The branch of agriculture which deals with the feeding, shelter, health and breeding of domestic animals is called animal husbandry
Need for animal husbandry:
As the population and the living standard increase, the demand for milk, eggs and meat also goes up. Hence, to bring a revolutionary increase in the production of milk, eggs and meat to satisfy the increasing demands of people for animal food, animal husbandry is essential. Note: Operation Flood is related to milk production. Silver revolution is related to egg production.
Cattle farming is done for two purposes: Dairy: for getting milk. Draught: animals are used for agricultural tasks like tilling, irrigation and carting.
On the above basis, the cattle are divided into two categories: Milch breeds (dairy animals): These include the animals which are kept for obtaining milk. Indian milch cattle belong to two different species- Cows (Bos indicus) and Buffaloes (Bos bubalis). Draught animals: These animals are used in agriculture and transportation.
Breeding for the desired quality:
Milk production depends, to some extent, on the duration of the lactation period, meaning the period of milk production after the birth of a calf. So, milk production can be increased by increasing the lactation period.
The exotic breeds (e.g., Jersey, Brown Swiss) are selected for long lactation periods, while local breeds (e.g., Red Sindhi, Sahiwal) show excellent resistance to diseases. The two can be cros- bred to get animals with both the desired qualities.
The breeding may be done by natural method or artificial insemination, i.e., injecting the semen obtained from the desired bull into the reproductive tract of the desired cow.
Some successful cross –breeds on these lines are
(1)Karan Swiss: Cross-breed of Brown Swiss and Sahiwal.
(2)Karan Fries: Cross-breed of Holstein-Friesian and Sahiwal.
Farm Management Practices:
Grooming and Shelter for cattle:
Proper cleaning and shelter facilities for cows and buffaloes are required for humane farming, for the health of the animals and for the production of clean milk as well.
Animal require regular brushing to remove dirt and loose hair.
They should be sheltered under well-ventilated roofed sheds that protect them from rain, heat and cold.
The floor of the cattle shed needs to be sloping so as to stay dry and to facilitate cleaning.
The shelter should be spacious enough for animals to stay comfortable and avoid overcrowding.
The shelter should have proper arrangement for clean drinking water.
Food requirement of dairy animals: It is of two types:
Maintenance requirement: The food which helps in maintaining normal metabolic activities of the body.
Milk producing requirement: The food which is required during the lactation period.
The cattle feed consist of two component- roughage and concentrate.
Roughage: It largely contains fibres such as green fodder, silage, hay and legumes like berseem, cowpea.
Concentrates: It is low in fibres but contains relatively high proteins and other nutrients. It includes cotton seeds, oilseeds, oats, barley, gram and their by-products like wheat, beans and molasses etc.
Cattle need balanced rations containing all nutrients in proportionate amounts. Besides such nutritious food material, certain feed additives containing micronutrients promote the health and milk output of dairy animals.
Diseases of cattle:
The diseases of dairy animals are broadly classified into:
Diseases caused by parasites (external parasites are tick mite, lice and internal parasites are worms)
Communicable (infectious) diseases caused by pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi etc.
Non-communicable (non-infectious) diseases caused due to deficiency of nutrients or malfunctioning of body organs.
Symptoms of sick animals:
The animal become inactive and remain isolated.
It stops eating food.
It moves slowly or limps.
The animal may pass loose dung and coloured urine.
The animal may run temperature and shiver.
The milk yield or working capacity of animal is reduced drastically.
Prevention of cattle diseases:
The animal should be kept in spacious, cleaned and airy shelter.
The animal should be given nutritious feed.
They should be vaccinated at regular intervals.
Proper disposal of wastes and isolation of sick animals is very important.
Further Topics on the Chapter Improvement in food resources can be seen on the below links