If you’ve ever owned an animal, you’d know it takes a lot of patience and effort to properly care for one. Whether it’s a puppy or a goldfish, each pet has unique challenges, and the same goes for owning a farm animal.
If you have a goat, a cow, or maybe some hens on your farm or are thinking of getting some, you need to know that a lot goes into caring for them. Just providing food and water isn’t going to cut it. You need to remember they’re living beings that get sick, feel pain, and display emotion.
That’s why today we’ve compiled a list of 6 tips that should help you care for your farm animals like they deserve. Whether it’s about their health, diet, or shelter, we’ve got you covered. So, read on to find out how to keep your animals healthy and happy.
- Monitor Their Health
To take care of your animals, you must take steps to monitor their health and make sure everything is in order. Start by regularly checking the animals for signs of illness or injury. You can spot the signs by staying alert and watching for changes in behavior, eating habits, and appearance.
Now, if you happen to spot something out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care. Look for appropriate farm animal vet care providers near you because they have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide appropriate medical attention to your animals.
Besides this, regular checkups and preventive care can catch and prevent potential issues before they escalate. You must remember that animals can’t express their discomfort the way we can, so it’s your job to be vigilant.
- Provide Food and Water
In some ways, farm animals are just like humans – they require a healthy and balanced diet to thrive. And just like us, they can become dehydrated and sick without enough water. And it’s not just enough to feed them and give them water to drink; you must make sure it’s fulfilling their dietary requirements and is sanitary.
Each animal has its own nutritional needs that you should know and provide. Another thing to think about is your objectives when raising farm animals and decide on food choices accordingly. For example, if your goal is to raise a cow for milk, you might want to incorporate some vitamins and minerals that’ll help boost production.
But one thing to look out for is overfeeding and underfeeding. This can cause serious health problems in your animals and must be avoided. Work with animal nutrition specialists to help you plan an appropriate and ethical diet.
- Manure and Mud
Now, if you’ve got a bunch of animals on your farm, you need to get down and dirty – this means dealing with lots of manure and mud. Although some animals, like pigs, enjoy a certain amount of mud time, it all still needs to be monitored and controlled.
Large amounts of mud and manure building up in your farm animals’ shelter may cause your animals to feel uneasy. What’s more, rain and night chills worsen the situation. It’s a recipe for disaster that’ll lead to some sick animals.
You can reduce the collection of the manure-mud mixture by sweeping fresh sand, wood chips, gravel, and tile throughout the shelter floor as needed. But don’t forget that it all needs to be handled with proper sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease.
- Maintain Their Space
With multiple farm animals, chances are their whole lives are spent on your farm. You need to maintain their living spaces so they have space to run around and roam about. In the age of technology, there are many options available for tracking them in case they run too far off.
Still, there are some animals, like chickens, that are kept in tighter living quarters. In that case, you must make sure these areas are properly maintained and, of course, clean.
Also, it’s a good idea to check the strength and quality of your fencing from time to time to ensure no animal breaks free or gets trapped and hurt because of them.
- Safe Herding
If you’ve got a big farm with cattle, you might feel the need to herd them. For this, you’ve got to think about how you will move and control your herds. For example, before raising sheep or cattle, you’ll need an approach to herd the animals when turning pasture or leading them from fields and back home at the end of the day.
One good way to do this is by getting cattle dogs or other guardian animals for the livestock. Shepherd dogs, for example, are good at herding sheep and protecting farm animals. But make sure to use the proper equipment, grasp animal behavior, offer a safe environment, and avoid overworking the animals.
- Be Kind to Them
At the end of the day, farm animals, like us and other animals, show emotions and have needs. They can pick up on your behavior toward them and react to it. Be nice to them, get to know them, and treat them with love. This will help get them more comfortable living on your farm, and they will ultimately be healthier and happier.
Another way to make them more comfortable is by letting them be near their other herd buddies. If you notice any attachments and farm friendships going on, support them. They have certain social needs that need to be fulfilled.
You might find that connecting with your farm animals helps you too. By spending time with them, you’ll notice each animal’s different personality, and maybe you’ll form a special bond with them that’ll help you in surprising ways.
Having and caring for a farm animal requires commitment, dedication, and deep-rooted respect for them. But if it’s something you can handle, it can be incredibly rewarding and just plain fun. They are super adorable, after all.
Yet, caring for farm animals involves more than fulfilling their basic needs. It involves knowing how they act instinctively and building a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive.
You have a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of these creatures and build a more sustainable and humane future for them. By complying with the animal care tips above, you can help support good health, prevent disease and injury, and foster a sense of confidence between humans and animals.