Feedback: Causes of abortion in cows

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Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the general causes of abortion in dairy cattle include infectious agents like bacteria such as brucellosis, leptospirosis and salmonellosis. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

IN SUMMARY

  • Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the general causes of abortion include infectious agents like bacteria such as brucellosis, leptospirosis and salmonellosis.
  • Feeding mouldy feeds like hay or silage is also a possible cause of mycotoxins. An affected cow may return to heat but does not settle until she recovers from the infections after several heat cycles.
  • Lighting programmes influence egg size by accelerating or delaying the age at which hens start to lay eggs. Skeletal size also has some impact on egg size, where, hens with bigger and longer bones tend to become bigger and lay equally bigger eggs.
  • Pumpkins have a good market locally.

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ABORTION IN COWS

I'm a dairy farmer in Kabete. I have a cow, which has miscarried twice on the fifth month. What is the best treatment for the problem?

Joseph Mburu Njoroge

Pregnancy loss due to abortion is one of the major causes of reduced fertility and contributes to adverse economic effects for dairy farms.

After five months of pregnancy, abortion is frequently characterised by retained placenta or a cow failing to expel foetal membranes for a few days after losing the foetus.

Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the general causes of abortion include infectious agents like bacteria such as brucellosis, leptospirosis and salmonellosis.

Abortion can also be due to viral agents such as Bovine viral diarrhoea, fungi and mycotoxins, genetic abnormalities, high fever, environmental stresses like excess heat, protozoal parasites, injuries, poisons and toxins from plants.

Feeding mouldy feeds like hay or silage is also a possible cause of mycotoxins. An affected cow may return to heat but does not settle until she recovers from the infections after several heat cycles.

Note that all abortion prevention measures start with herd health and other management programmes. Work closely with your veterinarian to determine the cause and develop a vaccination or management programme to prevent further losses.

Take bio-security measures to minimise the risk of introducing diseases, develop proper feeding strategy and control the use of bulls. The main cause of abortion is determined by sending a freshly aborted foetus to a diagnostic laboratory.

In some cases, blood samples from the aborting cow or the placenta should also be sent by the vet.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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AGRICULTURE INTERNSHIP
I recently graduated with a BSc. in Agriculture. Please link me to a farm, agro-company, organisation or ministry in Taita Taveta County where I can be attached as an intern.

Brenda Mukena, bmhildago93@gmail.com

You can make applications to farms, agro-companies like Amiran, Kenya Seed Company and Osho Chemicals or even the ministry requesting for internship. The county Agriculture department is also a good place to start.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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MY AVOCADOS ARE ABOUT TO MATURE

I am from Chesoen ward of Bomet County. I have some Fuerte avocados and a little of Hass which are due for harvest. I would like to contact direct buyers as brokers who usually scout for them give us peanuts.

David Bor

Avocados have a good market both locally and internationally. You can sell your fruits in supermarkets, local markets, hotels and traders in major towns. You can also advertise on social media like Facebook. Look for avenues through which you can export your avocados.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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WHY SOME HENS LAY TINY EGGS

I am Martin from Kianjai, Meru County. I keep Kienyeji chickens but to my surprise, one of them is laying a small egg like that of a bird. What could be the cause of this?

There are certain things that affect a hen’s ability to lay eggs such as age, genetics, nutrition, daylight hours and other management conditions. Small eggs can often be a sign of stress due to either an illness or the hen’s environment such as temperature extremes, constant threat from predators, moulting, attacks from other chickens or restricted access to fresh food or water.

Occasionally, a hen will lay a fairy egg when something has disturbed her reproductive cycle. Sometimes a hen will lay a fairy egg or two just as she comes into laying, before her reproductive system has gotten into gear.

Fairy eggs are normally nothing to be concerned about. It simply means your hen didn’t release a yolk before her body started producing an egg to enclose it. Sometimes a hen may lay a small egg that still contains a yolk even if she normally lays larger eggs.

Again, this typically happens with a new layer as her body is getting into the rhythm of laying, but it can also happen with older birds if there has been a disturbance that upsets their usual cycle.

However, the following factors have an impact on egg size. The bird’s body weight meaning, bigger hens lay larger eggs than smaller hens and bigger breeders lay larger eggs than smaller breeders.

Lighting programmes influence egg size by accelerating or delaying the age at which hens start to lay eggs. Skeletal size also has some impact on egg size, where, hens with bigger and longer bones tend to become bigger and lay equally bigger eggs.

Feed intake has a direct impact on the hens’ intake of nutrients and the size of eggs that they produce.

Dennis Kigiri,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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NANDI FLAME TREE SEEDLINGS

Despite intensively searching on the internet, I was unable to find a tree nursery that can be able to supply me with Nandi Flame seedlings. Please share any contacts

Norbert Koebke
Nyati Roar Greenpark
P.O. Box 1243
Naivasha 20,117 Kenya

You can get Nandi flame tree seedlings from Kenya Forestry Research Institute. Contact them on +254722285923.

Peter Caleb Otieno,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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PUMPKIN MARKET

I am a farmer based in Busia County who plants pumpkin but I desire to increase my acreage from one to six from next year first season. Kindly link me with a market that can collect the fruits after they mature from the garden, because of logistic problems.

Bernardine

Pumpkins have a good market locally. You can sell your them in supermarkets, local markets, hotels, traders in Nairobi and other major towns. You can also advertise on social media sites like Facebook so that consumers can be aware of your products.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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I AM SELLING ARROWROOTS

I have an-acre of arrowroots maturing in about a month’s time. The farm is in Kirinyaga County. Please advise on market.

Peninah Wanja Muriuki

You can sell your arrowroots through social media (Facebook) where you can inform people about them. Nowadays, people are making a lot of money through social media.

You can also try looking for market in supermarkets, hotels and institutions.

Carol Mutua,
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.

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