By JOHN MUCHIBI
I am in poultry business and I intend to commence feed milling for my use and for sale. I need your help on formulation of poultry and dairy feeds. Mohamed Salim, Meru
There are experts in feed formulation, however, it is not clear whether you want someone to do for you the production or someone to work for you at your production facility. Please get in touch with me directly so that I may help.
Miscarriages in goats
I come from Mutitu in Kitui County and I am quite disturbed by regular miscarriage of goats in the region. The months of January and February are usually bad for goats. As I write, already my five goats have miscarried in a span of five days.
There are several causes of abortion in goats. It could be diseases (and there are several that cause abortion), nutritional causes or due to deficiencies.
Given that you state that it is a problem in your entire region, please seek the services of your local veterinarians who would, among others, collect samples from the aborted foetus for laboratory analysis and later advice on the best treatment based on lab results.
In the meantime, identify animals that have aborted and isolate them from the rest of the herd. Bury or burn aborted materials to avoid spread of infections to other goats. Remove all beddings from the abortion area, disinfect and leave vacant for as long as possible. Keep personal safety in mind, always wearing protective clothing and washing your hands thoroughly after handling animals or equipment as some of the diseases are transmitted to humans.
Other prevention measures include not allowing the animals to drink stagnant water; preventing feed contamination; employing strict sanitation measures; keeping a closed herd/flock or only purchasing from known clean sources. Keep new animals separately until after giving birth and secure any stored forage and grain, if any, from contamination by cats faeces (to prevent diseases like toxoplasma which also cause abortion).
Further, minimise stress to the animals by providing adequate nutrition, feeder space and room. Keep bred does and ewe lambs separately from mature does and sheep and do not mix bedding between kidding pens and other animal holding pens.
Diarrhoea in goat kids
My goat kid has persistent diarrhoea. What can I give them?
Diarrhoea in goat kids is known as scouring. It is one of the two main causes of mortalities, the other being pneumonia. Scouring may be caused by infectious agents finding their way into the kids through milk and at times by feeding too much milk at once. If left untreated, the kids become dehydrated leading to organ damage and death. Appropriate antibiotics and supportive therapies such as Electrosol Oral through their drinking water help.
Poor animal feeds
I have been giving dairy feeds from a certain local company to my two cows but they don’t realise any physical growth or change in milk production. Please advise on quality feeds, ratio of feeds to body size and other supplements which can bring a positive change to my cows. Currently, I get 8-12kg of milk per day per cow.
Remember that providing dairy meal to an otherwise poorly fed dairy cow will not increase milk production. It could also be possible that you have access to sub-standard dairy meals, in which case you could change and buy from one of the reputable feed millers.
Feedback: Dr Muchibi is a vet surgeon and the animal health manager at Elgon Kenya. Send your questions on livestock to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Call him on 0733715102.