Birds fed on the maize dust alone would not perform well unless they are let free to scavenge.
Maize dust is a source of energy (carbohydrates) but is deficient in proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential for optimal performance
Value of maize dust as chicken feed
I normally go to the posho mill and collect maize dust and give it to my chickens. Does the feed give the best to my poultry?
Maize dust is a source of energy (carbohydrates) but is deficient in proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential for optimal performance. Birds fed on the maize dust alone would not perform well unless they are let free to scavenge. You could supplement the maize dust with fish meal, vegetables and then provide Stressmix in drinking water. The product is rich in essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Keeping a pigsty clean
I keep pigs in Kaimosi, western Kenya but despite my efforts to make the pigsty clean, it always smells. Which chemicals should I use to clean the pigsties and how do I do it?
It may not be possible to completely eliminate odour in a pigsty. Ideally, the siting of the pigsty should be far from human dwellings. Again, check the direction of wind as it may come in handy when it comes to redirecting the smell.
You should clean the sty using a disinfectant with a strong pleasant odour. You need to properly manage manure, for example by channelling it into a collection point or pit that can be used to generate biogas. Alternatively, you could use white vinegar in your last rinse while cleaning your pigsty.
How do I eradicate coccidiosis totally in my chickens? I have tried so much with no success. It has become so severe to an extent that I even see intestines coming out of the birds resulting to more deaths. I have been using Amprocox.
Otieno Boniface Opondo
If indeed your chickens have coccidiosis and you have used Amprocox as per Elgon Kenya’s advice, I would expect your problem to have been controlled. The fact that you still have not achieved success could be as a result of persistent wet litter.
Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoal parasite that thrives best in a moist environment.
It’s best to keep the chicken on clean and dry litter. Wet litter is usually as a result of water spillage by the chicken while drinking. Drinkers should have the water level at the same height as the back of the chicken to avoid the spillage.
As the chickens grow, you raise the drinkers.
This also prevents the birds from defecating in the water. Vaccines against coccidiosis do exist on the global stage but I am not aware of their use locally.
However, use of vaccines is never a replacement for good management practices. Prolapsed intestines (intestines coming out) do not necessarily mean the chickens have coccidiosis.
Infestation with intestinal worms causes irritation of the intestinal mucosa making the birds to strain while passing droppings. This may result in the prolapse you see. I suggest you deworm the birds at least once every three months with Piperin.
Stopping mongoose once and for all
I live in Machakos County and I am rearing tens of chickens under free-range method but a mongoose is killing them. What should I do to eliminate the animal?
To manage this problem, you have got to secure your chicken house and prevent the mongoose from getting to the birds. This means you must make your chicken house predator-free.
To prevent the mongoose digging their way beneath your surface fencing, bury galvanised hardware or other welded-wire fencing material around the perimeter of the chicken house.
Choose small-mesh fencing materials. Most terrestrial predators are uncomfortable crossing an area with minimal bush cover and so clear bushes around the chicken house.
Dr John Muchibi is a Veterinary Surgeon and the Animal Health Manager at Elgon Kenya Ltd. Reach him through +254733715102 or e-mail him through Muchibi@elgonkenya.com