I took this photo during the Easter weekend in shags. After resting Sunday, mum requested that I mend her goat shed which was in a small state of disrepair. You don’t go to shags eat all that food and fresh fruits and milk and thorny melon and then go back to Nairobi without giving back to the society nay……. to your old mum.
By the way, thorny melons are the best new thing in town, I mean in shags. You have to eat a thorny melon (that small fruit that has of late graced all fruit stands and has spikes like a porcupine) before, during and after meals. Its healing and medical capabilities can only rival those of a mganga from Tanga . In the coming days, when the ministry of public health and sanitation does a survey of disease resistance in Nyeri , they will be impressed by what this small fruit can achieve. And let them not forget my mum who is an ambassador of this new found magical fruit. You can cross her easily by failing to eat the constant servings she offers. If you haven’t eaten thorny melon, you haven’t eaten fruit. Kindly go and grab a thorny melon! I give no assurances about the taste and the inner appearance.
This story is about Pedigree goats. So, away with thorny melons.
Mum currently has four goats 2 mature females, a kid and a he-goat. The shed is partitioned into 3 parts. One for the he-goat, one for the mature females and one for the kid. Pedigree goats deserve a plushy live. Their sheds are self contained sort of with a feeding area, a sleeping area and a watering area. It is undeserving and non gratifying to bring goats all the way from the heart of Europe to the heart of Nyeri to come keep them in kawaida goat shed or tether them out in the open. This I believe contravenes some vital law and regulation by some world convention on pedigree goats. I just don’t remember the actual wording.
The kid due to adventurism has dislocated/broken a fore leg (No sure way to tell. Vets in Nyeri do not offer X-ray services) which is now tied with tree backs and banana fibers in a bid to mend it. Poor young goat is in real pain.
The animals had damaged the shed such that the females and the he-goat were mixing freely which shouldn’t be the case due to the risk of inbreeding. You don’t want to adulterate pure grade goats with inbreeding. Do you? Of course not.
I managed to repair the shed and keep the goats separated as they should be. The hostile stare from the he-goat didn’t keep me from doing my work. ‘He’ went short of telling me not to be like “the dog who sleeps inside the feeding trough preventing the goats from licking salt yet the dog cant lick salt” by secluding the females to their chamber. Maybe that is what the he goat meant with the numerous guttural sounds he made as I embarked on the repairs. I could not really tell because the goat is Danish by origin and I know zilch when it comes to the Danish language.
Now, there is a story behind these goats. These are not your ordinary goats. You only secured these goats if you were a member of a local goat rearing project. You owned a female kid after paying some 2000 shillings. You rear this doelling to the point where it can be served after which you take it to the project’s he-goats for service. For a fee too.
The pioneers of the project claimed that these were Hybrid goats from Denmark. The assurance was that the goat would offer not less than two litres of milk in a day. As it would turn out, you were enormously lucky if you ended up getting a cup of milk in a day not to mention that each animal consume more feed than the average cow
Another marketing gimmick was that the goats would not deliver a single kid; rather, they only gave birth to twins, triplets and above. But the goats will only give birth to more than one kid on the maiden delivery and give birth to one kid on all subsequent deliveries. It is pre-arranged sort of.
These animals cost a fortune. But this is expected of goats from Denmark. After all we are talking of goats that rival cows in milk production. Not your ordinary cow but the Holsteins of this world. Poor mothers, who are the majority in these projects, save their meager earnings from the Shamba and the remnants of what we mpesa them so that they can secure a goat and avoid being left behind while the rest of the folks are buying the goats that will deliver them from bondage.
When the peasants joined this goat rearing venture, hopes were high that their life would change for good. The animals would propel them to the next class of income earners. Now, the reality is dawning on them. They have to make do with the goats until another group of cunning villagers in connivance with some equally cunning fellas claiming to be working with a foreign NGO to raise the standards of living in the villages, perpetrates another fraud.
Though they have turned out not to be milk goats as hyped, all is not lost because they are well endowed with tusks. They have horns bigger than those of the Ankole cows .
In fact if not careful to balance its head, a goat will turn tops-turvy under the weight of the tusks-size-horns every time it lowers its head to feed. They are enormous these tusks.
These goats might bring a paradigm shift to the multi-billion ivory trade. Jumbos have been endangered for so long. It is time the multi shilling elephant’s conservation narrative is rewritten. We have a new type of ivory.
Some Chinese nationals have been spotted around the rural area in the heartlands of Nyeri . They have been masquerading as road engineers who are taking measurements for an upcoming road upgrading project. I tend to think that these guys are part of a spy ring and the real reason they are courting the remote areas of Nyeri is the emergency of potential ivory-trade- game -changing goats. With elephants dwindling in the African jungles at an alarming rate, governments tightening the security and surveillance in and around the game parks, these goats are going to provide the next poaching frontier. But I assure you ‘road engineers’ that we are going to call your bluff very soon.
To Chinese, Taiwan . Thailand and other tusk merchant out there, let me take this opportunity to be the first person to notify you of goat tusks that are plenty in rural Nyeri. My advice is that you ask your stooges who kill our Jumbos and rhinos from these sides to leave the risky game parks and head to Nyeri. They will procure the goats ivory with minimal hassle and risk. And if you don’t fancy goat tusks, I strongly urge you to leave our Jumbos alone. Our elephants are now faced with the gravest threat to their survival in modern history. You guys are famed world over for your ability in manufacturing virtually anything including synthetic eggs and cabbages. Why can’t you manufacture synthetic ivory?