Thabo Dithakgwe – African Farming

Thabo Dithakgwe, Bray, Kagisano-Molopo, North West

At Nasi Ditha Farming we specialise in Boer goat production. This is a good breed to work with as it is easy to maintain and highly fertile, making for an animal with low input cost. I am based in Molopo, which has a semiarid climate, but there is still sufficient vegetation for the goats to browse. We try our best not to pamper our animals and they seem to thrive in the toughest conditions Molopo has to offer.

They are on supplementary feeding only during mating, kidding and preparation for sales. I give my ewes a Maxi Block with aloe during pregnancy to improve their colostrum production, and once they have lambed they get a lick of Procon 33, Maxiwol concentrate, Tau production lick, crushed yellow maize and salt to maintain good body condition. Lucerne and groundnut bales are also offered, as they are high in protein and good for milk production, which makes for strong lambs.

I vaccinate my goats with Multivax P Plus and the OBP bluetongue vaccine. I have three lambing seasons annually – it helps with cash flow throughout the year. My current kids are now two months old and due to be weaned at four months. Young rams go through a growth trial and I sell them at 12 months to communal and emerging farmers who want to improve quality in their flocks.

I sell young ewes at eight to 12 months to interested buyers who want to breed. I vaccinate youngsters against lumpy skin disease and dose them for internal parasites. I also supplement them with Ovi-Min for optimum growth and give them lamb creep feed. At weaning they get ram, lamb and ewe pellets. Goats supply a niche market demand and are good for startups with new farmers, as they are low maintenance and easy to farm.

However, they need good, strong fencing as they are quite naughty and stubborn. I am now on a plan to breed my goats more like antelope, feeding them game blocks and allowing them to move freely.

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