What are the important management practices to ensure regular breeding (reproduction) and production of healthy offspring of farm animals.
- Feeding – an underfed animal is prone to infertility. Animals should be in good condition at mating and will need additional feeding in the later stages of pregnancy.
- Overfeeding can also affect breeding. Fat under the skin indicates fat around the ovaries and this may prevent the eggs ripening properly
- Disease control and prevention – organisms within the uterus can prevent the embryo attaching correctly to the uterus wall or resulting in detachment in late stage pregnancy.
- Pregnant females should be kept in good condition. In the last two months of pregnancy, she needs extra feed and if milking, be dried off three months before the next calf is due.
- Bulls should be exercised daily and as his workload increases, extra concentrated feed should be given.
- Artificial Insemination allows a better selection of bulls than a farmer would be able to afford to keep.
- Allow newborn cows to suckle colostrum which contains nutrients and builds immunity to local disease.
- Wean the offspring to allow the mother to regain strength before the next parturition.
What is ME of a food?
- ME is the abbreviation of Metabolisable Energy. When an animal eats, not all the total value of the food energy is available for the animal to metabolize. Some is lost as urine, gas and faeces in the digestive process. The remaining energy is known as metabolisable energy.
What is the dry matter of food? Give three examples
Dry matter (DM) is the part of the food that contains the nutrition.
Foods high in dry matter include:
- Hay 85%
- Bran 90%
- Groundnut cake 90%
Dry matter comprises 6 important groups:
- Oils & fats
List some uses of farm animals
As sources of power – for pulling carts, ploughs, water from wells etc
As a source of plant nutrition – for their manure either directly or in compost
As a source of fuel – dried manure can be used as fuel or in a biodigester
As a source of food for man
What is the gestation period of
a. Cattle – 284 days
b. Pig – 112-116 days
What are the differences between ruminants and non-ruminants?
|Can eat lots of fibrous foods such as grass and straw
No teeth in upper jaw, have a dental pad instead
Swallows food then regurgitates it later for a thorough chewing
|Need concentrated feed that is highly digestible and low in fibre
Pigs possess canine and molar teeth so can tear as well as chew
Saliva contains enzymes to break the food down immediately for digestion
Devise a suitable breeding record for an animal
|Date of Birth:|
|Date of purchase:
|Date of disposal: Value|
What is the breeding age of cattle?
18 months to 5 – 8 years of age depending on milk yield
What is meant by the phrase “Calving Interval”?
The aim with cattle is to produce 1 calf per year giving a calving interval of 365 days.
For other articles on animal health, click here.
Written by Fiona Johnson