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Animals are very important to the small farm. Their integration into farming activities provides uses for many byproducts of the farm. They provide high-quality food, income, fertilizer, status, companionship, transportation, labor, and much more for rural families. But seasonal feed shortage and parasite problems can frustrate people's efforts in animal husbandry. This chapter highlights information and resources on raising and caring for animals in the tropics.



Feeds and Animal Nutrition



INTRODUCING THE CAMEL, by Peter Grill. Lamar Witmer in Kenya sent us a copy of this unique book. He wrote, "I've read a number of books about camels. The one I am sending you is the one I believe to be the most useful as a single guide for development workers among pastoralists who herd camels. It emphasizes practical concerns rather than purely scientific ones. It was written from the perspective of eastern Africa, which may limit its usefulness in other regions


TECHNICAL NOTE "MEAT PRODUCTION ON THE SMALL FARM WITH CAVY (GUINEA PIG)" by Dr. Frank Martin, 6 pages. The cavy is a rodent that was domesticated in the Andes as a source of meat. Because it is small, it can be eaten by a small family in one meal and does not require refrigeration.


IMPROVING BACKYARD CHICKEN PRODUCTION. "Probably more people are directly involved in chicken production throughout the world than in any other single agricultural enterprise," according to Dr. John Bishop, a poultry specialist who has worked extensively in Latin America and Africa to improve the production of traditional small-farm poultry. Maintaining and improving the productivity of backyard chicken flocks is important for the well-being of rural families.


MUSCOVY DUCKS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THE TROPICS. We mentioned that both Frank Martin with the USDA and Fred Harder with the Heifer Project had told us that for really efficient meat production in the tropics we should be looking at Muscovy ducks. I asked if any of our readers could help us out from their own experience. We received some interesting replies.


Health and Parasites


Working With Animals