Farm animals or livestock are animals raised for agricultural purposes involving dairy, fiber, meat, or food. This would also include animals that are reared for pleasure.
Some important farm animals involve goats, cows, sheep, pigs, Buffaloes, Mules, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other birds that are commercially viable. This also includes Aquaculture, which another major strand of Livestock farming.
Now how come they are so important?
That’s where we come to Livestock farming.
The understanding regarding the livestock has traditionally remained important. Whether it’s about herding goats and sheep or using them for daily sustenance; rearing farm animals has always stayed productive.
Before we delve into the types of farm animals and their uses, let’s have a brief observation of the Livestock industry.
Livestock and its commercialization
The growth of demand for the farm animals as commercial gains have been increasing majorly. The reason is in fact due to the attraction of livestock outputs including dairy, fiber, and meat with many other uses.
Globally, the livestock sector is reaching further boundaries rapidly. However, with its downfalls, the growing population is encouraging the commercial use of farm animals to create more and more space for the industry.
With vast farmlands and pastures, a wide variety of cattle, goats, sheep, and ruminants can get access to food more easily. As the emerging value for goat farming and cattle breeding for hair and meat is very much high in demand.
The nutritional values that these products provide is another relevant factor for the development of this sector.
Requirement and selling of milk and meat have kept on growing in the US with its swarming immigrants from Asia, and Africa along with Mexico. It has been observed the immigration has been rising, leading to more consumption in meat and milk.
Raising farm animals is also a cost-efficient business to start with. The managing of animals requires basic experience and little budget to get going. Although, it depends upon the business plan that you are creating and the market you targeting.
For information regarding Goat farming, you can visit the article ‘Ultimate guide to goat farming.’
Now, coming back to what exactly are livestock categories and how baby farm animals can be productive, we will have a thorough go through on all its necessary factors.
Types of farm animals
The use of chickens, ducks, turkeys with other birds for their eggs and meat has become prominent due to its daily consumption. Therefore, farming is done with massive numbers of birds kept under reliable conditions. They are also preferred for selective breeding to develop fine traits.
Chicken called layers is used for egg production while broilers for their meat.
However, poultry farming has easily turned out to be one of the simplest ways to earn profitably. Poultry farming being another strand of animal husbandry and livestock farming, it is proven to be one of the easiest livestock farming, to begin with.
Chicken farming is a profitable business but requires a similar commitment.
US poultry industry produced around 100 billion eggs and 9 billion broilers in 2014 leading to further demand in the industry.
Primarily cattle are cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, pigs, horses, mules, camels, etc. They are majorly used for purposes like Milk, meat, food, fiber, hair, and labor.
They are mainly ruminants that have a complex digestive process involving re-chewing the food or rumination.
This type of farm animals is relatively difficult to manage. This is another growing commercial farming that has been gaining momentum.
Ruminants like cows, goats, and buffaloes specifically known for their qualities in milk, meat, and fiber. The products from these farm animals are of great demand depending upon the location.
While managing Cattle farming regular medical attention and good nutritious feeds are mandatory for quality results.
The farm animals that are being prominently used in this farming are
They are acquiring attention massively with its highly nutritious milk along with meat. Goats are of different kinds used for specific purposes. Such as Boer goats for meat and Angoras for fiber.
They are heavy and muscular used for milking and beef cattle.
Cows are also used for their skin as leather items and cosmetics.
Angus cattle are used as beef cattle. Others like Limousin and Simmental are also popular.
Sheep, as we all know, is the major source of wool. They also come under the category of ruminants. The sheep shearing process is through which the shearer removes the wool. this is one of the oldest.
Breeding of farm animals
Coming to another crucial aspect of the growth of livestock is the process of breeding. The health of the offspring matter very much for the further quality output from the animals.
These baby animals have to be taken care of species in a completely adaptable environment.
Other than being important to the health of the animal, breeding is also relevant for environmental sustainability, cost efficiency, improve food quality, etc.
The baby animals are developed through different procedures like
Crossbreeding– Where different breeds are brought together.
Pure breeding – Where similar breeds are used to mate.
Inbreeding – In which close relations are brought together to mate.
The breeding process, as usual, involves gestation periods of around 283 days in cattle. For this, farmers are supposed to use calving procedures to reduce the period from 60 to 80 days.
Mostly the breeding season comes in Spring. during this time, it provides the best atmosphere for the baby animals to sustain well.
Considering chicken the egg hatch in 21 days with one egg a day at least. However, chickens are placed in barns for consuming sunlight as hen can’t produce eggs during winter.
Trends in livestock farming:
Livestock farming is becoming a major occupation since its growth after the 1980s. Though there were declines, it has been keeping its pace alive.
With its role in the growing economy, various progress and trends have become a part of livestock farming. The products of the farm animals are gaining attention for their nutritional values around the globe.
here are a few trends that have caused an evolution in livestock farming.
Demand for livestock products:
The growing urbanization is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the demand for livestock products.
The coming ages will certainly be about people swarming towards urban areas when the consumption of food patterns will differ in many ways.
In these instances, the value and demand will grow rapidly as its already seen emerging.
The evolution has been seen mostly in the consumption of milk and meat in developed countries. The retailing sector has made it easier inaccessibility by catering directly to the consumer.
Effect of high production:
The response to the growing demand has lead to an improvement in livestock production.
The higher quantity has been produced in all sectors of livestock farming as the Beef industry has almost doubled. Consumption of chicken meat has increased drastically with high production as an impact.
This is also expected to bring a rise in the cost of the products. The value for dairy products and meat are predicted to go high in the coming decades with increasing human population and larger demand.
Livestock farming that started with just as a part of a mere livelihood will play a massive role in the improvement of food security and the economy around the world.
Technology for change:
The continuing conventional methods in managing and handling farm animals have always appeared to be effective.
But with the effective changes in the business, from handling of farm concerns to the managing of baby animals during breeding has been taken care of by new technology.
The process of cross-breeding made simpler and productive yearning through an effective heterosis process has gained great results.
Developed countries are looking for more modern ways to increase productivity with easy steps. the technologies have proven to generate high-quality Livestock products in simple and fast-paced processes.
Health and nutrition
Certainly, the protein, minerals, and vitamin of the products from farm animals are of great nutritional value. We are all aware of its benefits as well.
Therefore, keeping the health aspect of life producers have begun to generate good quality livestock with highly nutritious feeds.
The weight of the animal or the intake of the food plays a crucial part in ensuring the result of the ultimate product. Farmers are ensuring to confirm proper digestion among the farm animals for better performance.
Consistent caring and medical checkup of the livestock is ensured with efficient treatment. From the traditional ways, modern techniques have given better offers to build good quality output from the animals whether it’s about the cattle or the poultry.
Understanding the basics of Livestock and their rearing is the best way to begin if you are up to the commercial business.
The above-mentioned points can help you in gaining a very basic knowledge of Livestock and its production.
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Farm Animals Guide
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