In Summary
  • Reducing diseases in a flock entails proper feeding, housing, general hygiene, biosecurity and vaccination. Turkeys are tolerant to common infections that affect chickens (and may act as reservoirs).
  • The vaccines and bacterins are given to young ones in the first four weeks of hatching when they are more susceptible to infections.
  • Biogas is basically a mix of gases, primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, that result from the breakdown of organic waste in the absence of oxygen.
  • Watermelons are warm-season crops and they require a long growing period of high temperatures. Thus they cannot do well in cold areas.

The key vaccines that turkeys need: Why are my turkeys dying prematurely?

An article on turkey rearing that appeared in the Seeds of Gold on January 12 left out details on vaccines. I have successfully managed to hatch poults three times by having the turkey hen sit on eggs for 28 days.

In all the three cases, the hatchability rate was 100 per cent. l use the correct feeds and give Gumboro and New castle vaccines just as recommended for chickens.

My challenges start when the poults are between eight and 10 weeks old since they begin dying one by one without showing any serious signs of illness.

The only noted sign is that they start being less active on day one and lose appetite and within three to five days, they die. What could be the cause?

-Rosemary

This to me sounds like an infectious process with age predilection. Different poultry diseases may present similar signs (that of sick bird syndrome) and, therefore, it may be difficult to ascertain the specific disease process.

A better way of diagnosing this problem would be to carry out postmortem on fresh dead carcasses to check for specific pathological pattern and lesions (this is only done by a trained and registered animal health professional).

Reducing diseases in a flock entails proper feeding, housing, general hygiene, biosecurity and vaccination. Turkeys are tolerant to common infections that affect chickens (and may act as reservoirs).

Turkeys can be vaccinated against a number of diseases that include Newcastle, fowl cholera, haemorrhagic enteritis and fowl pox.

The vaccines and bacterins are given to young ones in the first four weeks of hatching when they are more susceptible to infections.

Some of these products may not be readily available in the Kenyan market while others are used for general poultry vaccination regimens.

Dr Ngetich Wyckliff, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, Egerton University.

****

Setting up efficient biogas unit

I deal with biogas digesters and I saw in the magazine recently someone needed information on how to start a biogas project. Please put me in touch with her.

-Robert Kagwi

Biogas is basically a mix of gases, primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, that result from the breakdown of organic waste in the absence of oxygen.

The technology is now popular among livestock farmers, increasing the demand for biogas-producing systems and flexible biogas among other peripherals.

You can gain mileage and wider client base through advertisement in the Seeds of Gold magazine at a modest cost. Please send your contact details to satnation@ke.nationmedia.com for further action.

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

****

Small scale dairy farm layout

Could you please share a layout diagram for a small-scale dairy farm?

-Solomon Dube

Dairy farming can involve cows or goats. Assuming you meant cows, less than 10, it is important to note that common breeds in Kenya are Friesians, Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey.

I have farm layouts showing how a unit can be divided into offices, animal houses and stores and there are also layouts showing the housing designs.

Kindly reach me on denniskigiri@yahoo.com for more details.

****
Honey extractor

I am a beekeeper with a number of hives. Please help me with information on where l can purchase a medium honey extractor.

James Muthui

Beekeeping is a lucrative business where the insects do more than 90 per cent of the production. This means your investment is minimal but the gains are huge.

Products include beeswax, bee venom, propolis, queen bees and honey. Honey has many social and economic roles. Check online for companies selling the medium honey extractor both locally and internationally.

Dennis Kigiri, Department of animal sciences, Egerton University.

****
Getting into poultry business

I want to venture into poultry farming, please share the contacts of Hodge Mutwiri.

-Kimanthi Kimaru from Maua

Hodge Mutwiri runs a poultry farm in Makutano Junction in Meru Town. He also manufactures livestock feeds after expanding his enterprise.

Reach him through 0722776093. Feel free to write to us to further supplement the new knowledge you’ll acquire.

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

****

Major duck diseases

Kindly name and explain the common duck diseases?

-Farmer

Ducks are a bit more tolerant to common infectious diseases that affect poultry but nevertheless, they may come down with severe diseases especially when their immunity is compromised.

The diseases can be divided into categories based on the causative agent. Bacterial infections can include Salmonellosis, Streptococcal Infections, Escherichia coli (E-coli) infection and Pasteurallosis.

Viral diseases include Duck virus hepatitis (DVH), Duck virus enteritis (DVE; duck plague), Avian influenza and Newcastle disease while fungal conditions like aspergillosis can be a major factor affecting duck health.

Diseases in the flock can be controlled or prevented by observing biosecurity measures to ensure zero or minimal introduction of diseases into the premises where ducks are kept.

Dr. Ngetich Wyckliff Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, Egerton University.

****
My cows have swellings

What kind of treatment can I use on my two cows? The first one has a swollen eye and the second has a swelling at the back of the thigh.

-Anele Tshonapi

I would like to ask a few questions. Do you know the cause of these problems? Are they traumatic (caused by pressure/injury/attack by other animals) or infections?

How long have they been like this? Do the swellings affect adversely the animals, for example they are not feeding?

Have you attempted any management and what was the response? Answering these questions will inform the management protocol.

You may not need an injection if the lesions are superficial and do not involve inner tissue and do not affect the physiology of the animals like seeing, feeding, walking or lying.

If they are only within these areas, you can do home therapy of hot fomentation (massaging with towel soaked in warm water) and maintain hygiene to avoid secondary infection.

If the situation is serious, injection might be warranted but this can only be done by a trained and registered animal health professional who should visit your farm, assess the animals and make recommendations on the appropriate treatment regime (either antibiotics alone or in combination with other drugs or even surgical approach to the swelling on the thighs).

Page 1 of 2