Bird domestication can create jobs – DWNP

| September 8, 2015

An officer at the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) in Molepolole, Mr Dick Ntamba says the domestication of guinea fowls will create employment for many jobless citizens. He said in an interview that guinea fowls could be reared for business through the acquisition of a permit from his office.

He said marketing of the birds was done only by permit holders.

He emphasised that the rights of a permit holder were different from those of a licence holder. A licence holder is only allowed to hunt and kill a maximum of five guinea fowls a day for consumption while a permit is required for one to sell.

He complained that only a handful of people rear the birds at a small scale for meat and eggs. A guinea fowl is said to be able to produce 80 eggs, and it never manages to naturally hatch all of them. Although incubation machines are too expensive for most farmers, artificial incubation is a solution to the challenge.

There is also a common method of hatching guinea fowl eggs by mixing them with a chicken’s.

However, the DWNP does not encourage farmers to mix guinea fowl eggs with those of chickens.The mating season for guinea fowls is between September and December. During the period, hunting is outlawed so as to allow the birds to multiply.

One has to have land on which to construct an enclosed structure to get permission to keep guinea fowls.

The approximate cost of a male domestic guinea fowl is P200 while a female goes for P150. The bird is vulnerable to diseases such as newcastle and coccidiosis. The DWNP advises farmers that the bird should not be allowed to roam outside its housing structure, which should be 10 metres by 5 metres with a height of above two metres from the ground. The shelter should be well ventilated.

The birds can also be kept for security purposes, as they launch into their bird song when they spot something or someone they are not familiar with. The DWNP office in Molepolole keeps some guinea fowls for demonstration purposes, which helps communicate the required industry standard for keeping the birds

Category: News

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