Livestock health a big concern for the farmer

Author: Mr Michael J. Ssali. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Do they move about normally? Do they stand well? Are they in their usual posture? 

For your information, farming is a constant battle between the farmer and pests, weeds, and diseases. The livestock farmer always worries about the health condition of his animals and birds. The crop farmer must regularly monitor his field to establish if there are any signs of pest attack, disease, or overgrown weeds. 
The farmer keeps making observations about the overall well-being of his livestock.  

Do they move about normally? Do they stand well? Are they in their usual posture? Are they as responsive to the farmer’s gestures and sounds as they normally are? Are they feeding normally? 

What about the appearance of their droppings?  If the droppings are excessively hard or watery there could be a problem. Is there sufficient food for the animals and birds? 

Is there any abnormality on the skin’s appearance? Do they bite and chew the feeds normally? Do they have any easily noticeable abnormalities in their respiratory organs?

All farmers must have the phone contact of their local vet doctor who can be called upon every time there is a livestock health related issue. It is always wise to seek the vet doctor’s guidance before purchasing any drugs from pharmacies. Over dosage of the drugs is by itself a cause of poor health for the animals and birds. 

Livestock production does not only involve providing feed, it also includes health care and there ought to be a budget for both categories of inputs. 

The feeds you give to your animals or birds could be the problem if they are not well sorted. When they feed on contaminated feed they may fall sick. 

Provision of clean nutritious feeds promotes good health and growth of the animals and birds. 

They should not be fed on a particular type of feed for too long and we have to remember that too much of anything is bad.  

The farmer must ensure that his animals or birds are vaccinated against infectious diseases and he should take all other measures to prevent parasites from attacking his stock.  

Care must be taken to provide clean water to livestock for drinking. There ought to be regular spraying of acaricides to fight such parasites as cattle ticks and other insects that transmit diseases apart from sucking blood. 

The grazing ground should be clear of holes and poisonous waste. The animals may have broken limbs upon accidentally stepping into holes.   

The writer, Michael J Ssali, is a veteran journalist.
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