My birds have been attacked by fowl pox, how can I go about it? Bernard Muwanga

Dear Bernard
Fowl pox disease is a viral infection. This infection can spread down the food pipe and lungs, causing swellings and wounds.

You need to know that this form of pox can kill the affected birds in a very short period of time.
The virus is present in those affected parts of the body and is transmitted from one bird to another by contact, especially where there are wounds or abrasions on the skin of the un-affected birds.

This virus moves in air via tiny droplets of moisture. Fowl pox is very common in seasons where mosquito numbers are abundant.

The disease in young birds is often very severe with some mortality. In adults, there is usually a drop in production.

The extensive infection in a layer flock results in decreased egg production. Once recovered, normal egg production ensues.

However, after understanding the problem, you need to vaccinate the birds for it is the most effective way of preventing the disease from infecting poultry flocks.

Vaccination combined with biosecurity and cleanliness on the farm can help prevent future fowl pox episodes.

Note, once birds get infected, it is vital to provide supportive antibiotics and multivitamin to help keep the bird immunity strong and to ward off secondary bacterial infection.
Also spray the birds’ house with disinfectant mist to kill off viruses on the litter and to also limit re-infection of those in healing process.
Do not forget to seek advice from a veterinary doctor as he will provide the necessary help.

Answered by Samuel Ssewagudde, a veterinarian operating with Genesis East Africa Ltd.

Is it necessary to weed citrus fruit gardens? Jude Acidri

Dear Jude
It is very important to keep citrus fruit garden free of weed because weed can affect the proper growth of the plant as it will be competing for nutrients.

Weeds affect fruits by competing with plants for water and nutrients besides providing good conditions for pests and disease multiplication.

So there is need to remove the obstacles to enjoy good harvests. You can get rid of weed through the following;
Kill weeds by slashing, digging, mulching or spray them with chemicals (herbicides)
You can combine the control methods (Integrated weed management). For example dig and mulch.

When using herbicides follow instructions and avoid spraying herbicides on the fruits as this may retard its growth. For young plants ring weed around the plant using a hand hoe before applying the herbicide.

Apply herbicide to weeds before they flower or as soon as the plants flower because some herbicides do not destroy fruits.

Answered by Moses Lumu, a coffee agronomist and consultant

What more can I get from cucumber other than selling fresh ones? Charity Natukunda

Dear Charity
Cucumber is a well-known stress relief vegetable. According to research, cucumber is also known to be an excellent source of vitamins, such as the infection-fighting vitamin C, anti-inflammatory vitamin K, and energy-producing pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

It also has bone building manganese as well as potassium and magnesium that are good for the heart.

Apart from looking at the market stall as the only place to sell your cucumber, you can add value to the harvested vegetable by making different body products thus fetching more money.

The extracts from cucumber are used to produce body cream, body lotion and hand and body lotion which are best for the skin. The three types are made for dry, oily, and normal skins.
Those with normal to dry and oily to normal can also have an appropriate type.

However, you need to seek for knowledge on how to go about it. The process of producing creams need thorough training to avoid mistakes.

Answered by Aulesius Bazanyanengo a chemist and researcher affiliated to Amagara Skin Care Limited.

I have been told bee farming is a good venture. Kindly help me with functional information how to go about it? Elvis Opedun

Dear Elvis
Bees are not only interesting to keep but can also bring a lot of money in your pockets.
The stinging insects give products such as honey, wax, propolis and royal jelly.

The uncomplicated venture is relatively cheap to start, easier to maintain and are require less inputs in terms of land, capital and labour.

For commercial purposes, go for the Langstroth hive which is easy to maintain, designed simple with ample space between brood chambers and supers and easy to inspect and harvest from. In modern beekeeping, a Langstroth hive is any vertically modular beehive that has the key features such as vertically hung frames, bottom board with entrance for the bees, boxes containing frames for brood and honey, the lowest box of the hive for the queen to lay eggs, and boxes above where honey may be stored.

Answered by Samuel Ssewagudde, a veterinarian operating with Genesis East Africa Ltd.