Poultry farmers can adopt Christmas melon extract to cure the deadly and contagious Newcastle disease (ND) that attack their birds and avoid the use of antibiotics and other synthetic drugs that often raise their production costs and harm humans.
According to a previous report by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Newcastle disease control, in spite of the availability of the disease vaccines its uptake by smallholder farmers is generally limited due to its cost hence ND remains a major constraint among the farmers.
“The cost of rearing chicken has become high and it is high time farmers need to go organic in raising their chicken and put in place those natural defenses that will help protect our flock against deadly poultry diseases,” says Marshal Kithokilo, an organic farmer.
According to him, Christmas melon is interestingly known to ward off viral diseases in poultry and the only challenge in using it is that it is supposed be prepared for seven good days before usage.
What is needed to make the extract?
-Melon bulbs (two kilogrammes for four litres of water)
-A container with cover.
-A calibrated container to measure the volume of water to be used
-A weighing balance to measure the weight of the melon bulbs
Making the extract
-Get the melon bulbs
-Peel off the green back and cut into pieces
-Measure water that is twice the weight of the melon cuts in litres in ration of 2:4
-Pour the water into your container
-Add the melon cuts
-Cover the container with a breathable mesh and use rubber band to hold it tight. (Keep in a cool dark room and allow the melon cuts to ferment inside the water for seven days).
-On day seven, strain the melon water into a bigger container, and then blend the melon cuts and the seeds.
-Add the blended melon into the liquid that was strained earlier.
-You should not add fresh water.
-Add two part molasses to six parts melon extract.
-That is, 2:6. If you have six liters of melon extract, you will need to add two litres of molasses to preserve it.
Never use melon extract for pullets and breeders above 14 weeks or layers in production.
Melon extract is completely safe for birds before 14 weeks.
Melon extract can be given to day-old chicks in the form of vaccine to ward off Newcastle disease and also Marek’s disease and Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD).