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Best Practices For Managing Kids

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga 

To reduce mortalities and improve the growth rate of kids, a farmer should take good care of them.

According to Phoebe Kagambe Kusiima, a goat farmer in Kyenjojo district, a reduction in kid mortality translates into an increase in flock size.

Housing 

Muhammad Kiyemba, another veterinary doctor and goat farmer says kids should be housed during the night to protect them from being eaten by jackals, eagles and other dangerous animals.

“Kidding area has to be clean with dry bedding. A clean environment will reduce the incidence of diseases,” Kiyemba advises.

“Housing the kids protects them from heat, cold and spread of diseases among them (kids),” says Kagambe.

Kiyemba says kids should not be allowed to browse in dangerous places unattended too.

At Kagambe’s farm, the kids are kept in the yard for the first few weeks for about a month, especially if the does have to travel long distances to browse and water.

She says the kids require warm and dry conditions during their first four weeks of life. 

Feeding kids 

Kiyemba says kids should suckle the first milk (colostrum) within the first six hours of birth which is rich in antibodies that increase the immunity of the kid.

“If the doe is not producing enough milk for her kid, fostering or bottle feeding should be introduced. In three weeks, the kids will start nibbling grass and leaves,” he explains.

Kiyemba says this is important for rumen development. The kids are allowed to browse/graze from no later than one month. Effective grazing and browsing starts at 6-7 weeks.

To improve the general health of the kids, Kagambe says the whole flock gets clean drinking water (about 5 litres per goat in a day). Adequate feeding (3-5% of their body weight per day) is given.

“Weaning should be done when the kids are a hundred days old on average and weighing between 8-12 kilograms,” Mubiru advises.

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