Thousands of lambs and calves have died in South Africa and Botswana in recent years due to a virulent, fast-spreading Cryptosporidium and Escherichia coli disease complex. Veterinarian Dr Liezel Wasserman, who has been investigating the problem, spoke to Sabrina Dean.
On a small lifestyle farm near the rural town of Cambridge in New Zealand, Andrew and Leigh-Anne Peake are establishing the Valais Black Nose sheep as a new breed in the country. The couple have found the journey highly enjoyable, reports Gerhard Uys.
Boer goat stud breeders from across the country were in Bloemfontein at the start of May to participate in the annual Boerbok, Kalahari Red and Savanna World Show. Sabrina Dean spoke to Boer goat breeders Kobus Lötter, Andries Vollgraaff, Casper Byleveld and Lukas Burger about the current state of the Boer goat industry, and what the future holds for it.
Jean du Plessis refers to himself as a ‘bush breeder’, someone who selects with the eye and farms in harmony with his natural environment. Sabrina Dean visited him in the arid Northern Cape to find out more about his extensive Meatmaster sheep farming operation.
The story of Cornel Landman shows what can be achieved through good business sense and sheer determination. He told Glenneis Kriel about his farming enterprise, which grew from humble beginnings.
Free State Boer goat farmer Mariaan Grobler says intensive production is a viable option as there are never enough goats available to meet demand. Sabrina Dean visited her on her Free State farm to learn how she has fine-tuned her commercial operation to maximise production.
Three years ago, WA Hugo started farming dairy goats on 8ha just outside Lambert’s Bay. Today, he has a herd of 150 goats and produces various cheese products. Jeandré van der Walt visited him on his farm, Bettiesville, to learn more about the dos and don’ts of dairy goat farming.
The first phases of a lamb’s life are crucial for future growth. Kenneth Hamlett of Tau Mills spoke to Gerhard Uys about correct feeding practices for lambs and in-lamb ewes.
By producing medium-framed Merino sheep with ultra-fine wool, Johan Müller can run more animals and generate as much income as producers of larger-framed animals. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about his selection criteria, reproduction methods and shearing cycle.
Award-winning stud breeder Gerald Calitz runs a 200-strong Boer goat stud on his 70ha farm near Ventersdorp in North West. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about his breeding techniques.
Hendré Calitz, the chairperson of the Afrino Sheep Breeders’ Association of South Africa, manages the Koppiesfontein Afrino Stud near Smithfield for Piet and Theo Delport of Wesselsbron. Mike Burgess visited him to better understand the value of the Afrino under extensive conditions.
Ross Rayner and his father, Roger, farm 40 Nguni cows and 35 Bosvelder-type ewes on 250ha in the Mankazana Valley near Adelaide in the Eastern Cape. Their operation is an example of what value indigenous livestock holds for small-scale farmers.