The adage “Health is Wealth” is as true for animals as it is for us humans. As a livestock producer, keeping your animals healthy is no doubt important. Treating sick animals is both expensive and time-consuming, so it will make sense for you to prevent rather than treat sickness.
One way to prevent your animals from getting sick and potentially spreading disease is to quickly address problems. Observe your animals on a daily basis to more easily identify sick animals, move them to a location away from the main herd, and get them treated as needed.
By minimizing the risk of animals getting sick, you can better raise high quality, healthy animals. This will in turn help to ensure a safe food supply and keep consumer prices stable.
The importance of healthy animals
Public health can be impacted adversely by animal disease, as can your farm and the stability of the agricultural segment of the economy as a whole. The USDA recognizes that good animal health can:
- Ensure safer food supplies
- Generate better productivity
- Cut down on the potential impact to the environment
- Reduce antibiotic usage
- Improve animal well-being
Here are some common techniques you can follow to keep your animals healthy and avoid having to spend on expensive treatments.
Just as we raise our kids on a healthy and nutritious diet, a high-quality diet for your animals is important. Livestock producers raise their animals on specially formulated diets that ensure that the animals’ nutrient requirements are met. Feeds — which consist of grains, protein, and numerous vitamins and minerals – are tested and rations are balanced for their animals.
A well-balanced diet and access to freshwater can improve your animals’ growth rates and reproductive efficiency as well as strengthen their immune systems. With good mineral nutrition, your animals will also respond better to vaccinations, a primary method of protecting animals from disease.
As a farmer, you will need to pay close attention to the environment in which you raise your animals. It’s best to raise your animals indoors where they can be kept clean and dry. With the rise of modern technology, you can now control temperatures in your housing environments with the help of electronic sensors that can be adjusted remotely via computers or smartphones.
Ventilation is extremely important; a good practice would be to use fans to keep the air moving indoors to keep your animals comfortable. Cleanliness is the key, so clean out your barns regularly and keep your animals well bedded.
Carefully choose your vaccination products. Read product labels and handle vaccinations properly. Store products at proper temperatures, keep the animals to be vaccinated clean and dry, use clean needles, and always vaccinate only healthy animals. Discard any expired products immediately.
Vaccinate at least two weeks before a stressful event such as weaning, castrating, or transporting your animal.
Biosecurity refers to the precautions you must take to ensure your animals’ continued well-being. Biosecurity measures are taken to prevent the entrance of disease-causing bacteria and viruses into the areas where you house your animals.
Disease can be brought onto your farm via an outside source on their shoes or tires. By restricting access to areas that house animals or setting in place measures such as showering and putting on clean clothing before entering, you can prevent and reduce the spread of disease on your farm.
Want to learn more about properly caring for your livestock? To further explore the South Texas lifestyle, get in touch with Desert Flower Realty. Call 361.449.2051 or email DesertFlowerRealty(at)DesertFlowerRealty(dotted)com and our local experts will gladly assist you with your inquiries.