How to improve the value of your livestock

Written by Maurice Rangoma.

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Other than keeping your livestock healthy and productive, another way to increase the value of livestock is merely by registering them with the Kenya Livestock Breeders Association (KLBO). Livestock farmers fear that their animals may not be acceptable but this fear is unfounded.

KLBO accepts all animals whether indigenous, exotic or cross breeds as long as important records are kept according to breed association rules, policies and by-laws, the Animal Pedigree Act and any other relevant laws. These records are maintained in a livestock database and are useful for the National Livestock and Dairy Cattle Breeding Programs; and as resource materials for research by Research Institutions, universities and for national planning purposes. The efficiency of these recording are essential for increased production and hence improvement in national food security.

However there are conditions and charges to be met before registration. Among other services offered, the records kept for individual animal milk production and the printing of lactation certificates are very valuable to the livestock keeper because:

Request for stock registration

KLBO has its head office in Nakuru at Kenya Stud Book Building. Agents are available to help in the registration process. You start by requesting for registration and an agent will be sent to assess the farm. If the agent is satisfied the farmer is allowed to register the stock having met the following charges.

Charges for registration for dairy cattle breeds

 
Type of animal
Fee (Ksh)
Foundation 150
Intermediate cow 200
Appendix cow 200
Pedigree cow 200
Bulls: Pedigree only 1000

These charges are met once in the lifetime of an animal.

Charges for milk recording

Record type
Fee (Ksh)
Cow entry 100 once in a lifetime
Lactation Report / Certificate 150 at the end of a lactation
Herd average report / certificate 350 on farmers request

 

Important stock records

Usually what is required is that you maintain good and up to date stock records which include the following:

Cow identification

This can be by ear tattoo, notching, tagging, branding, photos or sketches. Unlike other identification method, is ear tagging is the most preferred of the amount of information it can hold and the ease of use. Information should include the reference number or name of the animal in the farm record, date of birth, sire and dam.

Cow card

The cow card should have the following information

Herd/stock register

A simple herd’s register showing a list of all animals in the farm, their dates of birth, the Kenya Stud Book Number, sire, dam, date when animals leave the herd and reason for disposal.

Breeding records

Insemination certificates and semen straws after inseminations carried out in the farm. The inseminator’s certificate should contain the following:-

Production records

A weekly or monthly summary on one sheet for the whole milking herd showing daily milk production per cow per milking and the following details:-

Also a copy of milk analysis test from approved milk analysis laboratories.

These requirements may seem overwhelming but they are value for money. You will thank yourself later for taking these steps. We have witnessed many farmers willing but unable to export their livestock at lucrative prices because they lacked these records.

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