds, contact Kalro Njoro on 0723466237.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

****

ASPARAGUS SEEDS

Kindly advise on where I can get asparagus seeds/crowns for planting.
Muhoya

You can get the seeds from East Africa Seed Company Limited. Contact them via [email protected]

fdbkimg4 Feedback: Is brachiaria the ‘miracle fodder’? And where can you get best goats?

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced plants as it is low in fats, cholesterol, and sodium and contains vitamin A, also known as retinol because it produces pigments in the retina and vitamin E which means it has strong antioxidant properties. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

****

I NEED STEVIA CUTTINGS FOR PLANTING

I would wish to get stevia cuttings from established farmers for propagation purposes. I will appreciate if you can provide me with a suitable contact.

S. M. Kamanu

Please contact 0715639223 for more information.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

****

Please Note: This chemical is banned
Reference is made to an article appearing in Seeds of Gold on May 27 titled “Practices that keep grains safe from pests” under pest control.

On the second paragraph it mentions chemicals used as grain protectants one of them being lindane. This product was banned in 2011 as a seed dresser (refer Pest Products Control Board list of registered chemicals 2017).

The statement that these are only used for treatment of seeds only is wrong. The products listed in the article plus a few others are used to protect stored grain both on farm and in central storage against insect attack.

Lastly it was important to mention that fumigants are a restricted class of pesticides and can only be applied by skilled/trained operators due to their inherent poisonous nature in gaseous form.

They are not only lethal to insects but humans as well and if inhaled by the latter causes immediate death.

Thanks.

Kimondo Mutambuki, Kalro

Our pool of experts from Egerton University will respond to your questions with proper advice.

Farmers benefit from Sh476m fish production project

Australia foils ‘terror plot’ to bring down airplane