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Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest animal farming news and updates from South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Why horses and donkeys still have a place in agriculture

No fuel or batteries required! With the world seeking to go green in the face of climate change, equids such as horses, donkeys and mules might just be the next big thing in farming.

How to keep your chickens happy and healthy

Chickens are sensitive to temperature and may be prone to illness. For this reason, adequate housing and healthcare are essential for profitable production. Janine Ryan reports on some things to consider when keeping chickens to ensure their welfare, better growth rates, and humane handling techniques.

Angora: good money from a great breed

Mohair production is a valuable farming option even outside the Karoo. This is being demonstrated at two studs in North West’s Wolmaransstad district, as Annelie Coleman found out on her visit to three brothers-in-law: Petrus Marx, Reco Pieterse and Stephan Erasmus.

Length of hind hooves can influence soundness in horses

The contribution of the hind hooves to overall soundness, neglected until now, has been highlighted in a new study.

Perseverance: the key to stud-farming success

Bonsmara stud manager Sizo Tshabalala believes there is a lesson to be learnt from every challenge. He spoke to Lindi Botha about how his passion for farming and determination to succeed have helped him overcome every obstacle he has faced on his journey to achieving his agricultural dreams.

Boran cattle: perfect fit for diversified farmer

As a diversified farmer whose primary focus is grain, Leon van Tonder doesn’t have much time to worry about his cattle. He spoke to Lindi Botha about why introducing Boran cattle into his herd was the best decision he has ever made, and how this beef breed complements his crop-production division.

Top pig farmer takes full advantage of technology

New technologies, big data and top-of-the-range genetics are becoming increasingly important aspects of profitable pig farming. However, these advancements don’t come cheap, placing them out of reach of many small-scale producers. Pig farmer CP Kriek spoke to Lindi Botha about tech solutions suited to Africa.

Merino: why a bigger flock is better on the Mpumalanga Highveld

The Mpumalanga Highveld was once the wool capital of South Africa, but rampant stock theft over the years has largely decimated the industry here. However, while some farmers are moving away from sheep farming, Johan Steyn has plans to expand his flock. He spoke to Lindi Botha about his success with Merinos.

Swine flu or swine fever? Know the difference!

In order to ensure proper treatment for and management of pig diseases, farmers must know the differences between African swine fever, classical swine fever and swine flu, says Janine Ryan.

The Afrikaner: equipped to beat climate change

The Afrikaner beef cattle breed’s outstanding plasticity enables it to perform optimally despite the negative consequences of climate change. Georgette Pyoos, a junior researcher in the Animal Breeding and Genetics Department at the Agricultural Research Council, spoke to Annelie Coleman about plasticity and its value.

Removal of waste in stables

With its implications for health, waste removal is a key aspect of management. It requires proper planning and a well-designed system that allow the task to be done quickly and efficiently, says Dr Mac.
dairy cows

Why sexed semen is ideal for emerging cattle farmers

In a recent study, Luther Magopa of the Agricultural Research Council, along with other researchers, looked at the possibility and benefits of using sexed semen in emerging or small-scale cattle production.