What a fun week I had at the goat farm. Patrick Mugume, the new goat farm manager, taught me all about managing a goat dairy. I not only got to learn how to milk a goat and a cow, I also got to see three kids born this week!
A newborn kid rests with its mother.
The goat farm is located at the Suubi Children's Village and provides goat milk to the babies at Baby Watoto. They sell any leftover milk to support the farm. I learned it takes a lot of planning to have a constant supply of milk to send to the homes. You have to plan which goats to breed and when very carefully in order to keep enough goats milking.
Patrick uses a dry erase board to keep the herd organized.
The newborn goats will stay with their mother for 48 hours before they are weaned. Once weaned from the mother, they are given cow milk to drink. This frees the mothers to produce milk for Baby Watoto. The farm has two cows that they use to produce the milk for the kids. One cow can produce enough milk for all the newborn kids at the farm.
The weaned kids drink cow milk.
The goats are milked twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The milk is then sent to Baby Watoto to be kept in the freezer until used by the staff.
The goat milk is measured out to be used by Baby Watoto.
Watching the whole process was rather amazing. I got to milk the goats and then see the toddlers drinking the milk later that day. It is so great to see how agriculture is helping the lives of these babies!
Some of the toddlers at Baby Watoto enjoying the goat's milk.
Me and one of the babies at Baby Watoto.
Jennifer Bryant is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Bryant is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is in her first year of the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on international agriculture development and sustainability.