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Feedback: Our experts answer your questions on farming and agribusiness

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By SEEDS OF GOLD EXPERTS

Desmodium fodder for cows
I would like to buy ready desmodium for my cows, where can I get it packaged?
David Bor

Desmodium is a high-quality protein-rich forage. When harvested in excess, the legume can be dried and baled into hay for future use as a protein supplement.

Currently, desmodium hay business is not as developed as sale of Boma Rhodes hay and baled maize silage.

A few sellers may exist, but the price of the product could be relatively expensive, making it unsustainable to keep your dairy business thriving.

For a much better and cheaper alternative, I advise that you grow the forage yourself.

Desmodium does well in warm, wet regions and is adaptable to a wide range of soils, from sand to clay loams.

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You can get the seeds from any agrovet near you or from the Kenya Seed Company.

-Maureen N. Ogega, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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I want to keep Kenbro birds

Where in western Kenya can I get Kenbro chicks? What size of a house can accommodate 100 birds?
Steve, Bungoma

Kenbro chickens are kept for both eggs and meat. In any poultry enterprise, it is important to source stock from a reputable breeder, in this case Kenchic, given the significant role they played in the introduction and distribution of the breed.

You can contact their Kisumu regional office to make orders or get leads to their authorised distributors in Bungoma or nearby towns.

To make good progress, it is important to keep reading articles on the birds and chicken farming in general and visit farmers for peer-to-peer learning.

As for housing, the breed requires adequate and hygienic space to thrive. A good house requires spacing of about 1.5 square feet per bird.

It should have proper ventilation and be rodent and birds’ proof, with adequate disease control and biosecurity measures.

-Maureen N. Ogega, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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I want to keep bulls for beef

Kindly educate me on rearing bulls for beef with regard to housing, feeding and other relevant information. 
Gitau

Beef farming is a profitable venture because of the huge demand for the produce, which is not being met.

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To maximise on the venture, you can engage in both production of weaner calves for sale and fattening young stock for slaughter.

However, the choice of your goal depends on availability of resources such as land, capital and market.

Consider a feedlot system with proper nutrient supplementation and clean water to hasten fattening.

Just like any other animals, beef cattle must be managed properly through vaccination, controlling internal and external parasites, monitoring weight gain by weighing them regularly and keeping proper records.

The animals also need good housing, which takes care of their welfare. Include biosecurity measures and cushion the stock against extreme weather.

The house design for your farm is dictated by your capital. To get a practical picture, consider visiting the beef research institute in Lanet, Nakuru, or ranches around Laikipia, Samburu and Nanyuki.

-Maureen N. Ogega, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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Grafting  macadamia

Kindly explain to me how I should apply wood glue to macadamia seedlings when grafting. 
Lenny Muthuri 

Grafting macadamia seedlings can be difficult because it is a hard wood. Wood glue is used to accelerate the curing process and prevent the scion from losing excess moisture and the wound from coming into direct contact with water.

Wood glue should be wrapped at the top of the scion on the cut surface and the bud leaves to prevent excessive loss of water.

Wood glue also prevents the cut surfaces from coming into direct contact with water and thus causing infections and may lead death of seedlings.

Wood glue should be used together with grafting tape, which normally forms the basis of the graft work.

Wax or wood-glue all the cut surfaces and ensure that there are no cracks that may promote drying. Wood glue is cheap and easily available and easy to work with, unlike wax.

Lilian Jeptanui
Department of Crops Horticulture and soils, Egerton University

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My father sold the family land  

My father sold the only land we had without my mother’s consent and after many years of struggling, we now want to refund the money to the purchaser. The problem is that he already has a title deed. Please advise. 
Kipkorir

The sale cannot be reversed. Your father had absolute right to his land, so he sold it to a willing buyer.

The only option for you is to buy back that land at the current market rates if the owner is willing to sell.

-Betty Rono and Dr. C. Lenashuru, Egerton University

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