The intensive system of livestock production refers to management practice where animals are confined and by implication are not allowed to forage or fend for themselves under similar practice; a fenced land area may be designated as grazing area or paddock, usually adjacent to animal pens.
This method include the intensive system of livestock production of livestock animals like: Sheep (merino sheep, dorper sheep, etc.), Cattle (highland cattle, angus cattle, holstein friesian cattle, brahman cattle, jersey cattle, beef cattle, charolais cattle, Goats like the boer goat, Nigerian dwarf goat, angora goat, alpine goat, saanen goat and many more.
Often high cost resulting from labor costs, expensive feed or a large investment in one of the farm assets such as land, housing or animals as such products are highly priced and optimum productivity is desirable to achieve success or economic viability. Housing facilities managed under hygienic condition are provided for the stock and appropriate medications and health management are offered as well.
Of significant importance is the provision of good quality feed that is sufficiently balanced in the required nutrients and quality for animals to perform optimally under confinement.
Agro-industrial and farm wastes constitute bulk of feed material for intensively managed stock. Stall feeding is the method commonly adopted in this system.
The system is commonly found in lowland, Europe, where it was introduced by colonial settlers into Africa and Asia. Herds or flocks are kept in large sizes on an expense of land area surrounding by fence. Imported breeds or their crosses are stocked under ranches.
Pasture as the main source of feed receives quality improvement in form of agronomic inputs, maintenance, conservation and control. As such, control or rotational grazing form part of daily management practices to ensure sufficient good quality forage throughout the year.
Young ruminants are engaged in creep grazing to permit access to better and uncontaminated pasture than the older stock. It ensures sufficient time for the grazed portion to recover and to produce sufficient re-growth.
Specific time for recovery of a pasture is strictly monitored to ensure production of non-fibrous but highly digestible forage. A rotational or spelling period of seven weeks is usually allowed for vegetable recovery of a paddock to obtain good nutritional balance.
However, a longer period of 10 weeks is required to control parasitic worm infestation in a paddock striking a balance between nutritional and veterinary requirement may be difficult, however, behooves the manager to reach out for appropriate compromise.
Ranching system depends importantly on availability of good quality forage throughout the year for encamped stock. It is therefore recommended for areas with sufficient rainfall to support good growth of pasture grass.
Intensive System Finishing (Feedlot Fattening)
Intensive finishing represents the final stage in meat-type production system for ruminant animal. Although it requires relatively expensive inputs, the high-valued products often derived more than compensate for the cost of production.
The span of intensive finishing is usually limited to a period of 3-4 months for cropping a set of fatteners. Where lager number of stock is to be kept together in a confinement, standard of management needs to be high. Finishing units are located in near towns and large urban centres where there is great demand for meat.
The intensity of management of inputs reflects on the high quality of feedstuff offered and veterinary services administered, which to a large extent determine functionality and success of the system.
Intensive finishing is usually programmed to target religious period when it becomes obligatory for adherents of Islamic faith to slaughter animals for sacrifice.
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