- In the management of livestock there are many activities that are carried out on animals to enhance production.
- They require care in feeding, health, breeding.
- Specific management also important in bee and fish farming.
Routing livestock rearing practices.
- A routine is a fixed/regular way of doing something.
- done repeatedly after a certain period of time
- Animals are fed to cater for both maintenance and production requirements.
- These are special types of feeding carried out on certain animals to cater for specific needs.
- The practice of giving extra quality feed to an animal around service time.
- In sheep it is done 2-3 weeks before tupping and 3 weeks after tupping.
- In pigs it is done 3-4 weeks before service.
Importance of Flushing
- It increases conception rates.
- It enhances implantation of the zy
- In sheep it increases twinning percentage by 15-20%.
- Giving extra quality feed to an animal during the last weeks of gestation.
- In cattle it is done 6-8 weeks before calving.
Importance Steaming Up
- It provides nutrients for maximum foetal growth.
- It helps in the build up of energy for parturition.
- It ensures the birth of a healthy animal.
- It promotes good health of the mother.
- It increases and maintains high milk yield after birth.
- Feeding of young animals from birth to weaning.
- 10 days old – introduced to creep pellets.
- 5 weeks old – creep pellets mixed with sow and weaner meals.
- 8 weeks old – weaning.
- Run with their mothers for natural suckling.
- Bucks – introduced to succulent feeds and concentrates.
- Meat goats kids suckle naturally.
- Dairy goats, fed on milk artificially,
- Given 0.5-1.25 litres up to the third week.
- Introduced to concentrates at 3-4 months.
- Weaned at 6-8 weeks of age.
Parasite and Disease Control Practices
- Introducing active disease organsms which are reduced in strength or virulent into the animals’ body to induce immunity.
Administration of Vaccination done through:
- By injection.
- Orally through the mouth.
- By inhalation through the nose.
- Eye drops.
- Practice of killing/removing internal parasites by administering drugs known as dewormers / antihelmitics.
- Cutting back overgrown hooves with the help of a hoof trimming knife, a hoof cutter or a hoof rasp.
- Facilitate easy movement.
- Control of foot rot disease.
- Facilitate mating – prevent the ram from injuring the ewe during tupping.
- This is the removal (cutting oft) of tails in sheep during the first week after birth.
- Even distribution of body fat.
- Facilitate easy mating in adult life.
- Minimise fouling of the wool with faeces.
- Reduce incidences of blowfly infestation.
Methods of Docking /tailing
- Cutting with sharp knife or scalpel.
- Use of elastrator and rubber ring.
Dipping and Spraying
- These are methods of applying acaricides on the animals to control external parasites.
- It is the application of chemical powders on the animal body or on the walls of the animal house to control external parasites.
- It is used to control stick-fast parasites and fleas in poultry.
These are practices carried out to enhance successful breeding.
Crutching and Ringing
- Crutching – cutting of wool around the external reproductive organs of female sheep.
- Ringing – trimming wool around the sheath of the penis of the rams to facilitate mating.
Tupping and Serving
- Tupping refers to mating in sheep and goats.
- Serving refers to mating in cattle and pigs.
- This is the practice of fitting the rams with breeding chutes which are painted in different colours during mating
- to identify mated ewes and to indicate the active rams hence help in culling of the weak rams.
The practice of putting identification marks on animal.
- Branding – burning marks on the animals skin.
- Ear tagging – placing marked plastic or metallic tags on the animals ears.
- Ear notching – cutting different shapes bearing different values on the ear lobes.
- Tattooing – use of permanent ink or dye to mark animals with light skin.
- Neck strap or chain – Fixing of tags round the animals neck with a chain or a strap.
Importance/ purpose of Identification
- record keeping
- Setting disputes in case animals get mixed up in the pasture.
- Cutting about 1/3 of the upper beak with a knife, scissors or hot iron.
- Control egg eating.
- Control cannibalism.
- The removal (clipping) of the needle (canine) teeth in piglets 24 hours after birth.
- Removal of undesirable animals from a herd.
- Removal of horns or horn buds from an animal.
- It prevents animals from injuring each other.
- It makes the animal docile and therefore easy to han
- For easy transportation and feeding.
- Prevents destruction of farm structures.
- The practice of cutting wool from all over the body of a sheep.
- It starts at the age of 8 months and then done once a year.
- Should be done during the dry season.
- Tools used: wool shears.
- Care must be taken not to cut the skin, testicles, udder, vulva and penis.
- It is the rendering unserviceable the testicles of a male animal.
- To control breeding diseases.
- To control breeding.
- For faster growth rates.
- Increase quality of meat by removing unpleasant smell especially in goats.
- involves use of burdizzo or rubber ring and ela
- Animals do not bleed but may not be 100% effecti
- A surgical method used for castrating cocks, piglets and rabbits whose testes are internal.
- Also used for lambs, kids and calves.
- Animals bleed a lot.
- However, it is 100% effective.
- It is not recommended for mature adults.
- It is the practice of making male birds lose their male characteristics by use of hormones.
- Hormones used include stilboestrol which is injected into the birds when they are one day old and female hormones implanted beneath the skin at the neck.
- Birds which have lost their male characteristics in this way are referred to as capons.
Management During Parturition
- Parturition is the act of giving birth to fully grown foetus.
Parturition in Cattle
- It is referred to as calving.
- Gestation period lasts 270-285 days after conception.
- When the signs of parturition are observed the cow should be separated from the rest of the herd.
- Normal calving should take 2 hours and the normal presentation is the muzzle, face or fore head on top of the forelegs first.
- In case of other presentations the mother should be assisted.
- Provide the mother with plenty of water and feed after par
- If the after birth does not come out within 48 hours a veterinarian should be called to remove it.
Parturition in Sheep
- It is referred to as lambing.
- Gestation lasts 21 weeks (150 days) after conception.
- The ewe lamb naturally without any problem.
- If complications arise the ewes should be assisted.
Signs of Parturition in Sheep
- Udder becomes full.
- Teats are bright red in colour.
- Restlessness and bleating.
- Slackening of the hip muscles.
After these signs ‘are seen the ewes should be separated from the others.
- The normal presentation is forelegs and head first.
- After birth the mother should be allowed to lick the lamb to ensure the coat is dry.
Parturition in Goats
- It is referred to as kidding.
- It takes place 150 days after conception.
- Nannies carrying twins, kid a few days earlier.
- Kidding nannies should be kept in a clean dry place which should be well sheltered.
- Signs of parturition are similar to those of ewes.
- Kidding nannies should be kept with another female for company.
Parturition in Pigs
- It is referred to as farrowing.
- Gestation period 113-117 days ( 4 months).
Signs of Farrowing
- The sow becomes restless.
- There is enlargement of the vulva .
- Muscles on each side of the tail slacken.
- There is loss of appetite.
- The udder and the teats become enlarged.
- The sow collects bedding material in one comer to build a nest.
- Milk present in the teats 24 hours before farrowing.
After the signs are seen;
- Farrowing takes about 2-6 hours under normal condition
- An attendant should be there to assist the mother and piglets.
- Ensure the removal of the after birth to prevent the sow from eating it.
- The sow should be fed well and given plenty of clean water.
Parturition in Rabbits
- It is referred to as kindling.
- It takes place 28-32 days after conception.
- Provide a nesting box and plenty of dry soft beddings in the hutch towards the fourth week of gestation .
Signs of Parturition
- The doe plucks off the fur from her body.
- Uses the fur to build a nest about 3-10 days earlier.
Bee Keeping (Apiculture)
- Bees are insects which live in very well organised colonies.
Each colony consists of:
- Queens – fertile females that breed to ensure the continuity of the species.
- Drones – fertile males that mate with the queen for reproduction process.
- Workers – non-fertile or sterile females that maintain the colony.
Duties of Workers
- They rear and nurse the brood (eggs, larvae and pupae), queen and drones.
- They collect nectar and make honey.
- They make the honey combs.
- They protect the hives.
- They clean the hive.
Importance of Bees
- Collect nectar from flowers.
- Make honey – a nutritious product used by man as food.
- Helps in crops pollination of plants.
- Bees produce wax used to make candles.
- They make propolis – a bee product which is medicinal.
Siting/locating of an Apiary
Factors to consider;
- Nearness or accessibility to nectar or flower-producing vegetation.
- Areas with shade. Bees are sensitive to the sun’s heat and require some shade to protect them.
- Safe distance from human residence and other livestock.
- Bees are stinging insects and can be a hazard to humans or other animals.
- Nearness to a source of water for use in their nutrition.
- A good distance from source of noise and other disturbances.
- Safety from predators for example honey badgers, ants (safari ants), birds and other parasites such as wax moths.
- Normally bees are self-sufficient in providing their food from the honey they make.
- However, during the dry season, their feeding should be supplemented by providing a solution (syrup) of sugar water or giving molasses.
- This should be placed strategically so that it is easily accessible to the bees.
- Wax moths
- Bee louse
- Honey badger
Control of Parasites
- Use of physical barriers such as Vaseline/grease to control ants.
- Smoke the hive to control bee louse.
- Suspend the hive to control honey badgers.
- Burn infected combs to control wax moths.
Diseases and Control
- African bees are seldom attacked by diseases.
Factors to consider;
- Stage of ripening: Honey must be harvested when it is fully matu
- Season of the year: Harvested at the end of the rainy season.
- Blow light smoke through the hole.
- This makes bees suck honey and become engorged and docile.
- Lower the hive to the ground.
- Open the hive to expose honey combs.
- Brush the bees off the honey combs.
- Cut the honey combs, leaving a small margin on the bars and keep them in a closed container.
- Using heat in a water bath to melt the honey.
- Crushing and straining.
- Using a centrifugal extractor.
Precautions When Handling Bees
- Avoid excessive smoking.
- This kills the brood and lowers quality of the honey.
- Use protective clothing to avoid sting.
- Protect the hive from rain water.
- Use clean equipment and containers to avoid contamination of the honey.
- Use recommended method of extracting honey.
- Use recommended type of hive such as Kenya top bar hive.
Fish Keeping (Aquaculture)
- The rearing or keeping of fish is called fish farming and is normally carried out in specially prepared ponds.
A good fish–pond should have the following features:
- Site should be on a fairly level ground with a permanent supply or source of water.
- The area should have clayey soil to avoid loss of water through seepage.
- Water must be free from any pollutants such as chemicals and other wastes.
Construction should provide for:
- an inlet for fresh supply of water,
- a spill way channel to take off overflow or excess water,
- an outlet to drain off the water when it is necessary to replace pond water,
- a fence to keep off predators and other intruders.
- Fish naturally feed on worms, insects and algae in the ponds.
These sources of food must be supplemented by throwing in the pond ;
- kitchen wastes,
- chopped vegetable materials such as cabbage leaves,
- cereal brans
- brewers’ grain .
Management Practices to Ensure Maximum Harvest of Fish
- Control of stocking rate, that is to, have the recommended population of fish in a pond at anyone time.
- Harvest at the correct maturity stage.
- This is done by using the fishing net with correct mesh sizes to avoid catching the fingerlings.
- Avoid water pollution in the ponds which may poison fish.
- Ensure adequate supply of food in the pond.
- Water in the ponds should be kept in motion to facilitate aeration.
- Maintain appropriate depth (level) of water.
- Control predators and/or thieves.
- Drain and refill ponds with fresh water as necessary.
- Harvesting or extracting fish from the fish ponds for consumption
Two main methods:
- Hook–and–line method:
- This is slow, injures small fish and is inefficient.
- It is only suitable for small-scale fishing.
- Use of fishing nets:
- This is the most efficient method as long as a net with the correct mesh sizes is used.
- Harvesting may be done 6-8 months after the introduction of fingerlings into the fish pond.
Maintenance of the Fish Pond
- Repairing the dyke or any structure on it.
- Cleaning the pond and removing foreign materials.
- Planting grass where necessary.
- Removing un desirable vegetation.
- Removing the silt.
Practices before preservation:
- Clean the fish to remove mud and any worms.
- Removing scales and slime.
- Opening the fish on the side to remove the gut and the intestines referred to as gutting. .
- Cleaning the abdominal cavity thoroughly.
- Keeping fish in open containers.
Methods of Preservation
- Sun drying
Appropriate Handling of Livestock During Management
- Physical beating should be avoided.
- Structures which help in restraining animals should be used whenever applicable.
- The correct methods of securing and casting animals should be used.
- Use as little force as possible.
- Equipment such as ropes, halters, lead stick and bull rings are used to handle animals appropriately.