Management of Growing sheep
After the separation of the breeding stock. The remaining animals may be categorized either as fatteners or growers. Fatteners are often given bulk feeding to assist in fast weight gain for slaughtering. They are usually kept in a pen or restricted paddocks. The growers are also kept and reared together. In this case the male must have been castrated and reared for meat.
Sheep are gregarious that is they prefer to cluster together. The tendency of these animals to cluster together facilities their management and makes it easy to discover any abnormalities in the flock: sick animals often withdraw or lag behind. For better performance of sheep the following management practices should be undertaken.
Castration: Castration can be defined as the careful removal of the testes in the male animal. Ram lambs not needed for breeding should be castrated at one or two months of age. The purpose of this is to make the animal grow fatty and be more useful and more economically acceptable. Ram lambs are castrated to stimulate growth and improve meat quality. Castration should be performed by an experienced breeder husbandman or a livestock farmer. Emasculator burdizzo and clastor band are equipment used for castration.
Dehorning or disbudding: This is the removal of horn. The essence of this is to give the animal fitness reduce the incidence of injury allow more animals be kept in a space and to allow the animal to grow. The procedure involves destroying the area of epidermal growth after one or two days after birth with caustic paste. Surgical removal involves the use of scoop. This equipment is used to clip the area after disinfecting. If encaustic paste (sodium hydroxide or NaOH) or caustic paste is used then the ram lamb should be restricted for half an hour so that it does not rub the caustic paste off. Fully grown horns can be removed by clipping them from young animals or by sawing them in mature animals in both cases local anaesthesia is applied.
Deworming: Deworming is the process of removing worms from the internal environment of the animals using chemicals. Some of these worms include flukeworm hookworm roundworms pinworms tapeworms and so on. Chemicals used for deworming often referred to as dewormer include thiabendazole banmith phenothiazine febendazole coopane piperazine flukazole. Deworming can be done through drenching. Deworming should be periodically (usually four times in a year) to eliminate worm infestation. Good hygiene and cleanliness should be maintained on the farm in order to prevent worm infestation. Rotational grazing must also be practiced.
Spraying: instects ticks mites and lice are all ectoparasites since they live on the outside of the bodies of the animals. These parasites can cause direct harm like the blood sucking insects and ticks which may or may not transmit diseases. Biting flies like tabanid can make the animals restless and prevent them from grazing properly. Mites and lice causes extreme irritation in sheep and leads to losses of hides and skin in sheep while common housefly is a carrier of a number of bacterial infections including anthrax. Tick causes a number of diseases which are of economic importance in west Africa. These include red or heart water disease (babesiosis) gale sickness (amplsmosis) spirochactosis. Ticks may also transmit mechanically the disease known as kirchi (skin streptothricosis). Spraying should be done to eliminate these pests. This is done by spraying the animal with insecticidal chemicals or by forcing animal to pass through a pool of water to which some chemicals have been added. There is also topical application of this chemical to the back of the animals. This operation should be carried out fortnightly in the rainy season and monthly in the dry season. Some of these chemicals include vetox 55 toxaphane bayticool asuntol lindane. Ivomee an injectable chemical can be used to cure both ectogparasite and endoparasite at the same time.
Vaccination: Vaccination is the process of administering vaccines in order to prevent the occurrence of diseases or protect the animal from contacting serious infectious disease. Diseases that are contagious and deadly are usually vaccinated against in order to prevent the outbreak of disease which can wipe out a whole flock or her. Examples of such diseases are anthrax foot and mouth disease pox tuberculosis blue tongue clostridia disease rabies rift valley.
Below are some disease and the age at which they could be vaccinated
Diseases Age to be vaccinated
Foot and mouth (a) At 4 weeks old
Disease (b) then every 6 months
(c) when outbreak occurs
(d) at weaning
Pox (a) then every 3 years
(b) then every 3 years
Anthrax (a) at weaning
Clostridia disease (a) lambs born of vaccinated ewes at 4 months
(b) every 6 months
Hoof trimming: Hooves should be worn down to a reasonable level. This is done by using hoof pick or sharp knife. On softer pastures or in zero grazing system hooves grow too long and feet can be damaged causing thrush an infection easily detected by its unpleasant small. Every few months the hooves should be inspected and trimmed with a sharp knife. A disinfectant should be applied where infection occurs of if the trimming results in an injury.
Measures for disease prevention on a farm
Health is commonly defined as freedom from disease and disease can be defined as any disturbance of the normal body processes which affects an animal adversely such an upset can be caused by physical injuries bacteria viruses parasites fungi or poison or by dietetic errors metabolic disturbance or hereditary detects. Every effort must be made to support health and so avoid diseases.
Signs of good health
There are a number of clinical sings which an animal attendant can look for which can give an indication of the health status of his herd. A healthy animal is one whose body process function properly so that it can live an active life grow steadily reproduce and attain the maximum level of production of which it is genetically capable.
Attention to surrounding
A health animal shows interest in its surroundings. It is always ready to take flight if worried by anything that happens.
Healthy animals have good appetites both on a pasture where it actively looks for its food and in the house where it quickly consumes the food given to it ruminants chew the end normally. A first sign if illness is refusal to eat.
Animal posture and appearance
A healthy animal carries its head high and is alert. Dejected appearance are indications that all is not well with an animal.
Absence of discharge
Health animals do not have any discharge. The eyes are dry and clear no nasal discharges or inflamed (swollen) running eyes.
Maintenance of weight
Healthy adult animals should maintain their weight and young animals increase their body weight. Animals showing obvious loss of body weight are probably unwell.
Breathing should not be too rapid or erratic and it should be noiseless continuous or intermittent coughing shows that there is an irritation in the respiratory tract.
Normal faecal appearance
Faccal appearance indicates the state of the digestive tract. Constipation and diarrhea are signs of digestive disorders. The urine of a healthy animal in pale straw-coloured liquid with a distinct small.
Fairly constant body temperature
The internal body temperatures of healthy animals remain fairly constant at levels which vary according to species that of sheep goats and cows range between 38.50c- 390c. temperatures may however be raise by execration particularly in hot weather and by fear but disease is the principal cause of a rise temperature.