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Animal Husbandry Knowledge

July 31, 2014
horse

This year, I had the joy of continuing to host livestock skill-a-thon contests at the Owen County Fair and the Clay County Fair.  The winner of the livestock skill-a-thon is not based on how an animal looks, but on the youth’s knowledge of the livestock industry as a whole. So here are a few tidbits of information I hope the youth gained thanks to participating in the livestock skill-a-thons this year.

One of the many things you have to care for with your horse is its hooves. It is recommended for hooves to be trimmed about every 6 weeks.  You can trim your horse’s hooves yourself or you can hire someone else to do it.  Most professionals say to trim your horse’s front hooves at a 45’ angle and the hind hooves at a 55’ angle. Standing in mud for an extended amount of time will soften hooves, increase the risk of your horse getting an infection, like thrush, and can loosen shoes if a horse is shoed. Cleaning out the hooves is also a good thing to do before you work with them and on a daily basis.

Parasites are the number one killer in sheep and goats.  For those not familiar with FAMACHA, it is a non-invasive method of assessing anemia due to Barber Pole worm using the color of the inner eyelid membranes.  Using this method, you can identify those animals that need to be dewormed and selectively deworm them, rather than deworming the whole herd on a schedule.  By selectively deworming, you prevent developing worms resistant to a specific type of wormer.  You can also prevent this resistance by remembering to rotate wormers each time you worm your animals.

Throughout the year from time to time, livestock producers have to give their animals injections.  When doing so, producers need to take the time to think about what they are doing. Before you even restrain the animal to give it the injection, you should think about where you are going to give it at.  Subcutaneous injection is when you deposit the antibiotic between the skin and the muscle.  For a cow or sheep this would be done in the neck or shoulder and for a hog in the elbow pocket.  An intramuscular injection is when you deposit the antibiotic directly into the muscle of the animal.  For a cow or a hog it would go in the neck behind and slightly below the ear. 

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

July 26— Herbs & Flower Arranging, 10-10:45 am, Owen Co. Public Library

August 1-17 – Indiana State Fair

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