LESOTHO Floor Mills (LFM) recently held a training workshop for egg farmers and retailers of the company’s animal feeds to assist them to optimise their production.
The workshop saw South Africa-based animal feeds formulation consultant Rick Kleyn sharing his expertise with the farmers. The training afforded farmers a chance to ask questions they have always wanted to ask LFM about their daily operations.
Founded in 1976, LFM is a local manufacturer and distributor of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in milling and sugar packaging. The company operates in four product categories of maize milling, flour milling, animal feed milling and sugar packaging.
However, by virtue of producing animal feed through its Makhulo animal farm feed brand, LFM has egg producers as its customers.
LFM general manager Charles Williams told participants at the workshop that was crucial to empower egg farmers with relevant information to take better care of their birds and improve egg production.
“We have been getting many questions especially in the last six months about the different challenges you face, so this is an opportunity for you to ask those questions and get them addressed by the appropriate personnel, who handle your affairs daily,” Mr Williams said.
“I hope you find the training helpful in giving you some the responses you need.”
In his presentation, Mr Kleyn said that while appropriate feeding is an important aspect of raising broilers, there are other factors that farmers need to be aware of.
Among other things, he said that proper farm management is important. He said this includes ensuring that apart from proper feeding, there should be appropriate lighting, ventilation, spacing, hygiene and disease control mechanism among others.
‘Makabelo Matlaba, a Leribe retailer and farmer said she has been approached by several farmers who have complained about their birds dying.
“Customers complain to me that their birds die and some complain about the excessive eating of their birds especially in winter. However, after this workshop, I have learnt that chickens will consume more food to get warm. I also now know that some of the problems are not because of the Makhulo feed.
“I also now know the right weight at which point of lay birds should be to ensure that they will lay as per expectation,” Ms Matlaba said.
However, some customers said LFM should always inform them whenever it wishes to alter the composition of its feeds as such changes affect egg quality and may even lead to the death of the birds.
They have also requested that a third party be involved to certify the appropriateness of the feed.
Other producers complained about the inconsistency of supply of certain varieties of feed, which they said affected their businesses.