How to Livestock

Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest updates news and tips on how to turn your livestock farming into a success.

How to provide enough water for your herd

Clean drinking water is an absolute essential for livestock, says Shane Brody. If animals don’t get enough to drink or the quality of the water is poor, their health will suffer, and the farmer’s profits will decrease as well.

Want higher prices for your calves? Dehorn them!

In crushes and while being transported on trucks, cattle with sharp horns can inflict severe injuries to one another, reducing the price of such animals. Dehorning is the only effective solution, says Shane Brody.

Flies are not just irritating; they can be dangerous

If you’re a livestock farmer, you’ll know that ticks can introduce many dangerous diseases to domestic animals. But did you now that stable flies and houseflies can also be a serious threat? Shane Brody explains.

Buying in livestock: do your research to prevent problems

When purchasing livestock to start a new farming enterprise or increase the size of your existing herd, you need to make sure the arrivals will thrive. So do your homework well, says Shane Brody.

How to spot the African and Asian blue ticks

Prof Maxime Madder, Prof Ivan Horak and Dr Hein Stoltsz look at the African and Asian blue ticks, as well as the Karoo paralysis tick, and explain how farmers can spot the differences between these dangerous parasites.

Make your own electrolyte solutions

Sheep and goats that suffer from worm infestation or consume toxic plants can get severe diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and death very quickly. An electrolyte solution can save your animals’ lives.

Choosing a good-quality breeding bull

A poorly bred beef animal will not produce high-priced meat cuts. Instead, the beef will be used for cheaper products such as sausages and mince. In turn, you will earn far less money, says Shane Brody.

How to keep livestock calm and stress-free

Over and above their physical needs, animals have emotional needs, and these are often overlooked. Stress in livestock should be avoided at all costs, Leon Kruger, a lecturer at the University of the Free State’s Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences, told Annelie Coleman.

How to recognise the ticks plaguing your livestock

Prof Maxime Madder, Prof Ivan Horak and Dr Hein Stoltsz look at three important tick species in South Africa and their effects on livestock, and offer tips for farmers on how they can identify these pests.

Guard dogs: which breed is best?

Many experts will tell you that it’s essential to have a mixture of dog breeds on a farm. Some farmers, for example, have terriers that stay inside their houses at night, while their larger dogs stand guard outside.

Get the basics right, and you’ll make a lot more money

To compete successfully against commercial farmers, communal farmers need to upgrade their infrastructure, manage grazing properly and implement proper health protocols, says Shane Brody.

How to choose a guard dog for your farm

When it comes to protecting your life and belongings, dogs can be highly valuable assets. But since there are hundreds of breeds out there, selecting the right one to guard your family and farm can be a difficult task. Magda du Toit spoke to some experts to find out which dog breed would make a farmer’s best pal.