Friday, August 24, 2012

4H club? No...farming and animals al la Burkina!

This morning we took a ride out to visit our animals project. Sheltering Wings purchased cows as an income generating project to help meet the needs of our orphanage. We share a field with one of our local pastors and "animal expert" Pastor Salou.

The animals are kept in an area of Yako called Sector 6 which is very beautiful and serene especially in this lush green growing season.

Kimberly in a Fulani dwelling
The people taking care of the animals are from the people group called Fulani. These people are known for their skill in regards to animals and are very hard workers. The typical home for the Fulani looks like a domed tent made of grasses and sticks. These dwellings are usually temporary because this group of people are semi-nomadic which means that they don't stay in one place for too long and travel with their herds.

There are about 39 cows, 20 sheep and a dozen goats to take care of. We own about 14 cows. One of them is a baby and one of the mama cows is pregnant. I thought it was interesting to see the variety of colors that these cows come in and that some of them have blue eyes. I believe this breed of cattle is the humped back zebu. Don't hold me to that I googled it, but you can see that they are quite different from the cows we are used to seeing in the United States.
Mike & Pastor Salou
Pastor Salou has vast fields where he grows his crops. He used some of the cows to help prepare the fields and he uses the manure to fertilize. I saw the difference between a fertilized and unfertilized crop and it was pretty substantial. Another thing he does is move the fenced area where the cows are kept each year and plants crops on the plot of land that has been fertilized all year long. He grows corn, beans and millet. The parts of they plant that are left after harvest are fed to the animals.

It was fun and educational to venture out and see how our cows are doing. They are all very healthy and much more plump than most of the cows we see around town. It was also very encouraging to see how well the crops are doing.

Vive les Vaches!

1 comment:

  1. Funny story. I actually googled Zebu as well. Melissa asked what it was after listening to the VeggieTales song about them. I would agree that they are the same cows we have in Burkina.