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The animal husbandry books provide information and reference material to the farmer. Your goal is to raise a healthy, valuable animal, right?
If you answered yes, then keep reading, I want to go over a few basics principles.
1. Plan Wisely. It's best to keep your animal husbandry books nearby along with your veterinarian's phone number for quick references.
2. Cleanliness, The biggest contributor to the health of any animal is its environment. Good sanitation is a requirement in keeping your animals in top condition. Protect your feeding and watering equipment from contamination. Wash your equipment after use and keep their bedding dry. Check and learn animal behavior for signs of illness.
Thoroughly disinfect your animals' shelter once or twice each year. I very seldom keep an animal confined unless they are ill or I suspect they might have problems with delivery to baby.
This is essential in times of sick livestock and learning how to diagnose the symtoms
3. Shelter, when raising livestock, shelter and feeding requirements are different from one farm animal to another. Design your livestock shelter for easy cleaning, saftey and efficient maintenance.
4. Daily care is essential. You will get to know each animal on your farm and they will get to know you. You will learn to sense when something isn't right. Animal husbandry books can help you identify symptoms that you become aware of being with them daily.
5. Good Fencing -Use fencing and traps to protect your animals safe from predators. Good quality fencing is very important and often requires mending due to a number of issues.
High winds can blow trees and limbs onto your fence. Wildlife, such as deer, can mingle your fence.
6. Be as proactive as possible by cutting down dead trees before they fall on your fence.
7. Haul all the old bedding to your compost pile to use later in your garden and replace it with some fresh bedding that is clean, new, and dry.
8. Wash all equipment that can be moved out of the stall dry in the sun. Sunlight kills molds and helps to disinfect.
9. Clean the inside of the stall with a stiff bristled brush to remove caked dirt and manure. Go over everything again with a disinfectant that is livestock safe.
10. Allow plenty of time for the disinfectant to dry before you let the livestock back in the stall.
Use the same sanitary procedures in the event of an outbreak of disease or before bringing a new animal into the shelter.
I had experienced this the hard way. I brought a new bull into my herd which turned out to have shipping fever.
I had quarentined him in my six foot tall coral, but he had jumped the coral and got with my herd.
My whole herd caught it, and I was lucky that I only lost six head. I caught it early and had to call a vet in for vaccination.
Always expect the unexpected they say. It was devastating to me and my herd. Just keep strange animals away from your livestock. When buying a new animal, keep it quarantined until you are sure it is healthy and make sure it can't get out!
When you take an animal to a livestock show,, quarantined it for awhile when you return before putting it back into the herd.
I can not stress this enough.
Again, it is devastating and something I hope I never experience again.
Some farmers go so far as to pen new animals with a member of the established herd to be sure the new ones are not symptom free disease carriers.
If they are, only a single animal would be lost, not the entire herd.
Some chicken raisers slaughter their entire flocks. Then they start with a new batch of chicks. This is just added saftey and precaution.
Just think about the hugh 300 foot chicken houses and the overcrowding that is placed on the chicks. There is no wonder they have to use all those growth hormones and medicated feeds.
Did you know that most of the chickens raised in poultry houses are ready to be slaughtered in 6 - 8 weeks? It takes my chickens twice that time and still they are not as big as those raised in the poultry houses. Stop and think about it.
Remember: a clean environment, when raising livestock is the best way to guarantee healthy, profitable and attractive livestock.
These are just a few considerations while raising livestock.
Raising livestock on pastureland, should be free of, poisonous weeds, and dangerous debris and wet areas. It is important to properly maintain your pastures practicing rotational grazing.
My routine starts pretty early in the mornings. Usually around 5:00 a.m. I have breakfast and then feed all the animals.
Sometimes I saddle up Ringo and ride. I check the lifestock, fencing and enjoy the mornings.