Farmers’ Diaries: Xolisa Bomela

Xolisa Bomela, Ntseshe, Eastern Cape

We farm Dohne merinos and merinos in a communal area. This complicates management, but we’ve come up with plans to make the system work for us.

Our local group, the Ntseshe Wool Growers’ Association, is affiliated to the Nqamakwe Wool Growers’ Association, which in turn is affiliated to the Eastern Cape Communal Wool Growers’ Association. Through these associations, we’ve developed a programme followed by all sheep farmers in our area to avoid the spread of diseases.

Each household keeps its rams separate so they don’t graze with the ewes. Only ewes graze the common area and all farmers follow the same vaccination programme.

My sheep will get their annual Covexin 10 vaccine against pulpy kidney, black quarter, sudden-death syndrome, lamb dysentery and infectious necrotic hepatitis. The vaccine is effective within 14 days and lasts a year.

We use it on all animals, from two-week old lambs to mature sheep. We’re also vaccinating against blue tongue. We’re expecting our lambs in March, so we boost our ewes’ milk production and body condition with extra feed and supplements. To provide the necessary protein, we feed Molatek Master 20 mixed with crushed yellow maize and salt.

We also give Voermol’s Maxi Block or Maxiwol Readymix, which are high in protein and good for meat and wool production for sheep on veld grazing. I also use Talitha Pharma’s Talirox for tapeworm and nasal bot.

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