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close this bookBetter Farming Series 09 - Animal Husbandry: Animal Diseases; How Animals Reproduce (FAO - INADES, 1976, 33 p.)
close this folderAnimal health
close this folderDiseases
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentVaccination
View the documentLooking after ill animals


Besides parasites that live on animals' skin or in their bodies, there are many diseases which prevent animals from growing and which may even kill them.

In the animal husbandry courses on chickens, cattle, sheep and goats, we shall deal with the diseases which each kind of animal may have:

· Diseases due to germs, such as anthrax, rinderpest, pox, pneumonia.
· Diseases due to bad feeding through lack of mineral salts (see Booklet No. 8, page 17).

An animal that is badly fed, badly housed, badly looked after, resists disease badly. It is often ill.

For animals to resist disease, a good farmer must: feed them well (see Booklet No. 8, page 10); give them clean water to drink (see Booklet No. 8, page 18); house them well (see Booklet No. 8, page 34); treat their wounds (see page 5).

A good way of controlling diseases is to protect the animals by vaccination.


A child is vaccinated before it is ill in order to prevent it becoming ill.
An animal should be vaccinated before it is ill, to prevent it becoming ill.
Vaccination tires animals a little, but it is not dangerous if the animals are well housed and well fed.

For example:

Chickens are vaccinated for fowl diphtheria, fowl cholera, fowl pest.
Cows are vaccinated for pneumonia and anthrax.
Pigs are vaccinated for anthrax and swine erysipelas.
Sheep are vaccinated for anthrax and foot- and- mouth disease.
You must take all the animals to be vaccinated.
Usually vaccination is compulsory and free of charge.
If all farmers do not take their animals to be vaccinated, the animals which have not been vaccinated may catch the disease. Then the disease remains in the district.

Looking after ill animals

To look after ill animals, you must:

· Go and see the veterinary surgeon.
When a man is ill, he goes to the doctor.
When an animal is ill, ask advice from the veterinary assistant or the veterinary surgeon.
The assistant will tell you what medicine to give the animal.

· Keep the animal alone, by itself.
Because of the danger of infecting other animals.
There are two kinds of disease:

· contagious diseases
These are diseases which can pass from one animal to another.
If one animal in a herd is ill, it can give this disease to all the other animals. For example, rinderpest and anthrax are contagious diseases.

· non- contagious diseases

These are diseases which do not pass from one animal to another. If one animal is ill with such a disease, this disease is no danger to the other animals.

When an animal has a contagious disease it must be kept alone by itself.

Do not leave it with the rest of the herd. In this way you keep the disease away from the whole herd.

You must not eat the meat of animals which have died from certain contagious diseases such as tuberculosis. This disease can pass from animals to people.

You must not let your herd mix with strange herds travelling through, especially if they come from far away. Passing herds can bring diseases with them.

Do not put in your herd an animal you have bought, or which comes from elsewhere, unless you are sure it has been vaccinated. The animal may bring disease to all the herd.

To make a country's animal husbandry modern, veterinary services are necessary. All farmers should follow the advice of these services.

· Remember that a good way of controlling diseases is to give pastures a period of rest.