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Tips for good care of cattle


Date Posted: 11/18/2013 1:10:05 PM

Posted By: Karjosse  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 615

Farm animals are very useful and need to be taken care of well. In order to get maximum yields, a farmer needs to know how to take care of each farm animal.

Just like any other farm animal, cattle require fresh water daily. A mature cow or bull can consume up to sixty liters of water per day. Fortunately for many farmers in Kenya, and Africa at large, there are many lakes and rivers where their cattle can get water. However, for the pastorals in arid and semi-arid area, getting enough water for the animals is a big challenge.

Cattle are ruminants which mean that their stomachs have four chambers. Therefore, hay and pasture make up most of their dietary needs. Grains are considered to be high in energy and are not recommended for healthy cattle. On average, the recommended feed required to maintain healthy cattle is about 2% of the animal’s body weight in dry matter (hay) daily. You can also provide your cattle with the commercial feeds that are rich in mineral salts.

Your cattle’s pasture needs to be of good quality and plentiful because this is what provides a majority of your cattle’s dietary needs. If you do not have enough pasture for grazing, you will need to supplement with hay. Cattle, on average, need about a kilogram of hay per one hundred kilogram of body weight daily. It is also recommendable for you purchase some type of covering to keep the hay dry. Wet hay leads to severe health problems.

Cattle are easy to train and handle. By brushing them, touching them gently, talking to them in a friendly way, and not hitting them unnecessarily, you will get them used to being handled. This in turn will prepare them for future necessary handling, such as veterinarian calls, hoof trimming, dehorning

and deworming.

The shelter for your cattle should be well-ventilated and waterproof. Sadly, most cattle bomas in Kenya do not have roofs. This is either because farmers do not have any money or the cattle can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, where possible, a farmer should have proper cowshed that has a roof. Diseases and disease-causing organisms are more prevalent in damp cowsheds. In addition to good shelter for the cattle, always make sure your cattle are up to date on all required vaccinations for your area.

Always contact your veterinarian regarding any health questions on your farm animals. Remove all plants that are poisonous to cattle from your fields. Contact the agricultural extension officer for complete listing of poisonous plants in your area.

Cattle are not aggressive animals, but you should handle them with caution as they can harm you without meaning to (such as swinging their head into you or by stepping on your foot).
Finally, try not to use barbed wire for fencing, as this can be dangerous to the cattle and their calves.

All in all, following the above methods of care and protection on cattle or all farm animals in general, your yields as a farmer and the welfare of the animals will be far off improved.

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