Keeping Livestock Healthy: A Veterinary Guide to Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Goats and Sheep, 4th Edition / Edition 4

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 67%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $6.47   
  • New (10) from $11.75   
  • Used (10) from $6.47   


KEEPING LIVESTOCK HEALTHY is one of the recognized classics in its field. Small Farmer's Journal called it "a major contribution to available farm veterinary literature." Modern Veterinary Practice wrote: ". . . highly recommended to all livestock owners." And Farmstead Magazine said, "So admirably organized and indexed that its information is instantly available."

Now completely revised and updated, this fourth edition draws on the very latest research from experts on each of the five animals covered - horses, cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep. It presents new information on vaccines, artificial insemination, ultrasonography, disease testing, drug treatments, and diseases such as Lyme disease, Potomac fever, bluetongue, foot-and-mouth disease, and mad cow disease. This complete reference on livestock health is an invaluable guide to preventing disease through good nutrition, proper housing, and appropriate care.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Keeping Livestock Healthy is a must for any serious livestock owner.” – Journal of the American Veterinary Association

“A major contribution to available farm veterinary literature.” – Small Farmer’s Journal

“Dr. Haynes’ book is not a do-it-yourself manual that gives directions for home treatment with no help on diagnosis. In fact, it might have been entitled ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Livestock Disease But Didn’t Know How or Whom to Ask.’ It’s a book that will be of value to any livestock owner.” — Doc Mettler, American Agriculturist

“…so admirable organized and indexed that its information is instantly available…. Whether your concern is strictly financial, simply sentimental, or both, you should find this book an absolute necessity in your livestock library.” –Farmstead Magazine (no longer in publication)

“[Keeping Livestock Healthy] emphasizes the importance of good care for livestock…. [It is] useful for professional livestock producers and backyard animal raisers alike.” – Farm Industry News

“…highly recommended to all livestock owners.” – Modern Veterinary Practice (not sure if this is still being published. Might be in publication under a different name.)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580174350
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 696,938
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Read an Excerpt

Nutrition and Health

It goes without saying that a well-fed animal is more likely to be a healthy animal. But what is a well-fed animal? What does well-fed mean? There is no simple answer because nutrient requirements vary with age, body weight, stage of gestation, and, for the dairy cow, level of milk production. Extensive research has produced guidelines that help, but they are guidelines only. Feeding cattle or other animals is part science and part art because of individual variation. Animals respond much like people to nutrient intake: at a given level some get thin, some stay the same, and some get fat. A good herd manager recognizes the individual variations in the herd and adjusts feed intake accordingly.


Good cattle nutrition begins with the newborn calf. There are some differences between the dairy and the beef calf that will be pointed out as we go along. As a rule of thumb, young calves should receive 10 percent of their body weight daily of whole milk equivalent. For example, a 100-pound calf should have 10 pounds of milk, or about 5 quarts, daily.

For the first 12 hours of life, calves should have all of the antibody-rich first milk, or colostrum, they can consume. After that period, the calves' ability to absorb antibody from colostrum diminishes rapidly, and its value then becomes primarily nutritional. Because the dairy cow typically produces colostrum far in excess of the needs of her calf and because colostrum is higher in total solids than is whole milk, overfeeding it can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.

The situation differs somewhat with beef calves, and it's customary to leave them with their dams to nurse. Overfeeding problems generally don't occur because most beef cows don't produce milk significantly in excess of need. In fact, beef breeders usually select for cows with extra milking capacity so they will have enough milk to raise a good calf.

Don't Waste Colostrum

While the dairy cow gives more colostrum than her calf needs, the excess need not be wasted. It can be diluted 50 percent with water and fed to other calves or can be stored. It can be frozen and kept indefinitely or stored at room temperature and fed as sour or "pickled" colostrum. It can be held this way for about 3 weeks. While it doesn't look or smell the greatest to us, calves like it and thrive on it.

Where dairy calves are held in group pens, another health consideration related to feeding arises. Young calves will instinctively suck after they are fed and will suck one another's ears and udders if given the opportunity. They should be tied after each feeding for about an hour or until the sucking urge disappears. While sucking ears is not especially harmful, wet ears will freeze if it is below freezing where the calves are housed. Sucking udders may introduce infection that will flare up as mastitis when the udder begins to develop. Equally important, the sucking habit may become fixed as a lifelong habit, and it's not rare for cows to suck their own udders or that of a willing neighbor. This is a vice carried over from calfhood that makes the animal a liability.

Before leaving the subject of feeding milk to calves, there is one recurring question that should be answered. Dairy farmers often ask if it's all right to feed milk from cows with mastitis to calves. Nutritionally it's probably satisfactory and economically it makes sense, but in my opinion such milk should not be used, for two reasons. First, it is usually teeming with pathogenic organisms that caused the mastitis. From a health standpoint, it doesn't make sense to expose the calf to these organisms and at the same time spread them to other areas of the barn. Second, if the infected quarters have been treated with antibiotics and milk from them is fed to calves, the calves will absorb some of the antibiotics and have tissue residues of these antibiotics for varying periods of time thereafter. In the case of streptomycin, it may be over a month, and it is illegal to market veal containing drug residues.

Milk Replacers

Purely for economic reasons, it's sometimes advantageous to use commercially prepared milk replacer rather than whole milk for calves. These powdered products, when reconstituted with water, make a satisfactory milk substitute. Many companies market milk replacers that vary widely in price - and in quality. All of them indicate on the label the composition analysis in terms of protein and fat. But the quality of the protein, for calves, is as important as the amount. The cheaper ones use vegetable sources such as soybean oil meal as the protein source, whereas the better ones use milk by-products. Very young calves do not utilize vegetable protein well, and calves maintained on this type of diet are often stunted and unthrifty. With milk replacers, as with most things, you get about what you pay for.

Frequency of feeding apparently has little significant effect on overall growth of calves. The nursing calf, of course, will get a little milk whenever he feels like it, which is the way nature intended it and which, perhaps, should be considered the ideal. Hand-feeding is almost a necessity for dairy calves, and this creates a labor problem. Most dairy farmers feed their calves twice daily, but research at Cornell University indicates that calves do about as well when fed only once a day. Similarly, it seems to make little difference whether the milk is fed warm or cold. Feeding the total daily intake in one meal of ice cold milk, however, may cause chilling and stomach cramps.


Whatever method is used - once a day, twice a day, warm or cold - sanitation is important. Whether you use ordinary pails, nipple pails, or automatic feeders, these should be scrubbed and sanitized after each use. Milk is the most nearly complete food, and this attribute, which is desirable for young animals, also makes it suitable for bacterial growth. Any amount of milk left in the pail at room temperature becomes a thriving bacterial culture in a few hours. If these happen to be pathogenic, such as some of the Salmonella species, every calf that subsequently drinks from that pail is likely to get sick. Always remember that the calf has virtually no immunity at birth and is vulnerable to every pathogen it encounters. The health of your calves will be proportional to your success in reducing that exposure.

At 1 week of age, calves will begin to eat a little grain and hay. The hay offered should be early cut and of high quality. Consumption will be insignificant at first but will gradually increase to become a major part of the diet at the end of a month. The amount of milk being fed can be reduced commensurately as grain and roughage consumption increases. Calves can usually be weaned from milk at 4 to 6 weeks of age, but it's part of the art of husbandry to tell how fast and how soon. The nutritional problems of the calf, once weaned, become similar to those of the mature cow. The important thing is to keep calves growing and gaining weight steadily. An animal in a weight-gaining condition is more likely to be a healthy animal.

Clean Water

In addition to whatever it eats, whole milk or milk replacer, the growing calf needs clean water. It's ideal to have a supply of fresh water available at all times. However, where physical conditions won't permit this, additional water must be hand-fed by adding it to the milk or separately. A good way to wean calves as they get older is to add increasing amounts of water to a constant amount of milk. Eventually, the solution gets so dilute that when the milk is stopped, the calves hardly miss it. Mature animals should have access to free-choice water at all times.

A complete discussion of the nutrition of the growing and mature cow is beyond the scope of this book. For a concise summary, the reader is referred to Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle and its counterpart for beef cattle, both published by the National Academy of Sciences (see page 330). In it one will find the recommendations for protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins for growing and mature cattle in various weight ranges. For mature cattle, a basic amount is given for maintenance and to this must be added an increment for advanced pregnancy and for milk production.

Balancing the Ration

Also given are examples of how to balance a ration using readily available feedstuffs. Ability to balance a ration is a must for the serious herd manager who wants to feed the animals adequately at minimum cost. Also given is the average nutrient composition of several hundred feed ingredients. These can be used as a guide in formulation of rations, but it's much more reliable to have a forage analysis done on your own hay and silage and, using that as a base, determine how much additional grain is needed to balance the daily ration.

Analysis of forage is a laboratory procedure that, in most states, can be arranged by your Cooperative Extension agent, veterinarian, feed dealer, or a commercial laboratory. Analyses are usually reported in terms of percentage of total digestible nutrients (TDN) and total or crude protein (CP). Mineral and some vitamin analyses can be obtained as well, but usually at added cost.

To illustrate how this information is used, let's assume we have a 700 kg dairy cow giving 20 kg of 3.5 percent butterfat milk daily and due to calve in 2 months. Her daily intake, according to the National Research Council (NRC) standards, should meet the amounts outlined in Table 2-1.

Let's further assume that we have available good-quality mixed alfalfa-brome grass hay to feed this cow. How much will she need to eat to meet her nutritional needs? Looking first at TDN in the feedstuff composition tables, we find that this mixed hay will average 55 percent TDN on a dry-matter basis but that it is only 82.5 percent dry matter with the balance moisture. Our cow needs 6.9 kg of TDN daily. By simple arithmetic, we find that 15 kg of hay daily will meet her energy needs, but will it supply enough protein? The same hay is composed of 16.2 percent total protein on a dry-matter basis. By multiplying, we find that 15 kg contains 2.4 kg of protein. But since the hay is only 82.5 percent dry matter, the actual total protein is only 2 kg, or 0.4 kg less than recommended. While the cow would undoubtedly survive with this modest protein deficiency, her milk production would suffer.

Mineral Components

Let's look at the important mineral components in this all-hay diet. This hay averages 1.03 percent calcium (Ca) and 0.3 percent phosphorus (P), both on a dry-matter basis. Fifteen kilograms of this hay calculates out to 127 grams of calcium and 37 grams of phosphorus daily. This is more calcium than the cow needs and considerably less phosphorus than she requires. Further, the Ca:P ratio is wide, being 3.4:1.0. With a phosphorus-deficient ration and a wide Ca:P ratio, the cow on this diet would likely have parturient paresis (milk fever, hypocalcemia) when she calves. Nutrition influences health.

Well, we have all this good alfalfa-brome hay on hand, which, incidentally, is higher in protein and energy than most hay. What can we do so it can be used and still give the cow an adequate diet? Depending on available feeds, several things can be done. Corn silage can be substituted for part of the hay. This will narrow the Ca:P ratio but also reduce the protein. To balance the diet using this hay, some mixed-grain dairy ration containing 1 percent dicalcium phosphate or liquid protein supplement will have to be used.

A word or two should be said about grain used to balance rations for livestock. The science of genetic engineering has produced grains, especially corn, that not only produce better yields but also are resistant to some plant diseases. There is no evidence at this writing that the nutrient content of genetically engineered grain is any different from that of the parent stock or that it is harmful to animals or people who consume it.

The same procedure can be used to determine adequacy of other essential minerals and vitamins. If all the mathematics scares you or you don't feel confident trying to balance a ration yourself, your local Cooperative Extension agent or feed dealer will be glad to help.

Using a total mixed ration (TMR) composed of chopped hay and/or silage and grain lends itself well to mechanical handling and thus lower labor costs. It creates a problem, however, in meeting the needs of the cow for energy intake in proportion to milk production. In large herds, it is less of a problem because cows can be grouped according to production level and fed accordingly. In smaller herds, any energy deficit can be made up by feeding additional grain in the milking parlor. And, of course, in the traditional stanchion barn where cows are fed individually, adjustments can be easily made.

The purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate that feeding the dairy cow adequately is not a hit-or-miss proposition and that nutrition does have an important bearing on health. Just how important can be seen in Table 2-2.


Last, water is the most important constituent of the cow's diet, although it is seldom thought of as such. The cow can go several days without feed but one day without water will cause a precipitous drop in milk production; two days without will make a very sick animal; and three days without will likely kill the animal. Adult cattle consume water in proportion to the amount and moisture content of feed consumed, level of milk production, and environmental temperatures. An average cow eating 20 kg of dry matter daily and producing 20 kg of milk will consume about 120 liters or approximately 30 gallons of water daily. Milk production will be higher if water is available free choice.

Digestion in Cows

From a health standpoint, there are some other important factors about cattle nutrition to keep in mind. The first is the nature of the beast. Cattle are ruminants, as are sheep and goats, with a digestive system that differs markedly from simple-stomached animals such as the horse, the pig, and humans. The cow's stomach is divided into four distinct compartments, designated in order of progression as rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The rumen is basically a large fermentation vat where the action of bacteria and other microorganisms begins the digestive process by converting fiber into usable energy forms. It's this capacity to utilize fiber that makes the ruminant unique.

We hear a lot these days about how cattle compete with humans for available grain, thereby contributing to the world food shortages. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even under our system of finishing beef cattle in feedlots, less than 20 percent of the animal's lifetime feed intake is grain. Most of it comes from grass, which humans couldn't digest even if they could swallow it. In terms of food resource utilization alone, beef is a real bargain.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Author's Note to the Third Edition


I. Preventing Disease

1. The Nature of Disease

2. Nutrition and Health

3. Housing and Health

4. Animal Reproduction

5. Restraint

6. Physical Examination

II. Animal Diseases

7. Diseases Caused by Bacteria

8. Diseases Caused by Viruses

9. Diseases Caused by Yeasts, Molds, and Fungi

10. Diseases Caused by Protozoa

11. Parasitism

12. Metabolic Diseases

13. Deficiency Diseases

14. Miscellaneous Diseases

15. Foreign Animal Diseases

III. Appendix

Recommended References

Glossary IndeX

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)