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Home / Livestock

Thinking vets are costly? Wait until you make costly blunder!

Animals require quality health care so that they grow, produce and reproduce effectively. To achieve this, you need to work closely with veterinarian. A vet will help you with the following aspect of animal management:

Breeds

There are many breeds of animals reared for different purposes in Kenya. Depending on your livestock farming venture, a vet will advise you on the most appropriate breeds as well as the alternatives.  There are locally available breeds and cross breeds. It would be very discouraging to buy say a cow which the seller tells you is six months pregnant when it is not. Had you involved a vet, he could have examined the cow to find out if it is really pregnant and if yes, at what stage of pregnancy. This applies to all other animals. And while at it consider traits like growth rate, mothering ability, daily production, litter size and potential body size.

Feeds

Just like humans, animals need to be fed daily to be healthy, produce and reproduce optimally. Nutrient requirements depend on age, sex, body weight and stage of production. Animals producing milk and pregnant ones needs most feed especially protein and minerals while non-producing ones have least requirements. Proper feeding entails giving your animals feeds well constituted with carbohydrates, proteins, mineral salts and vitamins. The quantities should be sufficient and be of good quality. Animals also consume copious amounts of water and it should be cool, fresh and readily available. Before bringing animals into the farm, ensure that you have stocked up feed that will last them at least three months before you restock again.

Housing

The unit should be located in a peaceful environment and must offer protection from extreme influences of weather, noise and predators. The exterior should be properly ventilated without draughts. There should be separate units for the males and females to control breeding. If not checked, some animals like rabbits can breed out of control. The size of the unit should be large enough to afford the animals comfort and safeguard their welfare. Hygiene should be maintained at all times through cleaning and disinfection.

Vaccination and early treatment

The most notorious parasites include tapeworms, roundworms, ear mange or canker, skin mange, mites, fleas and ticks. Different diseases affect different animals and they spread so quickly that action must be taken immediately. Complete isolation of sick animals is essential. Vaccination and early treatment is the only effective method of dealing with disease. Seek veterinary advice in the event of a disease outbreak. 

Records

With the help of a vet, you can develop an efficient record keeping system on breeds, nutrition, production, and treatment regimens for a thriving livestock keeping venture.

[Dr. Paul Kangethe, [email protected]]


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