The temperature gets cold during Rabi season, so we need to create suitable precautions to safeguard our animals from cold stress so that they don’t get sick (respiratory difficulties) and can continue to produce.
Feed additional roughages (hay, straws, etc.) or forages (berseem) to keep the dairy cows’ milk production and body heat up. For large animals producing 10 liters of milk, 25-30 kg of leguminous fodder like berseem with 10-kilogram straw are required. Additional 3 kg concentrates in the form of grains such as maize, wheat, oats, and oil cakes can meet the body temperature requirements of large animals. If grains are too expensive or unavailable, oil cakes such as mustard oil cake, cotton seed cake, and others can be fed in the appropriate dose. Keep animals indoors to avoid Pneumonia and Hypothermia-like conditions, but make sure they have adequate ventilation. Use curtains (tarpaulin, bamboo, dry grass, paddy straw, jute bags, guinea bags, jute, etc.) around the animal housing in case it becomes loose. Farmers in India used to light fires in the animal houses to keep the animals warm while also removing gases from the shed. The animals should be dewormed on a regular basis. Ensure that the animals are vaccinated against FMD, PPR, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, Enterotoxaemia, Black Quarter, and other diseases.
Sheep and Goat
Each sheep and goat should have at least 1 m2 of floor area. The floor should be non-slip and insulated with hay, husk, straws, and other materials. Animals may huddle close for warmth in cold weather, but this raises the risk of injury and respiratory infections. Goats are tough animals with thick coats of hair that require the least amount of care. Maize or oats can be added to the diet to assist boost the energy level of the meal. To achieve the desired weight gain, give sheep and goats 200-250 grams of grains. To protect against stomach and round worms, sheep and goats should be dewormed many times a year. In November or December, deworming should be done. During the winter months, lice and mites become more common. Anemia, a bad coat, and bad skin can all be symptoms of a bad infestation. As de-lousing agents, permethrins and pyrethrins are recommended. Ivermectin can be used with a veterinarian’s approval.
Birds release a lot of moisture in their breath and droppings, which is bad for their health. If ventilation is restricted, ammonia builds up in the air, causing respiratory difficulties. As a result, they require a lot of fresh air to circulate around the house. Floor should be covered with saw dust, shredded newspapers, grain husk, etc. before chick is placed in house, and Bukharis or heaters or lights should be installed to keep temperature. Food is used by poultry for two major purposes: as an energy source to maintain body temperature and carry out normal physiological processes, and as a building material for bone, meat, feather, and egg production. As a result, a sufficient, balanced, and healthy diet should be provided. If the water is chilly enough, it should be given to the chicken after adding hot water to bring the temperature up to normal. Many vaccines, medicines, and anti-stress vitamins are administered to chickens via water. Ensure that the poultry shed is free of pests and rodents. Feed should be stored in a dry location to avoid contact with moisture.
Fish, as a cold-blooded aquatic animal, require specific attention throughout the winter months. The fish chooses to reside in the bottom zone since the surface water is colder than the bottom layers. Farmers should preserve the water depth at 6 feet or more so that the animals can hibernate in the warmer bottom zone. During the winter, when day length and light intensity decrease, oxygen levels in ponds decrease due to reduced photosynthetic activity, especially in gloomy conditions. Fresh water or aerators can be used to aerate ponds, especially during the early hours of the day. It is recommended that you stop feeding if the temperature drops. Excess feed is not digested and collects at the pond’s bottom, causing the water quality to deteriorate.