Wetenschap - 30 maart 1995

Kenyan Calves Research Focus

Kenyan Calves Research Focus

You might think that from the size of her office, being a sandwich PhD student is a literally being placed between the walls, but Judith Kiragu from Kenya researching in Animal Nutrition, is not too disturbed by the fact that her office is barely big enough for two people to sit in.


Working for the National Animal Husbandry Research Centre in Naivasha Kenya, Judith interacted with many small dairy farmers in Kenya. Her focus has been in the area of animal health, breeding and developing feed resources. Being faced with questions from small farmers with limited land plots, and searching for the right answers to those questions, Judith was led her to her PhD topic, You see, the demand for milk in Kenya is high and the farmers wanted to know how they could maximize their milk production for domestic human consumption by finding alternative fodder sources for the young calves."

They still want healthy young calves and they need to ensure that the dairy industry can continue. I am trying to evaluate the fodder crops used by the Kenyan dairy farmers to see how the diet of the young calves can be changed to improve growth rates, while reducing the dependency upon mothers milk. Sometimes supplements are expensive so it is important to use things that are locally abundant."

They are already growing sweet potato so I am researching the nutritional values of the vines, how much calves would require and what the benefits would be." Judith will return to Kenya in July, remaining there for final experiments until March 1996. Once the field work is complete, she will return to Wageningen to transform her findings into a thesis.

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