Good feeding for guinea fowl
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CTA. 2004. Good feeding for guinea fowl. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57181
Patrick Mphaka reports on a project that is introducing guinea fowl to farming communities in Malawi.
Good feeding for guinea fowl Cue: Our next report comes from Blantyre in Malawi, where Patrick Mphaka reports on the growing popularity of guinea fowl among village poultry keepers. One reason for this popularity is a reported resistance of guinea fowl in Malawi to a major poultry disease, Newcastle disease, which every year has a devastating impact on unvaccinated poultry flocks. While this reported resistance may reflect a greater hardiness in guinea fowl to some common diseases, guinea fowl are, in fact vulnerable to Newcastle disease, in common with nearly all poultry species, and those keeping guinea fowl should follow appropriate steps to keep their birds disease free. IN: ?Traditionally, popular domestic birds? OUT: ?.Newcastle which troubles our chickens.? DUR?N 5?00? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Village headman Magombo Ngondo ending that report on a community guinea fowl project in his village. Please note that while in his experience, guinea fowl are more resistant to Newcastle disease, veterinary advice suggests that guinea fowl are, in fact, vulnerable to the disease, in common with other poultry. Transcript Mphaka Traditionally, popular domestic birds kept by most people here are chickens. These have their advantages, and, naturally, their disadvantages. One of the most menacing problems for the poor lot of chicken keepers is the seasonal outbreak of Newcastle disease. It is a big problem for most people because though easily preventable when appropriate vaccination is supplied to the birds, most of them can not afford it. The result is death en masse of chickens once or twice each year. Due to this problem, most people are turning their attention to alternative birds. To this end, the introduction of guinea fowls in some areas has become handy. To date, there are no locally known diseases which attack guinea fowls. This quality directly solves the problem most bird keepers have been having with chickens. Since the retail price of guinea fowls is higher than that of chickens, it has not been easy for most people to start rearing guinea fowls. There are some instances, however, where Non-Governmental organizations have intervened in introducing the birds to some communities. One such community is in Magombo Ngondo village in Traditional Authority Kuntaja in Blantyre district. The community here was given some twenty birds to keep on community level and that as the birds multiply, they can start sharing amongst themselves. I paid the village headman a visit to learn more about the feeding practices, among other relevant issues. Ngondo [Vernac] As far as feeding is concerned, we provide them with food two or three times each day within the stall before we release them to fend for themselves outside. In addition, we also ensure that the water containers which you see there are cleaned and filled with clean water each day. We feed these guinea fowls with maize bran, sorghum, or sometimes we look for white ants, so that we are sure that when they are going to fend for themselves, they have already had enough food. Mphaka You told me earlier that sometimes these birds are 100% stall fed, and sometimes, like this period, they are on semi-free range. Would you elaborate on that? Ngondo We stall feed them 100% when we have just planted various crops in the fields. This is done to ensure that the planted seeds grow without being eaten away by the guinea fowls. As you know, these birds are very notorious with seed, especially maize. Once the seedlings are of good health, and can not be destroyed anymore by the guinea fowls, we then put them on semi-free range. Mphaka These guinea fowls belong to the community. How does the community assist you in taking care of the guinea fowls in terms of feeding them and other things? Ngondo The community assists in several ways. They take turns in making sure that the inside and outside of the guinea fowl house is clean. They are also the ones who do the actual feeding of the guinea fowls. Mphaka Would you like to tell me the difference in terms of production of eggs between the times when you are giving them food inside their house, and when you are allowing them to go out free range? Ngondo They lay eggs more continuously when they are on semi-free range. We think this is because they are able to supplement on the food we give them inside the stall. Again, we think that the space and fresh air which they enjoy outside, give them more freedom which make them healthier. Mphaka What would you say is the advantage of rearing guinea fowls over chickens? Ngondo Guinea fowls are better than chickens when it comes to diseases. Guinea fowls are resistant to Newcastle which troubles our chickens. End of track.