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Livestock Health - Agriculture Form 2

Suggested Practical Activities in Livestock health

Activity 1
Learners to visit a livestock farm unit and observe and identify signs of good and bad health in livestock.

Activity 2
b) Learners to take the body temperatures and determine the pulse rate of various,farm animals then fill in the table below

Introduction to Livestock Health

Background Information

In your previous studies, you were introduced to factors that affect agriculture. Among these factors are biotic factors. Biotic factors include pathogens and parasites, among others. Pathogens and parasite attack farm animals causing disease.

  • Pastoral-nomadism exposes animals to a higher risk of attack by diseases and parasites.

  • Indigenous animals have a higher resistance and tolerance to tropical diseases and parasites than the exotic animals. However, farmers prefer keeping exotic animals due to their high productivity.
  • The quality and quantity of products obtained from these animals depend on their health.

See the video below to appreciate healthy farm animals

Introduction to Livestock Health


A state in which all the body organs or parts and systems are considered normal and are functioning normally.


Any deviation or alteration in state of body of animal or its organs which interrupts with the proper performance of its functions.

Microorganism that is able to cause diseases.

An organism that depends on another for food and /or shelter and therefore causing harm to it.

Predisposing factors

Predisposing factors are those conditions inside or outside the body of an animal which lead to the animal contracting a disease or injury).

Is the restriction of movement of animals and their products from and into the affected areas in the event of an outbreak must be reported to a government authority such as veterinary officer or the police.

Are preparations meant to stimulate the production of antibodies in animals.
Isolationof sick animals.

This is the separation and confinement of a sick animal from the healthy ones.


Treatment- medication administered to animals during the period of high likely disease occurrence intended to prevent disease infection.
Curative treatment

Medication administered to animals to counter pathogenic infections.

Introduction to Livestock Health

Topic Objectives

By the end of the topic, you should be able to

define health.
describe signs of sickness in animals.
state the importance of maintaining livestock healthy.
state the predisposing factors of animal diseases.
categorize animal diseases.
carry out their control practices.
demonstrate a caring attitude towards livestock.

Livestock Health I (Introduction to Livestock Health)


This topic will cover the importance of keeping a healthy stock. It explores factors that predispose livestock to diseases and the general methods of control.
Health of animals is important in livestock production. Proper identification of diseases enables the stockperson to carry out timely control and treatment in animals.

Healthy Cow

Introduction to Livestock Health

Healthy animals

A healthy animal has all its body organs functioning properly. Regular inspection of the herd shall enable the stockman to identify the earliest symptoms of disease. Inspection should be done with a view to timely apply the appropriate disease control measures

Inspection of an animal

Introduction to Livestock Health

Importance of keeping animals healthy

Healthy animals grow fast, have a longer economic and productive life. They produce high quality products and do not spread diseases to other animals or human beings.

Livestock diseases

In pastoral-nomadism, the young and aged animals are more susceptible to diseases and parasite attack the middle aged ones. There are other diseases that are restricted to certain breeds and species of animals. Animals that are well fed have higher tolerance to disease and parasite attack.

Causes of livestock diseases

Livestock diseases are caused by improper nutrition, ingestion of poisonous chemical substances, living organisms and physical causes.

Among these causes, pathogens remain the major cause of diseases in farm animals.

Introduction to Livestock Health

Appropriate methods of disease control

Apart from proper breeding and selection, nutrition helps to control diseases in livestock. Culling of diseased animals as well as isolation, quarantine, and proper hygiene helps in control of infectious and contagious animal diseases. Curative and prophylactic treatment helps in maintaining good health as well as prevent cross infection.
Bush clearing destroys the habitats favourable for breeding and spread of vectors.Vaccination triggers immune response in animals body against pathogenic infections.

Vaccination of animals body against pathogenic infections

See the video to appreciate vaccination of animals

Introduction to Livestock Health

Introduction to handling livestock

Sometimes it becomes necessary to handle animals in the farm. It is important to handle livestock in the most humane and technical way to avoid stress or injury.

Appropriate methods of handling animals should be observed when:

  • Inspecting animals
  • When administering treatment
  • When controlling parasites
  • During milking
  • When performing routine management practices

Securing the mouth of a pig prevents physical injury of the stockperson when carrying out treatment and other routine management practices.

The head yoke restrains cattle when carrying out routine management practices.

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