Farmers’ Diaries: Vhutolo Khangale

Goat farmer

Ha-Makhuvha, Thohoyandou, Limpopo

We have indigenous veld goats (IVG) that we run on communal land. This can be a struggle for us as we don’t want our goat flocks mixing with other village goats. This is because we have been working hard to keep our IVG genetics pure. To do this, we manage our flock hands-on; the goats are always with a herdsman who takes them to and from grazing.

We have drilled for water on our own property so that we can water our goats separately to the village goats because it may not be easy to control the goats once they mix with others.

We have chosen to farm IVG because it is the most cost-effective breed, especially for us with our limited resources. We don’t vaccinate the goats as they are hardy and well-adapted to difficult conditions in many parts of the country. At times we have a few cases of heartwater disease, but most of the goats survive with minimal treatment. We don’t dose for internal or external parasites.

They get a supplementary ration in the form of goat pellets and lucerne in the morning and in the afternoon. We will feed them less or more of the ration depending on body condition. When body condition scores (BCS) are low, I feed them supple- ments every day; when BCS go up they are fed a ration every other day.

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