ASCI 223 - Lab 6 -Flock health

ASCI 223 - Lab 6 -Flock health - FLOCK HEALTH Owners of...

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FLOCK HEALTH Owners of livestock spend considerable amounts of time and money attempting to maintain the health of their animals. It is important then, to define health. Even though many definitions or interpretations may exist, there are two approaches that we can use with sheep in defining the term. The first would be that health is the absence of disease. Disease can be defined as anything that results in less than optimal production or performance of an animal. It is important to note that in this definition, the word "optimal" may or may not indicate "greatest or highest". In fact, it is the drive to produce more pounds of meat, milk, or fiber per sheep that creates sick animals. Another concept to consider when defining health is to consider the quality of life - with a high quality of life being equated with health and a low quality of life being associated with disease. The quality of life for all animals (regardless of size or specie) is determined by four factors. All animals have to live somewhere (habitat). All animals require a sufficient diet (nutrition). All animals have a selective advantage (genetics) for a particular habitat. All animals have a certain way of getting things done (behavior). Therefore, a healthy animal will need to be in a habitat that it is adapted to, have a diet that fulfills all of its needs, the genetics needed to perform in a normal fashion within its environment, and the ability to exhibit its normal behavior. These processes are all interlinked such that you cannot pretend to solve disease "problems" without consideration of all four at the same time. One of the first considerations that a manager must have when confronted with the management of flock health is whether the problem is an individual one or a population concern. Very often, what may be treated or dealt with as an individual "problem" is really a "symptom" of trouble for the entire flock. However, there are many situations (mastitis, some infections, entropion, etc.) where the problem is one of an individual. What we will come to realize is that more and more of the health maintenance of our flocks will come as a result of treating disease as a population concern. There is always a question as to whether we should try to prevent disease - or wait until it sets in
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ASCI 223 - Lab 6 -Flock health - FLOCK HEALTH Owners of...

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