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Animals carnivore, omnivore and herbivoresLearning objectiveAfter studying this unit you should know:1 What are the animal groups.2 What is the rumen.3 What makes the ruminant different.4 Why animals chew the cud (ruminate).Who eats whatAnimals are divided into three groups: Carnivores which eat meat,e.g. dog, lion Omnivores which eat meet end plants,e.g. pig Herbivores which eat plantse.g. cow, horseThe digestive system of omnivores and carnivores is as described in Unit 3. In herbivores the digestive system is very large because they eat large amounts of grass. The horse, donkey and mule are herbivores but do not chew the cud. They are non-ruminants. Cattle, goats, sheep and buffalo chew the cud. They are ruminants.The rumen (stomach)The stomach of a ruminant has four chambers. The first chamber is very large and is called the rumen. The second chamber is the reticulum (honeycomb). The third is the omasum (book) and the fourth is the abomasum (the true stomach). The ruminant chews grass and swallows and it goes into the rumen.The rumen (stomach)When the ruminant has finished eating, the food is brought back up and rechewed. This is called chewing the cud or rumination. If the animal stops ruminating this is a sign of ill health.Ruminants make a lot of gas in their stomachs and belch once every minute, (unlike people they belch silently). If the belching stops the stomach swells with gas. We call this bloat or tympany (Unit 8).Rumen movementThe rumen moves regularly and contracts about once every minute. By putting your fist on the left flank (in the hollow behind the ribs) you will be able to detect the contractions. Regular contractions are a sign of good health.Rumen movementNails and wires in the rumenBecause ruminants eat quickly they can swallow objects like nails and wires with their feed. These objects can damage the rumen and can pass through the wall of the rumen into the heart and kill the animal.You should tell your community to keep nails, wires and similar objects away from animal feed and pasture.Unit 8: Bloat (tympany)Bloat occurs when too much gas is produced in the rumen.The left flank becomes distended and breathing becomes difficult.This may happen suddenly, especially when the animal is grazing on wet pasture in the morning.It may cause sudden death.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you should know:1 What is bloat (tympany).2 What causes bloat in the ruminant.3 How to prevent bloat.4 How to treat the animal with bloat.What is bloat (tympany)?In Unit 7 you learned that the stomach of ruminant animals produces a lot of gas. The animals continually belch, once each minute, to get rid of the gas. Occasionally belching stops and gas builds up in the rumen to cause bloat.As the gas builds up the left flank balloons out. The pain from this causes the animal to try to kick its belly or it stands with its back legs wide apart. It has difficulty in breathing.What is bloatThe animal may be in distress for several hours but in bad cases of bloat the animal will be found lying on its side and death can occur in a few hours.Causes of bloatBloat can occur when the animal grazes on lush young pasture, particularly if the pasture is wet. Some plants, e.g. clover, lucerne and alfalfa are especially dangerous in causing bloat but any fast growing plants can cause it.Sometimes ruminants kept by the household and fed only feed such as dry bread can develop bloat.Preventing bloat Avoid moving animals to wet pasture, especially first thing in the morning. Do not allow very hungry animals to graze a pasture. Offer dry, cut grass first before turning out to graze. Keep a watch on animals at pasture.TreatmentMaking the animal belch is one way of treating bloat. You can do this by: Massaging the distended rumen through the abdominal wall. Tying a stick in the mouth, crosswise like a horse's bit. Tickling the throat. Make the animal walk around for about half an hour.If these methods fail then give a drench (drink) to the animal (see Drenching Annex 3). The drench used can be one of the following: Two large spoons of washing up liquid, e.g. Fairy, Lux. A solution of sodium bicarbonate (cooking or baking soda) and water. A small amount of kerosene (paraffin) in warm milk. A small bottle of peanut, soya or linseed oil. A very small amount of turpentine in either linseed oil, soya oil or peanut oil. Use a commercially, available medicine (see R20, Annex 1).In severe cases the animal may not belch and it will die. In such cases puncturing the left flank with a sharp knife or trocar and cannula to release the gas is necessary, it will be necessary for you to act quickly as any hesitation could lead to the death of the animal.TreatmentSometimes tympany occurs because large pieces of feed block the gullet (oesophagus). If this happens try to massage the neck to remove the blockage.Unit 9: How to age sheep, goats, cattle and buffaloThe age of animals can be determined by examination of the front teeth.You will not be able to determine the exact age, especially in older animals.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you should know:1 How to hold animals to check the teeth.2 The difference between the temporary (milk) teeth and the permanent teeth.3 How to age sheep, goats, cattle and buffalo.How to hold (restrain) the animals to check their teeth How to hold sheep and goat to check their teethHow to hold cattle and buffalo to check their teethTemporary (milk) and permanent teethYoung animals, like children, have temporary or milk teeth which will be replaced by permanent teeth.Young ruminants have 20 temporary teeth, adult ruminants have 32 permanent teeth.Temporary (milk) teeth:Upper jawNo front teeth6 back teethLower jaw8 front teeth6 beck teethPermanent teeth:Upper jawNo front teeth12 back teethLower jaw8 front teeth12 back teethRemember that you will not be able to determine the exact age of the animal from its teeth, but there will be a few months either way.You should develop the habit of regularly checking the teeth (not just for age) because bad or worn teeth will stop an animal eating or chewing the cud. Such an animal is of no use.Age of goats and sheep (1) Animal under one year old (no permanent teeth) (2) One year old (2 permanent teeth) (3) Two years old (4 permanent teeth) (4) Three years old (6 permanent teeth) (5) Four years old (8 permanent teeth) (6) Old animal, more than four years oldAge of goats and sheepAge of cattle (1) Under two years old (No permanent teeth) (2) Two years three months (2 permanent teeth) (3) Three years old (4 permanent teeth) (4) Three years six months (6 permanent teeth) (5) Four years (8 permanent teeth) (6) Old animal, over four years old.Age of cattleAge of buffalo (1) Under three years old (no permanent teeth) (2) Two years six months (2 permanent teeth) (3) Three years six months (4 permanent teeth) (4) Four years six months (6 permanent teeth) (5) Five to six years (8 permanent teeth) (6) Old animalAge of buffaloUnit 10: Restraining cattle and buffaloHandling cattle and buffalo may lead to stress and injuries especially if the animals are not used to being handled and the handler is not experienced.There are different techniques used to restrain and cast (throw) these large ruminants.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you should know:1 How to hold cattle and buffalo.2 How to safely use the halter.3 How to cast (throw) the animals with ropes.Restraining (controlling) large ruminantsThe crush or race is made of wood or metal. You should have one in your village or settlement, if not you should talk to the elders of the community about making one with the help of a veterinarian. Crushes are used for large ruminants when they are vaccinated, examined or undergo other treatments.How to hold animalsIf you do not have a halter or a nose holder the best way to hold a large ruminant is to take a firm grip of the nostril using the thumb and forefinger of one hand while holding the horn or the ear with the other hand.How to hold animalsHaltering large ruminants (cattle and buffalo)Animals need to be halter-trained and this is best done when they are young so that they are accustomed to the halter. When a halter is used on an animal talk to the animal to encourage it to move. Hold the halter no more than 20 cm from the animals cheek and walk close to its neck.Haltering large ruminants (cattle and buffalo)Casting or throwing cattle and buffaloIf you do not have a crush and you want to trim the hooves of an animal it will be necessary for you to cast (throw down) the animal.To do this you will need: A halter for the head. Two people to help you. Ten to twelve metres of strong rope. A place where it is safe to throw the animal, where the soil is soft or covered with straw.First halter the animal then tie the long rope around it as shown in the illustration below. Have one person to hold the halter while the other joins you and pulls the rope. The animal will collapse onto the floor and your helper must immediately put his knee on its neck and his hand on the animal's head to prevent it from rising.Do not leave the animal down for a long time as bloat may develop.Casting or throwing cattle and buffaloRemember when casting animals that both the animal and people can get injured so try to do it safely.Unit 11: Foot (hoof) careThere is an old saying "No foot, no animal". This is true as untrimmed feet lead to bad legs and the animal cannot graze properly and will lose condition.The feet should be regularly examined and trimmed.Remember to make any cuts in a direction away from your body or the hand holding the foot.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you should know:1 Why overgrown feet are bad.2 How to hold or cast animals in order for the feet to be trimmed.3 How much of the foot (hoof) can be removed.Overgrown feetThe hoof is like your fingernail and grows continuously. Walking wears the hoof down but sometimes the hoof grows very quickly and becomes overgrown. In some places where the ground is too wet the foot can get infected and it becomes smelly and painful. This condition is called foot rot and the animal can become lame.When animals have infected or overgrown feet they cannot walk and graze properly. The male cannot mount the female and is useless.How to hold or cast animals in order to trim the feetYou can trim the feet of sheep and goats alone or with someone to help you. Grasp the wool or hair on the chest with one hand while holding the animal on its flank with the other hand. Use your knee to push against the animal's back and force it into a sitting position. The animal can be kept in this position for a long time while the feet are trimmed.How to hold or cast animals in order to trim the feetIn order to trim the feet of cattle or buffalo you will need to cast the animal (see Unit 10). The leg may be lifted and tied as shown.How to hold or cast animals in order to trim the feetTrimming the feetYou will need any suitable sharp tool such as a knife, hoof cutter large carpenter's rasp, or sharp carpenter's pincers.Cut the overgrown claw of the hoof by carefully taking off a little at a time. STOP if bleeding occurs. Do not cut down too far. Like your fingernail the hoof has a sensitive area which if cut into will become painful and infected. STOP if the foot (sole) springs back when pushed with the thumb. When you have cut the hoof down use a rasp, if you have one, to file and neaten the edge of the hoof.Trimming the feetIf the foot is infected and wet and smelly you should carefully remove the damaged areas so that the infected area is exposed to the air. The infected area should then be painted with tincture of iodine or formalin (see R4, Annex 1). Repeat the treatment every 2 days.Remember to use whatever tools you can and look after the animals' feet. If you regularly check the feet and keep them trimmed you will not have any problems. If you have sheep, and there is a lot of foot rot in your area, ask your veterinary service for ad vice and a vaccine against foot rot.Unit 12: Shearing and dagging (crutching)Woolly sheep naturally lose their coats in the warmer months so before this happens we shear the sheep in order to take the wool for a variety of uses.If the wool becomes dirty with dung and wet it attracts flies which lay eggs in the wool. The eggs develop into maggots which feed on flesh of the sheep.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you will know:1 Why we shear sheep.2 What is dagging (crutching).3 What happens if we do not dag or cheer the animal.Why do we shear sheep?Wooly sheep must be sheared at certain times of the year. If we do not shear them the wool or hair will be lost in patches and a valuable material will be lost.Dagging (crutching)Dagging or crutching is the cutting away of dirty, wet wool from around the tail and anus (crutch) of the sheep. The wet, dirty wool attracts flies especially the blow flies (bright green or blue in colour). The flies lay their eggs on the wool and in one or two days maggots hatch from them. The maggots burrow into the skin and feed on the flesh of the sheep. The animal will be smelly, nervous, stamping its feet and wriggling its tail.Maggots must be removed from an infected sheep. Part the wool and look for the small holes where the maggots have entered the skin. Press all round the hole with your fingers and the maggots will come out. Many maggots of different sizes will emerge. Clean the wound (Unit 73) with tincture of iodine or gentian violet (see R1, Annex 1).DaggingShearingShearing is the complete removal of the wool and is carried out using machine or hand shears. The valuable wool can then be used for clothing, carpets etc. Make sure that the wool is kept clean by not using too much marker paints on the animal and if it is your custom to wash your animals before shearing make sure that you wash them three or four days before shearing. After shearing keep the sacks of wool in a dry place on plastic sheets to stop them getting damp.If the animal is cut during shearing treat all wounds immediately with tincture of iodine or gentian violet (see R1, Annex 1).If you have the means to dip your sheep do it immediately after shearing.Unit 13: Dehorning calves, lambs and kidsAnimals which have been dehorned are quiet and do not fight and cause injury to others.The best time to remove the horns (disbudding) is when the animals are less than one week old.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you will know:1 Why we dehorn animals.2 What tools we need to carry out disbudding.3 How to dehorn animals.Why do we remove the horns?Removing the horns from the animal means that: There is less chance of it injuring other animals. There is less risk of injury to people. An animal without horns needs less space at the feeding troughs.The horns are best removed when still buds (buttons) on the animal which is less than one week old. This is called disbudding.The tools used to disbud animalsTo dehorn an animal you will need a dehorning iron which can be heated by electricity or over a direct flame. The end of the iron is round and hollow and will fit over the bud of the horn. Using a hot iron is better than using caustic soda to remove the buds.The tools used to disbud animalsYou may have an iron, but if you do not, ask a blacksmith to make one for you.To test the iron heat it until hot and then hold the end against a block of wood. A complete, even ring should be burned into the wood. You will need to test the iron each time you use it to make sure it is hot enough.DisbuddingYou will need someone to help you. Take care with the hot iron. Restrain the animal. Your helper must hold its head and pull the ear nearest the bud you are going to remove, down and away from the bud. He must hold the head very still. Cut the hair away from around the bud of the horn. Test the hot iron and when ready put the iron over the bud and twist it around for about 10 seconds. Continue until the bud feels loose, reheating the iron if necessary. Push the bud out by pressing with the iron.Unit 14: Castration of ruminantsCastration is the destruction or removal of the testicles of the male. It is carried out on animals which are not wanted for breeding.Castrated animals are quiet (do not fight).Some countries insist on all imported animals being castrated.Learning objectivesAfter studying this unit you will know:1 Why we castrate animals.2 When we castrate animals.3 The way animals are controlled for castration.4 How to castrate with a knife.5 How to castrate with a Burdizzo.6 How to castrate with rubber bands.Why do we castrate animals?Traditionally farmers or animal raisers do not castrate animals and both males and females are allowed to mix together. The result is that poor males (see Annex 4) are allowed to mate with the females and the young stock produced are not very good. Uncastrated males also fight so it is better to castrate the animals which are not the best for breeding.When do we castrate animals?The best time to castrate animals is when they are very young (a few days old). If castration is carried out then, the operation is easier and more successful and the wound heals (gets better) very quickly.Holding and controlling animals for castrationYou will need another person to help you. It is best to put young lambs and kids on a table covered with sacks. Calves can be castrated when they are standing but the animal must be restrained very well.Holding and controlling animals for castrationCastration with a knife (blood)Use a very sharp knife, razor or scalpel. Check that the knife, razor or scalpel is very sharp and clean. Clean the blade with a disinfectant such as alcohol, iodine, Dettol or gentian violet. Use warm water and soap to wipe the scrotum and wash your hands. Cut the bottom end of the scrotum. Squeeze the testicle above the cut end of the scrotum and it will come out. Pull each testicle out as far as possible, twist the testicular cord around several times. Cut the cord in cattle and buffalo by scraping the knife slowly up and down. Pull to sever the cord in lambs and kids. Do not put your fingers inside the open scrotum. Put either tincture of iodine, gentian violet, Dettol or antibiotic powder (R1, R5, R8 Annex 1) on the wound.Castration with Burdizzo (no blood)The Burdizzo should be used on the young animal. There are Burdizzos for animals of different sizes. You should always remember that the Burdizzo is a valuable instrument and keep it clean and oiled. Do not drop it.To castrate with the burdizzo: Feel the scrotum with your hand and you will feel the two rope-like testicular cords inside. Take the Burdizzo in your right hand and with your left hand push the cord to the side between the jaws of the Burdizzo and squeeze hard. Now take the Burdizzo in the left hand and crush the other cord.Castration with BurdizzoCastration with rubber ringsTo castrate with rubber rings we use a tool called an elastrator. It can only be used to castrate ruminants which are a few days old. Put a rubber ring around the four teeth of the elastrator and squeeze t


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