Meat, eggs, milk, honey, silk, lac, wool and leather are some products we get from animals. We also use animals to do farm work and transport goods and people. Animals reared for such work are called draught animals.
The extra of animals has been used traditionally to make manure and dung cakes. Now it is used to make biogas, which is used as a fuel and to generate electricity.
The animals we keep for the useful products they give us are called livestock. The rearing of animals on large scale is thus called livestock farming. It is also called anima husbandry. The proper management of feed, shelter and health are the most important aspects of animal husbandry.
The feed given to animals must be nutritious and contain adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. The amount and mix of nutrients are worked out according to the age and health o the animal, and the work done by it. The work done by an animal includes the production of food. Cattle, including cows, buffaloes and bullocks, naturally feed on greases and leaves. They are also given special feeds called concentrates, which include oil cakes, cereals, grams and bran. Fodder plants, like elephant grass, guinea grass, Sudan grass and berseem, are also grown to feed cattle.
Goats and sheep feed on grass and farm waste. In addition, they are given food supplements, like grains, grams and oil cakes. Pigs are generally given a low –fiber feed consisting of cereals and vegetables. Poultry feeds include mashed cereals, groundnut cake, and fish meal and meat meal, prepared from the waste generated in the processing of fish and meat.
All farm animals are not kept in the same kind of shelter. Cattle, for example, are kept in sheds, which are divided into stalls. Poultry birds are kept n cages made of wire or rooms made of bricks and cement. Sheep and goats are kept in open yards, which are fenced off and have a covered area to provide protection from the rain. A pigsty is usually an enclosed yard with a shed.
In general, the following points must be kept in mind while making and managing an animal shelter.
a) It must get enough sunlight and air.
b) It must be kept clean and dry. The excreta of the animals must be cleaned out regularly.
c) It must not be overcrowded.
d) It must protect the animals from the rain, cold and severe heat, it must also protect them from predators.
e) It must be located away from residential areas and waste disposal sites.
Written by madugundu krishna
Madugundu Krishna English and Telugu writer. Yemmiganur, Hyderabad, India
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