Pros and cons of cattle farming

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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FIXING UP THE COW FENCE: Faimale Malu, 50, of Matautu Lefaga.

FIXING UP THE COW FENCE: Faimale Malu, 50, of Matautu Lefaga. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

When someone is a cattle farmer, we almost automatically think that the farmer must be loaded with cash.

But there is another side to it.

According to Faimale Malu from the village of Matautu Lefaga, there is much more to  cattle farming.

Aged 50, he says we have to take into account the waiting time for the cow’s maturity as well as the maintenance of the farm itself.

“Being a cow farmer is very hard out here in the village,” he told the Village Voice.

“Once the fence is broken then you have to spend so much time looking for your cow. That’s the biggest problem for us.

“I would waste so much energy and a whole day looking for my cows when they break out.”

With ten years of experience under his belt, Faimale says that taking care of more than ten cows in no easy feat.

“I have been doing this for so long now,” he said.

“I think it’s been about ten years now since I have been doing this. I have been doing it for so long because it’s really good for helping out the family.

“But due to the problem I already mentioned, a lot of money goes to maintenance. I would weigh the cows then sell them for money to buy wires for a better fence when it breaks.

“I have more than ten cows but they are far inland right now and I am trying to fix my fence.”

But when the time comes, Faimale says that you can make quite a bit from selling very heavy cows.

“If the cow is very heavy then I could make about $1,500 for each of them,” he said.

“They recently lifted the buying price which is really good now. With no one employed in the family this is a really good way of taking care of the family.

“I would wake up very early to go and check the cows then I would come and rest at around 10am. There’s not much to do with cow farming other than the maintenance of the fence.

“I have five children and they are all going to school. Cow farming is easy and the whole family relies on the money we make from it. “

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