Notes to broadcasters

Part A “Udder Care for Goats”

 Part B “Protection and Support for your Goat’s Udder”

 Part C “Storing Eggs”

 Part D “A Garden Instead of a Gully”

Information on these topics was requested by DCFRN Participants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Laos, Mexico, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Uruguay and Western Samoa.


As the four “mini items” that make up this item are on different subjects, it is suggested that those which are applicable to your farmers be used on separate occasions; also that you carefully read the notes that accompany the “mini items” you use and that you follow the suggestions concerning information in previous DCFRN items.

Additional Notes for 9A:

1. For maximum benefit to your audience, it is suggested that you use this item in association with information from:

“Milking Your Goat” — DCFRN package 8, item 6. (This item describes proper milking procedures necessary to maintain udders in a healthy and productive state.

You may also wish to use information from:

Protection and Support for Your Goat’s Udder” — DCFRN Package 9, (this package), Item 9B.

2. Further information on milk quality can be found in:

“Fewer Bacteria in Your Milk” — DCFRN Package 4, item 3.

3. Although this item and the other items noted above deal with either goats or cows, much of the information about one kind of animal is applicable to the other.

Additional Notes for 9B:

If the information in this item is pertinent for farmers you serve, it should be used in association with:
“Udder Care for Goats” – DCFRN Package 9 (this package), Item 8.

We would also suggest that this item be used in association with information in two other items.
“Milking Your Goat” — DCFRN Package 8, item 6.
“Fewer Bacteria in Your Milk” — DCFRN Package 4, item 3.

Additional Notes for 9C:

For maximum benefit to your audience, we suggest that you use this item in association with information from a previous DCFRN item on egg storage:

“Infertile Eggs keep Longer” — DCFRN Package 4, item 9A.

Additional Notes for 9D:

1. The approach of this “mini item” is new and different from all previous DCFRN items. By presenting an on-the-spot description, it is intended to convey some ideas to your farmers which might motivate them, on their own, to take a particular curse of action. Your comments on this approach will be appreciated.

2. The subject of this “mini item” is related to the content of other DCFRN items. You might consider using the information in the following items in association with this one:

“Healing a Gully” — DCFRN Package 8, item 9A.

“Nitrogen Fertilizer that Doesn’t Cost any Money” — DCFRN Package 5, item 4.


Part A Presenter:
George Atkins

Part B Presenter:
George Atkins

Part C Presenter:
Barbara Peacock

Part D Presenter:
George Atkins

We at this radio station are part of a world-wide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency, Massey-Ferguson and the University of Guelph.

Through this Network we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell — ways that other farmers have used successfully.

Today, here’s (George Atkins) (Barbara Peacock) with a farming hint.

“Udder Care for Goats”

Right now I’d like to talk about a very important part of your goat, or your cow or other milk-producing animal: the udder.

Although I’m particularly thinking about goats, this information applies to other kinds of milking animals as well.

Now maybe you’ve seen a goat with an infected udder — an udder that’s hot and swollen, perhaps hard and lumpy, and tender or painful to the goat. When an udder in infected like this, it’s bad for several reasons. For one thing, the milk may have thick clots or flakes in it, it may be a yellowish colour, or it may be thin or watery. Milk like this contains bad germs or microbes and will probably make you or your children sick if you use it.

If any milk from your goat seems normal, but you’re not completely certain that it’s good, you should boil it before you use or sell it.

There’s something else about a goat’s udder that gets infected; it will likely produce less milk than before.

Sometimes the inside of the udder can be permanently damaged, and when this happens, your goat will never again give as much milk as it did. This means less milk to feed her kids to make them strong and healthy, and less milk for your family to use or to sell.

Sometimes the infection can get so bad that a goat will die. In other cases, while you may not even notice the infection, your goat is giving less milk than before; and if you have more than one goat, the sickness may spread from one goat to the others and make even more problems for you.

It’s almost always easier to prevent these problems than to cure them. So here are some things you can do to make sure your goat’s udder stays as healthy as possible.

To begin with, your goat should have a dry, clean place with a dry floor, where it can sleep and be protected at any time from wind and rain. A goat that has no way to keep dry in the rainy season, or that has to sleep on damp or dirty bedding, is quite likely to get sick or to get an infected udder.

You should also keep in mind that animals get sick more easily if they don’t have enough to eat — if they get thin and weak. If your animals are strong and well-fed and watered, they’ll be healthier and more productive.

Another thing: a goat’s udder and teats can easily get infected if they are bruised, or cut or scratched, especially if dirt gets into the wound. So don’t leave things lying around that could injure the udder or teats; things like sharp tools, wire and pieces of wood with nails or other sharp parts that could be dangerous. If she does get any cuts or scratches, though, try to keep them clean.

Another way that your goat’s udder can become infected is if dirt or bad germs (microbes) get into it through the hole in the end of the teat, where the milk comes out. This can easily happen if you milk your goat with dirty hands, or in a dirty place with lots of manure and flies. Even if your hands look clean, they may have germs on them that you can’t see but that could get into the teat and infect the udder. So make sure you wash your hands will before you milk. Use soap and water, and then dry them. If the goat’s udder or teats are dirty, wash them too, just before you milk, and dry them with a dry clean cloth.

Now, the way you milk your goat can affect the health of the udder. It’s the best to milk quite quickly. It shouldn’t take any longer than about five minutes to milk a goat — but be gentle. Never be rough with the udder and teats. In fact, it’s best to handle the goat gently and calmly at all times, because if it gets nervous it may get sick more easily.

Be sure to milk at the same times each day, every day, and milk out the udder completely each time, even if you don’t need all your goat’s milk that day. If milk is left in the udder too long, it may cause problems.

It’s good to check your goat’s milk very carefully each time you milk her, to see whether the milk looks normal or not. A good way to do this is to milk the first few squirts of milk into a cup so you can look at it carefully, or better yet, milk those first few squirts through a fine sieve or cloth, to see whether there are any lumps or clots or flakes in it. If you find anything like that in the milk, it’s a sure sign that your goat has an infected udder. You may also feel hard places in the udder, or that it’s hot; and you may see that it’s swollen and even that the skin is red.

If ever you observe any of these signs, don’t use or sell the milk until your goat’s udder is healthy again. However, even though you aren’t going to use or sell the milk, you must keep on milking your goat.

As soon as you notice any of those problems, you should milk the goat more often than normal for a day or two — every two hours or so, day and night, if possible. This can help to get most of the bad germs out from inside the udder and may help your goat to get well again. If good medicine or other

treatment is available you should do whatever you can to clear up the infection as soon as possible.

Any goat that has an infected udder should be kept away from other goats. If you have other goats, be sure to milk your infected goat last, after the other ones, and carefully wash your hands and all milk utensils afterwards. Otherwise, the infection may spread to your other goats. It’s also a good practice to carefully dispose of the bad milk you get from an infected goat’s udder by digging a hole in the ground and burying the bad milk.

Remember, it’s easier to prevent udder problems than to cure them.

Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is George Atkins.

“Protection and Support for Your Goat’s Udder”

Do you keep one or more goats that have to go a long way for food or water? Do they have to walk over rough stony ground or through areas where there are shrubs or plants covered with sharp spines or thorns? If they do, you should look carefully at your goat’s udders. You may find that they have been scratched or injured. This can happen, especially to older goats whose udders have become bigger and hang down close to the ground.

We’ve talked before on this program about how important it is for a cow or goat that produces milk to have a healthy udder.

Well, a goat’s udder that hangs close to the ground is often injured with cuts and scratches that can easily get infrected. That’s bad for your goat, and for you and your family if you depend on her for milk.

So, what can you do to prevent injuries like that?

Dr. Neil Thomas
has lived and worked in Mexico where he’s seen plenty of old goats with low-hanging udders. Maybe you have one or have seen one with an udder so low that the teats actually touch the ground or are low enough to be cut by sharp stones as the goat walks over them.

I asked Neil what the Mexican farmers do about the problem.

What some farmers have done is to make up an udder support which they place around the udder so that the udder is lifted slightly from the ground. And so that the udder itself and the teats are not so likely to be damaged from anything that’s sharp that the goat might walk over.

That’s a great idea, isn’t it? But what dows a thing like that look like?

This support can be made like a bag which fits over the udder and made from any strong materials such as heavy cotton or any suitable piece of old clothing. The material

should be cut and stitched so that it forms a bag of the same shape as the udder but slightly larger. As it fits up over the udder, the udder will sit neatly inside the bag. Two holes will have to be cut in the bottom of the bag for the teats to fit through. These holes should be slightly larger than the base of the teat so that when the teat is through the hole there will be no rubbing to cause the animal to have any discomfort.

Now how is this bag held in place?

A strap or a piece of cord should be sewn onto one side of the bag. And then with the bag actually on the udder of the animal, this strap should be passed up and over the back of the animal and attached to the bag on the other side so that the bag is actually lifted by the strap. The bag actually supports the weight of the udder.

Of course sometimes when goats are feeding on trees or shrubs, they may stand on their hind legs. In this case, that strap could possibly slip off of the goat’s back. What can be done about that?

If necessary, other straps can be attached to the main strap over the animal’s back and passed around the animal’s nack or something similar.

And finally, as the goat continues to wear this special bag support you’ve made to protect her low-hanging udder, you should keep checking for two things.

Make sure that the support is not rubbing on the goat in any place causing it discomfort; and check from time to time that it’s not wearing through and requiring replacement in some part. The main wear is likely to come in the strap over the animal’s back and at the bottom of the bag where the teats come through. These parts should be inspected regularly.

And our thanks to Dr. Neil Thomas for that information for you farmers who have one or more goats whose udders hang low near the ground and may be injured because of sharp stones or thorny shrubs.

Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is George Atkins.

“Storing Eggs”

Peacock Today I have some hints for people who keep hens to produce eggs, eggs to eat or to sell. If you want to store eggs for a few days, here are some things you should do so that they’ll stay fesh and good-tasting as long as possible.

First of all, it’s best to collect the eggs often from the nests where they were laid at least once a day. Handle them carefully, because when you are careless and an egg gets cracked, it will go bad quickly, much more quickly than an egg that has no cracks.

When you’re carrying eggs, it’s best to put them in a box or basket with clean dry grass or straw in the bottom. It’s also good to put grass or straw in between the eggs so they don’t dump each other and crack, especially if there are many eggs on top of each other.

If any eggs do crack, use those eggs first, before they have a chance to go bad.

If there is dirt or manure on your eggs, it’s better not to wash them with water before you store them; just scratch the dirt off with your fingernail or a stiff brush. The reason you shouldn’t get eggs wet is that when they are laid, they have a natural protective layer covering the outside of the shell. Even though you can’t see it, this natural protection helps keep bad germs and smells out of the egg. If you wash the egg with water, this takes away the protective layer, and the egg won’t stay fresh as long. So it’s better to scrape or wipe any dirt off without getting the shell wet.

If an egg is so dirty that the only possible way to remove the dirt is by washing it with water, you should then wipe the clean shell with cooking oil to replace the natural protective layer you washed off. The cooking oil will help keep the egg fresh inside.

Now, eggs will spoil faster if they get too warm. So keep them in a cool, shady place. This place should also be clean and dry. it should have no strong smells, because strong smells can get inside the eggs and affect the taste. So don’t store them near things that smell, like fish, onions, potatoes, soap or kerosene.

Store them on a layer of clean dry grass or straw, or in egg trays if you have them. Eggs keep best if you store them in such a way that each egg stands on end, not on its side. It’s important that you stand your eggs with the smaller, more pointed end down, and the fatter end up.

If you store your eggs properly like this, they will stay fresh longer and taste better.

Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is Barbara Peacock.

“A Garden Instead of a Gully”

Let me tell you about a beautiful garden that I found near the side of a field in Barbados, an island country in the Caribbean. The field is on land high above the sea, so in the rainy season a lot of water runs off the field down into a small valley, then on into the sea. In one place there’s a large gully that used to get bigger every year. That’s not happening any more though, because the farmer has planted a lot of trees, shrubs and vines in it and in the area above it. You could say that while the water used to “run” down into the gully, now it “walks”. When I was there, I recorded this:

I’m standing on a piece of land that slopes gently toward this larger gully area. This is soil that could be washed down into that gully, but the farmer isn’t letting that happen. To begin with, right in the area where most of the water flows through that runs off the higher land, he has planted 1, 2, 3, 4, – 6 shrubby legume trees. Then right here below them is a good healthy banana tree, some more legume trees and another banana tree. The soil here is very good, some of the best of the top soil off the field above. Then right here in this flatter part before the healed up gully area begins, the bare soil is covered with old dead grass mulch, and on top of it the farmer is growing squash and other vine vegetables.

To my right there’s a bit of a slope and he has made a small plantation of coconut trees. The ground here is mulched too and there are 2, 4, 8 coconut trees, and each is surrounded with 4 small legume trees. They’re planted just one metre or so away from the base of the coconut trees.

As you may know, wherever legume trees grow, there’s extra nitrogen in the soil that helps to fertilize other trees and crops nearby. That’s one reason why this farmer has planted all these legume shrubs in this area close to his banana and coconut trees. They also help to hold the soil from being washed into the gully area when there’s a heavy rain.

I’ve been telling you about a beautiful little area about 10 x 25 metres (10 x 25 yards) in size at the edge of a sloping field. Did you get any ideas from what I said of something you might do on land you use? I hope so.

Reporting from St. James in Barbados here in the Caribbean, and seving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is George Atkins.


 Interviewee: Dr. Neil Thomas, Box 58, R.R. 1, Mallorytown, Ontario K0E 1R0, Canada

Information sources

For Item 9A:

1. “Important Disease of Goats”, by V.S. Vihan (Central Insitute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, P.O. Farah, Mathura, India), Indian Farming (magazine), June 1982, available from ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), Krishi Bhavan, Rajendra Prased Road, New Delhi 110001, India.

2. “Mastitis” (pamphlet in Spanish), available from S.A.R.H. (Secretaria de Agricultura y Recursos Hidraulicos), Representacion Gral. Edo. Puebla, Unidad Capacitacion – Divulgacion, 26 Norte No. 1202, Puebla, Pue. 072379, Mexico.

3. “Mastitis Prevention and Treatment” – Parts i and ii, by Alice Hall, Dairy Goat Guide, July and August 1983, available from Dairy Goat Guide, Highway 19 east, Waterloo, Wisconsin 53594, U.S.A. Reprints of these articles are also available from Heifer Project International, P.O. Box 808, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203, U.S.A.

Other useful publications on goats are listed in the Notes for “Milking Your Goat” — DCFRN Package 8, Item 6.

For Item 9B:

1. The information in this item is based on personal observations by the interviewee, Dr. Neil Thomas, during a period of several years when he worked with farmers who keep goats in Mexico. For more information on this topic, you could write to Dr. Thomas. His address is on page 1 of this transcript.

2. The illustrations with this item are based on drawings by Neil Thomas and Aids to Goat Keeping, by Kent Leach, published by Dairy Goat Journal, P.O. Box 1908, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85252, U.S.A.

For Item 9C:

1. DCFRN Participant Doris Show Lan Chen of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

2. Poultry Production – Unit 8 of Modern Agriculture Series, available from Schools Agriculture Panel, Ministry of Education, Mbabane, Swaziland.

3. Storing Food at Home – FES-AID Sanitation Series No. 7, published by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C. 20523, U.S.A.

4. La Gallina Campesina – Cartilla Campesina No. 8 (in Spanish), available from Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA), Division de Comunicacion, Apartado Aereo 151123, Bogota, D.E. Colombia.