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    Movable goat and sheep pens reduce mortality to just 10%

    housing goats

    Goat and sheep farmers can reduce kids/lambs mortality to 10 per cent by constructing mobile housing.

    A majority of farmers in Kenya use the traditional house made of woody enclosure which exposes them to high draught, predation, and parasites.

    To curb this, farmers can make the Riyason mobile house that takes the shape of a half moon and varies in size depending on the population of the herd. Some of the materials required to make the house are; strong wooden sticks measuring 1.5m to three meters in length and finger size thickness, binding wire, locally available woody species that can be folded to form a semi-circle without breaking e.g. Grewia , Duom palm and Commiphora.

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    Make the foundation of the house frame by folding together two strong wooden sticks of two finger size thickness to form a circle then join the two foundation wooden sticks together by using barks or binding wire.

    The next step is to fold the 1.5-3 meters length finger size thickness wooden sticks to form a semi-circle and join the ends of the sticks to the opposite ends of the foundation frame. Crisscross the folded wooden sticks in the upper frame close together and join them by using barks or binding wire.

    To cover the frame, use polythene sheet, cow dung, doum palm leaves, or old pieces of cloth. The house should have sufficient windows to provide ventilation and a door made from woody material or old pieces of iron sheet.

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    To keep the house free of parasites move it to a new site on daily basis.  For grazing kids and lambs, turn it upside down to expose the ticks, lice, and flies to the sun's heat. Keep the house for use in the future after weaning the kids and lambs.  Protect it from termites' attack and intense heat by keeping it above ground and in a shaded area. Since kids and lambs destroy the wooden material repair it from time to time once it breaks up.

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