In Summary
  • The farm currently hosts 15 Holstein Friesians animals, four Fleckviehs and one Ayrshire, with the Fleckviehs being his favourite in the herd. All the Friesian animals are offspring of his first two animals.
  • Fleckviehs are highly productive, dual-purpose cattle bred for both their meat and milk. They are huge in size, with the cows resembling bulls of other breeds in frame and structure.
  • Dr Anthony Gichohi, the General Manager of Fleckvieh Genetics East Africa, says that the breed has an array of benefits compared to others, which includes high milk production on less feeds.
  • He has sunk a borehole to provide water for his animals.

Sometime in 2003, David Wanyamu accompanied a colleague to a dowry negotiation meeting in Githunguri, Kiambu County.

While the aim was to help his friend get the best out of the negotiations and consequently a wife, Wanyamu got more.

“I was enchanted by the way the girl’s father kept his dairy animals,” says the 51-year-old, who works at the Auditor General’s office in Mombasa.

His interest didn’t escape the old man’s eye, who later invited Wanyamu for a tete-a-tete on dairy farming.

“About a week later, I bought from him two Holstein Friesian heifers aged nine and 14 months, at Sh7,000 and Sh9,000 respectively,” he recounts.

He built a cowshed on a part of an acre he had purchased in Ruai in 1999 and kept the animals there.

Today, the farm named Ruai Tharuyu, which he started as a shack hosting two heifers in the middle of a parched field, is now an admirable establishment.

His zero-grazing unit that sits on an eighth acre of the land hosts 20 dairy cows.

The farm currently hosts 15 Holstein Friesians animals, four Fleckviehs and one Ayrshire, with the Fleckviehs being his favourite in the herd. All the Friesian animals are offspring of his first two animals.

“It would take me much cajoling to sell any of my Fleckviehs and even then, I still will find it hard to,” he says.

Fleckviehs are highly productive, dual-purpose cattle bred for both their meat and milk. They are huge in size, with the cows resembling bulls of other breeds in frame and structure.

HIGH PRODUCTIVITY BREED

“They are hardy, rarely contract diseases and produce high quality milk and meat compared to others breeds, keeping my expenses lower due to their low maintenance costs,” he says.

He adds that the cattle breed eats less than the others, but produces more, lowering one’s production costs.

Dr Anthony Gichohi, the General Manager of Fleckvieh Genetics East Africa, says that the breed has an array of benefits compared to others, which includes high milk production on less feeds.

Fleckviehs are highly productive, dual-purpose cattle bred for both their meat and milk. They are huge in size, with the cows resembling bulls of other breeds in frame and structure.

Fleckviehs are highly productive, dual-purpose cattle bred for both their meat and milk. They are huge in size, with the cows resembling bulls of other breeds in frame and structure. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Wanyamu is currently upgrading his animals to pedigree Fleckviehs by breeding them using pedigree semen to produce the desired pure-breeds after three generations. This upgrading will cost him about Sh7,000 per cow.

He feeds his animals mainly silage made from pineapple peelings that he picks from Del Monte in Thika.

Other feeds include napier grass, maize stalks and baby corn that he sources from friends and neighbours, some outside Nairobi.

Page 1 of 2