The Sable Antelopes’ feeding trough; more than meets the eye


Many of our guests often wonder about the weird-looking structure with hanging ropes in our Sables’ enclosure. This is a feeding trough, used also as a parasite control mechanism.

Over the years game farmers have tried and tested several methods to efficiently control external and internal parasites in captive animals. We did our own research and visited a dear friend and experienced Sable farmer, Mr. Vorster who lives in the Letsitele area. Mr. Vorster’s farm manager, Troy Otto, suggested that we make use of this basic yet efficient feeding trough.

As our animals’ health is of the utmost importance to us, we are always thinking of innovative and practical ways to keep their stress levels down. The feeding trough idea is a great way of getting the Sables together, in an enclosed area, without having to tranquilize them for parasite control.

So, how does it work? The food is placed in the trough, and the dip poured into a pipe at the top. This pipe is placed at an optimum height to allow the animals to feed comfortably, and to ensure that their horns do not get entangled with the trough. The ropes attached to the pipe then absorb the dip, which rubs off on the Sables as they feed. The length of the ropes also ensures that adults as well as calves are being treated at the same time.

left-to-right-are-balu-lammie-stompie-and-booBalu, Lammie & Stompie feeding on the antelope’s grass, while Boo watches

This simple, yet very clever method ensures that our Sables are kept parasite free without much effort or stress to the animals.

Thanks Troy Otto and Mr. Vorster! The simplest solutions are almost always the best ones!