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□¡□Dairy Farming Guide□¡□

Animal Health
Taking good care of animal health does not only mean treating an animal when it is sick. It also means helping the animal to avoid becoming ill.
It is very important to realize that, even though treatment may eliminate the cause of the disease efficiently, the disease has already hurt the body. The effects of the disease may take longer to heal (if they do at all) than the time needed to eliminate the disease itself. Consequently, production losses maycontinue to be suffered after the animal has seemingly recovered. Examples of such production losses are retarded growth in calves and reduced milk production of cows after illness.
Disease Prevention
The best is to discuss disease prevention measures with your district veterinary officer. He will give you advice that applies to your situation.
Most diseases can be prevented by the same measures that enhance production! General preventive measures are:
Hygiene : Cleaning and disinfecting. Remember disinfection is useless with out cleaning thoroughly beforehand.
Water : Always ensure free access to clean and fresh water.
Good feed and regular feeding
Shelter for protection against bad weather (rain, wind and cold, or intensive sunshine).
Regular light exercise.
A peaceful environment (avoid unrest and stress).
Another precaution to be taken is quarantine. This means isolating sickanimals (during their illness) and newcomers (for about six weeks) from the rest of the herd. This measure is often hard to implement,but helps to avoid the spread of contagious diseases to other animals.
Other diseases require other specific measures. These can be either:
Vaccinations : When an animal is vaccinated against a specific disease,the body of the animal will react to it, but the animal does not develop the disease. However, the animal’s body has then been prepared to withstand an attack by this specific disease in its real form. Sometimes avaccination against a disease will protect the animal all its life against this disease, but most vaccinations have to be repeated after a certain amount of time to ensure protection.
NOTE: Vaccinations are not available for all diseases.
Preventive treatment : Sometimeswe know a certain disease always occurs at the same time of the year. In some cases it can be useful to treat animals with medicine before we actually see the sickness in them.This will prevent them from becoming weak and avoid production losses. For example, preventive treatment against worms can be given before and afterthe rainy season.
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Composition of Milk and Evaluation of Quality
Milk is a complex biological fluid comprising of numerous similar and dissimilar molecules. These molecules are present in several states of dispersion and interact with each other in several ways. Anychange in these interactions leads to change in properties of milk. The knowledge of all the components in milk in terms of their chemistry is therefore essential for understanding properties of fresh milk and effect of storage and processing on chemical quality of milk. Milk contains major and minor components and these components determine its nutritive quality. Since,milk is used as human food; there is natural interest in its chemical composition for several purposes.
Milk is composed of water, carbohydrate (lactose), fat, protein, minerals and vitamins. While each component can be discussed separately, it is important to remember that milk is secreted as a complex mixture of these components. The properties and importance of milk are greater and more complex than the sum of its individual component parts. The basic components of milk from different species are shown in Table 1. Significant variations from the average values can be observed and these are influenced by the breed and species of the milk animals, feeding, maintenance, lactation period as well as health and age of the animals.
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Feeding and Management of Dairy Calves for Higher Growth and Improved Health
"Today’s calf is tomorrow’s cow" . The future of the dairy herd is dependent on the pro­duction of superior heifers to replace culled lactating animals. Dairy farmers are responsible for the dairy herd's future – the next generation of milk cows. Minimizing death and disease losses in the calf herd can save a lot per replacement animal raised. Therefore, it is imperative that the health sta­tus of the replacement animal is optimized to present a healthy first calf heifer to the lactating herd. Studies have consistently demonstrated the detrimental effects of diseases like - calf scour, pneumonia in calves on age at first calving and on milk production once these animals enter lactation.
Successful rearing of young calves is the key to the success of dairy farming enterprise. Calves are the future replacement stocks for the cows and bulls. It is therefore important that they are reared economically and in a sound manner to ensure early maturity. Calf mortality, especially from 0 to 3 months age accounts significantly tothe total mortality in cattle. It is a general practice among the farmers to neglect the calf, especially the male calves. Poor health of the calvesis largely associated with the unhygienic management as growth and productivity rely heavily on nutrition and management practices. Every heifer calf born on a dairy farm represents an opportunity to maintain or increase herd size, to improve the herd genetically, or to better the economic returns to the farm. Thus, the calf has to be given due attention after its birth onwards.
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