Animal Health Division watches for signs of animal diseases at fairs, auction markets, and whenever animals enter or leave the state. The division can halt animal transportation through embargo and quarantine to limit the spread of disease. It has a variety of resources to eradicate disease outbreaks and decontaminate affected farms or other premises. Its associated laboratories allow quick turnaround on samples, including those taken from every commercial poultry flock before it leaves the farm. The work of the division over the decades has resulted in West Virginia having disease-free status for many troublesome poultry and livestock diseases.
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The necessity of a clean and reliable year-round source of water cannot be overemphasized. Daily water requirements vary from three gallons (sheep) to 14 gallons (cattle). Ensuring adequate water intake will encourage optimal health and performance of livestock and help prevent serious conditions such as colic and impaction.
Livestock's maintenance nutritional requirements can increase significantly during cold weather. Energy can be provided through grain or additional roughage (hay). Dietary energy increases are necessary during inclement weather. Livestock will fare better if they have sufficient body condition to call upon during times of need. Don't overlook minerals in the winter. Keep trace mineralized salt available at all times and try to protect it from the elements. Although horses and cattle do well with salt blocks, salt crumbles are best for sheep and goats.