Writes: Carl von Maltitz
There are many small-scale chicken and pig farmers in Lesotho. Nearly everyone tries to succeed by farming in exactly the same way. Small changes, innovation and novel products might just bring about greater success.
Building A-frame wooden pens for chickens, with easily moveable size and weight parameters, will allow the chickens to feed in areas that would otherwise be dangerous or inaccessible for them. Moving the pens regularly will allow areas to be utilized more intensely an effectively, allowing more chickens to be kept in a smaller area. Risk is minimized, as cats, dogs and other animals can’t reach the chickens to eat them. More insects and larvae will be eaten, reducing problem creatures like flies. You could also breed and dry maggots as feed for the chickens during summer, in old drums filled with dung. At 59 percent protein it’s an excellent food source, and much cheaper and faster to produce than anything you plant, not to mention getting away cheaper than buying feed at a store.
The same principle applies to pigs, with a moveable wooden pen that is moved, say, twice a day. In a vegetable garden this has great value, as the pigs basically plough the ground for you, you only have to plant after they have been through. Both chickens and pigs are important food sources for Basotho, what can we try that’s new? Smokehouses are big in America, and taking off in South Africa. How about cold smoking chickens or pork neck in a drum, and serve with chips and a beer? It could well be a great hit in the country. Tourists especially will find it appealing.