| Animal husbandry: Feeding and care of animals |
Animals must be given enough food, rich food, prepared food.
• Enough food.
An animal that doesn't eat enough won't put on weight.
What it eats all goes on maintenance (see page 20).
Instead of having five animals that do not gain weight, a farmer prefers to have four that he can feed well.
He sells them at a good price.
He earns more money.
• Rich food.
An animal that is raised for meat must grow and fatten quickly.
Then you can sell it more quickly.
You can raise another animal, and make a lot of money.
To make animals grow quickly a farmer must give them rich food, he must give them feed supplements (see page 14).
Rich food is costly, and a farmer doesn't want to waste it. Know the animals' needs (see page 20) and reckon what the food costs and what it earns in the way of meat, eggs, etc.
• Prepared food.
To help animals digest this rich food, the farmer prepares it for them, that is: grains are crushed, roots and tubers are cooked.
Animals must be fed:
• at the same time every day.
The feed supplement must be given every day at the same time, so that the animal can digest it.
• all the year round.
During the rainy season it is easy to feed animals well. There is plenty of grass, it grows quickly, it is young and nourishing.
During the dry season it is difficult to feed animals well. There is little grass, it is dry and hard, and not very nourishing.
So there are some months in the year when cattle are well fed, and grow fat and are in good health.
There are other months when animals are badly fed and lose weight.
This is why a modern farmer stores food for the dry season.
If he cannot feed all his animals well because he has too many, he sells some of them at the end of the rainy season.
Then the rest of his herd will not suffer during the dry season.
At the end of the dry season, when animals cost more, he has some fine animals to sell and earns more money.