Dr. R. Selvakkumar
Ph.D, Associate Professor
Department of Livestock Production Management
Veterinary College and Research Institute
Monsoon is the most important season for India, since most of the farmers only depend on monsoon rain for their agriculture and livestock farming. Monsoon rain is very important for the cultivation of rainfed fodder crops. Even though, the monsoon rains are greeted with mixed feelings, the monsoon rain also has some negative effects on livestock. Sudden change in climatic condition favours the growth of some unwanted microorganism which causes some illness in livestock and poultry. Animals are more prone to some sicknesses and diseases during this period due to the adverse climatic factors like cold, wet housing and water logged grazing field and mouldy feeds etc. Hence, farmers should know the preparedness steps to face the monsoon. Below are some of the key factors for which we should consider during monsoon.
Housing is the foremost important factor in providing comfort to the livestock. Without proper housing we can’t expect the full production potential of our livestock. Further, we should give more emphasis on housing during the monsoon season due to the prevailing adverse climatic factor.
Check the quality of roof
Prior to the start of the monsoon, the roofing structures should be thoroughly checked for their quality. If any damage in the roofing structure, it should be rectified immediately. The roof should be checked for any leakage. Because, leakage of roof during monsoon will further worsen the scenario inside the animal house. Eaves are the protruding end of the roof beyond the supporting wall and it should be in sufficient length to avoid splash of rain water during monsoon. Flashing of rain water will increase the wetness of deep litter in poultry which will be an ideal situation for the coccidiosis problems.
Wet animal standing
Animal standing is nothing but the area in which the animals are standing inside the shed. Non slippery and wet floor is foremost important inside the animal house. During the monsoon the floor should be kept clean and dry. Leak proof roof, proper gradient in the floor and proper ventilation are the factors which will help to keep the floor clean and dry. Keeping some reserve area to change the location of animals during more wet flooring conditions. In poultry the deep litter should be periodically checked for its dryness and the litter with more moisture should be replaced with dry litter material then and there.
During monsoon, the water source is easily contaminated by many factors. So, care must be taken to maintain the quality of water provided to the animals. In case of suspicion the drinking water should be sanitized physically or chemically. The overhead tank along with the entire water delivery line of the farm should be thoroughly checked and cleaned before the onset of monsoon. During grazing, there is a chance for drinking of stagnated water by the animals which are mostly contaminated. Consumption of such contaminated water by the grazing animals will be prevented by providing drinking water to the animals before allowing them for grazing.
Vaccination and control of parasites
Vaccinate animals against the diseases that affect the livestock during monsoon. Particularly vaccinate them against Haemorrhagic septicaemia cattle and small ruminants (HS) and Peste des petits Ruminants (PPR) in small ruminants.
Deworming should be done before the monsoon season as parasitic problems develop at a greater rate during this period. Tick infestation is a common problem during winter and this will cause some haemoprotozoan diseases like trypanosomosis, theileriosis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis. Control measures should be taken to eradicate the tick problems during monsoon.
Keep the surrounding clean and tidy
Clean the unwanted bushes around the livestock farm before the onset of monsoon. Steps should be taken to avoid water stagnation around the farm to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
Providing warmth for the young ones
Monsoon climate is more vulnerable for young ones than adult animals. Because. Over chillness may sometimes cause life threatening situations for the young ones. So, young animals should be provided with warm bedding materials to avoid the chillness from the floor. Temporary curtains may be used to prevent the entry of cool air into the farm.
Before monsoon, we should store sufficient feed and fodder to meet our needs during the monsoon season. Since, the concentrate feed is more prone to mould attack during wet climatic conditions, we should take utmost care while storing the concentrate feed during monsoon. Further, the green fodder available during monsoon is lush in nature and contains more water. Sole feeding of such fodder may sometimes cause voiding of watery dung and this can be prevented by mixing the green fodder with some dry fodder like paddy straw. Animals need energy enriched feed to produce heat to survive in the cold weather. So, ration should be designed in such a way to meet the extra requirement of energy.
Moist floor and soiling of teat and udder are the predisposing factor for mastitis in cattle. Because, a wet floor will act as an ideal medium for the pathogenic organism which causes mastitis. Periodic cleaning and disinfection of the floor, cleaning of udder and teat before and after milking will help to reduce the incidence of mastitis in cattle during winter season.
- Do not allow the animal under trees, which will easily affected by thunderstrike.
- Do not allow the animals during raining.
- Do not tie the animals in the electric post.
- Caution should be taken while handling the electrical and farm equipment during rainy season.
- Do not purchase any new animals during monsoon season.
- Do not allow the animal near the stagnated water.