Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Animal Based Farming Practices’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Animal Based Farming Practices’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Animal Based Farming Practices
- Essay on Cattle Farming
- Essay on Poultry Farming
- Essay on Fish Farming (Pisciculture)
- Essay on Apiculture
Essay # 1. Cattle Farming:
The livestock refers to domestic animals which provide us milk, hide or flesh and includes cows, buffaloes, sheep, goat, pigs, horses and elephants. Livestock production needs to be improved to meet the growing needs of milk, eggs, meat, etc.
Out of these, cattle raising is most important and is done for two purposes: milk production and bullock labour (e.g., tilling, irrigation and carting). It is estimated that more than 70% of the world livestock population resides in India and China but their contribution to the world farm products is only 25%. It is so as the livestock animals of these countries are poor in quality and productivity.
Cattle and Buffaloes:
Importance of Cattle and Buffaloes:
Cattle (Bos indicus) and Buffalo (Bos bubalis) are widely used for:
(a) Agricultural operations like ploughing, harrowing, levelling etc.
(b) They provide milk. Buffaloes are the major source of milk in India. More than 95 per cent of milk is contributed by cows and buffaloes.
(c) They are used in driving carts for transportation.
(d) Manure and fuel. The dung provided by them acts as valuable manure for maintaining the fertility of the soil. It is also used for preparation of biogas or gobar gas.
(e) Hides are used for preparation of leather goods.
(f) Their bones, horns and hoofs yield glue and gelatin.
(g) Meat. Beef (cow meat) and buffalo meat are eaten by certain people.
Indigenous Breeds of Cattle (Fig. 9.1):
A breed is a group of animals which are related by descent and are similar in most of characters like general appearance, morphological features, size, configuration, etc. In India, there are about 30 indigenous (desi or Indian) breeds of cows and ten breeds of buffaloes.
Depending upon the utility, the cattle are classified into the following groups:
(i) Milch Breeds:
Their cows are high milk-yielding (dairy) varieties but their bullocks are not very useful as work animals e.g., Gir (Gujarat), Sahiwal (Punjab and Haryana), Red Sindhi and Deoni. Sahiwal breed of cow is superior to other dairy cows.
(ii) Draught Breeds:
Their males are beast of burden and help in pulling carts, ploughing land and transporting men and materials and are also called work animals. These are strong and study. Their cows are less milk-yielding e.g., Nageri, Hallikar and Malvi.
(iii) General Utility or Dual Purpose Breeds:
Their cows are good milk-yielding while their bullocks are good work animals e.g., Deoni, Sahiwal, Kankrej, Tharparkar and Dangi.
The best known breeds of Indian buffaloes are Nagpuri, Mehsana (Gujarat), Jaffrabadi, Surti, Bhadawari, Nili Ravi and Murrah (Punjab and Haryana) etc.
Important Exotic (introduced from other countries) Breeds (Fig. 9.2) of Milch Cows are:
(i) Holstein – Friesien breed of Holland (3200 litres of milk/year).
(ii) Jersey of Island of Jersey of England.
(iii) Ayrshire of Scotland.
(iv) Brown-Swiss (a dual purpose breed) of Switzerland.
(v) Red Dane of Denmark.
Feeding of Cattle:
The food given to animals is called feed. In order to maintain good health and increased yield, cattle should be given a balanced feed. Feed constitutes two main components i.e., roughage and concentrate.
(i) Roughage contains large amount of fibres but has low nutrients and includes hay, fodder, silage and legumes like barseem, lucrene and cowpea. It also includes common fodder grasses like Napier grass, Guinea grass and Elephant grass.
(ii) The concentrate is a mixture of cereals like maize, oat, barley, jowar, broken grams, rice polish, cotton seeds, gram bran, molasses and oilseed cake moistened in water. These are rich in proteins and other nutrients, highly palatable and easily digestible.
Feeding requires balanced ration in correct quantities to each animal proportionate to its body requirement and productive capacity. Both over-feeding and under-feeding should be avoided as both adversely affect yield of milk in cattle. In addition, dairy animals should also be given additive feeds which include antibiotics, minerals and hormones which not only promote the growth of the animals and increase the yield of milk but also protect them from diseases.
The animal food requirements are divided into two categories:
(i) Maintenance requirements which support the basic functions of life; and
(ii) Milk-producing requirements which increase the milk yield.
Dairy Farm Management Practices:
Dairy farm management involves all those processes and programmes which help in the increase of yield and improve the quality of milk. A good animal shelter is also an important aspect of animal husbandry. It not only increases the production of milk but also improves the health of animals as well.
A good animal shelter should have the following characteristics:
(i) It should protect the animal from heat, cold and rain and also from other animals.
(ii) It should be clean, dry, airy and well ventilated.
(iii) It should have proper sunlight during the day.
(iv) It should have arrangement for clean drinking water for animals e.g., feeding passages and feeding troughs.
(v) It should be spacious so as to provide enough space for each animal to stay comfortably.
(vi) It should have a sloping floor for the hygienic disposal of animal excreta.
(vii) Regular brushing of animals to remove dirt and loose hairs.
(viii) Regular inspections by a veterinary doctor to identify any health problem to farm animals and its earliest rectification.
Milk Yield per Cow:
Milk yield depends upon the quality of dairy breeds. A good breed cattle has high yielding potential, longer lactation period and is disease resistant.
The annual milk-yield and lactation period (milk-producing period and extends from birth of a young one and the next pregnancy) are significantly more hi the exotic and cross-breed varieties of cows than the indigenous breeds (Table 9.4):
Main aim of animal breeding is to produce more milk-yielding cows with longer lactation period and more sturdier work animals. So animal husbandry is an important aspect of animal husbandry. The breeding of cattle is done by two methods i.e., natural and artificial.
(i) Natural Breeding:
It is further of two types:
a. Random and
(a) Random Breeding:
Here pedigree bulls are kept along with grazing cows.
(b) Controlled Cross-Breeding:
In this type of breeding, native cows are crossed with exotic bulls of superior quality in natural breeding. Hybrid cows yield more milk and hybrid oxen are comparatively more active and energetic. Some improved hybrids are Jersey- Sindhi, Brown Swiss-Sahiwal, Ayrshire-Sahiwal, Karan-Swiss etc. Similarly, murrah is an improved high milk yielding (about 2000 litres) breed of buffalo Karan- Swiss hybrid cow was produced at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) Karnal (Haryana) Sunandini is another cross breed of cow developed at NDRI, Kerala.
(ii) Artificial Breeding:
In this, semen of a bull of good breed is collected and stored at breezing temperature. The introduction of semen (sperm) of a high quality bull in the body (vagina) of healthy females by artificial means during heat or estrous (fertility) period is called artificial insemination. There are more than 6000 artificial insemination centres in different parts of a country. Most important of these is located at Veterinary Research Institute of India (IVRI), Izatnagar (U.P.).
This method is comparatively better and economical and has a number of advantages:
(i) Several cows (upto 300) can be inseminated by semen of a single bull.
(ii) It ensures progeny of good quality and also avoids the transportation of animals.
(iii) Sperms can be stored for long period at freezing temperature.
Types of Animal Breeding:
On the basis of type of breeds being employed in animal breeding practices, animal breeding is of two types:
It involves breeding of animals of the same breed for about 4 to 6 generations.
It involves the following steps:
(a) Selection of superior males (A bull which produces good semen or acts as a good work animal) and superior females (cow or buffalo which produces more milk per lactation) of same breed.
(b) Selected sexes are allowed to mate in pairs.
(c) Progeny obtained from such matings is evaluated and superior animals (both males and females) are further selected.
(d) Selected individuals are again allowed to interbreed and the selection is repeated on the progeny.
(a) Inbreeding brings the homozygosity in the population so it helps in producing a pure line of animals.
(b) It helps in accumulation of superior genes and elimination of less desirable genes.
(c) It increases the productivity of inbreed population.
(d) Harmful recessive genes can be reduced or eliminated by selection.
(a) It increases the chances of expression of harmful recessive genes.
(b) Continued inbreeding brings a state of inbreeding depression characterized by reduced fertility and even productivity.
It involves breeding of the unrelated animals which may belong to same breed but having different ancestries; or between different breeds (called cross-breeding) or between different species.
Out-breeding is of following types:
In this type of breeding, the animals of same breed, but not having common ancestor on either side of pedigree for about 4 to 6 generations, are intercrossed.
It has following advantages:
(i) It is best breeding method for the animals having below average productivity (e.g., milk yield) and growth rate (e.g., in beef cattle).
(ii) It overcomes the problem of inbreeding depression.
It involves interbreeding of superior males of one breed with superior females of another breed to produce hybrid animals having commercial importance. Most important significance of cross-breeding is that it helps in combining the desirable characters of two different breeds.
A number of animal cross-breeds have produced by this procedure:
i. Cross-Breeds of Cows:
A number of high yielding cross-breeds of cattle have been developed through cross-breeding between the cows of indigenous breeds with high disease- resistance power and long lactation period with bulls of exotic breeds.
The yield of milk of these cross-breeds is two to three times more than the indigenous cows e.g., Karan- Fries and Karan Swiss cross-breed cows give about 3500 liters of milk during the lactation period (period of milk production) of about 300 days, while Holstein- Friesian cow produces about 3200 liters of milk during their lactation period of about 300 days.
ii. Cross-Breeds of Fowls:
Variety improvement by cross breeding:
The majority of the present day chickens used as egg-layers and broilers are the cross-breed flocks. High yielding cross-breeds are:
IBL-80, B-77, HH-260, IBI-91, ILI-80 ILS-82, IBB-83, ILM-90, ILR-90 and IVI-91. Out of these cross breeds, IBL-80, ILS-82 and B-77 yield 200 eggs per bird annually while HH-260 lays 260 eggs in a year Giriraj breed (Fig. 9.3) is a cross-breed of indigenous breed and exotic white leghorn breed and is a dual purpose breed.
In cross-breeding exercises, the energetic and young cocks and hen from best layers and broilers are allowed to cross-breed by pen-mating method. In this, one male IS kept with 10-15 hens in separate pens.
Main advantages of cross breeds of poultry over the indigenous breeds are:
(a) These consume less feed to give same amount of meat as compared to desi breeds.
(b) These consume less feed for producing same number of eggs as compared to desi breeds.
Main aims of crossbreeding experiments are to produce birds with following desired characters:
(a) Dwarf broiler parent for commercial chick production.
(b) Birds with summer adaptation capacity so that they tolerate high temperatures.
(c) With low maintenance requirements.
(d) Reduction in size of layers capable of utilizing more fibrous cheaper feed.
iii. Cross-Breeding of Sheep:
Hisardale is a new cross-breed of sheep and was developed in Punjab by interbreeding between Bikaner ewes and marino rams.
(c) Interspecific Hybridization:
This technique of breeding involves the interbreeding of male and female animals of different species. It also helps in combining the good qualities of two different species. Though such interspecific hybrids are generally sterile, but are highly valuable as work animal’s e.g.
i. Mules (Fig.9.4) are interspecific hybrids produced by a cross between male donkey and female horse (mare).
These are adapted to work hard in mountainous areas because these are sturdier and stronger.
ii. Hinny is an interspecific hybrid of female donkey and male horse (stallion).
Multiple Ovulation-Embryo Transfer (MOET):
To overcome the low success rate of natural cross breeding experiments, a number of new procedures have been developed to improve the chances of successful production of hybrids. MOET is most important of such procedures.
It involves the following steps:
It involves the stimulation of healthy and high-milk yielding breed of female animals by injecting gonadotrophic hormones (like FSH and LH) to release more eggs from its ovaries. A healthy female cow can produce upto 6 to 8 eggs per cycle instead of one egg per cycle.
Female is mated with a good male (yielding a high quality lean meat with less lipids) by natural breeding or is artificially inseminated with the semen of a good male to promote internal fertilization.
Embryos at 8-32 celled stages can be recovered non-surgically from the female and then transferred into the surrogate females for implantation and further development.
MOET technique has been successfully used in cows, sheep, rabbit, buffaloes, mares, etc.
Alternatively, the eggs of healthy females can be subjected to in vitro fertilization by the sperms of healthy males. The zygotes are them stimulated to divide and develop into embryos which are then transferred in the surrogate mothers.
It involves the preserving the embryos in an embryo tank at very low temperature (about -196°C) for about 10 years and can be used whenever required.
Cows and buffaloes suffer from various diseases which adversely affect the production of milk and cause mortality of sick animals. A healthy animal can be recognised by its regular feeding, normal posture, a definite body temperature, normal pulse rate and normal respiration rate.
Diseases of dairy animals are divided into three categories:
(i) Parasitic Diseases:
These are caused either by external parasites (e.g., ticks, mites, fleas and lice which cause skin diseases and cattle leech which sucks blood of buffalo and causes anemia) or internal parasites (e.g., worms like Ascaris which affect their stomach and intestine, and flukes which damage their liver).
(ii) Infectious Diseases:
These are caused by bacteria and viruses.
(iii) Non-Infectious Diseases:
These include the fungal diseases.
Prevention of Diseases:
Some of the important steps for preventing animal diseases are:
1. The animal-shelters should be spacious, airy and properly lighted.
2. The animal shelters should be cleaned regularly.
3. A good and nutritive feed and uncontaminated water should be provided to the animals.
4. Animals should be given regular bathing and grooming to avoid the infections.
5. The animals should be compulsorily vaccinated to immunise them against infectious diseases.
6. Lice, ticks and other external parasites of animals should be controlled by the use of insecticides.
7. The pests should not be allowed to enter their shelters.
8. Proper disposal of dead animals and animal wastes.
9. Hygienic handling of all animal products and by-products
Essay # 2. Poultry Farming:
Poultry is the branch of animal husbandry concerned with rearing for birds for eggs and meat. Egg-laying birds are called layers while meat- yielding birds are called broilers. It includes chickens (fowls), ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea-fowls, peafowls, pigeons and quails. Among these, fowls are most widely domesticated birds in India. The practice of raising poultry for eggs and meat is called poultry farming.
Importance of Poultry Farming:
Poultry farming helps to raise the nutritional standard by supplying meat and eggs. Whole liquid egg consists of 36% yolk, 64% proteins (mainly ovalbumin, vitellin, phosvitin, etc.) and certain vitamins like riboflavin, A and D. Poultry meat contains proteins (like myogen, globulins, etc.), fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.
Poultry in India:
In India, poultry has registered the highest growth rate among all sectors of agriculture in the last two decades. It is mainly due to rapid increase in poultry population density and introduction of birds with faster growth, disease resistant and environmentally friendly transgenic properties. In India, annual broiler production and egg production in the year 2000 was 700 million birds and 33 billion eggs respectively.
Presently, India is the 5th largest country in the world in poultry production after China, former USSR, USA and Japan. Indian state with maximum broiler and egg production is Andhra Pradesh. In addition, poultry also helps in providing employment, provides poultry waste as a manure, recreation, etc.
Some important indigenous and exotic breeds of fowls are listed in Table 9.6:
Aseel breed provides high yield of meat (as average weight of cock is 4 to 5 kg while that of hen is 3 to 4 kg) but is not a good layer. It has four varieties—peela (golden red), yakub (black and red), nurie (white) and kajal (black).
It is a good layer exotic breed and produces large sized white eggs. It is small sized and needs less feed in comparison to indigenous breeds. But is not ideal for meat.
Rhode Island Red:
It was developed on the farm of Rhode Island in U.S.A. It is a dual purpose breed. It is a good egg layer and also meat yielding breed.
It involves the following steps:
(a) Maintenance of temperature and hygienic conditions in poultry housings.
(b) Proper poultry feed and water.
(c) Proper hygiene and health care for prevention and control of diseases and pests.
(a) Poultry Farm Management:
These should be well ventilated (having fresh and cool air) and should extend in east-west direction (so that enough sunshine is available in winter). It must be rat and snake proof because rats not only eat the eggs but also spread diseases in the poultry house. As the photoperiod (of about 14-18 hours) regulates the growth of chicken and egg production, so poultry house should be kept lit at night. It should be kept at about 55-75°F as the chicken show maximum growth at this temperature. The floor of poultry house should be covered by litter (e.g., paddy husk, saw dust, crushed maize cobs, etc.).
The chickens are fed on grains (wheat, rice, barley, jowar, bajra etc.), oil cakes, bone-meal, meat meal, green vegetables, etc. Growing chickens, called growers, need a balanced feed containing carbohydrates (as energy source), proteins (19%), fats (1%), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, etc.), vitamins (A, B and D), etc. A good feed makes the poultry birds healthier and they lay more eggs.
The daily food requirements (called ration) of broilers are different from those of layers e.g., the ration for the broilers should be protein and fat rich and with high amounts of vitamin A and K.
6. Diseases of Poultry (Table 9.8):
7. Disease Control:
(i) Vaccination. It involves preventive inoculation which reduces the loss of poultry during an outbreak of disease.
(ii) Ectoparasites like lice, mites and ticks can be controlled by spraying insecticides like malathione.
(iii) Endoparasites like Taenia (tape worm) and round worms can be controlled by wormicides.
(iv) Fungal diseases like Mycosis and Thrush can be controlled by using Bordaeux mixture.
(v) Protozoan diseases like coccidiosis can be treated with sulpha drugs.
(vi) Bacterial diseases can be treated by sulpha drugs and antibiotics.
Bird (Avian) Flu:
Bird (Avian) flu is caused by H5N1 strain of bird flu virus which not only spreads like an epidemic in the poultry birds but has also been found many other species of animals like cats, pigs, white tigers and even human beings. In February 2004, outbreaks of bird flu were reported in as many as ten Asian countries and U.S.A. It affected several provinces of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
Out of these, most affected countries by bird flu virus were Vietnam and Thailand. Infection of cats by bird flu virus raised the fears that the disease may spread from cats to humans as these pets are very close to humans. UN experts reported that there were indications that even pigs in Vietnam had been infected with this deadly strain of bird flu virus. The experts even gave the indications of human-to- human transmission of bird flu virus though human flu is caused by H3N2 strain of virus.
The outbreak of bird flu virus was so severe in February 2004 that it is reported to kill millions of chickens and ducks across Asia. In Vietnam alone, the virus not only killed about 17 million birds, three species of cats and infecting a white tiger but also caused the death of at least 11 persons. WHO warned that no part of Asia was safe from this deadly viral outbreak.
It also warned that millions of people around the world may die if the bird flu virus mixed with human strain of virus. This warning created a scare in India also; especially the southern part of the country because the largest poultry centre is Namakhal district of Tamil Nadu. These danger signals drastically affected the consumption of eggs and chickens which caused huge loss to the poultry owners.
i. Asian countries agreed for joint efforts to fight the bird flu virus by regional and international cooperation.
ii. Poultry imports from the affected nations were banned in an effort to stop the disease from spreading in the country.
iii. More vigil along the international borders to prevent smuggling of diseased poultry birds from the neighbouring countries.
Essay # 3. Fish Farming (Pisciculture):
Pisciculture or fishery or fish fanning involves the rearing and breeding of fish, shellfish and other aquatic animals scientifically by man in ponds, tanks, etc. Other aquatic animals include prawns, crabs, lobsters, edible oysters etc.
Scope of Pisciculture in India:
Fish meat acts as supplementary food. It is estimated that about 8.5 million tonnes of fish is required annually to meet the present day demand of fish proteins in India against an annual production of only 1.7 million tonnes. India occupies 7th position in the world in total fish production while it is at 10th position in marine fish production but 2nd in South-East Asian countries after China in aquaculture production.
Pisciculture has a bright future in India in view of:
(i) A considerable demand for fish,
(ii) A good response to culture by a number of native breeds of fishes, and
(iii) An abundance of cultivable water (our inland water areas of about 1.6 million hectares and our long coastline of 7,500 km).
The researches conducted by Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar have revolutionised fish culture in India (Blue revolution) and a net production of 85,000 kg/hectare/year has already been achieved. Polyculture and induced breeding techniques have further increased fish production.
Importance or Economics:
(a) Fish as Food:
Fish is a cheap but rich source of animal proteins. The fish meat has a number of advantages over meat of other animals because it contains more proteins (about 13-20%), less fats, good amount of vitamins A and D, and rich in iodine (essential for physical, mental and sexual growth of young). Further, it is more easily digestable than other proteins.
(b) Besides providing food, pisciculture also provides a number of by-products like vitamin-rich liver oil (e.g., Cod, Halibut, etc.); Fish-meal (from salmon and haddock and contains 55-70% proteins); fish-protein concentrate (contains about 80-90% proteins); fish guana (used as manure); etc.
(c) It also provides employment and better usage of infertile land and water bodies.
(d) Gambusia fish eats mosquito larvae and helps in biological control of malaria.
Types of Fish Fanning:
A. On the basis of nature of source of fishes, fish farming is of two types:
(i) Capture Fisheries:
Fish is caught directly from their natural resources.
(ii) Culture Fisheries:
Fish is cultivated in artificial water bodies called breeding ponds.
B. On the basis of nature of water sources, fish farming is of two types:
(i) Marine Fisheries:
It involves fish production in marine (sea) waters.
(ii) Inland Fisheries:
It involves fish production in fresh water systems and brackish waters like estuaries and lagoons.
Culturable Breeds of Fishes.
These are divided into three categories:
(a) Indigenous fresh water major carps (Figs. 9.6- 9.8) e.g. Catla catla (Katala), Labeo rohita (Rohu), L. calbasu (calbasu) and Cirrhina mrigala (mrigala), Catla is the fastest growing carp.
(b) Salt water fishes which can live in sea water e.g., Chanos, mullets.
(c) Exotic fresh water breeds (Fig. 9.9) e.g., Common carp. Mirror carp, Chinese carp. Silver carp and Grass carp etc.
Major carps are best culturable fishes because these survive even at high temperature and low oxygen. These also have fast growth rate and provide easily digestible and nutritive flesh.
Important marine food fishes are pomphrets, mackererls, tuna, sardines, Bombay duck, etc. These are used as table fish. These are caught by fishing nets and gears operated by fishing vessels. The fish capturing is now easier due to employing of modern technologies like echo-sounders and use of satellites which are used to locate the fish shoals.
Some of these are cultured in sea water and include fin fishes like mullets, bhetki, pearl spots, etc., in addition to sea weeds and shellfish (like prawns), oysters (for pearls), etc. This is called mariculture.
Composite Fish Culture (Polyculture).
Polyculture is a novel method of fish farming in which many types of fishes are cultured together into a pond or water body. In India, it is a very old practice in which Catla, Labeo (rohu) and Cirrhinus (all Indian breeds) are cultured in same water body. Now-a- days, grass carp (feeds on the weeds), common carp (bottom feeder) and Chinese carp (all exotic breeds) are cultured together.
(a) All the ecological zones (called nitches) are exploited. This increases the fish yield from the pond.
(b) There will be no competition between different species of the fishes as different fishes have different food habits e.g., Catla is a surface feeder, rohu is a column feeder while Cirrhinus is a bottom feeder.
(c) These fishes help in growth of each other.
Procedure of Fish-Seed Production by Induced Breeding.
It involves rearing of fishes in artificial breeding ponds. It is employed to solve the problem of lack of availability of healthy and pure fish seeds in natural breeding procedure which occurs in rivers in monsoon months i.e., from July to August.
It involves the following steps:
(a) Fish breeding involves breeding of culturable fishes in the breeding ponds either by induced breeding (by injecting a pituitary extract containing FSH and LH hormones. This technique is called hypophysation which induces them to spawn- fertilized eggs within 24 hours).
To solve the problem of less availability of natural pituitary hormones certain synthetic inducing agents like ovaprim, ovatide and hova have been developed. These act as analogue of natural pituitary hormones and induce spawning in carps in captivity. The fish seeds are collected from the breeding ponds. This technique provides quality seeds in desired quantity.
(b) The fertilized eggs are kept in the special hatching pits, called hapas, for about 40-50 hours for hatching. Youngs are called hatchlings which grow and are called fry (about 40 mm sized).
(c) The fish fries are transported to the nursery ponds (of about 0.02 – 0.04 acre and 1.0 m deep) to grow into young ones, called fingerlings (about 40 to 100 mm sized).
(d) Fingerlings are kept in rearing ponds (about 0.04 to 0.08 acre long and 1.5 m deep) to allow their proper growth for about three months.
(e) Now the fingerlings are transferred to the stocking ponds (about 0.1 to 1.0 acre long and 1.5 to 2 m. deep) to attain full size.
(f) Harvesting involves the capturing of fully grown fishes and is also called fishing. It is done by various methods like stranding, angling or trapping with different types of nets.
Advantages of culture fishery Culture fishery has many advantages over capture fishery (catching of fish from natural resources):
(i) Supplies fish in adequate quantity.
(ii) Supplies fish of desired species and of known quality.
(iii) Supplies fish cheaper.
Common Diseases of Fishes.
(i) Main Infectious Diseases of Fishes are:
(a) Viral Haemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and
(b) Bacterial Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN).
(ii) Water-Pollution caused Diseased of Fishes are:
(a) Gill rot (Blackening of gills).
(b) Fin rot (Cutting down of fins).
(c) Dropsy (Swollen belly).
(iii) Fish-Ectoparasites – e.g., Fish Lice – Argulus.
Control of Fish-Diseases.
(i) Pollution of fish-farm should be avoided.
(ii) Regular monitoring of the level of oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH of the water of fish-form.
(iii) Argulus – fish lice can be controlled by adding 2.5 ml/litre of Malathion in the pond water.
Essay # 4. Apiculture:
Apiculture is the process of rearing of honey bees in the artificial hives, called apiaries, for the production of honey at commercial level. It is an age-old cottage industry in India.
Species of Honey Bees:
Honey bees belong to phylum Arthropoda and class Insecta. There are several species of honey bees some of which are indigenous while some of them are exotic which have been introduced to increase the yield of honey.
(a) Indigenous Species:
(i) Apis Dorsata:
It is commonly called rock bee or giant bee (being largest sized). Though it produces maximum amount of honey but is ferocious and migratory bee so is difficult to domesticate.
(ii) Apis Indica:
It is commonly called Indian bee. It is the most common species found in India. It can be domesticated easily as is very gentle in nature but is less producing species.
(iii) Apis Florae:
It is commonly called little bee (being smallest sized). It is also very docile but yield is less.
(b) Exotic Species:
It is commonly called Italian bee. It is preferred over the indigenous species for the commercial production of honey because of its docile nature, high yield of honey, prolific egg production, less swarming and with good defense mechanism.
Honey Bee Colony and Social Organization:
Honey bees are social and polymorphic insects:
These live in large colonies, called hives or combs, of about 40,000 to 100,000 individuals. In a colony, there are three castes (Fig. 9.10), of bees which are structurally and functionally different from one another so polymorphism is associated with division of labour.
These three castes are:
Every healthy colony has only one fertile female called queen. It is the mother of the colony and has well developed ovaries. It has long tapering abdomen, short legs and wings. Its sole function is to lay the eggs at the rate of 1500 to 2000 in a day, while during its lifespan of about 3 years, a queen lays about 1.5 to 2.0 million eggs. A queen lays two types of egg fertilized and unfertilized eggs. (2ueen and workers develop from fertilized eggs while drones develop from unfertilized eggs.
These are largest in number (about 50,000 to 60,000) but smallest sized members. These are most active and perform variety of jobs like attend the queen and nursery, clean the hives; form a new hive and produce wax; repair the comb; keep the comb cool; defend the members etc.
So the workers have strong wings, long mouth parts, and wax glands on abdomen, pollen collecting apparatus on the legs and a sting at the end of abdomen.
These are male members of the colony and are of intermediate sized. These have reduced mouth parts and are sluggish. Their sole function is to copulate with the queen.
Importance of Apiculture:
(a) Products of honey bees include honey, bees wax, bee venom and royal jelly.
It is produced by the workers from the collected nectar and cane sugar. It is formed of levulose (42%), dextrose (23%), maltose (10%), enzymes and pigments (25%), minerals, vitamins and water (19%). Honey has high food value, medicinal importance (used as laxative, antiseptic and sedative, so is used against disorders of digestion, dysentry, vomiting and stomach and liver problems), manufacturing of cakes, etc. Its iron and calcium promote the growth.
(ii) Bees Wax:
It is used in cosmetics, paints, ointments, polishes, microtomy, etc.
(iii) Bee Venom:
It is used to cure certain diseases like gout and arthritis.
(iv) Royal Jelly:
It is used as tonic to heart patients and growing children.
(b) Honey bees are chief cross-pollinating agents. So keeping the bee hives in crop fields, during flowering period of the plants increases their pollination efficiency and improves the yield.
(c) Apiculture provides additional income generating industry to the farmers.
(d) Bee keeping is not labour-intensive.
Management for High Yields of Honey:
Management involves all those steps which are required to be undertaken to obtain good quality and higher yield of honey from the honey bees. It involves following considerations:
(a) Bee Forage or Pasturage:
It includs all those flowering plants which provide pollens and nectar to the honey bees e.g., Mango, coconut, almond, tamarind, ber, barseem, litchi, cotton, shisham, apple, mahua, coriander, cashew, coffee, rubber plant, guava, sunflower, etc. Their pollens form the protein-rich food of honey bees while their nectar acts as raw material of honey.
The pasturage is different from region to region and depends upon the geographical location. The quality and taste of honey depend upon the nature of flora from which the nectar is collected. For increased yield, the pasturage should be easily available near the apiary.
(b) Apiary or Bee Hive (Fig. 9.11):
An artificial and movable bee hive, commonly called apiary, is about 46 × 23 cm in size and is a wooden box formed of following parts:
It is the base on which the whole hive is placed.
(ii) Bottom Boar:
It forms the base of the hive and has two apertures which act as entrance and exit of the workers and drones.
(iii) Brood Chamber:
It contains 5 to 10 wooden frames each of which has a wax-sheet of the hexagonal frames, called comb foundations, on which the honey bees form the combs.
It provides extra space for the expansion of the hive.
(v) Inner Cover:
It is a hole-bearing wooden cover.
(vi) Top Cover:
It is a plain zinc sheet for the protection of hive.
(c) Location of Apiary:
To get maximum yield of honey, a number of bee hives should be placed in that area where abundance of bee-flora is available within 1 or 2 kms radius for honey collection.
(d) Honey Flow Season:
The yield of honey depends upon the total period for which large number of nectar and pollen-yielding plants are available in the vicinity of the apiary, called honey flow period. So honey yield will be more if the bee hives are established in an area having abundance of bee flora for longer period. While the period when no nectar and pollen is available is called dearth period.
It is the process of leaving off of the colony by the old queen with some workers and drones to establish a new colony at a new place and to provide the existing hive for the progeny. It normally occurs by the end of spring or early summer. But the frequent swarming decreases the yield of honey and increases the maintenance cost of the bee hives. So to get higher yield of honey, less swarming variety of honey bees (e.g., Apis mellifera) should be reared.
Bee Pests and their Control (Table 9.10):
A bacterial disease caused by Bacillus
(ii) Nosema Disease:
A protozoan disease caused by Nosema apis.
(iii) Acarine Disease:
Caused by a parasite mite Acarapis.
(iv) Fungal Disease:
Caused by Aspergillus spp.