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  • Young poultry farmer thrives despite setbacks

    Young poultry farmer thrives despite setbacks

    Asiphe Pentu runs a poultry farming operation from his home in Beshwana village in Mount Ayliff near Kokstad, in the Eastern Cape. One of six siblings, Pentu started his business, Khawulela Poultry Farming, in 2014, when he was just 17 and still in Grade 9, due to poverty faced by his family. His...
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  • Securing a market for your chickens

    Securing a market for your chickens

    Emerging poultry farmers should first find a market for the eggs or chickens they will be producing. However, these farmers shouldn’t try to compete with the large commercial producers for a place on the supermarket shelves. These big producers use specially selected chicken breeds to produce egg...
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  • Reduce antibiotic usage with these management tips

    Reduce antibiotic usage with these management tips

    Lowering antibiotic usage is easier said than done, as it usually coincides with a drop in farm margins. Dr John Patience, a professor in animal science specialising in pig nutrition at Iowa State University in the US, says this is primarily due to higher mortalities, but also because, as product...
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  • How to start a pig farming business

    How to start a pig farming business

    Kgadi Senyatsi, head of business development at the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO), says that farmers wanting to enter the pig industry should begin by conducting thorough research. “The pig industry is a complex, costly industry,” she warns. SAPPO recommends that a farmer sta...
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  • Harnessing the dual-purpose potential of Merino ewes

    Harnessing the dual-purpose potential of Merino ewes

    “Merinos are our pride and joy,” says Matthew Morgan (35), who returned home to farm near Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape with his late father, Jonathan, in 2009 before establishing his first pastures a year later. “With the pastures, I tried to maximise the potential of existing land so that I cou...
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  • Free-range duck farming in KZN Why less is more

    Free-range duck farming in KZN Why less is more

    Vanessa Collocott raises free-range Pekin ducks for meat on her 20ha smallholding, The Blue Orange Farm, in Curry’s Post, between Mooi River and Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. Her government-certified, free-range duck production enterprise started with only 60 day-old Pekin ducklings back in 2012. She ...
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  • Dealing with external parasites on chickens

    Dealing with external parasites on chickens

    External parasites (ectoparasites) that target poultry include lice, mites, ticks, fleas and flies. They live on or around the birds, and can disturb them, affect their growth and egg production, and spread disease. Lice Chickens are infested mainly with biting lice. These irritate the birds, slo...
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  • Chicken housing – get the basics right!

    Chicken housing – get the basics right!

      The purpose of poultry housing is to provide chickens with a healthy and comfortable environment that’s clean, dry and secure. The most affordable type is a naturally ventilated house scalable to any size.   This doesn’t make use of costly air-conditioning to control the climate insid...
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  • Caring for the sow and piglets at farrowing

    Caring for the sow and piglets at farrowing

    ‘Farrow’ originally meant ‘young pig’. In the early 1400s it came to refer to the birth process in pigs. The sow’s litter is also called a ‘farrow’. The most critical period in the life of a pig is from birth to weaning. On average, about two pigs per litter are lost during this time. Good manage...
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  • Breeding top-performing Dohne Merino on 95ha

    Breeding top-performing Dohne Merino on 95ha

    “Over five decades ago, my late father-in-law, Japie Patience, started farming 10 Ile de France sheep on a 95ha piece of rented commonage land in Saron, near Porterville. He also had a few calves that he bought from dairy farmers in the area,” recalls Therecia Patience. She took over the farm in ...
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  • Biosecurity your first line of defence against disease

    Biosecurity your first line of defence against disease

    Dr Fambies van Biljon, veterinarian at Sovereign Foods, talks to Glenneis Kriel about the crucial need to establish a well-run biosecurity programme at a poultry production facility. Why is biosecurity so important? Why can’t birds simply be medicated when they fall ill? The problem with poultry ...
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  • Still Serious Shortage of International Shipping Containers

    Still Serious Shortage of International Shipping Containers

    Since the second half of 2020, there has been a serious shortage of international shipping containers. A series of factors have affected the cost and price of international shipping. The price has changed the relationship between supply and demand, breaking the previous relatively stable process....
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  • Researchers reveal switch used in plant defense against animal attack

    For decades, scientists have known that plants protect themselves from the devastation of hungry caterpillars and other plant-munching animals through sophisticated response systems, the product of millions of years of evolution. The biological mechanisms underlying this attack-counter defense pa...
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  • Replacing animal testing with synthetic cell scaffolds

    Replacing animal testing with synthetic cell scaffolds

    In the field of cancer research, the idea that scientists can disrupt cancer growth by changing the environment in which cancerous cells divide is growing in popularity. The primary way researchers have tested this theory is to conduct experiments using animals. Smitha Rao’s cell scaffoldin...
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  • One-third of plant and animal species could be gone in 50 years

    Accurately predicting biodiversity loss from climate change requires a detailed understanding of what aspects of climate change cause extinctions, and what mechanisms may allow species to survive. A new study by University of Arizona researchers presents detailed estimates of global extinction fr...
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  • Honey bees fend off giant hornets with animal feces

    Honey bees fend off giant hornets with animal feces

    What’s the best way to ward off giant hornets if you’re a honeybee? Animal dung, according to a first-ever University of Guelph study. U of G researchers have discovered honeybees in Vietnam collect and apply spots of animal dung around hive entrances to deter deadly nest raids by an ...
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  • Global-scale animal ecology reveals behavioral changes in response to climate change

    Global-scale animal ecology reveals behavioral changes in response to climate change

    Using a new large-scale data archive of animal movement studies, an international team including University of Maryland biologists found that animals are responding in unexpected ways to climate change. The archive contains data from studies across the global Arctic and sub-Arctic, an enormous re...
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  • Genomic analysis reveals many animal species may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Genomic analysis reveals many animal species may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Humans are not the only species facing a potential threat from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis. An international team of scientists used genomic analysis to compare the main cellular receptor for the virus i...
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  • For plant and animal immune systems the similarities go beyond sensing

    For plant and animal immune systems the similarities go beyond sensing

    Although profoundly different in terms of physiology, habitat and nutritional needs, plants and animals are confronted with one shared existential problem: how to keep themselves safe in the face of constant exposure to harmful microorganisms. Mounting evidence suggests that plants and animals ha...
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  • Designing animal studies to improve research reproducibility and reduce animal use

    Designing animal studies to improve research reproducibility and reduce animal use

    Animal experiments are typically conducted under highly standardized laboratory conditions. While standardization is meant to improve reproducibility of scientific results, in reality reproducibility is surprisingly low. To produce more robust results, experts from different fields of research no...
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  • Deforestation is changing animal communication

    Deforestation is changing animal communication

    Deforestation is changing the way monkeys communicate in their natural habitat, according to a new study. This study, led by an anthropologist at the University of Waterloo, offers the first evidence in animal communication scholarship of differences in vocal behaviours in response to different t...
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  • Animal groups consider multiple factors before fighting

    Animal groups consider multiple factors before fighting

    Groups of animals consider multiple factors before deciding whether to fight rivals, researchers say. Before one-on-one fights, animals are known to make decisions based on factors including the size and strength of the opponent, the outcome of recent fights and the importance of the prize. But s...
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  • Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

    Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

    Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers from the University of Bern and the University Hospital Bern now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a novel cell-based therapeutic approach. ...
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  • Study reveals valuable disease-fighting qualities in African indigenous cattle

    Study reveals valuable disease-fighting qualities in African indigenous cattle

    Scientists have revealed a new set of detailed genetic markers and information for African cattle that provide heat and drought tolerance, control of inflammation and tick infestation, and resistance to devastating livestock diseases such as trypanosomiasis   The findings, published in Nature Gen...
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