The livestock section (previously called Dairy Division) started several decades ago. The white settler farmer kept Guernseys mainly to produce milk for his own use since his focus was on coffee. In 1970s the farm was bought by Africans and several Friesian cows were brought mainly from Loisoi farm near Mt. Kenya and Marula estates in Naivasha. The objective thus changed to business oriented farming as opposed to the previous domestic production. To date the section has continued to grow and diversify with the introduction of pigs, sheep, goats and poultry to supplement and complement one another towards sustainable and profitable livestock farming.
The dairy cows in the farm belong to two main breeds; Friesian which originated from Marula Estates, Delamere estates and ADC-Kitale farm. This breed is a high milk producer with comparatively low butter fat content compared to the other breeds. The other breed is the Ayrshire which was also brought in from Delamere farms. The milk production of this breed is lower than the Friesian but with a higher butter fat content. Currently, the farm has a herd of 32 lactating cows and heifers with three young bulls.
Some of the Friesian cows in their feeding lot The newest member in the family, christened (born on 25th Feb 2013)
The farm has a life stock of 31 mature pigs with 19 young piglets (as at 26th Feb 2013) which all belong to Large White breed. The breeding sows originated from Murang’a. There are two breeding boars with the old one christened Mr. Jones.
A sow with her piglets Mr. Jones
Sheep and goats
This is not a priority project for the farm but nevertheless there are several indigenous goats and sheep in the farm which are kept mainly for the manure and occasional sale to the university kitchen.
The dairy unit is currently undergoing expansion to accommodate 100 lactating cows. This expansion also involves the construction of a new spray race. In addition, the piggery unit is also undergoing expansion to accommodate an average of 100 pigs at any given time.
Besides indigenous goats, the farm intents to diversify further with the introduction of dairy goats and venture into layer birds (Isa brown).
The above article was prepared by James Kwinga, Animal Health Technician