How To Raise Happy & Healthy Farm Animals

Alice Newen | 30 January, 2024

            How To Raise Happy & Healthy Farm Animals

As a pet owner, you want the best for your animals. But how can you ensure that they receive the necessary care? Farm animals are managed and cared for differently than suburban and urban pets. Here is all the information needed to raise happy and healthy farm animals, whether you keep chickens, pigs, cows, or horses.

Importance of raising healthy and happy farm animals 

According to research, livestock producers identify animal welfare primarily with health and place special attention on minimising pain, stress, sickness, and other variables that may negatively affect their animals' health. 

Level of animal health provision
Image credit: Frontiers

However, raising healthy and happy animals on a farm benefits both the farmer and the animal. Good health gives animals the best chance at living a long, enriching life. If animals are kept in a comfortable, stress-free environment, they will be more productive and produce higher-quality milk and eggs.

The benefits of raising happy and healthy animals

Produce, such as dairy or meat products, and other exceptional foods are essential to an agricultural operation's success. And it begins with having well-cared-for animals and regularly assessing for health and welfare. Caring for animals helps us develop empathy and respect for all living things; it can also strengthen our connection with nature as we observe our food sources first-hand. 

And adequately cared for animals are typically more productive. People who purchase their goods can also reap the animals' good health benefits, such as healthier milk or egg production and leaner, more tasty meat products.

Proper care and management

Proper care and effective management of farm animals is a responsibility that must be taken seriously by any livestock owner. This includes ensuring cattle or sheep have access to quality food, water, shelter, basic medical care, and a safe and comfortable environment. 

This can guarantee that animals bred for meat, milk, or eggs are in the best possible health. Good management helps ensure the animals remain healthy and generate high-quality, cost-effective goods.

For animals that are there to assist humans in operating a farm or to provide companionship, such as dogs and horses, keeping them happy and healthy is just as crucial. Providing proper care and the right equipment, like saddles, bridles, and reins, for horse riding can help ensure the comfort and safety of both the rider and the horse. 

Keep all this equipment in a designated shed to be clean and organised. Happy pets can also help reduce stress and anxiety and ease any loneliness on a property.

How to tell if the animals aren’t thriving

A farmer’s primary obligation is to ensure the health and happiness of the animals, and it is crucial to ensure the animals are kept in their natural environments, given adequate nutrition, and protected from the elements. 

Providing an environment where animals are free to wander and interact will help boost their physical and mental health. In addition, supplying clean bedding material, like hay or straw, regularly will make all types of animals more comfortable. 

Investments should also be made in medical care by contacting a veterinarian regarding potential diseases, immunisations, and treatments to avoid spreading sickness. If you notice any of the following in your animals, something isn’t right:

  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Lethargy.
  • Decreased produce supply.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Limping or change in stance.
  • Swelling on any part of the body.
  • Nasal or eye discharge. 

If you notice any of the above, it’s best to have a vet take a look as soon as possible. A pet care course will also help you learn more about your pet's health,, including some warning signs to look out for.

Tips for raising happy, healthy farm animals

Caring for farm animals involves commitment. It comes with huge returns since healthy and happy animals create a safer environment for other animals and humans and reap financial benefits for high-quality produce. Remember to have,

  • Ample outside space to roam.
  • Fresh water is always available; cows need 150L a day each.
  • Comfortable bedding and shelter, where required (chicken pens, horse barns).
  • Clean pens and shelters, free from disease.
  • Good grooming. For example, hooves and shearing.
  • Companionship for herd animals, such as goats and alpacas.
  • Well-balanced food is incorporated into their daily routine.
  • Plenty of human interaction. Pet the cows, ride the horses, etc.
  • Pharmaceuticals or vitamin-enriched supplements when necessary; worming, etc.
  • Your veterinarian’s number is on speed dial.
  • Plenty of opportunities for exercise.

Summing up

Providing farm animals with quality care and management is crucial to the success of a farm and can benefit both the animal and the farmer.

Not only does adequate care improve the living conditions of these animals, but it also provides farmers with a greater return on their investment in terms of animal product output and animal companionship.

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