Backyard Cattle Raising, Part 2 Utilization

Utilization of Farm By-Products to Cattle Feed

1. Rice Straw – chopped rice straw can be fed to growing-fattening cattle up to 40% of the total ration. If baled or stacked and adequately protected from weather, rice straw can be used as additional source of energy anytime of the year when feed supply is short. It contains 3-4% protein, 0.04-0.08% phosphorus and 0.20- 0.30% calcium.

2. Corn Cobs (without kernels) – can be coarsely ground and fed to cattle up to 45% of total ration. It contains 45% total digestible nutrients and 3% crude protein. Although containing higher crude fiber, it is more digestible than rice straw.


Proper housing is important in successful cattle fattening operation. Adequately protect animals against the adverse effects of weather when they are raised in relatively small areas. Animals in backyard cattle farms are usually tethered along roadsides and in backyards during the day and confined in a shed or corral at night.

The permanent type of housing consisting of GI roofing, timber frames, concrete floor, feed trough and water troughs are used in most farms. The shelter is open-sided and is located near the farmer’s house or under the shade trees. Building height ranges from 1.7 to 1.9 meters while the width varies from 2.1 to 2.7 meters. Each animal can be allocated with 1.5 to 4.5 sq. meters. The plan of the cattle shed is presented below.

Marketing of Fattened Cattle

Six months after the date of purchase, fattened cattle should weigh approximately 275 to 325 kilograms and be ready for market.

Properly handle animals during transport to the market to prevent serious injury or even death. See to it that animals are safely loaded. Avoid steep ramps. Do not lift animals bodily into the truck. A gradually sloping ramp with side railings is advisable. To ensure better footing see to it that animals do not slip and fall during transport. Provide adequate rice straw or rice hall beddings. Remove all protruding objects such as nails and splinters from trucks. Also, check for cracked or missing boards that may injure the animals.

Overloading and underloading of trucks cause crippling and bruising of animals. Load them quietly and gently. Pushing or sticking them may cause stress, resulting in weight loss and lower profits. It is better to transport animals in the evening if trucks are not covered.

The market for beef cattle is classified into three groups: consumers, processors and institutional buyers. The last group include hotels, restaurants, burger joints, fastfood chains, cafeterias, supermarkets and hospitals.

Common Diseases of Cattle

1. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

  • Cause : Enterovirus of major strains -A, O & C
  • Transmission : Direct contact with sick animals excreting the virus; Indirect transmission by ingestion of contaminated feeds; Contact with infected products and animal excretion by inhalation.
  • Symptom : High fever, depression, appearance of vesicles and blisters with fluid on tongue, gums, udders and inter digital spaces; flowing saliva; animal refuses to eat, becomes lame and refuses to stand.
  • Control: Regular FMD vaccination every 6 months in areas where the disease is common

2. Hemorrhagic Septicemia

2a. Cause :

  • Common bacterial disease characterized by hemorrhage (escape of blood from the blood vessels) and septicemia ( a condition manifested by the generalized presence of pathogenic bacteria and the associated poisons in the blood). The disease is rapid in onset and runs a relatively short course.

2b. Transmission:

  • Direct contact with infected animals
  • Ingestion of contaminated feedstuffs
  • By aerosol

2c. Symptoms:

  • Sudden increase in body temperature (41-42°C)
  • Profuse salivation
  • Severe depression
  • Development of hot, painful swelling on the throat, dewlap
  • Difficulty in breathing and
  • Development of signs of pulmonary alimentary involvement in the later stages.

2d. Control:

  • Isolate and quarantine infected premises.
  • Promptly dispose of carcasses of dead animals by burning burying in soil.
  • Segregate sick animals and treat them with antibiotics.
  • Vaccinate apparently healthy and unexposed animals.
  • Sterilize and .disinfect used instruments and equipment.

3. Anthrax

3a. Description:

  • Anthrax is a peracute disease characterized by septicemia and sudden death with the exudation of tarry blood from the natural body openings. It is a dis- ease virtually of all warm-bloodied animals, including man.

3b. Transmission:

  • Direct Contact -Spread from one animal to another, wherein the bacili are excreted in the urine, feces, saliva and from the natural body openings contaminating the area
  • Ingestion
  • Indirect transmission through airborne via respiratory tract (inhalation) or vector borne through stable files and mosquitoes.

3c. Cause:

  • Caused by large, gram-positive, aerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. In cultures, it forms long chains which, unstained, appear as solid filaments because the square ends of the individual cells fit very closely together.
  • Under low magnification, the margin of the colonies which lie in parallel formation look like locks of hair. It is for this reason that they are sometimes described as “Medusa head” colonies.

3d. Symptoms :

  1. Peracute form (1-2 hours)
    • Sudden death
    • Unclotted blood comes out from the natural openings
  2. Acute form (24-48 hours)
    • depression
    • fever
    • difficulty in breathing
    • loss of appetite
    • swelling in hind quarters
    • hemorrhage in many parts of the body
    • death
    • diarrhea stained with unclotted blood coming from the natural body openings
  3. Chronic form (48 hours or more)
    • swelling (ventral muscle, thorax, shoulder)
    • edema
    • difficulty in breathing
    • death

3e. Prevention/Control:

  • Control by immunization
  • Proper disposal of dead animal by burning or deep burial. Quicklime should be used to cover the body before covering with soil. The depth should be 2 meters.
  • Decontamination of all contaminated pens, feeding materials, beddings, etc.
  • Avoid contact with infected animals and contaminated animal by- products
  • Reduce movement of animals
  • Quarantine infected areas
  • Practice environmental and personal hygiene
  • Control insects and flies
  • Notify the proper authority in case of outbreak.


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