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LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT

Agricultural Science

MANAGEMENT OF RUMINANT [CATTLE]

Cattle

Breeds of cattle

Terms used in cattle management

Characteristics of cattle

System of rearing cattle

Feeding of cattle

Management of cattle

 

Cattle are ruminant animal (they have complex or complicated stomach structures). Cattle have hollow horns and hoofs. They are reared for meat, milk, hide and skin, manure and draught animals for farm work. They belong to the family bovidae and genus Bos; humped cattle are Bosindicushumpless are Bostaurus.

 

BREEDS OF CATTLE

Breeds of cattle can be grouped into three. These are

Beef cattle: They can produce good quality meat

SokotoGudali,  Red Bororo, Kuri, N’dama, Muturu, Keteku etc.

Dairy cattle: They are reared mainly to produce milk.

White Fulani, Jersey, Ayshere, etc.

Dual purpose cattle: They can produce meat and milk

Muturu, Wadara (Shuwa) etc.

 

TERMS USED IN CATTLE MANAGEMENT

Bull: an adult male cattle             Cow: an adult female cattle

Calf: a young or baby cattle         Heifer: a growing female cattle up to her first calving.

Serving: act of mating in cattle    Calving: act of parturition in cattle

Herd: a group of cattle                 Beef: meat of cattle

 

EVALUATION

  1. State five breeds of cattle
  2. List five importance of cattle

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF CATTLE

  1. They are large bodied animals.
  2. Most male and female cattle have horns some are polled.
  3. They are either humped or humpless.
  4. They calf at least once in a year.
  5. They have a gestation period of about 275-283 days (9months).
  6. The female produces a calf in one parturition.

 

SYSTEMS OF REARING CATTLE

EXTENSIVE SYSTEM

This is the system in which the herdsmen move about with their cattle from one place to another in search of food and water. Movement is under the influence of rainfall, availability of pasture and Tse-tse fly. No organized housing and health care provided. The animals are exposed to natural hazards, thieves and wild animals attack and disease outbreak cannot be easily controlled. It is a very cheap system of rearing cattle and the animals enjoy feed of their choice and freedom of exercise.

 

SEMI-INTENSIVE SYSTEM

In this system, housing is provided and they are allowed to move about a fenced compound with pasture. They spend more time outside their pens. The system needs low capital investment but labour requirement is high. Diseases and parasites infestation are slightly high.

 

INTENSIVE SYSTEM

In this system, the cattle are confined within a building with little access to grazing. Grasses by zero-grazing, water and medication are supplied effectively to the cattle. Disease and parasite infestation is very low.

 

EVALUATION

  1. Outline five characteristics of cattle.
  2. What are the disadvantages of extensive system of rearing cattle?

 

FEEDING

  1. The feed for cattle must be a balanced diet; they are grazers.
  2. Cattle feed mainly on roughages (grasses and legumes). Common grasses that can be fed on by cattle include elephant grass, guinea grass and giant star grass etc.
  3. Cattle should be fed on concentrate feed to supply the required nutrient in their diet.
  4. Zero-grazing or rational grazing can be practiced.
    1. Zero grazing grasses are cut and taken to the cattle in their pens.
    2. Rational grazing-cattle are moved about in paddocks as they graze on the pasture.
  5. Other feeds that can be fed to cattle include hay, silage, strawe.t.c.
  6. Dairy cattle should be given more concentrate than the beef cattle

 

MANAGEMENT OF CATTLE

The management of cattle from breeding to market size can be grouped under three headings which includes

BREEDING TO CALVING (BIRTH)

Breeders are housed in the breeders’ house. The house is made up of railed wall and concrete

floors. Bulls and heifers should be at least 24 month before they are bred. The cow or heifers should be proper fed on concentrate as well as roughages. The bull is introduced to the cow when she is on heat. Gestation period is about 283 days. During gestation, the cow is made to eat in the ranch so as to exercise its body. Special diet is given to cows 8 weeks to calving for milk production after birth. This is called steaming up. The cow is taken to calving.

 

BIRTH OF CALF TO WEANING

During parturition, the cord from the navel breaks on its own. Iodine solution should be applied to the navel stump to prevent infection. The animal should be helped to suck milk from the mother’s udder. The first milk called colostrum is secreted by the mammary gland and it gives young animals natural immunity against diseases. Calf should be vaccinated against diseases and de-worm at intervals. Those not for breeding are castrated.

 

WEANING TO FINISHING

The weaned calf is fed with concentrate and roughages. The de-horning or dis-budding is performed for easy handling of the cattle when they grow up. De-horning can be done by using hot iron to burn out the horn bud or by applying caustic soda to the horn bud. Saw can also be used to cut off the horn and later treated with iodine. Branding and tattooing is later done for the purpose of identification of the calf. Ear notching can also be used for identification.

 

COMMON PARASITE AND DISEASE OF CATTLE

DISEASE OF CATTLE

  1. MANGE is caused by mites

Symptoms include skin irritation, alopecia due to scratching to get rid of mites, thick and scaly skin. It is transmitted by direct body contact. Treat all infected animals with insecticides and repeat after 2weeks, maintain proper hygiene and sanitation in pig houses, administer invermectin or ivomec injection. Some effective insecticide again mange are diazuntol, malathione, benzyl benzoate, benzene hexachloride etc.

 

  1. TUBERCULLOSIS is caused by bacteria

This disease is zoonotic, poor sanitation and hygiene are major factors that causes this disease. It is transmitted via direct body contact, suckling infected milk, inhaling infected droplets from a coughing or sneezing animal with the disease, inhaling infected dust particles etc.

 

Symptoms include frequent dry coughing with whitish or yellowish discharge, swelling of lymph node on necks and front leg, hard lumpy and enlarged udder with pus filled/yellowish milk droplets, emaciation and death. Can be treated by administering 10mg/kg body weight of isonicotinichydracide for eight weeks but does not guarantee 100% recovery. It can be prevented by avoiding overcrowding, maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation, slaughtering of infected animals etc.

 

COMMON PARASITE OF CATTLE

Worms of cattle includes roundworm, flat worms, liver fluke etc. Ectoparasites include tick, mites, tsetse fly, lice.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION

  1. List five breeds of cattle
  2. List five products that can be obtained from cattle
  3. Outline five characteristics of cattle
  4. Discuss briefly the intensive system of rearing cattle
  5. discuss briefly the management of cattle from
    1. breeding to calving
    2. birth to weaning
  6. List four other feeds that can be fed to cattle apart from fresh grasses.
  7. Discuss briefly the common parasite and disease of cattle.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The gestation period in days of a cow is A. 283 B. 114 C. 42 D. 823
  2. The discontinuation of feeding young animals with milk is known as A. lactation
  3. weaning C.suckling D. feeding
  4. Natural immunity against diseases is conferred on the newly born young animals through A. feeding of colostrumsB. vaccination C. Sanitation D. weaning
  5. A young female cattle is referred to as a A. cow B. bull C. heifer D.vealer
  6. The act of parturition in cow is known as A. kidding B. calving C. weaning D. sowing

 

THEORY

  1. Define the following in cattle rearing a) tattooing b) zero-grazing c) rotational grazing.
  2. Outline five economic importances of cattle.

 

See also

LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT

ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY

REPRODUCTION IN FARM ANIMALS

REPRODUCTION IN FARM ANIMALS

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

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