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close this bookBetter Farming Series 09 - Animal Husbandry: Animal Diseases; How Animals Reproduce (FAO - INADES, 1976, 33 p.)
close this folderReproduction
close this folderHow animals reproduce
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Open this folder and view contentsThe reproductive systems
View the documentPregnancy and birth

Pregnancy and birth

When the female carries a young one in her womb, we say she is pregnant. Pregnancy begins with fertilization and ends with the birth of the young animal. It lasts a shorter or longer time depending on the kind of animal.

If the mother already has a young one, she must not feed it during the last stage of pregnancy, because the baby the female is carrying needs more food (see Booklet No. 8, page 21 ). The female cannot feed both the young animal already born and the one that is growing in her womb.

Some days before the birth, the udder of the mother swells.

At the time of birth, some of the membranes which cover the baby in the womb come out. These membranes contain water. Next, you see the legs come out, either the two forelegs or the two hind legs.

Sometimes you have to pull downward a little on the legs of the young animal so as to help the birth.

When the young animal has come out, if it is still joined to the mother by the umbilical cord: cut this and clean it carefully.

After the birth, the rest of the membranes come out. They must all come out. Otherwise they may rot inside the mother and cause her to die.

At birth the calf may come out in two ways

When the young animal is born the mother licks it with her tongue.
Let her do this.
At this time the mother is often thirsty. Give her water to drink.
During the first few days after the birth, the mother's milk is thick and yellow.
The young animal must drink this milk, which will clean its digestive tract.
Take great care of new- born animals. They are delicate. They easily catch parasites and diseases.
To protect them, have them vaccinated (see page 10).
Take good care of the young animals. feed them well and house them well. Otherwise they may die and you may lose a lot of money.