Keeping livestock healthy and safe is an important responsibility of any farmer. Your animals are not only a profitable business, but they also contribute to the local economy. How to keep farm animals healthy and safe starts in the pasture.
1. Feed Animals Sufficiently
Keeping farm animals healthy is all about providing them with the necessities of life. Proper nutrition is the foundation to a healthy and long life. In many cases, livestock that don’t receive the proper diet can suffer from a short life span and possible disease or other conditions.
Make sure your stock eats enough. Many farmers complain that they never see any profit at the end of the month because their animals don’t eat enough. If you’re raising cattle, you may need to provide them with supplemental feeds. When raising farm animals, make sure you know how to feed them properly. If you have trouble figuring out which foods are best for them, ask your veterinarian to help you make your choices.
The best tips to keep farm animals healthy include making sure that you don’t feed them anything that’s too much or too fast for their age or for their health problems. Even if you think that your animals have been fed correctly, there’s always a chance that they may develop a disease or illness.
Properly dispose of spoiled, expired, or otherwise uneaten feed so these don’t cause your animals to become sick.
2. Ensure Fresh Water Source
You should make sure your stock has enough water and enough shade to drink and dry off. Animals need to drink water to remove toxins from their system and to stay hydrated. Ensure that you have water tanks or stock throughs to help make water readily available for your animals.
3. Provide Warm Shelter
Make sure your animals have a secure place to sleep. When your livestock aren’t eating, they need to be kept clean, warm, dry, and comfortable. This means keeping them in barns, stalls, hutches or pens to keep out predators. When your livestock are eating, you need to make sure the space is comfortable for both them and you.
4. Keep Them Safe
Make sure your animals are kept away from predators. Moreover, some pests, such as mice, rats, rabbits, and moles, can make a home for themselves in your animals’ feeders. Protect them by putting nets over their food and water. Pests and vermin can also easily find their way into the house through holes and cracks in your fences. Prevent your animals from becoming sick by making sure that you regularly clean out their droppings and urine.
5. Keep the Barn Clean
Clean out barns regularly, disinfect animal enclosures and shelters, and protect yourself and your animals with safety equipment while vacuuming. You will also want to give them a clean environment. This is because you don’t want to expose your animals to chemicals or other things that can potentially harm them. Rather, you’d want to provide them with a comfortable environment.
6. Prevent Illness
Avoid the spread of disease in your farm by carefully choosing the animals you buy. Choose animals who aren’t sick and, even then, quarantine new animals for a few weeks to ensure that the new ones aren’t carriers of a disease. Wear boots when you visit other farms’ livestock areas and don’t forget to disinfect your boots later.
7. Take Care of the Babies
Raising healthy and strong animal babies will help you stay in the animal business longer than anything else. To ensure healthy critters, you need to prepare for their birth. Mark your calendar for their arrival and ensure that you have the things you need, such has iodine and heat lamps. Also, ensure that you check the mother-to-be several times each day.
Take care of the youngsters according to their needs, so it’s best to be knowledgeable about your animals. All newborns should be dried off and given a clean bed. However, some young animals may have specific requirements such as warm temperatures during the first few days. Also, ensure that the young ones get their first drink of milk from their moms. Calf implants are recommended to keep track of your young ones.
Take note that parasites and local bugs could be your animal’s greatest challenges, so ensure that you have strong worm control and that vaccination programs are in place with your veterinarian.
9. Grooming (If Applicable)
Make sure your animals receive the right amount of grooming and care. They will need to be brushed regularly and have their nails trimmed. Routinely check your stock and make sure they are healthy and in good condition.
For livestock to be healthy, keep them well-fed. Make sure they have adequate, clean water and a clean place to sleep. Water your animals drink daily keeps their digestive systems clean and prevents sicknesses from developing in their bodies. Use proper feeders for feed and store feed off the land.