Agriculture: Impove your fodder range for greater livestock yields

Away from the vigorous city centre, off the Entebbe Express Highway in Mpala ward- Bubuli lies the Fuga Farm properly laid on about 2.23 acres.

The farm boasts of 36 Heifer cattle (calves included), over 100 Rabbits, and over 300 birds and a vegetable yard.

The farm was birthed as an idea before 2017, is intended to be more of a demonstration project more than a money making venture to “inspire others” according to owner Pastor Dennis Kasirye

Kasirye says that their success dwells on the ability to improve fodder and trying modern varieties that enhance productivity and yet remain cost-efficient.

“With the right fodder, you’re able to get more yields while saving more money.” says Kasirye. The farm will continue to embrace all forms of agro-tech and new farming skills”

“We have registered better results by simply improving our fodder, balancing the nutrient rations in feeds helps in milk production and also helps keep the animals interested in the forage, since the diets are rotated and supplemented.” Kasirye adds

Hydroponics

Zawedde says it’s worth it to invest in hydroponics

Hydroponic fodder systems are usually used to sprout cereal grains, such as barley, oats, wheat, sorghum, and corn, or legumes, such as alfalfa, clover or cow peas.

Kasirye stresses that they got the idea this year and they tried to experiment with their animals, they mainly grow barely and corn, and in a span of 5-10 days they are able to obtain feeds for different animals.

Kasirye stresses that they got the idea this year and they tried to experiment with their animals, they mainly grow barely and corn, and in a span of 5-10 days they are able to obtain feeds for different animals.

In a small space that is about 10 Square meters, the produce over 2000 kilograms of fresh feed per harvest, in only 5 days they can harvest poultry feed and in 10 days the feed is ready for cattle.

Angella Zawedde, who is a veterinary officer at Fuga Farm says that knowing the right amounts of water and knowing when to harvest, also taking time to keep rodents off the green house will provide the best results.

“The nutrients found in the hydroponics fodder is full of nutrients, and it is a satisfactory supplement to the main feed, and animals like it” Zawedde adds

Hay

Kasirye: Hay keeps Rabbits safe from bloating

Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, and sheep. However, it is also fed to smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Kasiyre uses Hay as one of the main feeds for the cattle and rabbits, and being dry it induces thirst hence animals take lots of water and in turn improves on the milk production.

Kasirye buys bales of hay at about UGX 7,000 and it weighs about 15 to 20 kilograms that can feed 2 cows a day, and it is rich in nutrients aince it dries under shed.

Silage

The fodder crops, such as maize, sorghum, oats, pearl millet, and hybrid Napier rich in soluble carbohydrates are most suitable for fodder ensiling.

Quality of silage can be improved with the use of suitsble additives such as molasses, urea, salt, formic acid and others.

At Fuga farm, mainly use maize(corn) for silage, and with it’s added advantage of being long-lasting and a favourite for the livestock and it’s the main feed.

A silage processing plant: silage can last for over 5 years and is favorite for animals

The benefits of silage are unbeatable, it contains more nutrients and it will give the best results. With a silage processing machine on-site, they can procure and process tonnes of silage in no time.

Calliandra

Routine checks on the animals are vital for great produce

Calliandra calothyrsus is one of the useful fodder shrubs you can grow in your farm. It is a thornless leguminous fodder shrub that originated from Central America.

Kasirye says that Calliandra commonly known as “Kawomera Mbuzi” in the local dialect comes with double advantages, it is feed for the cattle and at the same time act as a hedge around the farm.

“The trees grow very fast, and are a delicacy for the animals, we can get tonnes of forage every 2 months and this helps in cost cutting and still giving the results required.” Kasirye says

Other forage, trees and shrubs

The farm invests in growing and procuring other grasses, forage including the widely common Nappier grass and other local grasses.

“we can not run out of feeds, we hope to be able to grow all our feeds here at our farm efficiently regardless of the space.” Zawedde notes

Kasirye is hopeful that they can effectively use the space they have to inspire more Ugandans, they are as well growing vegetables both in small orchards and also in pots, including demonstrative options for people living in small spaces.

The Pyramid: Kasirye demonstrates small space farming options.

” What matters is starting, we have injected in quite a lot to get year and we are operating at a sustainable pace, we can pay our staff and as well carter for all expenses, but I urge people to start small.” Kasirye says

” We are moving ahead, all thanks to God, and in the near future we hope to be one of the best demonstration farms in the land, and as well provide training and exposure to other farmers, that’s why we are tirelessly employing all the technology we can lay our hands on…the stock is just growing, and we are currently not selling meat or calves but we only sell milk to the neighbouring communities, we produce about 200 litres a day.” Kasirye adds

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