Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)
Every farmer in livestock agriculture knows it’s more than a full-time job, it’s a life commitment to health and well-being of animals through constant and thoughtful care.
Approximately 20% losses incurred by livestock farmers around the world are caused by sudden health problems, caused by delay in vaccination, diseases, toxicity from plants, snake bites, heavy rains and extreme heat. It is a challenge to run away from some of the losses mentioned above.
Veterinarians and livestock health specialists strive towards the health of our herds, in-turn support from farmers facilitates the overall health of livestock. Hence, bringing us to the gist of today’s discussion on challenges livestock undergo in their lifetime.
One out of five animal is lost due to these events
- Delay in vaccinations
Not vaccinating farm animals can be deleterious to a farmer, since the weaker animals usually, the young, sick and elderly animals may die as a result, while favoring the spread of disease. Protecting the whole herd by adhering to vaccination schedules is beneficial to both weak and strong animals, so no one’s left behind, especially the capacity of responding to sudden and potentially deathful outbreaks. Hence, seeking advice from veterinarians is often advised.
Despite that weather specialists may forecast poor rainfall in the next season, drought may come as a surprise to farming communities. Sometimes, farmers, when caught off guard, are often forced to sell almost half of their entire herd to purchase feed supplies from the remaining animals. Drought is associated with extreme climatic conditions like excessive heat.
A significant portion survives this predicament, but most animals are lost during this time.
- Poor water quality
Availability of clean water in a ranch has a key role for the animal welfare compliance. If farm inspectors or animal welfare activists detect poor water management or lack of hygiene, it may result in closure of farms. Strategic and well-kept drinking places are mandatory on a ranch.
- Snake bites
They are difficult to contain, as they may occur in the range when cattle are grazing. Depending on the level of toxicity of the snake bite, some livestock may survive whilst others are lost. Reports on losses incurred from snake bites are quite high in most areas.
Oftentimes underfeeding of livestock results in malnourishment. Feed specialists come in handy here, as they advise especially upcoming farmers on what to feed livestock from a tender age until adulthood. Therefore, workshops and online platforms help understand how to put in place different feed programs, of which farmers can benefit from.
If any of these events occurs or persists, consequence is you’ll have to cull part of the herd
Culling is whereby poorly performing animals are removed from the entire herd. This helps cut on costs of production such as feed, medicine and so on. Examples of animals to cull include; extremely weak animals due to sickness, extreme low milk yield in cows, and a sow that farrows extremely less piglets than others.
Furthermore, culling is part of management decisions that can be taken according to the analysis of farm records. If you did not have any farm records, start now, as it is never too late.
In conclusion, a healthy herd matters to a farmer. Therefore, practice good animal husbandry at all times.]