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Thin sow syndrome is totally avoidable
The Thin Sow Syndrome: The Reason Your Sow Gives Birth And Rapidly Lose weight And Appetite During Lactation
Many pig farmers have had or will have this type of problem with their sows or gilts on their farms. Particularly if feeding their pigs is a major burden. Since the sow does not receive adequate nutrition, the thin sow syndrome will begin to manifest itself when the piglets are born and begin breastfeeding.
And because the sow does not receive adequate nutrition, she will rely on her own body fats and muscles to obtain energy, proteins, and other nutrients for herself and her lactating piglets. This causes them to deteriorate rapidly. Thin sow syndrome is a sign that a farmer is simply unable to feed his or her pigs and needs to step up or abandon the business altogether.
The disease isn't always contagious from one pig to the next. Worms and parasites, on the other hand, can contribute significantly to the development of thin sow syndrome in your herd, and it may be more common in breeds that are naturally lean, such as large whites.
During breastfeeding plus combined with poor nutrition your sow will be unable to maintain her body condition due to either a lack of sufficient energy and protein intake or increased demands caused by a low house and body temperatures or excessive milk demand by her piglets. As a result, the sow consumes her body fat to sustain her energy source, and muscle protein is destroyed as a result.
This technique can be repeated in subsequent lactations. It's also common in sows maintained in chilly housing and who have a lot of worms.
Signs That Your Sow Is Experiencing The Condition
In severe circumstances, your sows can experience wasting, together with a low body temperature of about 36.5-38°C, loss of appetite, agitation, apathy, and difficulty standing. The skin may also be dirty and oily, with surface abrasions, particularly in lactating sows. Estrus and irreversible infertility may emerge as the condition advances.
You should ensure that all your affected pigs receive an adequate supply of high-quality feeds with the appropriate nutritional density, and ensure that individual feeding is available. Also, incorporating Fertilac Sows Concentrates or Fat Pig Concentrates from Grobel Concentrates Kenya for example, into your animal feeds will greatly help you avoid this problem and even increase their growth.
Recognize that prevention is preferable to treatment and that quality animal feeding is key. This is due to the difficulty in reversing severe thin sow syndrome. Last but not least, who wants lean, malnourished pigs on their farm?
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Goat fattening business
Goat Fattening Guidelines
What is Goat fattening?
Well, Goat fattening is nothing but “intensive feeding of goats in feedlots to slaughter weight with adequate fat deposit (finish)”. More goat farmers showing interest in this as it generates quick income.
Advantages Goat Fattening:- The following are main advantages of goat fattening.
Goat fattening is simple process and can be achieved within the capabilities of small farmers to implement
The results of goat fattening are highly visible can be realized within a short period of time
Goat fattening generates quick cash for goat farmers
Goat fattening is profitable because of the value/kg (weight) of goat live weight increases as both weight and condition increase
Goat fattening is easily manageable without putting much effort
Goat Fattening Systems:- There are two types of fattening systems are popular.
In this system, natural or planted pastures with variable degrees of supplementation is provided
Usually, goats require long period of time to gain market weight (slaughter) and condition
In this system, goats often experience large fluctuations in weight gains & conditions as feed availability is not stable
In traditional goat fattening, feeds/fodders are offered in ad-hoc and unregulated fashion
In this system, usually goat farmers feed goats whatever feed/fodder happens to be available at that point in time. This leads to huge feed wastage & growth rates below the genetic potential of the goats. The combination of low growth rates and long fattening periods makes traditional goat fattening system unprofitable
Agro-industrial Byproduct Based Fattening System:
This system is based on agro-industrial byproducts like ground nut cakes/millet stovers.
Selection of Goat for Fattening:- Selection of proper quality goats is very important if you are planning for goat fattening.
Select goats that are healthy without any physical defects
Select goats with medium body condition scores of 2.0 to 2.5
Avoid emaciated (thin or weak, due to illness or a lack of food) goats as they often take a long time to recover
Selected goats should have a large skeletal frame
Goat farmers should be aware of castration as it influences the fattening process.
The selection of castrated or uncastrated goats depends on the final product desired & market conditions
Generally, castrated goats deposit more fat (gain weight) when compared to uncastrated goats
Generally, uncastrated goats have more muscular growth. However castrated goats have higher demand in the market
Select goat breeds with the better potential for growth and fattening
Select goats with weights ranging from 20 to 25 kg for better fattening
Avoid goats that are too old as they are not suitable for fattening process and no demand in the local market
It is better to select goats between 2 and 4 years of age for fattening process
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Chicken 🐔 egg🥚 fertilisation
Interesting facts of chicken egg fertility that you may not know.
🪶 It is possible to have a rooster and a hen that are active but a hen can still lay eggs that are not fertile:
I know you may be wondering how, and here is the explanation.
Unlike other birds where you find partners, in chickens there is no courtship or romance. A rooster just forces himself on the hen. So what happens is when a rooster mates a hen, his injected semen is stored in numerous s***m storage tubules (SSTs) located in the area where the hen’s uterus joins the va**na. But this only happens provided the hen likes the rooster. If she doesn’t, she can sq**rt out the semen to avoid hatching his offspring. Therefore a hen may still proceed to lay eggs that are not fertile despite even mating with a rooster every day.
🪶 Even if the hen approves the rooster, some eggs may still not be fertile:
Since the s***m is released shortly after an egg is laid, and each egg takes approximately 25 hours to develop, an egg produced on the day of mating will not be fertile.
An egg laid the next day may or may not be fertile, depending on the timing. An egg laid on the third day definitely should be fertile.
So as you can see your hen can still have the first two or three eggs that are not fertile despite the hen and a rooster having mated.
🪶 You don't need a rooster everyday for the hen to continue laying fertile eggs:
The amount of time during which the hen will continue to lay fertile eggs depends on how much s***m fills the SSTs, which are capable of storing semen from multiple matings and multiple roosters.
Highly productive hens generally remain fertile longer than hens that lay at a slower rate. The average duration of fertility from a single mating is 10 to 14 days.
So it is possible that once your hen has mated with a rooster you can even take the rooster away and you can still have fertile eggs for the next 14 days.
🪶 For first time layers if a rooster has mated with a hen, all her eggs are not always fertile:
Generally speaking, a hen who has mated will be fertile between 7 and 10 days after. It takes that long for the s***m to reach the oviduct where eggs are made. So it is possible that after mating, your hen can still continue to lay eggs that are not fertile for the next 10 days. This is why it is encouraged that for hens that are laying for the first time it is better to eat the eggs for the first two or three weeks instead of attempting to hatch them.
🪶 Not all roosters have fertile s***m:
This is a sad one. Just like in humans, even in chickens we also have roosters that are infertile.
Why? Who knows. It's maybe just something in his genes not working as it should. Again, very like the human condition. There's not always a rhyme or reason.
NB- This article has been compiled to help people understand why at time they may hear those who provide hatchery services referring to their eggs not having been fertile. We know some have been wondering why the eggs are said not to be fertile yet they have the recommended number of hens and roosters that are also active for that matter.
While the article has been compiled from various sources that we believe to be credible, it is only for general information. For specifics relating to one's flock we still recommend that farmers use the services of professionals.
Thank you for reading.
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Effects of the On Going African Swine Fever
We are sharing this article to help you save your farm from African Swine Fever which is on the rise right now. Have a blessed week🙏 and respect the SOPs so that we can stay safe and healthy.
FIGHTING AFRICAN SWINE FEVER OUT OF UGANDA
Christopher Mulindwa – 11.06.2021
Due to the losses suffered by pig producers in Wakiso district caused by an outbreak of African Swine Fever, Uganda's pig sector is under a very difficult time.
For your information, Wakiso district is one of the largest pig producing districts in Uganda with reasonable numbers of medium and large scale pig farms. The district neighbors Mukono, Mpigi and Luwero districts which have also attracted large investments in pig production recently. Therefore an outbreak of African Swine Fever, (a disease that neither have a vaccine nor treatment) in Wakiso district pose a huge risk to the pig sector in Uganda.
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease of domestic pigs. It was first described in Kenya, East Africa, in 1921 by foreign researchers though the disease was of economic importance before 1910. The disease was soon afterwards described in South Africa and Angola as a disease that killed settler’s pigs. The first outbreak of African Swine Fever in Europe happened in 1957 and again 1959. The serious effect of the disease was fully appreciated and immediate actions were taken. Currently, the disease has been completely eradicated in some European countries and others have never experienced outbreaks in domestic pigs since 1959.
In August 2018, the world’s largest pig producer China reported the first African swine fever outbreak in Liaoning province, which was also the first reported case in Eastern Asia. The disease has now spread to every province in China and it is reported China has culled 26% of its total pig population as a result of the attack.
In Uganda, African Swine Fever is endemic and outbreaks are cyclical. This is largely due to government’s poor disease reporting systems, slow issuing of quarantines, lack of quarantine implementation and absence of incentives to enable culling of infected pigs without their meat going to the market. There are a number of undocumented outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Uganda and the current one being in Wakiso district.
The first appearance of African Swine Fever in an area or farm is usually characterized by death of a large number of pigs after a short illness. Pigs become depressed, suddenly stop eating, huddle together and sometimes may die before other clinical signs develop. The pig spend most of its time lying down, difficult breathing and flushing of the skin, particularly over the abdomen and extremities in white-skinned pigs, commonly develop in pigs that survive for more than a day. Pigs of all ages are affected.
Outbreak of African Swine Fever in a farm is usually associated with one or all of the following events:
👉 Close contact between domestic and wild pigs
👉 introduction of infected pigs into a farm, for example through purchase
👉 introduction of infected pig meat into the farm ;
👉 feeding of swill that contains raw or insufficiently cooked infected pork and pig remains or access to such remains through scavenging;
👉 movement of vehicles and people between farms during an outbreak.
👉 Movement of stray dogs, scavengers and other animals between farms during an outbreak
👉 Using equipment from infected farms
African Swine Fever has the ability to exist in a protein environment for several years.
HOW CAN WE REDUCE THE IMPACT OR EVEN ERADICATE ASF FROM UGANDA?
Nobody knows when the vaccine or treatment for African Swine Fever will be discovered and if discovered, whether we will be able to access it easily and on time. You know how long it took us to access even the simplest vaccines in the country. Therefore, for the pig and pork businesses to survive in this difficult environment of repeated African Swine Fever outbreaks there is need for taking actions that can be driven by farmers with less or no government assistance. There is no surety of a political will to support the pig industry overcome this tragedy by our government. Therefore, it is time to count on ourselves. There are about four strategies we need to think about and act as soon as possible as individual or group of farmers. I suggest them in order of their importance:
1. Bio-security – a priority not an option
Bio-security of pigs at farm level is the set of practical measures taken to prevent entrance of infection into a pig farm and control the spread of infection within that farm. This requires individual effort and commitment. Bio-security can be looked at in two ways; Guarding the farm from entry of disease causing organisms and managing infection on farm to prevent transmission to other pigs in the farm.
Effective bio-security may not come for free; you will spend some money. For example, you need a perimeter fence around the farm to prevent entry of unauthorized personnel, animals, birds etc. You need to buy disinfectants, construct bathrooms for visitors to take a shower before accessing the pigs, buying farm attire for both workers and authorized visitors etc. On farm (For large farmers); you will need to provide different houses for different categories of pigs e.g. pregnant sows, farrowing sows, growers etc. All these will cost you some money. Therefore, a written bio-security plan is important and with it farm workers can easily implement bio-security measures with support of suggested structures. The size of the farm doesn’t matter most especially if it is not the owner managing the pigs on daily basis. What to think about when drafting your bio-security plan;
✅ Land area used for pig production: Bio-security starts from selecting the site for construction of your pig farm. Who is your neighbor? Are you near a forest harboring wild pigs? Are you near an abattoir, a pork joint or pork selling restaurant? A pig farm must be isolated from people and possibly set in a location free from other pig producers. If your neighborhood is very risky, your bio-security program will be very expensive.
✅ Management Procedures; this is more about your strategies to avoid infections from crossing from one pig unit to another most especially in large farms. In such farms, it is necessary to provide a particular manager for particular pig categories. For example, farrowing unit manager, Grower unit manager, Dry sow unit manager etc. These must go through a routine bio-security check before crossing to other units. This means, also equipment etc for a particular unit doesn’t cross to others. In small and medium productions, we must refrain from borrowing farm equipment, drugs, syringe and needles etc. Sick pigs must be isolated and newly introduced pigs quarantined for at-least two weeks before mixing with others.
✅ Transportation of pigs; Due to the absence of professional pig transporters in the country, trucks used for transporting breeding pigs are the same used for transporting slaughter pigs. Even during an outbreak, this doesn’t change. Also if unsupervised, transporters park near high risk places for example pork joints to have meals. It is your responsibility as a farmer to source and interview the transporter of your breeding pigs, make sure the truck is disinfected and the route of movement is followed with no unnecessary stopovers until final destination is reached. When stopped at any police check point, please request the officers not to get in contact with pigs. Also try every effort possible to move pigs together with necessary documents to avoid delaying at check points.
✅ Buildings and structures: Every pig unit must have its own set procedures before access is allowed. Do not leave open walls, cover with a net to prevent entry of birds and other small animals. When visitors access the farm, do not allow them touch pig house walls or pigs. The farm must be enclosed into a fence with one or more managed entries.
✅ Consumable supplies and equipment; It is your responsibility to ensure feeds are sourced from a supplier mindful of your farm health. The supplier must explain to you what they are doing to ensure selling uncontaminated feeds to pig producers. Feeding restaurant remains may save you money today but cost you your whole investment later. Pork from outside sources should not enter the farm. People attending to pigs should avoid visiting abattoirs and pork joints.
✅ Owners, workers, veterinarians, consultants & visitors; the effectiveness of every bio-security plan depends on the commitment of the owner. Owners must not dodge bio-security procedures; they must obey every detail to prove importance to farm workers. You should also talk about the importance of bio-security with your workers always. In large productions, it is important that workers are well trained farm residents. It is risky to have a farm worker who is also working at another farm. It is also risky to have a worker whose movements are unsupervised. You must be careful about veterinarians and consultants; they must go through a similar bio security process before accessing the pigs. Buy your own farm drugs and equipment, do not allow veterinarians to enter farm with their drugs and equipment. These must advise you on what drugs to avail before their next visit. Where possible, please avoid visitors. Make every effort possible to prevent people from accessing your pig farm and if allowed, strict bio-security procedures must be followed.
2. Uniting for action
The second strategy requires different value chain actors to understand the importance of African Swine Fever to their businesses and come together for action. When organized into relevant groups, Farmer groups, Pig traders groups, input traders groups etc. It is easy to initiate and contribute to a fund to be used during an outbreak to compensate affected members. This limit infected meat from reaching the market and therefore controlling transmission of the virus to new locations/farms. Through the same groups, animal health trainings can be routinely carried out to prevent outbreaks. Also, it enables effective control of trade of infected pigs as well as fighting other risks faced by different value chain actors.
In 2016, the government of Uganda introduced the Uganda Insurance Agriculture Scheme (UAIS) as an insurance subsidy program for both small and large scale farmers and farmers in high risk areas to ensure every farmer in Uganda can be protected from the effects of losses of their crops/livestock on their overall income that season.
The UAIS is managed by the Agriculture Insurance Consortium (AIC) which is housed under the Uganda Insurers Association (UIA). AIC is currently composed of the following 10 companies, APA Insurance, Goldstar insurance, Lion Assurance, Phoenix insurance, Jubilee insurance, UAP insurance, CIC General, First Insurance Company, NIC and Pax insurance.
When I checked with Jubilee Insurance, I was told pigs from 2 months to 5 years of age can be insured.
The scheme covers:
👉 Accidents (Lightening/internal and external injuries, windstorms, snake bites and flooding)
👉 Illness and diseases of terminal nature
👉 Epidemics except those arising from Rift Valley Fever or Foot and Mouth, after declaration by government
👉 Emergency slaughter on advice of a qualified veterinary surgeon.
The cover can be extended to cover theft, transit risks abd farrowing risks.
4. Community slaughter and Feasts
In Uganda mostly rural areas, burying carcasses of pigs to prevent continued spread of disease is a waste of time. Many Ugandans can hardly afford enough meat so will unbury this free meat and feast on it. Sometimes, even animals whose death caused by dangerous zonootic diseases are not spared if not burnt to ashes!
Therefore where there is willingness by a farmer to prevent infected meat from reaching the market, the best strategy is to invite the community, slaughter, cook and eat all the meat. After, burry deeply all remains take a shower and wash clothes with a detergent. It is not good for a pig farmer to involve in such feasts.
It is important to note that selling a single infected pig can lead to African Swine Fever outbreaks in the whole country and thereafter death of a huge number of pigs. Therefore for those concerned about fellow farmers please avoid selling infected pigs. I also urge traders to stop buying and selling infected pig meat.
Also, African Swine Fever virus only affect pigs, therefore infected meat has no harmful effects on human beings or other animal species. The control of consumption of infected meat is aimed at preventing disease outbreaks in new locations.
Quality nutrition is very important for the success of every pig farming business.
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Artificial insemination brief
ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN LIVESTOCK
Artificial insemination is when fertilization of the livestock is achieved by injecting the semen of a bull into the va**na of the female counterpart using other techniques than the bull. It is performed by qualified personnel who have been trained. This is because the activity involves delicate parts which need to be held very well. Artificial insemination is mostly used in beef cattle and dairy cattle but it applies to other livestock goats, chickens. AI also brings the issue of crossbreeding to surface as the bull selected can be of a different breed and the farmer would want to improve his/her stock.
The success of artificial insemination is highly dependent on management skills and commitment of the farmer and the farm. The farm needs to have an intensive breeding system which will allow for AI activities. The farmer should pay attention to details of all the farm practices that takes place and even preparation before mating so that at least 90% conception rate is achieved. Skilled labor is needed to perform such activities and even the herd boys should be knowledgeable because they are the ones to detect heat on the cows and prepare for AI.
A) Importance of artificial insemination
for crossbreeding hence improving the characteristics and performance of the livestock.
to use than using a bull because it is expensive to buy and maintain.
B) How artificial insemination is performed
artificial insemination to be carried out the following should be done:
1. Semen selection: artificial insemination offers a wide range of semen to choose from. Every semen stored has details on the time and date it was collected, the bull history; vaccination details and location. Breed name and the characters of the bull on which breed it is mostly compatible with to have the best results. This solves the issue of genetic variation of the bull and the cow to be used. Selection of the bull will also include the preference by the farmer on what characteristics they are looking for. Climatic conditions also affect climatic conditions as to which the offspring will do better in the local conditions.
2. Tools used: Liquid Nitrogen tank, Long gloves, Insemination rod, Paper towels, Straw cutter, Sheath, Semen straw, Warm water bath, Thermometer, Rubbing alcohol, Clock, Record books.
3. Heat detection in female livestock: This is very critical so that you do not waste semen in cattle which will not conceive. When the cows are on heat they go through a process called standing estrus which is when the cow will show signs of mounting other cows, restlessness, roughed tail-head or mud on the ramp and showing a mucus discharge from the v***a. Heat period should be timed very well especially the period of standing heat. After 12hours of standing heat it is best to perform AI because the cow would have ovulated and it will be at its highest point of fertility. There are other techniques which can be adopted like the AM/PM rule where the cows on heat in the AM will be AI in the PM and those on standing heat in the PM will be AI in the AM.
4. Handling of the semen: the semen is very sensitive to change in temperatures. The semen in storage is called straws. It is kept at very low temperatures of -195oC and stored in liquid nitrogen which keeps the temperature to stay at that state. The tank that is used has to be insulated to control temperature changes. It also needs to be kept clean dry and well ventilated. Movement of the semen should be avoided as this will temper with the quality of the semen.
5. Insemination of the semen: for insemination to be done hygiene should be practiced; the outside tract of the cow should be washed to remove manure and contaminants to reproductive of the cow. The straws will be cut and fitted into the sheath, then it is fitted into the insemination rod. The gloved arm grasps the cervix and the insemination rod is inserted then inseminated to the va**na of the cow. The whole process should be done with less than 15 minutes.
C) When Artificial insemination should be done
AI is done during a period where the cow is in heat. This is an indication that the cow will ovulate and fertilization is highly likely to occur. It should also be done during a period where access to food and water is easier to find. Nutrition at this stage is also very critical.
Author: Tshoganetso Timela
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