Customised management proposed for cattle in summer
At a time when there is enormous rise in temperature in the State, dairy cattle require customised management measures, T.P. Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU), has said.
Addressing an interactive programme organised by the varsity to sensitise the farming community on the steps to be adopted during extreme summer, at Padinjarethara here on Thursday, Dr. Sethumadhavan said customised management measures would help farmers maintain milk production.
“Animals need to be supplemented with green fodder or fish liver oil, along with mineral mixtures, to address Vitamin A deficiency during summer,” he said. Precision feeding and management measures must be adopted to maintain optimum production, he added.
“Scientific housing and milking management measures should be practised to prevent mastitis. Keeping cattle in highly-ventilated bedded sheds or under the shade of trees after frequent showers will reduce heat stress. There are reports that dairy farmers are compelled to dispose of their cows owing to lack of potable water. But animals should not be made to drink from stagnant ponds,” Dr. Sethumadhavan warned.
Considering that dairying is an enterprise where water requirement was high as compared to other livestock ventures, the varsity has developed an automatic thermo control system based on temperature humidity index recently to address the issue, and the technology will be transferred to the farming community soon, Dr. P.T. Sooraj, Assistant professor and head of cattle breeding farm, Thumboormuzhy, who developed the system, said. More than 150 farmers attended the programme.
Animals should be supplemented with green fodder or fish liver oil, along with mineral mixtures, to address Vitamin A deficiency.