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close this bookBetter Farming Series 09 - Animal Husbandry: Animal Diseases; How Animals Reproduce (FAO - INADES, 1976, 33 p.)
close this folderSelling animals
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAnimals are sold for their meat.
View the documentAnimals are sold for breeding.
View the documentYoung animals are sold for fattening.
View the documentThe yield of a herd
View the documentFarmers' groups


Production of stock is not enough. You have to sell.
It is not enough to have a fine herd. You must be able to sell your animals at the right time, at a good price.

Animals are sold for their meat.

Often live animals are sold by their size. They are not weighed. The price is not fixed according to the animal's weight.

Sometimes animals are slaughtered and the meat is sold in the village or at the market. No attention is paid to the weight or the quality of the meat.

Nowadays meat should be sold by weight. Several farmers can get together to buy a weighing machine.

It is easy to sell your animals at the time of traditional festivals. A stock farmer should arrange for the sale of animals for these festivals.

But apart from these festivals you may have difficulty in finding buyers. You may have to keep for a long time animals which are ready to be sold. You have to go on feeding them uselessly,, the animals do not benefit from the food, and you lose money.

Animals are sold for breeding.

We saw that it is very important to have good breeding animals (see pages 18 and 19).
Animals of a good breed that have good parents can be sold at a high price.

Modern farmers are ready to spend money to buy a good sire to improve their herd.

Young animals are sold for fattening.

They can be sold at a higher price because they will earn money for whoever raises them.

A good breeder does not keep his animals too long.
He sells his lambs at about 6 months.
He sells his pigs at between 8 and 12 months.
He sells his bullocks at 4 years.
It is useless to keep animals too long; they do not get any bigger.
All the feed that you give them is not changed into meat.
Sell your animals as soon as they are big enough. A breeding animal that is too old has less good' offspring.
Then you will have enough food to raise younger ones.
The yield of your herd will be better (see page 29).

All the animals of the same kind do not yield the same amount of meat.
For example:
Two cows each weigh 250 kilogrammes.
They are slaughtered.
The blood, skin, hoofs, head and everything in the belly are removed.
What remains is called the carcass, that is, the meat with the bones.
Now let us weigh the carcass of each cow.
One weighs 115 kg; the other weighs 134 kg.
So the carcass of one cow weighs 19 kg more than that of the other: the yield in meat of the two cows is different.
All cows do not give the same amount of meat.
The meat yield of an animal is the relation of the carcass weight to the weight of the live animal.
If a cow weighs 250 kg and if the carcass weighs 115 kg, the yield is: 115x100/250 = 46%
If a cow weighs 250 kg and if the carcass weighs 134 kg, the yield is: 134x100/250 = 54 %
If a sheep weighs 25 kg and if the carcass weighs 11 kg, the yield is 11x100/25 = 44%
If a pig weighs 40 kg and if the carcass weighs 26 kg, the yield is: 26x100/40 = 65%
All animals do not give the same quality of meat.
The meat of an old, thin animal does not fetch such a high price as the meat of a young animal, because it is not of good quality.
The meat of a fine, young animal is of very good quality.
So all animals are not worth the same price.
The price changes with the amount of meat and with the quality of meat.
For example, in some places, a thin, sterile cow is worth about 7 500 francs, but a fat, sterile cow of the same age is worth about 15 000 francs.
It is better to make 30 000 francs with two animals of 15 000 francs each, than 22 500 francs with three animals at 7 500 francs each.
You can earn more by selling fewer animals, if each animal is sold at a very high price.

The yield of a herd

If you can sell each year many fat animals, the herd is said to have a good yield.

A herd has a good yield:

· if you raise animals of a good breed.

The animal husbandry service is finding out which breeds produce most and thrive best in each region.

· if the animals grow quickly.

On the same pasture, all the animals do not gain weight as quickly as each other.

You should keep only the offspring of males and females that have grown quickly.

· if there are many dams which give birth each year.

You must sell the old dams because they do not produce young any more, they do not put on weight any more, and they eat a lot

You must also sell the surplus males; they eat but are no use.

You must keep the most fertile dams and make them breed.

A fertile dam gives birth every year.

· if the animals are well cared for,

If you take good care of the herd, all the young grow up and become strong animals.

Then you can sell them and earn a lot.

If many of the young animals die, the farmer does not earn as much as he could.

In Africa many young animals die because of lack of care.

Even if diseases do not kill the animals, they do them a lot of harm.

The animals become very weak and do not fatten much.

It takes a long time for animals that have been to fatten up for sale.

If animals are well fed, and have enough to drink all the year, they quickly become big and heavy.

If they are badly fed, and if they do not drink enough during the dry season, they lose a lot of weight.

Animals lose in the dry season kilogrammes they have put on in the rainy season.

Farmers' groups

· Farmers do well to form groups (see Booklet No. 7, page 28); this gives them greater strength in regard to dealers.

A dealer will readily go out into the bush to buy animals if he is sure of finding some. He knows that he will not make his journey for nothing, and that he will not waste his time looking for animals.

A group of farmers can make an arrangement with the dealer.

Every month or every week the group will sell him a certain number of animals

The group agrees to sell regularly.

The dealer agrees to buy regularly

To succeed, a group must:

· not be too big. Everyone knows each other and everyone trusts the others
· have simple and clear rules.
· have one man in charge who makes sure that the rules are kept

It is in the interest of farmers to get together not only for sales, but also in raising their stock. Fences will be made more quickly. feeding will be more regular. Sales will be easier.

By organizing the sale of their animals, farmers can organize their stock raising.

· They can plan the birth dates with a view to the sales dates.
· They can plan what feeding the herd will need, the use of pastures, so that no food is wasted.
· They know at what time they will get money, and can better think about what they will do with it.

Here is a practical example of what the course means.

A local pig, raised in the traditional way, eats what it can find in the bush. At one year it weighs 30 kg. Its sale price is 30 X 100 francs = 3 000 francs

A local pig is well housed, and gets fed once a day. At one year it weighs 60 kg. Its sales price is 60 X 100 francs = 6 000 francs.

A pig of improved breed is well housed, and is fed twice a day. At one year, it weighs 100 kg. Its sale price is 100 X 100 francs = 10 000 francs