Climate is the long term changes in atmospheric condition of a region or place usually over a long period of time usually ten to twenty years. It is also the shift in the statistic of the atmospheric parameter of a place over a long time.
Climate change in a simple term is the rise or increase in temperature of the earth climate system caused by the depletion of the ozone layer.
The climatic factors or parameter are rainfall, radiation, wind and temperature, all these individually or/and combined to affect the livestock growth, health, reproduction and production.
The following are the effect of climatic parameters on livestock production.
Temperature is one of the climatic condition that ply a major role in livestock production. An abnormal increase in the thermal condition of the surrounding causes an imbalance between metabolic heat production inside the animal body and its dissipation to the surroundings results to heat stress. Animals under excessive thermal weather have increase in respiration rate, rectal temperature and heart rate. The anticipated rise in temperature due to climate change is likely to aggravate the heat stress in livestock, adversely affecting their productive and reproductive performance and even death in extreme cases. Abnormal temperature also affects milk production.
Excessive rainfall causes high humidity and moisture content, these favour the infestation of pest and diseases which have high negative impact on the animals. Pest and disease reduce the animals’ growth, reproduction and even cause their death. Example is Anthrax, a life-threatening infectious disease caused by bacteria that normally affects animals, especially ruminants, the symptom include sudden death of livestock, rapid decomposition of the bloated carcasses and tarry blood coming out of all natural openings.
The El nino wind usually brings drought and blow dust and other dirt particle that can cause blindness to the animals. It can even make them lames. Also the wind chill affects the temperature of the animals, it affects their rate of feeding, metabolism and reproduction. In the cold weather, the animals are usually sluggish as the rate of metabolism is very slow.
Written by: Ogooluwa Felix, a 400 Level student of The Federal University of Technology, Akure. Twitter: @OObakulujo.