Livestock deaths on the farm: how to troubleshoot problems

Taruvinga Magwiroto As the manager of an animal unit in the recent past, one day I came to work on a Monday to be confronted by a manager’s worst nightmare: 3 goats dead, 2 sheep dead, 3 seriously ill. What happened? I had left Friday with everything looking well. Over the weekend, the worker on duty had not seen anything amiss. Now this! What could … Continue reading Livestock deaths on the farm: how to troubleshoot problems

Broiler deaths: common causes and solutions

Taruvinga Magwiroto This article I recommend that every broiler farmer to read, print out and move around with it! The trick in broiler production is to prevent illness. Once you start having large losses/deaths, you would have failed in preventing diseases. Here are the actions you take to minimise losses and why you do it. The first thing to note about broilers is that, even … Continue reading Broiler deaths: common causes and solutions

To all stock owners: rabies alert!

Taruvinga Magwiroto I love dogs… up to a point. My caution with them perhaps comes from being brought up in an apostolic sect family that considered dogs to be “unholy”. But maybe my discomfort with them stems from that, and something else. Well, love them or not, I have had encounters with dogs over the years that has not made me change my mind. But … Continue reading To all stock owners: rabies alert!

Assisting difficult birth

Taruvinga Magwiroto This article talks about assisting difficult births in cattle, though the same general principles apply to all farm animals. Difficult births- also known as dystocia– happen in animals from time to time. Read about possible causes of dystocia here: When dystocia happens, it is important that the farmer or extension worker knows how to help the animal and try to save both … Continue reading Assisting difficult birth

Nursing/Caring for sick animals

Taruvinga Magwiroto Consider this scenario: your animal just wakes up looking really sick. It is off-feed, the body feels hot to the touch and it does not want to move. Maybe it shows signs of diarrhoea or hard dung (constipation). How do you help it to aid recovery? First things first: It is always important to spot or discover a sick animal very early. This … Continue reading Nursing/Caring for sick animals

Animal disease prevention through hygiene

Taruvinga Magwiroto Today we want to talk about a cheaper but much more important way of preventing animal diseases: hygiene. Commonly, disease occurs when a disease-causing organism gets access inside the body of an animal or infects the animal. This can happen through the natural openings: nose, mouth, vagina, sheath, eyes etc. Disease-causing organisms can also enter the body through abrasions or breaks in the … Continue reading Animal disease prevention through hygiene

Animal Health: Retained afterbirth

Taruvinga Magwiroto A retained afterbirth can be messy (kusarira chibereko). For various reasons, the afterbirth may be retained and the farmer is worried whether that is a serious condition or not. Retained afterbirth occurs when the animal fails to expel the placenta after giving birth. It is a pathology usually associated with infected placenta (e.g. in contagious abortion) or due to dystocia of any cause. … Continue reading Animal Health: Retained afterbirth

Animal diseases: causes and solutions

Taruvinga Magwiroto At some point, your animals will get ill. That is certain. So it is important to get acquainted with what can go wrong, and how to attend to that. What causes animal illness? Infectious diseases Animals get ill when they are infected by pathogens. For example animals can suffer from Foot and Mouth Disease, Anthrax or Tetanus when they get infected by organisms … Continue reading Animal diseases: causes and solutions

Vaccination: When prevention is better cure.

Livestock Management Brief by James Maisiri It is paramount that as a livestock farmer one should always approach disease control with preventative measures rather than waiting for the onset of a disease, then treat. The use of vaccination as a preventative measure is a small investment with guaranteed returns, with all other factors being constant. It works like an insurance policy against possible outbreaks of … Continue reading Vaccination: When prevention is better cure.

Broiler Production: Common pitfalls to avoid.

Taruvinga Magwiroto In many years of working with broiler farmers, I have seen them make many simple mistakes that caused them huge losses. I want to share with you some of the errors, and how to solve them. 1. Chick failure to grow:- you hear these kinds of stories numerous times. One farmer said his chicks were so stunted that by week 10, they were … Continue reading Broiler Production: Common pitfalls to avoid.