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Principles of Farm Animal Husbandry - Intensive and Extensive Farming

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Introduction

Principles of Farm Animal Husbandry Intensive and Extensive Farming The terms intensive and extensive within farm animal husbandry refer to the methods animals are raised and processed. Intensive farming - Generally referred to as industrial and factory farming, this method is used to aid mass production of meats and dairy. Farm animals are kept in specially built units all year round in order to better control feeding and management. Examples of these can be found in battery cages to house chickens to aid egg collection, and farrowing crates to restrict sows within breeding units. Animals can be fed, watered and cleaned by automatic systems such as feed hoppers and drinkers. Extensive farming - Can also be linked with free-range, animals are able to freely move around and graze outdoors. This method is usually utilised in regions with a lesser demand, such as more open rural areas. There are some cases where animals can be part intensive and extensively farmed. For example, a sheep may spend the majority of it's time outdoors, but will be brought indoors and intensively farmed during lambing season. One of the negative impacts created by intensive farming is the increase in manure. Before intensive farming was introduced, farmers would ordinarily spread livestock manure onto fields for the crops benefit. ...read more.

Middle

Monitoring for signs of disease, stress, illness, infestation and lameness is essential to ensure this can be dealt with appropriately and promptly. Ensuring all farm animals have appropriate vaccinations against diseases, such as bluetongue in cattle. Procedures should be in place to isolate and treat any injured or sick animal. Any animals should be humanely killed if found to be incurable. "4. Freedom to express most normal behaviour - By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals own kind;" Farmers should determine space allowance according to animal, class, age, and size. For example, DEFRA provide this table as an example of good practise within housed sheep - (1) Normal social interaction is important too, for example, pigs housed indoors are kept in groups after weaning, usually separated by gender. Toys, like footballs, can also help with the enrichment of the animal. "5. Freedom from fear and distress - By ensuring conditions and treatment to avoid mental suffering." (2) Ensuring stock-keepers are fully trained and have the knowledge and skills to carefully manage any farm animal sympathetically, from being able to handle and herd the animals effectively, to providing accurate injury or illness care. Environment and Housing Requirements for Pigs The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2003 states there are different requirements, in terms of space and temperature, dependant on the stage, size and class of pig. ...read more.

Conclusion

Livestock Health and Welfare There are two main factors to be taken into account whilst discussing health and welfare, those being mental and physical. In terms of livestock mental health and welfare, one of the factors to take into account would be the animal's stimulus. This could be objects the animal can entertain itself with, such as a ball, or even just animals of the same species to interact with. An animal may suffer mentally or become stressed if it is left segregated without anything to aid mental enrichment. On the physical side, illnesses common within certain farm animals may be a problem if not properly vaccinated against, illnesses such and foot and mouth among pigs and cattle. Respiratory problems can occur if housing for farm animals does not have the required ventilation measures in place. Issues could occur during the transportation of livestock; whether this is physical in that the animal is mishandled or if the transportations flooring is not so as to prevent slipping, or mentally in that the animal may become stressed, especially if force is used within the process. All these aspects and more all come down to one main factor, stockmanship. Providing stock-keepers have the acquired knowledge and skills from onsite training and relevant courses, these factors should all be well manageable. From handling skills and care, to preventing and treating illnesses and parasites, and other general maintenance required to ensure health and welfare is upheld. ...read more.

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