| Animal husbandry: Feeding and care of animals |
• Animals need water
Animals lose weight in the dry season because they are not well fed, but also because they do not drink enough.
A sheep can drink 2 to 6 litres of water a day.
An ox can drink 30 to 40 litres of water a day, or even more in the dry season, when it is very hot and the grass is very dry. Oxen do not need to drink as much if it is not very hot and if the food contains plenty of water, such as green grass or silage.
• Animals drink:
• in the cattle shed, from a hollowed- out tree trunk, or from a barrel cut in half, or from a concrete basin, all of which must always be kept very clean.
• from a river or stream.
But you must be careful, because the water is often dirty and may give the animals some disease. Their water must always be clean.
You can build a little dam (see Booklet No. 6, page 16) to store up water.
• et a well.
Wells are sometimes very deep.
It takes a lot of work to draw water from them.
It is quicker with a hand pump or a motor pump, or with a rope and wheel.
You can use an animal to pull the rope.
• So, remember, it is important:
• to give every animal every day all the water it needs, even in the dry season. It is best to make the animals drink two or three times a day.
• to give them water that is as clean as possible. Many diseases come from dirty water.
• not to let the animals stand in the water after they have drunk. They make the water dirty.
It is good to add a little salt to the water. We have seen that mineral salts are good for animals.