Laikipia farmers urged to embrace feedlot livestock rearing

Laikipia county government is encouraging livestock farmers to embrace feedlots in order to produce quality beef for sale.

The Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries County Executive Member, Dr. Lucy Murugi said that animals bred in feed lots produce quality beef as they fatten due to restricted movement since they are fed on hay and other supplements while in an enclosure and thus gain the desired weight within a short time.

This is like the zero grazing concept only that it involves raising beef animals in an enclosure. The animals are sold for slaughter after they attain the desired weight and beef content, Dr. Murugi said.

The County Executive spoke on Tuesday during a National government service coordination committee meeting for departmental heads in County and National government convened by Laikipia County Commissioner, Onesmus Kyatha and Governor Nderitu Mureithi in Nanyuki town.

She revealed that a good number of livestock farmers had already embraced the concept.

We are sensitizing our farmers that feedlots will help them breed quality bulls for slaughter and thus earn better than when they graze them while moving from place to place as they don’t meet the desired beef quality when slaughtered, Dr. Murugi told the meeting.

She added that her department had mapped over 70, 000 cattle in the county and placed identification tags with microchips to prevent rustling. The microchips help in tracking down stolen animals.

Dr. Murugi added that feedlots would help in curbing cattle rustling for which Laikipia is prone especially during the dry season as it would limit animal movements.

Governor Mureithi observed that if farmers embraced that concept wholly, rearing animals on feedlots would generate between 10, 000 to 15, 000 jobs directly to locals through the value chain.

For us as a County to be able to produce quality beef for export, then we have to start rearing our cattle on feedlots since it’s the only profitable way of doing it, Governor Mureithi said.

The County Commissioner implored the departmental heads to embrace a multi-sectoral approach while offering government services to ensure effective service delivery.

Source: Kenya News Agency