Farm animals constitute valuable source of quality nutrition and economic development across the world, and sustainable farm animal production is greatly being challenged by pests and disease infestation with the resultant poor productivity, death of animals and economic losses to the farmers and nations at large. But before infections reached the threshold of debilitative effects, an infected animal communicates a physiological disturbance by vocalisation and/or visual cues. While a healthy animal communicates its good health status by active display and movement of the body parts in response to its environment, a sick animal manifests its health situation by looking dull, by being self-isolated from the stock, by being sluggish or by refusing to move on when approached or to be fed. Although the communicated cues by a farm animal are determined by the kind of physiological impairment experienced by the animal, farmers’ understanding of the specific communication cues by the farm animals would make quick detection of any laden disease in the animals possible and stimulate prompt health care service provision. Consequently, several ways by which farm animals communicate their health situation and the veterinarian actions to be taken in the light of a disease outbreak are highlighted in this article.
Part of the book: Livestock Health and Farming