The right kind of house
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CTA. 2006. The right kind of house. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57371
Advantages and disadvantages of wooden, brick and mud-brick houses, importance of hygiene, such as clearing away dung.
The right kind of house Cue: Goats are, by nature, hardy animals that do not get sick easily. However, if goats do become sick they often fail to recover, and may die, so keeping them healthy is very important. One factor in keeping goats healthy is providing the right type of housing for them. Above all, farmers need to keep their goat pens clean. If goats are sleeping on dung which has not been cleared up, internal parasites such as worms can easily be spread around the flock. Ventilation is also very important. If a goat house is poorly ventilated, the goats may get stressed, which can make them more vulnerable to illness. They are also more likely to catch pneumonia or other bronchial diseases. Goat houses need to be big enough to prevent over-crowding. It can also be a good idea to have separate houses for the young goats, since this will prevent them being bullied by the adult males. So what kind of housing is suitable for goats? Patrick Mphaka put that question to Alexander Bukhu, senior veterinary officer for Mpemba area, in southern Malawi. In Malawi, the word for a goat house is a khola. IN: ?Good housing for goats should have ? OUT: ? very vigilant mostly on hygienic point of view.? DUR?N 3?24? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Alexander Bukhu, senior veterinary officer in Mpemba area, southern Malawi, emphasising the need for good hygiene in goat houses. The interview comes from a radio resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Bukhu Good housing for goats should have a dry floor, light and good ventilation. There are three types of kholas. The most recommended one is the ideal housing for goats but require a lot of nails and timber. There is also brick khola. Very expensive. Baking bricks requires large quantities of firewood. And there is another one, mud khola. These kholas are easy to build and the materials are cheap and locally available. Mphaka Out of those three types of kholas that you have told us about how the goats can be housed, which one would you recommend is the best kind of housing for the goats? Bukhu The best khola should be poled, roof thatched for good ventilation, and enough light. Other than the brick khola and the mud one, the most recommended is poled because it is raised so that even cleaning is not a big problem. Mphaka I understand there are a number of considerations which you have to have when you are constructing a khola. For instance the one which you are saying you use poles and it is raised, what can you say about the advantages? Bukhu The poled one is self cleaning because the droppings they just go right away from the top down on the ground whereby the farmer can easily come and collect without any problems. And it lessens the labour of the farmer to go in and out every day to sweep the khola. Mphaka Since you are using the poles, we are aware that due to deforestation not many areas probably can have the necessary poles to construct the poled khola. In such a situation is there any better way of still making sure that given the worst situation which you have that it?s not the recommended one, you can still try your best that the goats must be as comfortable as possible in such a khola? Bukhu Comfortability of that khola is not all that okay because there is time where by the weather becomes very hot whereby you can not have control of that situation. And mud kholas, if not constructed properly, if the rains come, let?s say it is a windy, they might even destroy the khola. Mphaka So if one has got a mud khola, what would you recommend in terms of how they should do the thatching so that the water does not wet the wall leading to its consequent falling down? Bukhu In such a case, we might even advise the farmer to buy a plastic sheet to cover the roof, then on top to put on more grass. But still the farmer has to work extra hard in removing all the dung on daily basis if he can afford. Mphaka What?s the advantage of making sure that you remove the dung from the khola? Bukhu If the dung remains on the floor, they might accumulate and some of the bacteria can get advantage of that. Mphaka And once the bacteria get advantage of the situation, what are the consequences? Bukhu Definitely, the goats will become sick. When the goat is sick it becomes very expensive to treat the goat. Mphaka So it?s better to prevent than to cure. Bukhu Yes. But bear in mind that the farmer is supposed to be very vigilant mostly on hygienic point of view. End of track.