On the 12th of October we left for Africa University with 31 students, three teachers, two School development Committee members and a parent. We left at 08.00 a.m. on board a Machekamhuru minibus. The trip was meant to familiarize the staff and the students with piggery and broiler production.
On arrival we were greeted by Mr. Nyabunze who is the supervisor of the animal husbandry section. He took us through the three housing units ie the dry sow area, the furrowing house and the fattening area. In each case he took time to explain operations undertaken and entertained questions from the members present. Each student had a piece of paper on which to take notes and it appeared this area interested them the most.
I have deliberately made. This report descriptive in order to avoid overwhelming you with technical detail. Pupils managed to learn about housing, breeding, feeding, health management and marketing of pigs. After some two hours we went to the broiler section.
The pupils were asked top pass through a footbath before entering the yard. Mr. Nyabunze discussed the equipment used in the brooder i.e. feeders and waterers, heating systems and vaccination equipment.
We learnt that each deep Widder contains 2000 birds at a time and a batch is ordered every two weeks. The birds are sold at 6 weeks weighing a average 1,2kgs.
A comprehensive vaccination programme was given to contain diseases like Gumboro, New Castle and Coccidiosis. We discovered that not everyone in the dept enters the houses in order to avoid carrying in diseases from outside and in a while. We were fortunate to see some of the broilers being slaughtered for the local market and Christmas Pass Hotel Security is there 24 hours a day and their accommodation is by the main gate.
We also learnt that feed has to be purchased from reputable dealers to avoid contaminated foods.
At around 12.30 we had seen enough and a student gave a vote of thanks to the supervisor and his colleague who promised to assist us by selecting two serviced sows to kick start our project. I would like to attribute the success of the project to expert technical know how, thorough supervision and the provision/availability of more than adequate medication.
The bus came to collect us at 2 pm and we had a stopover at Frick's for a scrumptious luncheon. We arrived at school at 3.40 p.m
(Teacher of agriculture at Pafiwa Mutasa High School)