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Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:10

Beetroot Production Guide

✍CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS

Generally a winter crop

Optimum growing temperature: 12 - 19°C

Maximum growing temperature: 35°C

Soil temperatures for germination: > 7°C

 ✍SOIL REQUIREMENTS

The ideal pH for beetroot production is between 6.0 and 8.0. Beetroot prefer deep, friable, well drained, sandy loams to silt loams. The use of beds is preferable to lower the water table and ensure good drainage.

✍PRODUCT TYPES

Beetroot produces a globe shaped or cylindrical root. Varieties differ with speed to maturity, colour, disease resistance and adaptability.

✍LAND PREPARATION

As seed is sown directly, fields need to be prepared correctly and thoroughly. The soil must be well tilled, free of old plant material and have a good crumb structure. Good soil preparation can be achieved by ploughing, harrowing and levelling prior to sowing.

✍PLANTING PERIODS

Beetroot is generally a widely adaptable crop that can be grown under most conditions and it can be planted all year round but as a rule of thumb areas where there could be frost conditions around planting time or the possibility of scorching from excessive heat should be avoided.

✍SOWING

The seed is generally large with a corky exterior. It is a seed cluster or glomerule containing 2 - 6 seeds. One seed (cluster) can therefore give rise to more than one seedling. This seed is known as multi-germ seed. The corky exterior provides both a physical barrier to germination and contains aphenolic compound which inhibits germination. Germination usually takes between 10 to 24 days.

✍PLANT POPULATION

For early harvest and or larger roots a planting density of between 250 000 and 350 000 plants per Hectare is ideal. For fresh market or standard beet planting, populations usually number from between 350 000 to 500 000 per hectare. For the mini beet plant population of 1.0 to 1.2 million can be used.

✍PLANT SPACING

Due to the fact that most seed is multi-germ, the use of precision seeders is considered unnecessary. However recent studies have shown that even with precision planters population stands of beet appear more uniform in shape compared with conventional row plantings. Seed is usually sown in slit trenches 2cm deep. Planting in rows is to facilitate the mechanical removal of weeds without disturbing the beet crop.

In-row spacing is between 5 and 10cm depending on the size requirement needed at harvest and between row spacing ranges from 20 – 45cm.

✍PLANTING DEPTH

Beet seed can be planted between 1.0 and 2.5 cm depending on variety. Early sowings can be planted shallower to optimise the emergence rate for early maturing beet.

✍FERTILIZATION GUIDELINE

It is important not to give too few or too many plant nutrients, therefore the soil must first be analysed so that the plants will not be burned, or show poor growth.

👉NITROGEN

On sandy soils, apply between 110 kg - 200 kg N/ha. Broadcast 50% of the N should be applied prior planting and incorporated. The remainder of the nitrogen should be applied as a side-dressing 10, 20, 30 and 40 days after sowing. On heavy soils, apply between 40 kg 60kg N/ha.

👉PHOSPHORUS

No limit is normally set for the safe rate at which phosphates may be applied, however, a rate of 50 -100kg P/ha will cover any possible shortfall.

👉POTASSIUM

Potassium fertilizer should be added based on a reliable soil test as it can cause plant injury if applied at an incorrect rate. Beetroot in general require a total of 150kg K/ha applied over an 8 week period.

👉BORON

Boron deficiency shows up as a breakdown and corky, dark discolouration of internal and external tissues. Foliar sprays have generally given faster and more effective results. Spray when the young plants are about 8 cm high.

✍IRRIGATION REQUIREMENTS

As with most vegetable crops it is very important to keep the soil moist until the plants emerge. In the case of very hot weather, a layer of mulch can be used to prevent the soil drying out too rapidly. Beetroot has shallow roots, with an effective depth of 300mm, and it is important to water the plants regularly and frequently. As a guideline 300-350 mm of water is required throughout the growing cycle, an average of 4mm per day. This is dependent on the season, the varieties water requirements and soil type.

✍WEED CONTROL

Weeds compete with beetroot for space, light, water and nutritional resources in the soil, particularly during the early part of the season. They can reduce yield if left unchecked. Regular cultivating prevents weeds competing with beetroot. Applications of weed-killers (herbicides) provide control in larger-scale and commercial plantings. Perennial weeds should be eliminated prior to planting beets.

✍HARVESTING

Beetroot is normally ready for harvest between 75 and 90 days in summer and 100 and 120 days in winter. Due to the variable nature of beetroot and uneven spacing from multi-germ seed, harvesting generally occurs in stages. The first harvest is a thinning out process where beetroot sized between 3.0 and 4.0 cms in diameter. The majority of the beetroot can be harvested when it attains a width of 7.5cm. This can be done manually or mechanically using modified potato harvesters.

The harvested yield will vary significantly as a result of climate, fertilization, disease infestation and variety planted, but average yields range between 15 and 25 tons per hectare. Some growers can achieve yields of 40 - 45 tons.

✍GRADING AND MARKETING

There are 3 distinct market segments in general for beetroot. The largest is the pre-pack fresh market segment. Here beetroot is harvested either mechanically or by hand, the tops are then removed, the roots washed, graded and packed into plastic bags. Packing sizes include a 10 x 1kg pre-packed pocket, 10kg, 5kg and a 3kg pocket.

The other large segment is the bunching market where beet, usually harvested by hand to ensure tops do not get damaged, is sold as a bunch of 4 -5 roots with the tops still attached. The quality of the tops is indicative of the freshness of the roots.

The final market segment is the specialised, processing market. The quality standards set for this market segment are very stringent. Colour and fibre/sugar content are very important to processors. Smaller, softer beetroots are washed, blanched and canned/bottled whole, whilst the larger roots are suited to slicing and dicing as they tend to be more fibrous and less tender as a result of their age.

✍POSTHARVEST

Beetroot quality indices are based on root shape, root size, uniform and intensive colour (with minimum zoning), firmness, smoothness, cleanness, trimming of rootlets and freedom from defects. Beetroot can be stored quite successfully under certain conditions. Prior to storage, beets should be topped and sorted to remove all diseased or mechanically damaged roots. 

Large roots store better than smaller ones, as they shrivel relatively slower.

✍STORAGE

Bunched beets should be pre-cooled to below 4°C within 4 6 hours after harvest. They can be kept for around 10 14 days at 98% relative humidity (R.H.)

Mature beetroot should be pre-cooled within 24 hours of harvest to below 5 °C. These should be topped and may be stored at 1 2 °C, at 98% R.H. for 4 6 months. Freezing injury occurs from -0.5 °C.

STARKE AYRES

Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:07

DOUBLE-YORK EGGS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!

👉Double yolks are fairly uncommon, around one in one thousand eggs will be a double yolk. Triple yolks are exceedingly rare, but not unknown!

👉What happens is that a yolk is released and then another is released within a couple of hours. These two yolks get encased in one shell. Needless to say, this is a large egg which can cause problems like egg binding. 

👉You can get a double-yolk when the ovary is too 'enthusiastic'. The ovary produces one yolk, and instead of waiting for the normal period of one day, it quickly produces another yolk. The two yolks then move together through the rest of the process, and get laid as a single egg—with two yolks inside.

👉The issue can be hereditary, but it is most common in production pullets just coming into lay and occasionally older layers coming to the end of their cycle.

👉The younger pullets coming into lay are suffering from hormone change and imbalance which can cause the double yolk phenomenon. Once they have settled into their routine laying pattern, double yolks should disappear and be replaced by regular eggs.

👉They are considered ‘imperfections’ in the Egg Production Industry.

👉If you were wondering is it possible to hatch out a double yolk egg, the answer is usually not, although it has happened. If they do hatch, one chick usually succumbs since the amount of oxygen inside the shell is limited and the stronger chick will survive.

👉There are very rare instances of both chicks hatching.

👉Another way to prevent early double yolks from young hens is to “not push the issue.” Meaning, don’t do anything to rush them into laying eggs, like adding a ceramic egg, or overfeeding thinking you are promoting new egg production.

Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:05

CHARACTERISTICS OF A BOSCHVELD CHICKEN

CHARACTERISTICS OF A BOSCHVELD CHICKEN
👉 It was bred from crosses between Venda, Ovambo and Matabele chickens and is recognized as a synthetic indigenous chicken breed.
👉The chickens survive on what nature can provide, with a small amount of maintenance to boost production.
👉They withstand Africa’s climatic conditions and produce well in free-range conditions.
👉They have inbred hardiness, to help them withstand poultry diseases.
👉Cocks are strong, aggressive and have noble conformation. Hens are very fertile with strong, healthy offspring that grow well.
👉Sexual maturity: 136 days
👉Egg production starts at 24 weeks.
👉Egg production per hen/week 4 eggs.
👉Average egg weight: 53.4g
👉No expensive housing is needed to succeed in a poultry operation.
👉Cocks are ready for slaughter at 12 weeks old, depending on nutritional levels.
👉The meat has a good flavour
Thursday, 13 May 2021 09:03

Garlic Production Guide

Garlic is grown as a multipurpose crop. It is commonly used as a flavouring additive in meaty relishes, sauces, soups and also as a medical remedy to treat flu, blood pressure. Garlic is not very popular in open vegetable markets but can be found in most reputable supermarkets. This guideline informs existing and potential growers of how best to grow garlic.

Cultivars

✍There are two types of garlic grown in Southern Africa, hard neck and soft neck. Hard neck varieties (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon) bolt during early summer producing a tall, flower stalk. Bulbils, which are small aerial cloves, are produced at the tip of scapes in place of a true flower or scape.  There is considerable variability in the size and number of bulbils produced by hard neck garlic varieties. Bulbils may be used as planting stock, but require 2 or more years of growth to develop into marketable bulbs. Soft neck varieties (A. sativum var sativum) do not produce a scape. 

✍Hard neck varieties are more winter-hardy, and produce larger cloves but have a shorter storage life than soft neck varieties.

Climatic requirements

✍Garlic thrives well under fairly cool to warm temperature conditions. The most ideal growth temperature for garlic is 13 to 24 °C. The plants are also influenced by day length but to a lesser extent than temperature. Long days and high temperatures during the growing season encourage bulb formation. Early cultivars are more likely to react to changes in temperature than late cultivars.

✍Garlic is one crop which requires relatively high levels of soil moisture throughout the growing period but over watering must be avoided. Any periods of dry soil conditions, especially during bulbing will result in yield reductions. In areas that have variable  rainfall, it is advisable to irrigate the crop.

Land preparation

✍Early land preparation should be done to avoid perennial weeds. Garlic is moderately tolerant of acidity and will grow in pH ranges from 5.5 to 6.8, the upper end of this range being preferable. 

Planting

✍The recommended planting period is late summer, between February and May in Zimbabwe. At this time of the year, temperatures are not excessively high and soil moisture is still fairly high. Spacing between rows will depend on the method of planting and available equipment for cultivation. Single or multiple rows of plants are commonly used.

 ✍However, the general recommendation for spacing is 8 to 15 cm between plants and 30 to 40 cm between rows. The cloves are planted to a depth of about 50 mm on raised beds or on the flat.

Fertilisation

✍Garlic has relatively low nitrogen requirements compared with many vegetable crops. However, phosphorous and potassium are required in large quantities and, thus, should be generously applied. For seedbeds, apply Windmill’s basal fertiliser Compound S (7:21:7 9S  0.04B) at the rate of 45 g/m2. After 2 to 3 weeks of emergence, apply Ammonium Nitrate (34.5% N) as top dressing at the rate of 35 g/m2.

✍For lands, apply Windmill’s basal fertiliser of Compound C (5:15:12 11S.01B) fertiliser at the rate of 600 kg/ha. Apply Ammonium Nitrate (34.5% N) at the rate of 100 kg/ha after 4 to 6 weeks after transplanting. 

Irrigation

✍Garlic can be successfully grown using furrow, sprinkler, or drip irrigation. Garlic has a relatively shallow root system and it is, therefore, sensitive to moisture stress throughout the growing season. The quantity of water that should be applied depends on the weather and the soil conditions. 

✍Furthermore, there will be increased water demand during hot, dry weather conditions. Where the conditions like this prevail, mulching is recommended to reduce the rate of moisture loss from the soil surface. The frequency and the rate of irrigation can also be determined by using the moisture determining devices such as neutron probe around the field.

 ✍The preferred time of irrigation is morning to mid-afternoon, thus, allowing sufficient time for the plant foliage to dry before nightfall. As garlic matures, irrigation should cease. This increases harvesting ease and reduces potential deterioration and staining of exterior bulb sheath leaves.

Weed control

✍The following herbicides are recommended for weed control in garlic: Ronstar Flo and Oxyfluorfen 240 EC. These are recommended for pre-emergent control of broadleaf weeds and some annual grasses.

Harvesting

✍Garlic is ready for harvesting when most of the foliage has turned brown. Timing the harvest correctly is of critical importance. If bulbs are picked too early, they will not have achieved full size. If left too late, they will be over-sized, split, and may  become woody. “Wet” garlic (freshly harvested, without being dried off) is something of a speciality product. It has a milder flavour than dry garlic and can command a higher price if there is access to a discerning market.

Storage

Garlic which is not being sold “wet” needs to be dried down prior to storing. Careful drying and curing prior to storage are crucial to prevent losses. For small quantities, this can be done in any warm, dry place. Large scale production units require special facilities for crop drying and curing. The optimum temperature for initial drying is 28oC until the skins are dry. A further period of curing is then required (25 oC for up to two weeks). 

✍Once cured, the bulbs can be stored through winter in a cool (>5oC) dry place for up to three months. Longer-term storage requires refrigeration.

Thursday, 13 May 2021 08:49

Ways to motivate your farm employees

Motivating farm employees is not about the cash but more of the kind.

👨‍🌾  Show Them What To Do:

How often do you stay with your farm workers on the field and what is your intention for doing so? Most of the farm owners visit their workers on the field to find faults on their assigned task. This is not good enough.

You need to create time to stay with your farm employees on the field, not because you want to supervise or to hunt their flaws but because you want them to see the spirit of workmanship in you. They would love it, it would boost their morale and in turn, increase their efficiency.

👩‍🌾  Give Incentives:

How often do you visit your farm employee family? The incentive does not necessary means money, although it is part of it. Give incentives in cash and kind. Pay courtesy visits to your employee’s homes, relate with their family members, ask about the academic pursuits of their wards, offer a piece of advice and pray with them before living. The positive effects of this emotional incentive are unfathomable.

👨‍🌾  Don’t be a Bossy Boss:

You and I know what it takes to nurse a business right from the mind to its materialization, it is indeed a hard nut you’ve cracked. But remember, it is no longer your business, you have called more hands, in form of employment, to help you materialize your dream. The truth is your employees never wanted you, you called for them and they responded you, hence, you have to respect their courage and sacrifice.

Truly you own the business but you earn from their sweat, effort, sacrifice and not your business in the real sense. They are the soul of your business. I hope you know the importance of the soul in your body. Always put yourself in their shoes in any decision you want to make; make their convenience your priority and watch how your business would flourish.

👩‍🌾  Be open when making a decision:

At some points in your farm business, you make decisions in accordance with the production function or market information. Make this open. Make suggestions and decide on the next action based on individual contribution. This practice is always absent in a farm system.

👨‍🌾  Mind your expression:

You all know how boisterous we feel having a large farm. In a farm business, it does not work that way. You need to mind your expressions with your farm workers. Avoid using the following expressions: What have you done today that makes you feel so tired? You have to finish this portion or task before going home today. The bottom line is, do not be harsh with your farm workers. Try as much as possible to be compassionate and not authoritative.

Conclusion,

It is high time you reshuffled your managerial skill by adopting some of the aforementioned motivation strategies for your farm employees to make the working conditions favourable to your employees.

By Natasha Mulenga

 

Friday, 16 April 2021 21:23

April 2021

  

Fraud Alert!!

 

Two days ago I got a call from a guy who said his name was "Mr Mashiri" 0712 128 *** n stated that  he works for a certain children's home in Bindura, and they wanted to buy the sugar beans that I had advertised.He said their buying price was $1550 obviously their offer was way more generous than what I was looking for, and I agreed to the deal and he said he would collect the beans, he hung up after I had given him my location and Address..

Yesterday in the morning "Mr Mashiri" calls and says unfortunately their donors no longer allowed them to deal in USD but they were offering rtgs at a rate of 1-140,, again this was way more than the prevailing black market rate, I agreed and asked him to send the money it was $434 000 rtgs,,

The whole day I waited for a notification from my bank and nothing came, At around 4pm I get a call from Mr Mashiri asking for exact directions to my place as his driver was getting lost, I checked my account again and still no money, At that moment ndopandakatanga kunyumwa, 

I told "Mashiri" to let his driver meet me at Sanganai shops then we go collect the beans at home,I was already at the shops with a colleague,,Sure enough in no time the "driver" arrived with another guy, who was a bit tall , slim , age I would say 26, The guy comes towards us holding an envelope , and states that He works with Mudhara Mashiri and had come to collect the beans also inside the envelope was the proof of payment,As soon as we open the envelope and look at the paper my colleague just utters haa this is fake!!

  

 Kungodaro chete the guy ran like the wind back into the truck and they quickly sped off, At this moment my colleague and I are laughing in shock , we were very lucky, Please let's be very careful Varimi and all those in Business vanhu vaya vatanga especially as harvest time is nearly upon us, Some will use different tricks fake USDs,fake transfers , etc, They will use old people , even women,Ngatingwarirei !!!

| Allan Zisanhi

 

 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 19:27

March 2021

  

Friday, 12 March 2021 13:59

Cauliflower Production Guide

Site Selection

Soils can be medium to heavy clay loam with good water holding capacity. Sandy soils tend to require more frequent irrigation cycles and require higher levels of fertilization. PH levels should be between 5.5 and 6, closer to 6 on sandy soils. It is best to take soil samples and have them

checked prior to planting. Cauliflower responds very well to compost enriched soils. Levels of 20 to 30 tons of well-prepared compost will benefit the crop and reduce the levels of fertilizer.

Manure and chicken litter can also be used but must be well broken down and composted or root burn will occur. Manure 10 to 20 tons per hectare and chicken litter 2 to 5 tons per hectare.

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Ploughing should be done to a depth of 30 to 35cm deep making sure to break down the old plough pan. Ripping then discing is also a good way to prepare the tilth for planting. Not too cloddy or too fine tilth is necessary. During winter months if possible, plant on north facing slopes to achieve better soil warmth.

Spacing

Planting can be done on beds during the rainy season which helps with drainage and on the flat during the winter period. If beds are made, they should be 1.5m center to center with 2 rows on the top of the bed, 60cm apart and 40cm in row. Planting on the flat rows can be 60cm apart

and planting stations 40cm in row. Plant populations should be between 33,000 – 40,000 depending on market requirements. Higher plant populations tend to give smaller curd sizes.

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Fertilizers

A balanced basal Compound type fertilizer of either “A”, “B” or “C” should be applied prior to planting. This can be done using a Vicon spreader if growing on the flat or a ridger type applicator if planted on beds. Cupping with fertilizer cups by hand into the planting hole can also be done but the fertilizer must be well mixed in the hole to prevent root burn. On soil analysis results and soil types, rates of fertilizer can be applied ranging from 500kg – 750kg per hectare.

Cauliflowers will require around 400kg a hectare of AN split into 3 applications between weeks 2 and 6 after transplanting. During the rainy season if the crop is planted on lighter soils an extra top dressing might be needed after heavy leaching rains. Cauliflower plantings going into winter

should be top dressed with Calcium Nitrate, instead of AN as it is quicker acting in cool soils. Cauliflower is susceptible to Boron deficiency which causes “Hollow Stem” so be vigilant.

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Seedlings

Planting with seedlings is the most practical method. Use a recognized Nursery where strong and healthy seedlings are raised. At transplanting good seedlings give a base for a uniform crop helping with reduced costs at harvest. Plant around 10% more plugs per hectare of your selected plant population, this should ensure good seedling selection. When using seedlings or speedlings as they are also known, at transplanting make sure good plug to soil contact is made so the root system can leave the plug and quickly enter the fertilizer enriched soil. 

Plant the Speedings as soon as possible after pulling them from the trays to avoid the tiny hair roots drying out. Plant into pre irrigated soils in which the soil has been made up to field capacity.

After transplanting a light settling in irrigation is required to remove air pockets between the plug and the soil. It is recommended that you dip your seedlings in a solution of Actara to give the plants 6 weeks protection from aphids and whitefly. Also apply a foliar spray of Bion to the

seedlings to activate the plants own defense mechanism against bacterial and virus attack.

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Varieties

Selection of a variety depends on where it is to be marketed. Cauliflower is mostly a cool weather crop. Varieties vary in Curd size from 600grams up to 1kilo. Varieties must be selected for summer or winter production. Be careful in summer as cauliflower is susceptible to “Black Rot”. Varieties need to have a waxy leaf to deter Diamond Back Moth from destroying the crop.

A good self-wrapping type cauliflower is necessary such as hybrids Twister F1 and Nevada F1 and Spacestar F1 supplied by Seed Co, which saves on labour costs for tying the leaves over the head to prevent discolouration. Cauliflower is also frost tolerant. Contact a Seed Co Agronomist for advice on which variety you need for different times of the year. The hybrid Twister, with an excellent head wrapping can be grown throughout the year.

 

Harvesting

Cauliflower heads are ready for harvest when the curds start to expose themselves through the natural leaf wrapping, so careful monitoring of head size is important. Exposed heads will turn yellow to cream or brown, making them unsalable. Harvest period is normally 10 – 14 days but

growers should aim to do as few cuts as possible, which saves on labour. Depending on variety selection and season, Cauliflowers take 75 – 90 days to mature after transplanting. Once the heads are cut cooling down in field shelters with wet walls or refrigeration is advised. Quick transport to market is a must. Cauliflower heads bruise easily so be careful and pack properly.

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Irrigation

During the dry winter months irrigation is essential. Overhead sprinkler irrigation is the most common, followed by flood and more recently “drip” irrigation. If growing Cauliflower during summer, irrigation must be spot on or “Hollow Stem” will occur due to fluctuations of water in the soil. 

Approximately 600mm – 750mm of irrigation should be allowed for to produce a good crop of cauliflower. So, planning water usage from, dams, rivers, and boreholes can be worked out to match hectares to be planted. As the plant increases in size and leaf area, and the start of the “Curd” forming, the amount of water required also increases. Irrigation should be planned on a weekly basis and the soil depletion area checked regularly to plan for the next irrigation cycle. The use of an “Evaporation Pan” should help with this. On medium to heavy clay soils, irrigation should be given when approximately 25% of available water has been used. Water

stress can cause the self-wrapping protection to fail exposing the “Curd” to sunlight turning it cream or yellow also making it nonmarketable

Rotations

Never plant a Cauliflower crop following another Brassica crop i.e. Cabbage, Broccoli or Rape. Rotate with a legume or root crop.

| Prime SEEDCO

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Thursday, 11 March 2021 14:38

Goat production business tips

The BUSINESS OF GOAT FARMING

Goat business is very lucrative. There is a high demand for goat meat and breeding stock. Small scale goat production will not take much of your time.

Models

There are a number of models that you can select from; 

  • Breeding, 
  • Meat Production, 
  • Milk Production, 
  • Buying and Selling live goats.

How to start?

  • Market research.
  • Select a model from the list above.
  • Get training. 
  • Develop financial projections or find someone to assist you.
  • Register a company. 
  • Open a free website (wix.com). 
  • Open Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp for business)
  • Identify the risks involved and mitigatory measures.
  • Start with what you have, (even mixed breeds).
  • Borrow capital if needed, to grow the business.

Space

  • You don’t need much space!
  • Hydroponic fodder and commercial eliminates the need for grazing area due to confinement.

Housing

  • Protect goats from extreme weather conditions including rain. 
  • Ensure:
  • Roof for rain. 
  • Walls for wind. 
  • Raised from the ground for self-cleaning to avoid foot rot.
  • Ensure good ventilation. 
  • You can start from your rural home. 
  • Confined goats are easy to feed and monitor. 
  • Ensure protection from predators. 
  • Secured to prevent theft.
  • Ensure regular removal of droppings.
  • Avoid using open kraals.  
  • Use locally available materials.

Breeding and husbandry

  • Maintain and improve good breeding stock.
  • Avoid uncontrolled breeding.
  • If breeding is planned, kidding should coincide with feed availability.
  • Maintain your own breeding buck.

Main Breeds

  • Mashona
  • Matebele
  • Boer
  • Saanen and 
  • Angora goats.

Selecting a breeding buck

  • Masculinity.
  • Standard buck/ram vocalisation.
  • Uniform pair of testes and a fine sheath.
  • Large scrotum circumference.

Selecting a breeding doe

  • She must be feminine.
  • She must be fertile.
  • Good milk production.
  • Well-structured udder with two functional teats.
  • Large body capacity and volume.

Culling

  • Removal of non-performing animals.
  • Low production or reproduction levels.
  • Unproductive animals.
  • Genetic defects or pre-disposition to disease.
  • Physical problems.
  • Disease.
  • Age. 

Castration

  • To maintain and control the breeding programme.
  • To successfully carry out breed improvement.
  • To improve on farm safety for animals.
  • To lessen goat smell.
  • For improvement of carcass composition and weight development.

Record Keeping

  • Always mark your animals for easy identification
  • Tattooing is considered to be the safest and lawful way of identifying goats
  • Tattooing Process
  • Clean the inner part of the ear lobe thoroughly.
  • Apply or smear the tattoo ink on the area to be tattooed.
  • Make sure that the sequence of the tattooing characters is correct.
  • Press the tattooing pliers until holes appear on the skin and then release.
  • Rub the ink in to the holes.
  • Clean excess ink. 

Nutrition and feeding

  • Goats require nutrients for body maintenance, growth and reproduction.
  • Feed sources:
  • Pastures (ensure proper grazing management),
  • Hydroponic fodder,
  • Commercial feed,
  • On farm feed formulations. 
  • Kids must receive colostrum soon after birth.
  • Nutrients found in colostrum decreases 48 hours after birth. 
  • Colostrum contains high content of energy, vitamins, minerals and antibodies that helps the
  • kids to fight and resist infections/diseases.
  • Goats must be introduced gradually to feed supplements and enough roughage must be provided at all times. 
  • Use body condition scoring to guide on nutrition. 

Common Health Problems

  • Heartwater
  • Pulpy kidney
  • Mastitis
  • Infectious Pneumonia
  • Coccidiosis
  • Abscess 
  • Abortion
  • Parasites

Prevention is better than cure!

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