Feeding is an important aspect in the management of any farm animal. It requires knowledge of the feeding behaviour and nutrient requirements of animals for specific production functions.
Donkey owning homes in Lilongwe and Dedza under the mentorship of the Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) are leading by a good example. They are now able to make and provide a daily nutritious protein and vitamin supplement diet for their donkeys, made from soya and maize bran. Not only do these donkey owners understand the need of supplementary feeding, as responsible owners they also understand that it is the right of every animal to be fed.
Earlier this month, LSPCA with support from the Donkey Sanctuary Project (DSP)-UK organized a monitoring exercise and visited donkey owning households in Mgwangwa-Lilongwe to establish if the knowledge of best practice is shared and implemented. The monitoring exercise also highlighted the areas which still need improvement.
LSPCA is pleased to learn that some farmers do follow its teachings and advise. Of lately, the assessment shows an increase in the adoption and use of body score index tool among the donkey owners. Donkey owners are now able to make informed decisions about feeding patterns based on the score value of their donkeys on the body index score tool.
Mr joseph Phiri, a lead farmer is one of the donkey owner in Mgwangwa embracing LSPCA’s interventions. Mr Phiri is a happy man, he now owns 6 healthy donkeys at his house. His donkeys are growing healthy and don’t fall sick very often. He reveals his secret to be a healthy rich and a nutritious diet which he provides to his donkeys on daily basis. Following LSPCA’s guidance, joseph makes feed for his donkeys by proportionally mixing maize bran, soya husks and kitchen salt. He applauds LSPCA for its commitment to promote donkey health and welfare in Malawi.