Chairman Mokonehi Thinyane Viewing Jersey
Dairy Cows used for Supplementory Feed of Lambs
The Manager,The Chairman & The Headboy At Quthing Sheepstud
Writes: Tjonane Matla
Quthing Sheep Stud is an important component of the Wool and Mohair Improvement Project commonly known as WAMPP. The project location is not limited to the boundaries of the Upper Moyeni farm as it stretches into the Southern fields as far as Tele. The project is well equipped with highly qualified professional staff, it is under a very strong leadership of Chairman Mokoenihi Thinyane, of the Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association (LNWMGA). The farm is managed by Vuyo Dyamdeki, a graduate of the National University of Lesotho where he obtained his Bachelors of Science Degree in Animal Science and later earned Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Free State.
“At Quthing Sheep Stud, we breed both Merino and Angora, but at different camps within the property”. States the Chairman as he re-introduces The Silo to Quthing small-stock breeding facility. He furthermore reminded The Silo that the facility was financed by LNWMGA in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Lesotho is the project manager through WAMPP. The total project capital was budgeted at USD 36 Million at the time of launch and it was scheduled for five years until 2022 with possibility of extension.
According to the Farm Manager Vuyo Dyamdeki, the population of angoras is 181 does, 6 bucks and 40 kids while that of merino 17. The plan is to auction old ewes while 125 female lambs are to be used as replacement stock. “We had planned to hold the next auction in 2021 and the target is to sell 60 male lambs during the auction and remain with 75 as farm gate sale” Vuyo continues.
As far as the breeding program is concerned, Vuyo disclosed that the breeding program includes preparing the animals for the harsh conditions of Lesotho as they are going to live in the sheep posts across the mountainous plateau of Lesotho and therefore they need to prepare them to adapt under these harsh circumstances. This means that the animals equivalently require a complimentary feed to match with the breeding program. The adopted supplementary feed is a mixture of SS200 milled lucern and maize for growing lambs, the pregnant and lactating ewes are fed maxi-wool plus maize and salt while creep feeding for lambs is lucern plus maize.
The other very important aspect is that, post weaning lambs are send to the range-lands for six months for grazing and also to travel in search of grass and later brought back for stall feeding. At the end of the day, small-stock farmers are guaranteed animals with an average of 19 microns that can survive the harsh mountains of Lesotho.
The net benefit of all these is that farmers are set to get a good quality breeding stock that is going to assist the country in improving the general objective of improving wool and mohair in Lesotho. The farmers are going to get breeding stock from within the boundaries of Lesotho and surely cut off transport costs and other costs associated with importation of livestock. The animals would have been well adapted as they are fostered to survive the hardy mountains of Lesotho and bear the desired genetic merits any farmer would want.
However to get to the set quality, a lot of inputs have to be factored into, and such include a partnership with the locals to lease out their fields under crop sharing model where all costs are incurred by the project and therefore take 70% of the yellow maize harvest plus fodder while the farmers take 30%. It is reported by the Chairman that they are expecting 3 tons per hector out of the 63 hectors where maize is planted under a block farming system.
Vuyo further explained that the maize produced will be used to formulate the rations for creep feeding lambs and kids, flushing and streaming up of the animals.
The project has a total of 12 staff members who have different duties from direct contact and handling of animals to support staff in the canteen. The security services are outsourced to a local security company. All animals are insured with Meraka Small-stock product under Alliance Insurance Company.
Key : Where marked blue is the location of the maize field