Oladele Bukola, a veterinary doctor at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan, Oyo State, has advised pastoralist to provide portable water for their animals through wells and boreholes.
Oladele Bukola said this was one of the ways that animal farmers could alleviate the sufferings of their animals and keep them healthy during the dry season.
He told the Newsmen on Thursday in Ibadan that the farmers could achieve this by sinking wells and drilling boreholes for their animals within their farm lands.
He said that such water must be treated with sanitizers (chlorine) at least once a month and also advised them to always ensure that they did not serve such treated water to their animals until after 24 hours.
The veterinary doctor advised them to ensure that their water storage tanks are shaded from heat or sunlight to prevent such water from getting warm or hot.
He added that they must not serve their animals food in the afternoon but only cool portable water.
“This means that you only feed your animals in the mornings and evenings.
“Farmers must make sure they add anti- stress (multivitamin) to the water meant for their animals to drink.
“Coolants such as electric fans, air conditioners, and fog (light shower) must be made available in houses where animals are kept to make such environments be conducive for them.
“Also, trees, plants may be planted around the Pen to reduce heat and dust that can affect the animals.
“They also must conduct laboratory tests on samples of blood, urine, faecal for easy diagnosis of diseases before administering drugs on any animal.
“Drugs recommended by veterinarians for animals must be used immediately and appropriately by the pastoralists,” he said.
He added that as part of the bio-security, farmers should fence their farms to protect their animals and prevent any intruders from gaining access to them and that farm equipment should not be shared with other pens or farms while equipment and vehicles should be disinfected before and after entering any other farm.
According to him, animals from outside a particular farm must be quarantined before mixing them with the old flock.
“Sick bay must be made available for the isolation of sick animals while selective treatment of sick animals must be done immediately.
“On the whole, the government should assist farmers by subsidising the costs of animal feeds and drugs as well as in the sinking of boreholes on many of the farms for animals’ drinking and irrigation purposes,” he said.