Twenty-three titles have been published in this series, designed as handbooks for intermediate level agricultural education and training. They may be purchased as a set or as individual documents.
1. The way to work. The living plant
2. The plant – the root
3. The plant – the stem
4. The plant – the leaf
5. The plant – the flower
6. The soil – man and the soil
7. The soil – how the soil is made up
8. The soil – the living soil – working the soil
9. The soil – working the soil (continued)
10. The soil – conserving the soil – improving the soil
11. Animal husbandry – introduction
12. Animal husbandry – feeding animals
13. Animal husbandry – looking after animals – how cattle reproduce
14. Animal husbandry – what cattle produce
15. Keeping chickens
16. Food crops
17. Market gardening
18. The oil palm
20. Upland rice
21. Wet paddy or swamp rice
Published by arrangement with the Institut africain pour le développement économique et social
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
© French edition, lnstitut africain pour
le développement économique et social (INADES) 1967
© English edition, FAO 1970
This manual is a translation and adaptation of “L’élevage -introduction - questionnaire,” published by the Agri-Service-Afrique of the Institut africain pour le développement économique et social (INADES), and forms part of a series of 23 booklets. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the publishers for making available this text, which it is hoped will find widespread use at the intermediate level of agricultural education and training in English-speaking countries.
It should be noted that the original texts were prepared for an African environment and this is naturally reflected in the English version. However, it is expected that many of the booklets of the series — a list of which will be found on the inside front cover — will also be of value for training in many other parts of the world. Adaptations can be made to the text where necessary owing to different climatic and ecological conditions.
Applications for permission to issue this manual in other languages are welcomed. Such applications should be addressed to: Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
The cover illustrations were prepared by Asun Balzola.
• Why learn about animal husbandry?
• Why farmers go in for traditional animal husbandry
• But animals are a wealth that may produce little
• Animals can yield much more
Animals can yield more for the farmer
Animals can yield more for the country
• How to improve animal husbandry
• A few words to learn in order to understand the course
Learning to look, think and act
First look at all the animals in your village
Choosing a herd or flock for improvement
To whom do the chosen animals belong?
How is your chosen herd or flock made up?
What water do the animals drink?
What do the animals feed on?
What other feed are the animals given?
How are the animals housed?
How are the animals looked after?
How do the animals reproduce?
What use is made of the animals?
Other animal products
Are the animals used for work?
This booklet does not contain many pages that you have to learn.
Your work this month is not so much to learn from a textbook, but to look at what people do where you live.
This is very important. To study well needs a great deal of attention. If you look carefully at what people do where you live, you will be much better able to study the course afterwards.
Do not be in a hurry in answering the questions in the special questions list which is part of this booklet. Work slowly but very thoroughly. Your work should show that you really know well the herd or flock you have chosen.
In the next booklets, you will learn how to improve the herd or flock you have chosen. You cannot improve it unless you know it very well.
To answer the questions well means that you know your herd or flock well.
• Read pages 4 to 16.
• Animals mean wealth. If you look after this kind of wealth, it can yield a lot in return.
• Read from page 17 to page 28.
• You will find a lot of questions.
First choose the herd or flock that you want to study
(either cattle or sheep or goats or pigs).
• Look at it carefully.
• Then answer the questions.
1. Farmers may have many animals.
They usually keep chickens and goats around the house.
They often have goats, sheep and cattle which roam about freely or are in the care of a keeper.
In the dry regions, there are also asses, horses and camels
p(<>. All these animals are raised and used as they always have been. This is called traditional animal husbandry.
2. But animals can be raised in other ways, and then the farmer can earn more money.
Go in for modern animal husbandry — you will have more animals and fatter ones. You will get more money for them if you sell them. You will make a bigger profit.
Replace traditional animal husbandry by modern animal husbandry.
3. To have food to eat
Every now and then the farmer kills a chicken, a duck, a goat, a sheep, a calf, or a pig, in order to eat it.
If he has no animals and has the money, he buys meat on the market.
Some people drink a lot of milk.
Meat, milk and eggs are excellent food, rich food which contains a lot of proteins.
Proteins are a food that people need.
To eat enough proteins means good health.
People who don’t eat enough proteins are often ill or don’t grow big. Proteins help to build up a man’s body and to give it strength.
Proteins from animals are a food that people need in order to grow, become strong and stay in good health.
4. To have animals for sacrifices and feasts
At a birth, a marriage, a funeral or traditional feasts, or when strangers come as guests, people often kill some animals: chickens, goats, sheep, a calf, or an ox.
So the farmer often needs animals. He has to raise them himself.
5. To set up a store off wealth
Animals are often a store of wealth.
For example, in Mali when the stores of millet are about to go bad, a farmer sells his millet and buys some animals.
When the farmer needs money, either to pay his taxes or for a dowry or some feast, or to make some purchases, he sells one or more of his animals.
Animals are wealth that you can either show or not.
If you want to show your wealth, you can keep them near the village. If you do not want to show your wealth, you can get someone to keep them for you far from the village.
6. The farmer has wealth, but often he does not look after it.
It does not cause him much work, but it also does not bring in much money.
Often, animals are not milked. If they are milked, it may be the herdsman who drinks the milk or sells it.
Many animals die because they are not properly fed, or because they are killed by diseases.
Unless they are well watched, flocks stray into the fields and ruin the crops.
7. A man who owns a cart, but goes on carrying his produce on his head, owns a working tool, a means of wealth — but he does not use it.
A man who owns some bank notes but keeps them in a jug does not make his money produce anything; he lets his wealth lie idle.
A man who owns animals and does not look after them lets his wealth lie idle.
The cart, the bank notes, and the animals are a kind of wealth, they are capital.
It is no good letting capital lie idle. Animals are a capital that should produce as much as possible.
Traditional animal husbandry is useful, but it produces little and yields little.
Modern animal husbandry can produce more and yield much more.
8. Well-fed animals grow more quickly, they become bigger, yield more and better meat. They can be sold at a better price.
Well-fed animals give more milk. The young beasts as well as the people who drink milk are in better health. The milk can also be sold, or used for ghee, butter or cheese.
9. Well-trained work animals help in carrying wood, water, harvests. You will be able to carry more. It will also be quicker to carry things, and less tiring. You will have more time for working in your fields.
10. Well-trained work animals can be harnessed. In that case they help you to cultivate larger fields, to farm them better and more quickly.
11. Animals produce manure. If you put manure on your soil, you make it richer. Your field will give you better harvests. Modern farming needs manure.
12. Well-fed animals that are well looked after are healthy.
They are more resistant to certain diseases, and fewer animals die.
They also have more young ones, and your herd will be larger.
So you can sell more animals and earn more money.
13. In all countries the number of people is growing.
More meat is needed to feed more people.
More animals need to be raised to have more meat.
The number of people is growing especially fast in the towns.
Townspeople often eat a lot of meat. Many animals are needed to feed those people.
14. If farmers do not raise enough animals, the country must either get animals from abroad, or else buy meat abroad.
This means a lot of money goes out of the country.
It is better to produce meat in the country. The money which is then not needed to buy meat can be used to buy things which the country itself cannot produce.
15. If farmers raise a lot of animals, the country can sell some of them abroad. This means a lot of money may come into the country. This money can be used to buy things which the country itself cannot produce.
Animal husbandry is a capital that can produce a lot
If animal husbandry is to produce more, the animals must be raised in a different way.
16. A farmer who wants to earn more money must take responsibility for his animals himself.
He must both cultivate his fields and look after his animals.
In the old days, there were people who grew crops and people who raised animals. Those who grew crops did not go in for animal husbandry, and those who raised animals grew no crops.
Today the farmer must do both if he can: grow crops and raise animals.
17. The farmer must learn how to look after animals.
He must learn
how to feed them better:
especially how to feed young animals better; how to lay in reserves for the dry season; how to give the animals enough to drink.
how to look after them better:
build a shelter for them; protect them against parasites and disease; what to do when they hurt themselves.
how to use them better:
make manure; train oxen; choose the best animals for meat, milk and work.
We meet a farmer who proudly shows us his animals. He has a fine herd of cattle, a good flock of sheep and a fine herd of goats.
18. His herd of cattle consists of:
1 male: the male is called a bull.
8 females which have already had young ones: the mother females are called cows.
6 young ones of less than 6 months: they are called calves.
4 young females which are pregnant for the first time: they are called heifers.
A pair of oxen for ploughing. These animals have been castrated; they cannot make young ones any more.
19. His flock of sheep consists of:
1 male: the male is called a ram.
12 females which have already had young ones: they are called ewes.
8 young ones: these are the lambs.
20. His herd of goats consists of:
1 male: the male is called a buck, or he-goat.
8 females that have already had young ones: they are called she-goats.
6 young ones: these are the kids.
means not only
to follow a course
it means also
LEARNING HOW TO LOOK
then FORM AN OPINION
What can you see in the village?
You can learn a lot from books and during the course. But you can also learn a lot by looking at life in your village and by talking to older people.
During this course, you are learning how to raise animals.
But you can also learn:
by looking at the animals that are in the village, whether they are well looked after or badly, how they are fed, how they are used;
by talking to older people: many of them may never have been to school, but they know a lot of things; they have experience.
For instance, the old people used to know where to take the animals to places where they could feed well and would not be bitten by flies; they knew how to castrate them, and how to treat them against certain diseases.
There is a lot to be learned by asking such questions from people who know about animals, people who keep animals and look after them.
When you have looked and listened, you must think over what you have seen and heard.
The course will help you to think. It will teach you to form an opinion about what is good and what is bad, and teach you how to do better.
Next, you will have to decide to male a CHANGE
should diseases kill half your calves, should your animals lose a lot of weight during the dry season, because they are hungry and thirsty.
your animals should be always well fed, well looked after, and used to better purpose.
The questions asked you will teach you how to look.
After that, you must THINK.
How many are there of
• It is important to look at the animals of the whole village or of the whole district. If your neighbour’s animals are sick, they can make a lot of other animals sick. It is more difficult to improve your own animal husbandry when the animals of the others are sick.
The thing to do is to help the whole village Improve its animal husbandry.
• But it is impossible to change everything at the same time.
Let us look at every single herd or flock in the village, and then decide which of them we shall try to improve.
If you are a farmer who has animals, look at your own animals; if you are an agricultural assistant, or a farmer who has no animals, look at the animals of a district you know well.
Choose only one kind of animal: it is impossible to do everything at the same time.
Have you chosen a herd of cattle?
or a flock of sheep?
or a herd of goats?
or a flock or herd of some other animals?
You have chosen…
Say why you have chosen that kind of animal.
Is it because you own a lot of them?
because they are easier to sell?
because they can be sold at a better price?
because they are easier to feed?
because they are more resistant to disease?
1. To your family?
To the head of the family?
To the women?
To the children?
2. To strangers?
Do these strangers live in the village?
in another village?
in the town?
3. To several people?
How many animals belong to your family?
How many animals belong to strangers?
4. Who decides
or to kill animals?
5. How many males are there of more than 1 year?
of less than 1 year?
that have been castrated?
6. How many females are there that have not yet had any young ones?
have already had young ones?
What is the total number of animals?
7. Do you know the breed of these animals?
8. Let us think.
Is it better to have in your herd or flock
many old animals?
many young animals?
9. Is it water from a river?
a small stream?
10. This river, or stream, or well, or dam — is it far from the village?
11. Can the animals drink whenever they want to? Are they taken to the water to drink?
How many times a day?
12. In the dry season, is there enough water for the animals to drink?
If there is not enough water, what do you do?
What can you do?
13. Where do they feed?
in the village?
around the village?
far from the village?
14. When the animals are in the village, what do they feed on?
15. When they go to feed far from the village, do they come back every evening? Do they go away for several weeks, or several months?
In what month of the year do the animals go away from the village?
In what month of the year do the animals come back to the village?
At that time, who watches over the animals?
16. What herbage do the animals eat? What herbage is best for them?
(If you do not know the names in English, write the local names.)
Do the animals have green herbage all the year round?
Is it customary to make a bush fire so as to have green herbage?
If so, when? Who decides to start the fire?
17. Are they given salt or native soda?
Grains of millet, maize, cotton?
Stems of groundnuts, peas, millet, maize?
Bran (what is left over from milling) of rice, millet?
Oil cakes (what is left over when oil has been taken from oilseeds) of groundnuts, of cotton?
What is left over after making millet beer?
The feedstuff given to animals in addition to what they find in the bush is called feed supplement.
18. When are the animals given feed supplements?
All the year round?
In the dry season?
When the animals work?
When they are sick?
To females in milk?
19. Who gives the animals their feed supplement?
20. Are these feedstuffs purchased? Who pays for them?
21. When the young animals suckle, for how many months do they do so?
When the mother gives no more milk, are the little ones given a feed supplement?
If so, what?
22. Is the herd or flock you have chosen:
left to roam freely all the year round?
kept in an enclosure
all day long?
at night only?
all the year round?
part of the year?
are the animals tied to posts or trees
all the year round?
only during the season when the crops grow?
23. Are there disputes when animals spoil the crops? How can these disputes be avoided?
24. Do the animals have to be protected against sun and heat?
Where you live, are the animals protected against sun, rain and wind?
Have you made a shelter?
If there is no shelter for them, can you make one and how?
Does anyone remove the little insects that drink the blood of animals — the ticks?
How does one remove ticks?
Who removes them?
Are the animals given medicine to drink, so as to kill the parasites that live in their bellies?
When an animal gets hurt, what is done for it?
Do you know the names of the diseases of your animals?
(In English or in your local language)
II you do not know the names of the diseases, explain how you recognize that the animals are sick.
How do you treat each disease? Do you take the sick animals out of the herd or flock?
When a sick animal dies, what do you do?
How many animals have died during the past year?
How many old ones?
Who is in charge of the health of the animals?
28. In the herd or flock that you have chosen, do the animals reproduce just as they please?
29. Is it better that the farmer should choose the animals for mating?
Why do you choose one male rather than another?
Why do you choose one female rather than another?
30. Are some male animals castrated so as to prevent them reproducing?
At what age?
Who does the castrating?
31. Are animals eaten or sold only when they are very old?
Does it often happen that an animal is killed very young?
Are very young animals often sold?
Is it better to sell an animal when it is young or when it is old?
When can one earn most?
32. In the herd or flock that you have chosen, are the animals milked?
Who milks them?
Does an animal that gives milk get more to eat than the others?
What feed supplement does it get?
Who gives it to the animal?
Do people buy milk in your village?
Do they buy milk produced by the animals in the village, or do they buy tinned milk?
Who drinks the milk?
Is milk a good food for men?
Could your animals produce more milk?
How could you sell that extra milk?
Other animal products
33. Is the hide of animals used?
Are there in your village people who know how to clean and tan an animal hide?
What materials are used in this work?
34. Are the horns of animals used? Or their bones?
35. Is animal manure used?
as a fertilizer, to enrich the soil?
in building houses, putting up walls?
Animal husbandry must be improved. Animals are a great wealth, and they must be made to produce more.
Get to know your herd or flock well, so that you can improve it and earn more money.
36. Where you live, are animals used for work?
What animals: cattle?
37. What work do the animals do?
Do they carry loads?
Do they pull carts?
Are they used for ploughing?
What other work do they do?
38. In your village, how many are there of the following?
Animal-driven mills and threshers?
39. What can you do to make better use of the animals? Say what you would like to do.
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Better Farming Series, no.11. This handbook is designed for intermediate level agricultural education and training. This illustrated manual introduces animal husbandry and the benefits to the farmer.