Poultry training for Zimele farmers

As part of our Zimele Agriculture Programme’s annual formal training courses, the Agriculture Programme participants attended an accredited five day training course on poultry production at the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZNPI) in Bisley, Pietermaritzburg. A total of 40 farmers benefitted from these training sessions, which took place over two weeks with two groups of 20 farmers from the uMkhanyakude, uMgungundlovu and uThukela districts attending. The training took place over the weeks of 28 September to 3 October and 12 October to 16 October 2015.

A number of farmers in the Zimele Agricultural Programme have small poultry operations, running predominantly broilers, and with this an increased interest has been shown by the farmers to receive training on poultry production. The farmers are keen to further enhance their knowledge and skills to help them improve the management of their operations. Course content included general chicken care, brooding of chickens, biosecurity, cleaning of poultry houses, anatomy and physiology of chickens, vaccinations, feeding and ventilation in poultry houses.

Above: Zimele participants taking part in the on-farm practical sessions with KZNPI.

Training included both a theoretical component and practicals which ensured that all training participants were well catered for as some participants were illiterate. Farmers had an opportunity to learn more about their birds and ask questions regarding their flocks and this was encouraged as it helped the farmers get clarity about areas of concern. The on-farm practical sessions also afforded the farmers the opportunity to be able to experience the day-to-day running of a well-managed poultry operation.


Above: Zimele participants in the theoretical sessions & with their accredited Level One certificates for Poultry Production.

The level at which the training was presented was well suited to the farmers, with a wealth of useful knowledge being shared. They were enthusiastic about taking part in future training courses presented by the Institute. This in turn has developed a good working relationship with KZNPI as they’ve availed two of their facilitators to help with the mentoring of our poultry farmers. All farmers that attended the training from all three districts will have an opportunity to receive assistance in the areas where they live, including maintaining proper ventilation in accordance to specific climatic conditions in the area.


Above: Zimele Agriculture Field Trainers receive their certificates.

Report by: Michael Malinga

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