By Victoria Nampala Bugembe
Many livestock farmers lose animals in the dry season due to lack of water and food since the water sources, grass tend to dry up.
However, farmers can best protect their livestock by storing water in water tanks and feeding the animals on hay.
How to make hay
Making hay involves using grass which can be stored for future usage without making it lose its nutrients, but preserved instead until the grass is retrieved to be fed to the animals, especially in the dry season.
Hay can be made from grasses like elephant grass and is consumed by animals in a fresh form.
The process of making hay involves reducing the grass moisture levels between 70 and 90 to 15% or less.
Albert Ssewankaabo, a hay farmer based in Mukono says to make hay, the grass must be cut during the rainy season when plants are flowering and have enough nutrients like proteins.
The foliage must be cut in the morning and allowed to dry quickly before it is packed and stored safely.
If the grass is put under direct sunlight, it has to be supervised by turning it upside down so that it does not dry up or retain water at the end of the day within two or three days.
Ssewankaambo adds the grass is heaped and kept in sacks and stored in a safe place free from rain or any forms of leakages to keep the grass or hay for future uses.