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Feedback: Know nutrients in animal manure.

figure By SEEDS OF GOLD EXPERTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VARIOUS LIVESTOCK MANURESWhat is the difference between rabbit, chicken, sheep, goat, pig and cow manures in terms of ingredients, duration of releasing nutrients in the soil and crop yields? Antony TowettAll livestock manures have different levels of the primary plant nutrients, namely nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.Chicken manure, especially layers, has the highest nitrogen content while goat manure has the least.

In terms of phosphorous, chicken manure also has a relatively higher amount compared to the others while sheep's has relatively higher amounts of potassium. Chicken and pig manure have higher total nutrient values than cow manure.

Chicken manure is rich in potassium and pig's in phosphorus. Rabbit manure is higher in nitrogen and phosphorus than sheep, goat, chicken or cow manure.

Organic manures are generally slow releasers of nutrients compared with the inorganic fertilisers. When choosing the appropriate manure to use for crop production, select the one that will supply most of the essential nutrients in relatively larger amounts.

Hezekiah KorirDepartment of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.MY COWS ARE GETTING THINNERI am Morris from Kitale and I have been feeding my cows silage mixed with dairy meal and molasses for the last three weeks, but they are getting thinner.

What could be the problem?We feed cows for several reasons. First is for maintenance, that is, to keep them alive.

Second is production, meaning the cow requires energy over and above maintenance to produce milk, and lastly, reproduction, which means we need a calf from that particular cow if possible every year.The quality of the feed given determines whether the cow will manage to get enough energy for the listed functions.

If the cow is not able to get enough nutrients from the body, it will resolve to get them from body reserves and as a result they grow thin. If the cow is sick and, therefore, not feeding well, it can lose weight.

Any other stress can result in thinning. You did not specify if all your cows are affected or just a few.

Consider inviting a feed expert and a veterinarian to have the animals checked. Ensure that you feed the animals high-quality silage and dairy meal, either from reliable companies or you make the dairy meal at home.

Dennis Kigiri,Department of Animal Sciences,Egerton University.When an animal gets thinner, it means that it is using its body reserves to survive.

This in turn implies that the quality or quantity of the silage/dairy meal mix provided may not be adequate for the animal's nutritional requirements. If the amount of suitable carbohydrate in the diet is not enough to meet the glucose needs of a dairy cow, its liver will start manufacturing glucose from other basic compounds in the body usually fat reserves.

Kimitei K. Ronald, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

I WANT TO KEEP GOATSI am interested in goat farming. Kindly link me to anyone who can sell me the right goat breed for meat purposes.

David Mulunda, KakamegaRaising goats for meat can be a profitable business. The Small East African Goat, Boer and the Galla have great potential due to their characteristics and adaptability to a wide range of climatic conditions in the country.

The red meat business is currently underexploited despite the vast opportunities that exist locally and internationally. The benefits of keeping goats include minimal capital and investment requirement, easy care and management, less labour and great income source.

Talk to Ibrahim Juma, a dairy goat farmer in Kisumu, for help.Dennis Kigiri,Department of Animal Sciences,Egerton University.

CROPS TO GROW IN THE COMING RAINY SEASONMy name is Job. I have two parcels of land in Kikuyu, Kiambu County.

One is a quarter acre, the other a half acre. What are the best crops I can plant for maximum returns during the forthcoming rainy season?The highest value for money on land does not depend on its size but the quality of the soil for crop production.

I, therefore, advise that you give us information on the type of soil on your land, because don't know what it is. To get started, get information from the county agriculture office on what crop can do well in your area.

However, as a rule of thumb, Kiambu County is mostly good for cabbage, sukuma wiki, beans and garden pea. Climate change has affected many things and we cannot predict the mode of rainfall by the time you start planting.

However, people will go for short-season crops. A standby rrigation system would be of good help too.

Peter Caleb Otieno, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.WHEN MILK PRODUCTION DROPS SOON AFTER INSEMINATIONMy cow was recently inseminated and milk production dropped immediately to almost half.

Is it normal? What should I do to reverse the drop?David Bor, Kericho A slight drop in the daily milk yield for a day or two when a cow is on heat is normal. However, artificial insemination in itself is not known to cause any prolonged drop in milk production.

The drop could most probably be attributed to other causes. These include a diet of inadequate quality or quantity, disease and animal discomfort.

Kindly contact a livestock production expert near you to help pinpoint the cause of the drop.Kimitei K.

Ronald, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.I WANT TO GET INTO FODDER BUSINESSI would like to enquire if fodder planting is a viable business, and which fodder does well around the lake region? Lastly, where can I sell my fodder? James OdakCommercial fodder production is a very viable venture owing to the growing livestock industry, especially dairy farming in Kenya.

Start by establishing a fodder crop that can be harvested and conserved as hay such as Rhodes grass. You may need to invest in constructing a hay barn for storage of the hay bales.

Consider scouting for hay-making machinery for hire, especially if you are planning to establish the grass on more than an acre.Kimitei Ronald, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Feb 28, 2019
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