Botswana: Livestock Needs Supplements All Time

Gaborone — Farmers have been advised to provide their livestock with supplements as the country's soils and grasses are still deficient in minerals even during the wet season.

In an interview, the director of veterinary services, Dr Letlhogile Modisa, said minerals such as dicalcium phosphate (DCP) were important for growth, reproduction and general health of animals, stating that during wet season, animals needed a lot of energy to digest the green grass that they feed on.

Regarding the storage of animal feed, Dr Modisa said they should be kept in dry places to avoid water or moisture, which could lead to urea poisoning. Urea poisoning can cause death, he said.

He said it was prudent to avoid giving animals feeds that had become moldy to avoid aflatoxin poisoning, which could be passed into eggs, milk products and meat, saying such feeds should be disposed of safely so that other animals may not feed on them.

Dr Modisa further advised farmers to place special emphasis on the welfare of their animals to prevent diseases associated with the wet season.

He said since many parts of the country continued to experience heavy rainfall, farmers should ensure that livestock especially the young ones and birds were kept in dry places to avoid diseases such as pneumonia.

Dr Modisa said other conditions associated with poor hygiene such as foot rot, navel ill, abscesses and skin diseases were common during wet season, adding that eggs for free ranging poultry would also be affected by water and end up being infertile.

He said care must be taken to protect them as that would affect the multiplication of such birds.

The director said parasites such as ticks, mites, mosquitoes, and other biting flies were particularly abundant during the wet season and they cause a range of diseases in animals.

"It is therefore important to vaccinate animals against diseases such as Lumpy Skin Disease, Entrotoxomic/Pulpy kidney and invest in a parasite control programme for both external and internal parasites such as roundworms and liver fluke which can cause severe production losses," he said.

Source : BOPA

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