No drought pain on this dairy farm
“Pastoralism is the main way of keeping cattle in this region, but we choose to do zero-grazing in 2008 and it has worked. We have been able to show people that they can keep hybrid animals in this area and make more,” says Paul Sosoika, the farm manager
“Maize and napier for silage should be harvested at the right stage; the latter when it’s a metre high and former when the seeds are soft, but not milky when squeezed open. This is at about four months,” says Peter Oduor, an animal health graduate from Egerton University, who is doing internship on the farm.
“We get them from an animal feeds company in Nairobi which supplies us in bulk and make at least a tonne each month. This has enabled us save costs,” says Sosoika, noting the animals are given water ad libitum and salt lick depending on their stages of growth and state for instance, if in-calf.
The dairy cows are fed twice a day, at 5.30am soon after milking where they are given Boma Rhodes hay mixed with lucerne and 5.30pm, also after milking. In between the animals feed on the grass hay and during milking dairy meal.
“When we have not given them Boma Rhodes and lucerne, we offer then silage,” says Oduor.