HOW TO MANAGE FARM ANIMALS
1. Identify the various housing requirements of farm animal mostly farm birds
2. Acquire the basic techniques
of management of farm animals.
Poultry management as farm animals
What is Poultry?
The word Poultry refers to all birds that man has been able to rear over the years. He has decided to rear or domesticate them because of their economic value to him. Such birds include:
(a) fowls or chickens
(d) guinea fowl
(f) geese (
(h) game birds, e.g. parrot.
Importance of Poultry:
Poultry provides the following:
1. Money – through the sale of eggs and its meat
2. Eggs – source of protein
3. Meat (chicken) – source of protein
4. Feathers – for making high quality pillows and mattresses dropping and it is very rich in plant nutrients.
5. Poultry manure (Guano) – this is obtained from the birds dropping and it is very rich in plant nutrients
6. Game – some birds such as the parrot and cocks are used for games.
DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.1:
Some terms associated with poultry as farm animals
Cock – Adult male fowl
Drake – Adult male duck
Guinea cock – Adult male guinea fowl
Gander – Adult male geese
Tom – Adult female turkey
Hen – Adult male fowl
Duck – Adult male duck
guinea hen – Adult female guinea fowl
Goose – Adult female geese
Turkey hen – Adult female turkey
Chick – A young fowl
Duckling – A young duck
Guinea Chick – A young guinea fowl
Gosling – A young geese
Proult – A young turkey
Layer – A laying hen
Broiler – A meat producing bird
Cockerel – Young male fowl
Pullet – Young female fowl
Capon – A castrated cock
Management of Domestic Fowl
The different breeds of domestic fowls include:
(a) Rhode Island Red (R.I.R)
(b) Plymouth Rock
(d) White leghorn
(e) Brown leghorn
(h) Cornish Dark
(i) Light Sussex
(j) White Wyandotte
(k) Native fowl, etc
Fowls can be managed for any of the purposed stated below:
(i) Egg production (Layers) (
ii) Meat production (broilers)
(iii) Dual purpose:
In this case, the fowls are breed for both meat and eggs. However, the management practices for all birds whether reared for meat or eggs have some similarities.
(a) Housing: The size of the house depends on the population of the birds. The foundation should be made of solid blocks with concrete floor.
The wall should be made of solid blocks with concrete floor. The wall should be short for good ventilation and adequate supply of light. Wire mesh should be used to complete the short walls upwards to the roofing level. Care should be taken in ensuring that all holes are covered upwards to the roof. This is to prevent lizards, snakes, rats and wild birds from entering into the house as their presence will disturb the fowls. The commonest types of roofs used in poultry buildings are:
(i) Lean-to-Roof or Shed: This is illustrated below: Figure 2.10.2: Lean-to-Roof or Shed
(ii) Gable Roof: Figure 2, 10.3:
Gable Roof On completion of the building, a mini gutter (dip) should be constructed around the entire poultry building close to the outside walls. Izal or other disinfectants should be used with water and poured into this gilder regularly. This is to prevent and vermins from entering into the poultry house.
Furthermore, a wider clip should be constructed at the entrance of the house. The attendant as well as visitors are required to dip their legs in the disinfected water in the dip before entering into the poultry house. This is to prevent disease or germs from being taken into the house
(b) Systems of poultry management Fowls can be managed under any of the following systems:
1. Intensive Systems: Under this system, birds are reared continuously inside a building.
There are three basic types of intensive management:
(i) Deep litter system
(ii) Battery Cage System
(iii) Slate or wire poor system.
(i) Deep litter system: In this system a concrete floor is made in the poultry house and saw dust or wood shavings are used to cover the floor. Feeding and drinking troughs are arranged at appropriate pistes on the floor. In case of laying birds, laying nests should be provided on one side of the floor. Advantages of tie System 1. It is economical since minimum equipment are needed.
2. Production 01 ammonia from the decomposition of the litter assist in tin- control of coccidiosis.
3. The birds have enough space for exercise.
4. There is easy control of fleas since it is fairly dry.
5. The litter helps to absorb the droppings from the birds thereby reducing the offensive odour.
1. Cannibalism may occur
2. Diseases and parasites are easily spread
3. High cost of constructing the house
4. Eggs are usually dirty where layers are reared under this system
(ii) Battery System:
In this intensive management system, wire, cages are used to enclose the birds in a house. each cage can accommodate two to four birds depending on the size of the cage.
1. Provides better accommodation
2. Elimination of internal parasites because the droppings are collected below the cages
3. Sick birds are easily identified I or treatment
4. Egg production is higher
5. Records can easily he kept
6. Eims are usually very clean or neat.
1. It is expensive to build the house and buy the cages.
2. The eggs may break if slope of mesh is too step.
3. There is high labour cost.
(iii) Slate or wire floor system:
This is made raised walls. The birds are kept in the slated or wired floor. The droppings which collect beneath are collected for disposal occasionally.
There is no litter required
2. There is control of infection because birds d droppings.
3. Eggs cleaning is needed.
1. Lower egg production
2. Layers are prone to nervousness
3. There may be cannibalism.
2. Extensive or Free Range System This is the traditional system of poultry keeping in the tropics.
In the system, the fowls are allowed to move nearly in a wide area. If high land is available, this system poses no problems. Birds reared under this system find food for themselves. They are normally provided accommodation at night.
Advantages of free range system:
1. The cost of feeding the birds is quite low.
2. There is no cost for housing the birds.
3. The birds can move about freely. They are therefore healthier because of their constant exercises.
4. The birds have access to natural food such as insects and vegetables
1. There is danger of pests, hawks, snakes, wild animals and thieves.
2. There is risk of accident since vehicles can kill the birds.
3. There is low egg production.
4. The birds are normally small in size as they use their energy to move about in search of food and water.
5. They can easily contract disease from other birds.
6. Records are difficult to keep.
3. Semi-Intensive System
The birds under this system are kept in poultry runs made of wire netting. The birds move about within the runs during the day lend for themselves. They come to sleep in the building at night or during adverse weather conditions such as excessive heat or rain. See the diagram below:
Run Building Wire fence Run 2.10.4:
Semi-Intensive System of Rearing Birds.
Advantages of the system
1. There is enough space for the birds to move about.
2. The birds have access to green vegetables
3. The pasture growing in the area will do well because of the dropping from the birds
4. The birds are protected against predators such as snakes
1. The cost of making wire fences is high.
2. Birds may not be totally protected from predators such as hawks
3. There is risk of parasite build up and disease out break.
(c) Management Practices:
The management practices for poultry production can be treated under the following headings:
(i) Egg Handling: Fertile eggs are collected from the breeding liens and sorted out. The defective ones are removed while the viable ones are taken to the incubator for hatching.
(ii) Incubation: This is a process involving the development and hatching of eggs, to give chicks. The mother hen usually incubates her egg naturally by silting on the eggs. But the number of eggs hatched at once by a hen under this method is limited. As a result large hatching machines called incubators have been devised to hatch very large numbers of eggs. All conditions inside the incubators are thermostatically controlled.
The temperature is kept at 38V. Relative humidity • 64%. Oxygen – 21%. Carbon (IV) Oxide – 0.5%. The eggs arc then turned .
regularly in the incubator so that all sides arc exposed to the incubator conditions and to prevent chicks from sticking to the shells. Candling is carried out to identity the infertile eggs.
This IN done on the 6th and 18th day of the egg’s stay in the incubator. Candling ensures that all hatch-able egg are hatched. The eggs are normally ready for hatching after 21 days stay in the incubator. When the chicks have been hatched, they are sexed (Separation into males and females) before being taken to the brooder house,
(iii) Chick Brooding: This involves taking care of the day-old chicks until they are about four weeks after which the _management practices would change. The brooder house is normally use used to rear day old chicks
Brooding is the process of providing the natural conditions of the mother hen in artificial way.
Chick drinking and feeding troughs should be properly arrange* in the .brooder house. Sources of heat should be provided to up the room.
Excess heat should be avoided.
The chicks in the brooder house will tell the farmer whether the heat is too much or too low.
If the birds cluster together around the source of heat then the heat it too low. When most of the birds move far away from the it indicates that the temperature is too high.
In either cases, the Farmer should adjust the temperature as adequate.
Water and feed should be provided to the chicks in the brooder house audibility (that is, as much as they need). At the end of four weeks, the birds should be removed from the the brooder house and reared under the necessary system earlier on in this unit. Whatever system is used to rear the birds, hygiene, adequate feed and water supply, disease and pest control should be given priority. DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.5a:
Birds in Deep Litter System. DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.5b:
Birds in a Battery Cage System DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.5c: A Typical Brooder for Chicks DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.6: Cattle
Importance of Cattle management
1. Beef, which is a rich source of protein, is obtained from cattle,
2. Milk is also a major product from dairy cows.
3. Hides are used for various industrial purposes, particularly leather works
4. It horns and hooves are used for making various household wares, e.g. knives, ash trays, etc.
5. Cattle production provides employment to many people directly or indirectly.
6. Provides income to the farmer.
7. The dungs serve as a good source of farm yard manure to crop growers.
8. The bones supply minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium when included in animals feeds.
(b) Some Terms Associated with Cattle Production
1. Bull: an adult male cattle
2. Cow: adult female cattle.
3. Bullock or steet or Slag: a castrated male cattle.
4. Heifer: a young female cattle which has not had a calf, usually under I2 months old.
5. Yearling: a young cattle usually between 12 to 24 months.
6. Veal: the beef of young cattle.
7. Vealers: calves reared for veal production. They are usually slaughtered when 3 months old.
8. Colostrum: a kind of milk produced by a cow three to four days alter delivery.
9. Calving: the act of deliver in cows.
10. Servicing: mating of a cow by a bull.
11. Castration: removal of the male testes.
12. Heat period: the period when the cow is ready to receive the bull for servicing. It occurs mid-way within the oestrus cycle.
13. Oestrus cycle: the time interval between one heat period and another.
14. Gestation Period: This is the period of pregnancy. In cows it last for 281-283 days i.e. about 9 months.
15. Udder: The breast of cows.
(c) Types of Cattle
There are different types of cattle depending on the purpose for which they are kept. These include:
1. Beef type cattle:
Those kept for beef or meat production purposes, e.g. Ndama. Muturu. Keteku. etc.
2. Dairy cattle:
Those kept for milk production purposes, e.g. white fulani. Buraji. etc.
These are cattle kept for work purposes. They arc used to do odd jobs in farms like pulling of ploughs, e.g. Sokoto gudali. Kanrej. etc.
4. Dual purpose cattle:
These are kept for more than one purpose. They could he kept for milk production and at the same time for beef production, e.g. Sokoto gudali.
(d) Breeds of cattle
The following are common breeds of cattle in Nigeria
(i) Humpless Cattle: Krui, Ndama, Muturu (ii) Humped or
Red bororo. Sokoto gudali, Shuwa Cattle, white Fulani
(b) Foreign or exotic breeds:
These can be grouped into two:
(i) Dairy breeds: e.g. Holstein Friesian. Brown Swiss. Red Den and New Jersey.
(ii) Beef breeds: e.g. Hereford. Aberdeen angus. Red devon. Etc.
(c) Management Systems in Cattle
Cattle can be managed under any of the following systems:
(i) Extensive System:
This is the traditional method of cattle production. It is commonly practiced in tropical countries of the this system, cattle are moved from one grazing land to the other depending on the availability of grass. Most cattle in Nigeria are reared under this system. When become scarce in the dry season, the animals are moved Is where there is denser vegetation.
The animals are In graze under the control of a herdsman.
Advantages of the system
1. The system is cheap since no money is spent on feeding the animals
2. Some parasites such as ticks and worms can be checked since the animals do not remain in one place for a long time.
Disadvantages of the system
1. Much land is required to practice the system.
2. The animals do not perform maximally in terms of milk or beef production especially when dry season comes.
3. No adequate records can be kept about the animals.
4. Animals are exposed to various dangers such as weather hazards
5. Diseases cannot be easily controlled.
(ii) Intensive System:
Under the intensive system of management the cattle are housed in pens or kraals. Feed and water are them in the pens.
1. It does not waste land
2. Records are easily kept
3. Weather hazards are minimized
4. Diseases and pests are easily controlled
5. The performance of the animals is very good in terms of meat and milk production
1. It is very expensive due to the cost of erecting the buildings
2. Contagious disease is often a problem
iii. Semi-Intensive System:
This is where cattle are kept with some restriction and are usually provided accommodation at nights or during bad weather. It is a bridge between the extensive a intensive systems of management.
(f) Management Practices
The life of cattle can he divided into three stages like poultry, namely:
1. Calf hood
(a) Rearing of calves:
Calves could be regarded as animals from birth till they attain the age of six months after which they become growers.
(i) Calf Buildings or Pens: Calves are best reared indoors in the tropics as calves are likely to be easily infected with internal parasites round in pastures. Besides, calves do better with young and palatable grasses.
It is difficult to keep grazing fields at this conditions. Such should be cut from the pastures and fed to calves in Pens.
The roof of a calf pen is simple. It may be of zinc or asbestos roof over concrete floor.
This should be well drained. Side walls are not necessary. The sides of the pens are screened to kept off flies.
(ii) Management of Calves:
Immediately after calving a good cow takes care of the calf and endeavors to protect and secure it, The then immediately begins to remove the mucus covering the body of the calf by licking it.
The farmer has to remove this it he mother is careless.
The umbilical cord has to he cut and treated with iodine to check infection.
The calf may suckle the dam. If the dam is milked for human use. the calf may be bucket-fed.
Whichever is the method, the milk produced by the dam for the first three to four days called colostrum must be fed to the calf.
In general, a calf is fed milk ration up to 8% of its body weight a day or 4 to 6 litres, in three feeds. The milk to be fed must be warmed to 29°C, the body temperature of a calf, him cold milk may result in calf diarrhea called Accour. The bucket used in feeding must be scrubbed with soap after each feeding. It should be remembered that a calf does not function as a until it is few weeks old.
At birth the capacity of is 70% of the four stomach chambers, whereas in the cow it is on 7%. Therefore, a calf can only take solid when it is up to three weeks old. A suitable ration at this stage is Palm kernel meal – 50 parts Guinea corn dusa – 25 parts Groundnut cake – 25 parts Feed 1 to 1.5kg of this ration in a day. The milk feed is then reduced: young succulent grasses-are ted in addition. The calf is finally weaned from milk when 12 to 14 weeks old.
At every stage, water must be made available to calves every day.
(ii) De-horning: This is the process of preventing the appearance of the horns. De-horning is essential with dairy animals.
Bull calves proposed for work should not be dehorned. This is to provide points of attachment for farm implements.
De-horning should be performed when a calf is a week old.
This is done by cauterizing the horn bud by either rubbing with a caustic stick till near bleeding or by the use of cylindrical hot iron pressed for a second on the rim of horn bud.
De-horning helps to reduce space occupied by animals and prevent injuries arising from fighting (
This is preventing the development, or the entire of the testicles.
This is best done when a bull calf is ten days old A very sharp knife, crushers or rubber ring is used for. lilts pin pose.
The burdizzo bloodless castraclor can be used safely at any age.
Castration helps to prevent indiscriminate breeding and also makes animals fatten up faster.
For the purpose of distinguishing the animals, the ‘ calves are marked on the ear as early as possible with a plier or. punching tool.
(vi) Nose Puncturing:
Bull calves proposed for work should have their noses punctured. Nose rings should be inserted.
These rings help to control the animals later.
(b) Rearing of Growers (Heifers):
The management of heifers is divided into two stages.
The first stage is from six months old till the time of first service which is approximately 27 months. The other stage is from the time of the first service till calving at approximately three years and one month.
It is cheaper to rear heifers out doors under rotational grazing where grasses are adequate.
Grazing is sufficient during the wet season. During the dry season, grazing should be supplemented with good silage, hay or potato vines. In addition. 1 to 1.5kg of concentrate should be given. The concentrate could be made up as follows: 1 ½ parts cotton seed. 1 part guinea corn seed. ½ part dusa (guinea chaff). 3% mineral mixture. OR 3 parts guinea corn seeds. 1½ parts groundnut cake. 3% mineral mixture. The mineral mixture could be made out with 40 parts of common salt. 20 parts of bone meal. 40 parts of lime.
Heifers come on heat when 20 months old.
The best age for the first service is 27months.
Gestation (period of pregnancy) is about 9 months or 283days. During the gestation period, the constitution and the life of the heifer change. It continues to grow to bear calf and prepare to produce milk for the young calf.
The heifers should be given a better treatment particularly in feeding and handling, in dry season, grazing alone is enough. In dry season, hay and silage should be fed with concentrate in addition to grazing.
Two months before calving, the heifer should be brought to the milking herd to accustom it to handling. It should be fed heavily. The heavy feeding before calving is known as “steaming up”. All heifers must be vaccinated against contagious abortion when 4 – 8months months old and against rinderpest when eight months old.
(i) Management and feeding during milking:
It is not essential to over-expose milking animals to sun more than is necessary.
Thev should be encouraged to graze at night.
Concentrate should be fed both in the pasture and in the yards. Shelters Should be constructed both in the grazing field and in the yards; shelters should be open to the prevailing winds. Water sprays and air fan should be installed in the yards to keep the final.s as cool as possible.
Whenever possible, dairy animals Should be reared indoors and this must he the practice in Northern Nigeria to check tsetse-flies. Out-door cows should be rotationally grazed. It is best to move animals daily. The best method is close grazing or close , By this method, the animals are given exactly the area that the need for one grazing.
This is achieved by fencing and if need be by tethering the animals. Grazing alone is sufficient for the production of 4.5 litres of K Above this, they should be given concentrates according to the live weight of the animal and the quantity of milk produced.
Feed the concentrate twice a day while milking is going on. A micenlrate mixture consists of: 3 parts guinea corn grains 2 parts groundnut cake 3 parts palm kernel meal 2 parts dusa 3 per cent mineral mixture This should be fed at the rate of ¼ kg of mixture for each 4.5 litres of milk produced.
Milking should he done twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. It is essential when milking a cow tin the first lime to prevent her from being frightened or getting excited. Tools for milking should not be associated with pain the cow will never let down milk. Always milk quickly. Before milking operation, the cow has to be stimulated.
The pull of the calf on the teat of the udder of the cow gives the stimulus. The action of the calf could be imitated when hand milking is used. Dry hands should be used. Two teats are pulled alternatively each occasion into the bucket. It is necessary to clean the with warm water before milking. Cow may not let down milk if the calves are not neat.
Therefore the calves may be brought near such cows. During milking, all the milk must be extracted from the udder, milking is not complete, there is the tendency for the cow to be off too soon. When a cow is to be dried off. it is essential restrict milking gradually.
The first heat occurs about 50 days after calving and it recurs i average of 21 days, if there is no service or if there is pregnancy. It is best to service the animals on about the 85th daj after calving. This results in calving at 12 months interval.
cows should be milked for 305 days and dried off preparatory for calving in two months. Heifers should get longer drying periods. They should be milked only for nine months and dried off for three months.
Dry cows should subsist on grazing alone until 8-12 weeks from calving when they should receive 1kg of concentrate a day
(c) Management of Bull: The general feeding and management of young bulls should be similar to those of heifer. When mature, they should be fed as dry cows.
(i) Stud Bulls: These are bulls used for service. Bulls are used service when they attain the age of two years. They reach the peak breeding power from three to six years. A young bull of service one or two times a week. Older bulls can service five tinier a week. A bull may be allowed to service cows in a year.
(ii) Work Bulls: Bulls for work should be trained to draw ploughs when they are two years old. Bull calves intended for work should be castrated at a very early stage.
During the wet season, grazing alone is sufficient to maintain the animals and produce three hours of work per day. For each additional hour of work ½kg of dusa should be fed in addition. In dry season, feed up to 6kg of mixed fodders in addition to grazing and extra ½kg of dusa or its equivalent for each hour of work. For three weeks before ploughing begins, feed 1.5kg of ‘I in addition to grazing, 10.3 Pig Keeping
Importance of Pig management
Pigs are very important farm animals because they provide the following products:
(a) Pork: The meat of pigs with thick layer of fat. (
b) Bacon: salted or smoked dry meat from the back or sides of a pig.
(c) Lard: fats from pig, used for various industrial purposes as well as domestic cooking.
(d) Bristles: hairs from pigs used in making brushes which are used fine artists.
(e) Pigs also provide source of income to the farmers. DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.7: A Pig. 199
(b) Some common terms used in Piggery
1. Boar: Adult male pig
2. Sow: Adult female pig
3. Gilt: a young sow which is not yet an adult
4. Piglet: young pigs of either sex
5. Litter: all the newly born young ones of a pig
6. Hog: castrated male pig
7. Farrowing; the process of giving birth to young ones by sows
8. Lard: fats from pigs
9. Ham: the upper part of a pigs leg.
10. Pork: the meat of a pig.
(c) Breeds of Pigs The commonest local breed of pig is the local West African This is small in size and can be found in muddy areas of South Nigeria.
However, the temperate breeds of pigs do better in the tropics than the local types. These imported breeds include:
(a) Large white
(b) Land race
(d) Large black
(e) Poland China
(g) Tain worth
(h) Chester white
(d) Pig Management
(i) Conditions for Keeping Temperate Breeds of Pig in Tropics: Pigs as a whole are non- sweating animals, therefore they require special conditions for management. They do best a temperature of 16″C.
Therefore, they require cool condition As most pigs are pigmented. shades should be made available the lards.
Wherever pigs are kept, there should be adequate water surf in the form of a wallow or sprinkling system, and a clean surf for drinking. In the Southern part of Nigeria, the pigs are preferably managed, in-doors and the buildings screened from fleas. Most outdoors are liable in worm and tsetse-fly infestation. Pigs prefer to lie on dry surface when sleeping, so drainage in Pens is essential.
The pens must be scrubbed daily. This helps to check internal parasites. Dry grasses spread on the floor of the pens every evening am morning.
(ii) Housing: An ideal Pigs house is a building containing pens of which six are for farrowing and suckling, out hoar and the remaining seven for the fatteners and growers. For the purposes of management, pigs can be subdivided into:
1. Piglets (young ones still suckling)
2. Weaners (Piglets that have stopped suckling)
4. Boars (adult males used for breeding)
5. Sows (adult females used for breeding). The walls of the pig pens are usually low not exceeding 1 metre high. Pigs are very destructive animals and can easily eat up ain floor made of weak concrete. The mixture should therefore be such that can withstand their destructive activities. The floor also should be rough to avoid slipping off. A Pig’s house must contain the pen proper, and a run for sun light.
The whole building should be screened against Hies. This is very necessary in humid areas where tse-tse flie are very many. The feeding troughs and waterers are also made of good concrete mixture. Lach pig is allowed 25-30 cm of feeding space. (iii) Farrowing Pens: These contain farrowing or guard rails 20 cm horn the walls and 30 cm high. These can be made of 5cm water pipes or 7 ½ cm hard wood.
The rails provide an area where the piglets can be pushed into after birth without the danger of the sow lying on them.
(iv) Keep Feeding:
Creep feeding is the feed of piglets separate Iron their mothers. This is necessary because the nutritional needs of the piglets and that of the dams (mother) are quite different.
Leeds suitable for the sow are too coarse and not palatable enough for the piglets. Similarly, the feeds suitable for the piglets are too expensive for the sows. Creep feeds are provided on smallins and served in such a way that the sou cannot get at them.
A creep feeding place can be made by barricading off a corner of the piglets can get in while the dam cannot.
All breeding pigs both sows and gilts should have at least 12-14 teats in their udder: Gilts and boars can be bred until they are four months old to be separated thereafter.
Gilts are served when 7-8 months old while a boar is ready for service when eight months old and can be used for service till it is 5-6 years old.
During oestrus (heat period), a sow sheds a large number of ova. For complete fertilization, a sou should be served twice during oestrus, that is at 12th hours and 36lh hour after the on set of oestrus because it lasts 2-5 days. Oestrus recurs at intervals of 21 days. Gestation period is about 114 days.
(vi) Farrowing: The pig keeper must regulate the interval of lifter (groups of young ones) so that the sows do not farrow (give birth) at the same time.
He needs a steady inflow of young pigs arriving at about the same rate as he is disposing the mature ones. This is achieved by regulating the time of sen ice of the sows by boars. Under good management, a sow can produce two litters a year. A sow can successfully produce 8 to 14 piglets per litter. An in-pig (pregnant) Sow must be brought into the farrowing pen a week before farrowing. .Litter (e.g. dry grasses) should be provided which she can use to build a nest.
The nest should not be swept out while cleaning the pen. During farrowing, it is-necessary for the pig keeper to he around to provide assistance to ensure the safe delivery and survival of the piglets.
(vii) Suckling: The piglets start suckling immediately alter birth. Generally, each piglet keeps its own teat. For this reason, (he number of piglets normally do not exceed the numbers of teals. Excess piglets can be raised by hand (artificially) or foster mother. After three weeks, a creep should be provided to feed the piglets with solid feeds. They are weaned after 5-8 weeks. Weaning should be done gradually by taking the sou out of the pen for increasing periods during the day. This avoids any set-back at weaning.
A well developed piglet should be 35% by weight at time of weaning. The lactation period of a pig is 12weeks; and a sow comes on heat 2-5 days after drying off. (viii) Castration of Piglets: Male piglets that arc not required for breeding (reproduction) are castrated at the age of six weeks. This is to check indiscriminate mating. Castration of a pig does not affect the odour, flavour, or the tenderness of the meat.
(i) Fattening: In the tropics, pigs are mainly produced for Few are raised for bacon or lard. Pigs are usually fattened groups of the same age and the type of ration required for rattening is different from that required by piglets or sows. Also, (here are changes in rations to suit different fattening stages. A good porker weighing about 60kg should be produced in 5 months. Hogs (castrated males) usually fatten faster than gilts of the same age and breed. Pig ration for different ages are often pit-pared by feed mills. The recommended basic rations are: (a) Creed feed: 1 – 5 weeks
(b) Weaner’s diet: 5-8 weeks
(c) Grower’s diet: As from 8 weeks (35-55kg)
(d) Fattener’s diet: from 55kg to slaughter weight of 90-100kg.
(e) Breeder’s diet: fed to sows and boars used for breeding from weaning age.
(x) Hygiene: Pig’s house should be kept clean always to prevent pesi and disease attack. Common parasites of pigs are round norm, ticks, tsetse flies. The common diseases include: swine trvcr. anthrax, swine dysentery, pneumonia, enteritis and others, I hese can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene in the pig’s house. 10.4 Sheep
(a) Importance/Uses of Sheep: 1. Sheep provides meat called mutton 2. Sheeo hair (wool) is used in making clothing materials
3. Sheep provides income
4. Manure is got from the faeces of sheep
5. Their skin is used for leather works.
6. Milk is also got from sheep and is used as food by man. DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.8:
(b) Breeds of Sheep
(a) The West African Dwarf sheep
(b) The West African long legged sheep e.g the African Ouda
(c) The Macuna Wool Sheep. This is found mainly in the Sudan. Their skins are valuable and are exported.
(c) Management Practices in Sheep:
(i) Housing: Mature sheep do not require expensive housing. They do well where they can have dry bed in the open. Housing is however important during the wet season for all grades of sheep. The buildings are generally simple having little or no equipment. Slated platforms are provided in pens on which the animals lie. The slate are therefore self- cleaning. The droppings are removed from time to time and can be used for compost making.
(ii) Feeding: Sheep is a ruminant. It feeds on a variety of grasses and shrubs. Sheep are more able, than any other farm animal, to make use of whole maize grains without previous grinding.
Therefore, whole maize grains can be fed to sheep to supplement grass feed. This is very important in the dry season. Sheep on the dry feeds requires a great deal of water. In addition, adequate minerals and antibiotics should be provided. (iii) Breeding: Both male and female sheep attain sexual maturity in six months, but are best used for service or best served when 9 – 12months old.
Heat period lasts 1-2 days in sheep and is repeated in about 21days. Gestation period is about 150 days. A female sheep will come on heat 7 months after delivery. The male sheep are castrated between 1-4 weeks after birth and are weaned in 4 to 6 months.
In temperature areas, there are seasons for breeding. It is known that feeding sheep well during the breeding season results in the production of twin lambs.
This practice of feeding sheep well during the breeding season is known as “flushing”. In general. good feeding during pregnancy results in strong and healthy lambs. 10.5
Goats are very common farm animals all over Nigeria.
Importance of Goat Keeping
1. Goat meat is cherished by many people and it is a rich source of protein
2. Goat milk is easily diucstible and has manv advantages over cow milk
3. Goat hair) is used in making carpets and bags.
4. Goat provide income to the keeper.
5. Goat provides hides and skin used in making leather works.
6. Goat are used for many festivals and ceremonies.
7. The droppings provide manure to soils for growing crops. DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.9: A Goat
(b) Breed of Goat:
The following are the common breeds of goat in Nigeria:
(a) Dwarf goat
(b) Sokoto Red or Maradi
(c) Sahel or Desert goat
(d) Kano Brown
(e) Borno Red Imported or exotic breeds include:
(a) Saanen (b) Anglo-Nubian
(c) Some terms associated with goat keeping:
1. Doe: adult female goat
2. Billy: adult male goat
3. Kid: a young goat of either sex usually under one year old.
4. Goat meat: meat from goat
5. Castrate: castrated male goat
6. Kidding: the act of giving birth in goats,
(d) Goat breeding: Goats mature at a very early age. It is advisable that both the male and .female should reach the age of nine months and twelve to eighteen mouths respectively before being bred. Oeslrm Cycle: 21-28 days. He til period: 24-48 hours. Since ovulation (shedding of the ova) occurs towards the end i heat, the best time to mate the doe is about 12 hours before the end of heat. The signs of heat includes:
1. bleating (irritating noise making)
2. riding other goats
3. tail shaking
4. swollen and reddened vulva
5. tendency to urinate frequently gestation period: 5 months or 150 days. Goat kid three times in two years. One to three kids are normally given birth to at one kidding or parturition. Young kids should be allowed to take their mothers colostrum.
Weaning: 4-6 months of age. Castration: males .not required for breeding should be castrated at one to four weeks of age. The remaining ones can then be managed under any of the following management systems (c) Management Systems for Goats Goat may be managed under: 1. Extensive system Intensive system 2. Intensive system. 3. Semi-intensive system 4. 1. Extensive System: Under this system, the goats are given all freedom to wander about in search of feed tor themselves. They h id on grasses and kitchen wastes. No deliberate attempt is made to house the goats although they are sometimes provided shelter at nights.
Goats reared under this system are very destructive as they feed on almost all economic plants and even human food. 2. Intensive system: In this system the goats are continuously housed. Feed and water are provided for them in the pens. The houses provide protection against environmental hazards and pollutants. The destructive aspect of goats is also controlled. The pens, water troughs and feeding devices are cleaned yearly to ensure good hygiene.
De-worming and spraying against parasites are common practices with goats reared under the intensive systems of management, i mats do well under this system of rearing. 3. Semi- intensive system: This involves rearing of goats in pastures. The goats are rotated from pasture. This is called controlled grazing. Some pens are provided in the pasture land. It combines the advantages of intensive system management. Tethering is generally part of the semi-intensive method of goat keeping since fences are expensive. Tethering involves tying the uilli a rope to a stake or tree. They feed from that stand. The areas they can brouse depends on the length of the rope. It is better lo tether goats in small huts with roofs or under tree shades where forage crops are brought to them in order to avoid harsh environmental conditions.
This system of management is cheap. 10.6 Rabbits Rabbits are used in raising frieat at a shortest possible time with least feed. They may be bred for yarn, fur, pels, as a source of letting and for laboratory experiments in Colleges and Universities. They are also a source of income to the farmers.
The meat of rabbit is high in protein and low in fat and caloric content. Its manure is high in nitrogen and phosphoric acid.
DIAGRAM Figure 2.10.10: A Rabbit. (a) Breeds of Rabbits These are the important breeds of domestic rabbits: the New Zealand white. Flemish Giant, the New Zealand Red and Checkered Giatnt. Some rabbits breeders recommend the New Zealand for Nigeria. (b) Management practices in Rabbits
(i) Housing: Rabbits are kept in cages called hutches.
It is most essential that the hutches are protected from rain and sunlight. Each adult rabbit should have its own. hutch, which should be 60cm high 75cm deep and 1 ½ – 2m long. The cage should dry and self-cleaning. The bottom of the cage should be made of wire mesh so that the faeces and urine can drop to the ground. Also, the cages should stand on legs and the total height of each should be waist high. It is difficult to keep cages with solid bottom dry. Wet cages encourage breeding of flies, and coccidiosis. A three unit cage is always recommended, that is, that can hold three adult rabbits; two does (female rabbit) and a buck (male rabbit).
The walls of the hutch can be made of split bamboo while the roof is made in such a way mil rain from tickling through. All cages must stand in filled with water to keep off ants. Breeding cages may, be provided with nest boxes. These be built into the cages or they may be removable boxes that can be set in cages several days before the does are ready to kindle (give birth to young ones). A nest box should be 55cm.
A few small holes should be drilled at the bottom of the box drainage. Water must be provided in each cage always and the waterer leaned off every morning before adding new one. The waterer must not be leaking. (ii) Rabbits are fed twice a day. that is. in the morning – evening. Grains are fed in the morning while green led in the evening. Nursing does require more feeds than dry does or bucks. The best feed is poultry mash either growers layers mash.
Since poultry mash is dusty, it should prevent irritation of the nose and lungs. Alternatively, a mixture of guinea com and groundnut cake can be alter grinding. The best green feeds are Amaranthus. Aspilia Africana Talinum triangular and grasses.
(iii) Breeding: Most large breeds of rabbit such as New Zealand white sexually mature in 8-9 months and can be bred then. The smaller breeds like the polish can be used for breeding when four months old.
Bucks (male) and does (female) mature about same age. One buck can service about ten does if the breeding spread out.
However no buck shouId be used more times a week for service l(g due shows signs of heat, it should be taken to the buck’s cage for mating. This is is because if the duck is brought to doe’s cage, the doe may attack it. If the doe is just placed the hutch with the buck, it will often squat in the corner of hutch and will not accept service. Therefore, holding the will quicken mating. After mating, the doe should be sent ha her hutch.
The service date should be recorded and approximate kindling date noted. Gestation period is 31 After two weeks, the doe should be examined for pregnant pressing gently with the hand on her belly. If she is preg one will feel some small marble shaped lumps in the uterus. If the doe is not pregnant, it should be sent back to when it comes on heat again.
(iv) Kindling: Kindling is the act of giving birth to the young. A nest should be placed in the hutch about 24 days after the has been mated. If it kindles on wire floor the litter (a growing young ones born at the same time) may perish. No steel bedding is to be placed in the cage. The cage must be The doe will pull out enough hair from her belly to cover litter.
As each infant is delivered, the doe licks it. After kindling the litter should be inspected and dead or deformed removed.
The cans on which the hutch is standing must be with water to prevent ants from entering to kill the young of Rabbits are nervous animals and are more nervous during kindling periods. Therefore, keep the doe as quiet as poi during this period, keep off all natural enemies like do cats. Keep people and children away from her hutch. Avoid the doe as much as possible on the day before and after kin Excitement also causes abortion.
Some does kill their young ones. This may be a sign under feediig. Some kill for no purpose. Such does should called. Hygiene: With good housing, it is not difficult to maintain hygiene in rabbits house. It is important to clean hutches and waterers regularly and remove droppings from the floor to build up of disease organisms. Major diseases of rabbits are pneumonia and diarrhea. These should be controlled whenthjey occur by consulting the nearest veterinary doctor.
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