Improvement in Food Resources | Part 3
The branch of agriculture that deals with the feeding, caring and breeding of domestic animals is called animal husbandry. Husbanding means to use a resource carefully and without waste. Thus, animal farming or animal husbandry requires planning for domestic animal’s shelter, breeding, health, disease control and proper economic utilization. Our domestic animals or livestock includes those animals which are raised for farm purposes, e.g., cattle (cow, bull or ox), buffalo, yak, horse, ass, goat, sheep, camel, etc.
1. Cattle Farming
In India, cattle and buffaloes are next to land in use for farmers. Human beings domesticate them for milk, also for meat, leather and transportation. Thus, cattle raising is done to fulfill the specific needs for dairy, draught or dual purpose of breeds. Generic name of cow (cattle) is Bos indicus; it is adapted for drier regions of the country such as Gujarat and Rajasthan. Buffalo is commonly called Indian water buffalo; its generic name is Bubalus bubalis.
Milk producing female population of animals is called milch animals or dairy animals.
(i) Murrah. This is original breed of Haryana and Punjab. This breed has massive body; short and tightly curved horns; adult female weighing 430-500 kg and male 530-575 kg.
(ii) Mehsana. This is a breed of Gujarat especially from Vadodara and Mehsana districts. It is cross between Murrah and Surti. Usually black or gray. Their milk production is about 1200 to 2500 litres.
(iii) Surti. This breed of buffalo is native of Kaira and Vadodara districts in Gujarat. Black or brown, eyes prominent, horns are sickle-shaped. Their average milk yield is from 1600 to 1800 litres.
Method of breeding animals
There are two methods of breeding animals :
(i) Natural method (ii) Artificial Method
(i) Natural method of breeding. It is a traditional method of breeding. It takes place by cross-breeding between the desi (indigenous cow) and the bull of high milk yielding exotic breed by the natural physical mating process during the heat period (fertility period) of cow.
(ii) Artificial method of breeding. Scientifically this method is called artificial insemination. The process of injecting the semen obtained from desired male bull of high milk yielding breed into the genital or reproductive tract of female animal during heat period is called artificial insemination.
Farm Management Practices
The requirement of proper cleaning and shelter for cows and buffaloes is must due to two reasons : (i) for the production of clean milk ; (ii) for the health of the animal. Both cow and buffaloes require regular brushing to remove dirt and loose hairs. They are sheltered under roofed sheds that protect them from rain, heat, direct sunlight and cold. The floor of the cattle shed is made brick-lined and sloping for facilitating cleaning and keeping their sitting place dry. Generally a cow requires about six square metre space and passage and feeding trough. The sheds or shelters should be provided with cross ventilation with sufficient number of inlets and outlets.
The food eaten by animals is called feed. Feeding of animal means to provide food to animal. The food requirement of dairy animals is of two types :
1. Maintenance requirements. The food is required by the animal to support the animal to perform the basic functions of life.
2. Milk producing requirement. It includes the type of food required during lactation period. Maintenance part of the ration depends upon the body weight, while production part is dependent upon the level and composition of the milk.
Diseases of Cattle and Buffaloes
Cows and buffaloes suffer from various diseases. The diseases adversely affect the production of milk and cause mortality of sick animals.
Diseases of dairy animals are broadly classified into following three categories :
1. Parasitic diseases : 2. Infectious diseases : and 3. Non-infectious diseases.
1. Parasitic diseases. The parasites of cattle may be both external and internal. The external parasites include fleas, lice (blood-sucking lice), ticks and mites. They live on skin of cows and buffaloes and mainly cause skin diseases. Buffalo leech (Hirudinaria Granulosa) sucks blood of buffalo and causes anaemia disease. The internal parasites such as worms (e.g., Ascaris ritulorum) affect stomach and intestine of cows and buffaloes and flukes (e.g., Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica) of host (cow/buffalo) damage the liver.
2. Infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are mainly caused by viruses and bacteria. They are contagious diseases and spread by contact from animal to animal.
(a) Examples of viral diseases. Foot and mouth disease, cow pox or vaccinia and Rinderpest. Symptoms of foot and mouth disease include blisters on feet and mouth, excessive formation of saliva (trait of saliva hangs from the mouth), soreness of mouth, diminished appetite and high fever.
(b) Example of bacterial diseases. Anthrax, Hemorrhagic septicemia, Black quarter, etc. Hemorrhagic septicemia is caused due to infection of Pasteurella multocida and black quarter is caused by Clostridium chanroei.