Our dairy goats were thriving—we had 10 new kids, 8 of them female from our visiting Saanen stud, so it was a very exciting time in the livestock department.
However, during one awful week we lost three kids. We fought to save the others, feeding by bottle when they were too weak to help themselves. Thankfully, the symptoms lessened and as we left, all were regaining weight.
Chifundo, leader of our goat team, and the newest member of the dairy team ...
just a few hours old!
Sweet Pea and Pirate - hopefully future stars of our dairy herd!
We managed to build the new Dairy Unit this trip. It consists of a three-bay milking parlour, an office and storeroom.
As the female goats come out of their khola (goat house) each morning, they’re funnelled into one of the bays and tempted with food laced with nutrient supplement to be still as they’re milked. Passing though a gate into another paddock, collectively they’re taken out for the morning’s grazing.
The ‘dairy compound - the land surrounding it will eventually become specifically planted pasture, surrounded by security walls.
The store room will be filled with bags of a special mix prepared from maize bran (the by-product of milling maize), soya, salt and other additives, bagged, logged and packed for use during future months. As we further develop the site, security walls will surround specifically planted grazing land so our dairy herd will have access to clean, safe, carefully managed grazing.
Our two Play Centres - gatherings of acutely vulnerable babies and toddlers - are feeding more than 40 children with goats milk and fortified porridge.
Many are orphans, most are AIDS-affected, all are suffering with malnutrition - some are twins and mum, malnourished herself, is unable to produce enough milk for two.
We lost several children during our absence, from AIDS-related disease and malaria, but thankfully, most seem to have successfully survived the acute hunger season.
At an OHP Play Centre -
11 month-old Meriya, newly orphaned,
her mother died the week before of cholera
The Play centres are run by volunteers, who were concerned to ensure that the life-giving goats’ milk was distributed to those most at risk.
Milk is a rare commodity in Chiringa, you can sometimes buy it locally in powdered form, but never fresh. Infant formula is offered for sale, but most couldn’t possibly afford to buy it.
interesting in the store-room?
This is page 3 Summer trip 2009