A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about care for indigenous chickens. I received a number of interesting feedback and I take liberty to share two of the e-mails I received from veterinarians in our midst who I feel enriched my piece.
Yanjanani Khongoni, a final year student studying veterinary science at Natural Resources College, wrote:
Hi, I read your article about indigenous chickens. I totally agree with you, local chickens are tasty and demand is high but the supply is not enough.
Sir, I want to talk about the naked neck chicken. In vernacular, itâ€™s known as â€˜kametaâ€™. For long time, this strain has been shunned by many Malawians reasons citing the naked neck. Imagine the hens are prolific egg layers, they have good mothering ability. They also have large breast muscle.
They are resistant to diseases like Newcastle and Gumboro and parasites like mice, fleas and lice due to their tough skin. Since they do not have a lot of feathers, they are easier to pluck.
The other e-mail came from Pat Boland, field veterinary officer with Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Program (SSLLP) in Lilongwe. She wrote:
I am an Australian veterinarian working in Lilongwe as a volunteer with the Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Program (SSLLP). I read with interest your article â€œIndigenous chicken care tipsâ€ in the â€œDo it yourselfâ€ column in Nation on Sunday for 14 Octoberâ€¦
I am writing for two reasons. Firstly, I would like to bring to your attention that Malawians need not go to Kenyan sources for practical advice on livestock rearing. We in SSLLP have an impressive amount of free extension material for village chickens and other species of livestock including goats, pigs, and dairy cows. We have many articles on our web site, written both in English and Chichewa.
Please have a look at the downloads at http://www.smallscalelivestock.org particularly the section on â€œTraining Notes for Community Animal Health Workers.â€
Should you wish to use any of this material in future articles, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Secondly, we would be happy to offer limited assistance in any articles you may be writing on small scale livestock production in Malawi. If you feel we could play a useful role here, please let me know.
With best regards.
I am grateful for the feedback and I am hopeful that this will empower DIY enthusiasts with information to achieve our goal of making it perfect with our own hands.