Poultry farmers can adopt Christmas melon (also called Tagiri) extract to cure the deadly and contagious Newcastle disease (ND) that attack their birds and avoid the use of antibiotics and other synthetic drugs that often raise their production costs and harm humans.
According to a previous report by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Newcastle disease control in Kibwezi, Machakos County, in spite of the availability of the disease vaccines its uptake by smallholder farmers is generally limited due to its cost hence ND remains a major constraint among the farmers.
“The cost of rearing chicken has become costly and it is high time farmers need to go organic in raising their chicken and put in place those natural defenses that will help protect our flock against deadly poultry diseases,” said Marshal Kithokilo, an organic farmer from Kajiado County.
According to him, Christmas Melon is interestingly known to ward off viral diseases in poultry and the only challenge in using it is that it is supposed be prepared for seven good days before usage.
However, it is important to know how the wonderful bulb can be used effectively without any complications.
What is needed to make the extract
-Tagiri bulbs (2kg Tagiri for 4 liters of water)
-A container with cover.
-A calibrated container to measure the volume of water to be used
-A weighing balance to measure the weight of the Tagiri bulbs
RELATED CONTENT: To stop Newcastle disease in chicken, vaccinate your flock
Christmas melon (Tagiri)
Making the extract
-Get the Tagiri bulbs
-Peel off the green back and
-Cut the Tagiri into pieces,
-Measure water that is twice the weight of the Tagiri cuts in liters (i.e ratio 2:4)
-Pour the water into your container
-Add the Tagiri cuts
-Cover the container with a breathable mesh and use rubber band to hold it tight
(Keep in a cool dark room and allow the Tagiri cuts to ferment inside the water for 7 days)
-On day 7, strain the Tagiri water into a bigger container, and then blend the Tagiri cuts and the seeds
-Add the blended Tagiri into the Tagiri liquid that was strained earlier.
-You should not add fresh water.
Peeled and peels of Christmas melon (Tagiri)
Preservation of the extract
-Add 2 part molasses to 6 parts Tagiri extract.
-That is, 2:6. If you have 6 liters of Tagiri extract, you will need to add 2 liter of molasses to preserve it.
-Note that there is no need to refrigerate after adding molasses to the extract.
Never use Tagiri extract for pullets and breeders above 14 weeks or layers in production.
Tagiri extract is completely safe for birds before 14 weeks.
Tagiri extract can be given to day-old chicks in the form of vaccine to ward off Newcastle disease and also Marek’s disease and Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD).