Intensive farming or also called factory farming is an outcome of the growing world we live in. Each year the population growth has been a challenge with more people to feed.

This is when certain technology and use of modern outlets took place in the streams of agriculture. Talking about factory farming or intensive farming, to be precise, we will be concerned about Intensive animal farming.
What this sort of farming can cause? At the same time how advantageous it could be?

These are just the basic couple of questions that are enough to understand the current agricultural market and its growing pace.
If you are looking for such a mode of farming, this article would give you simple explanations of what Intensive farming is all about, and its major effects.

intensive or factory farming

Factory Farming or Intensive farming

It isn’t that difficult to understand as it sounds.
Intensive farming can be described as the process of raising livestock in large numbers for maximum production in a cost-efficient way.

Factory farming is actually a recent development in the agriculture industry. Going back to history, we know how livestock farming grew and emerged as a proficient form of commercial production in its later years. The rise of agricultural development during the 1800s and 1900s doubled leading to crucial innovations that can help in mass production.

Such progress was a part of the increased food requirement especially of animal products like milk, meat, and egg.
There are many types of factory animal farming concerning market demand. In fact, many developed countries have necessarily started following this method, and have considered it efficient for producing livestock products in large numbers.
These types include poultry, cattle farming, Pig farming, aquaculture, Beekeeping, and so on.

The products these livestock offers have a great demand for their nutritional values and quality. Further, the demand has to lead to various development in crossbreeding to generate efficient breeds that can serve the purpose effectively. This has also lead to the use of hormones injected in the cattle for fast better growth.

Amidst this much potential and ease of agriculture, Intense farming has received criticism for all the disadvantages it leaves for the environment and the livestock.
To raise animals in large numbers, it requires ample space, and have to ensure that the treatment of the domesticated animals is well handled. In most cases of Factory farming, the process is indeed against animal welfare.

Let’s understand how Intensive farming has its own advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages and disadvantages of Intensive or Factory Farming

As we discuss upon the growth and the enlargement of livestock farming and doing it for maximum productivity, it is very important to know what are we losing while we prefer it.
Certainly, Intensive or factory farming has caused better economical development and ease in farming when it comes to serving the large growing human population.

The drawbacks are actually severe, because this kind of farming may be profitable and best in terms of productivity, but it is leaving the environment and human health in tragedy. However, farming is conducted on the major guidelines by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), there are still concerns and criticisms raised due to its cruelty towards animals.

First, let’s understand what factory farming really offers us.

Advantages of factory farming

  • High yield benefits are one of the major reasons farmers opt for Intensive farming. In fact, that is where the major purpose of feeding large people in less time involves. The demand for meat, egg, and milk in the industry is highly demanded due to the various products they are used for. Therefore Intensive farming helps in generating high yield by producing in large quantities.
  • Factory farming urges to produce a variety of food under one roof. This has made the production process so easy and efficient. factory farming mostly focuses on developing one animal in mass. This can help in producing all the products the particular animal provides, that too all under one roof and in the large amounts.
  • The process is very fast-paced as farming has to include a lot of labor and capital. With production in such a broader form encourages the work to reach its goal faster with less time consumption.
  • The product developed through intensive farming is mostly affordable to all sections of society. The reason lies in the relatively low cost, and less usage of space to raise animals. unlike traditional farming, factor farming has allowed access to its product to all kinds of people in the society at affordable pricing systems.
  • Many farmers have taken up Intensive farming mainly due to its Profit making ability. If you have a strong budget to start with, looking at the demand for livestock products in the market, it is, in fact, easier to earn a better financial profit through factory farming.
  • Farming can’t get more efficient than this. Factory farming allows you to go through a systematic process of gaining maximum yield at a low cost. This gives added benefits to the farming which ensures good productivity without any hassle.

Disadvantages of Intensive farming

  • It has been consistently observed that the livestock isn’t actually held in comfortable housing conditions. The reason is the use of less space for large production. The animals are kept in confined spaces with little room leading to poor living conditions.
  • Due to the lack of space, the chances of rising concern in the hygiene of the animals become a major concern. Immense crowding and the use of chemicals can cause poor maintenance of hygiene. This can affect animals with severe diseases and infections.
  • When it comes to crops, the use of pesticides or agrochemicals is a bad effect on the farming process. Using such chemicals can be efficient in dealing with pests but at the same time, it can cause food contamination.
  • Deforestation is a global threat. Unfortunately, intensive farming has a key hand in it, because of its use of land for mass production. Due to this, many trees are cut down causing soil erosion, and severe climatic changes.
  • Traditional farmers are immensely affected by the rise of intensive farming. As the efficiency and ease offered in intensive farming become popular, the value for traditional farming and farmer is dwindling. However, intensive farming also doesn’t offer many job opportunities especially when the use of technology is taking over.
  • Intensive farming doesn’t enhance the nutritional value of the product. The major in this farming is to develop high yield with maximum production by considering aspects like taste, tidiness, and high shelf life. Unlike conventional farming, Intensive farming barely promises high or raw nutrition in its products.
factory farming affecting animals

How does Intensive Or Factory farming affect the Environment

This is a very crucial pointy at the current times we live in. Intensive farming is observed to be the reason behind 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

This clearly states the sad part of intensive farming. However, its use continues due to the larger requirement of food to serve the growing demand. During this kind of farming, a lot of trees are sacrificed to access land, especially forest lands leading to deforestation, and alteration in the wildlife.

This further leads to soil erosion, climate change, natural calamities, Pollution, etc.
The requirement of agricultural land for such farming is increasing massively. Therefore, with already around 18.7 acres of forest land used every year, the future could seem threatening.

However, it is being ensured that stringent following of guidelines are executed effectively. Awareness of the importance of sustainable farming is gaining attention.

How does Intensive Or factory farming affect Human Health

The systematic and effective process involved in Factory farming can be reliable only to an extent. It has been successful in serving human hunger and food requirements in all terms.

But a closer look can tell us the other aspect of it. Why go back in history for instance, while let’s look at the current situation.
The COVID 19 pandemic has proven the defects of Intensive farming, with the virus spreading globally through a meatpacking industry.
The reason is quite obvious because of the housing conditions and improper hygiene norms.

Livestock is mainly kept enclosed in small spaces staying close to each other in immense distress and discomfort. these situations during intensive farming are a major cause for severe infections and other diseases amongst the animals, which further threatens human health.

One of the instances to consider is the use of antibiotics in the farms has led to the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. It has been observed that over 700,000 deaths are responsible in a year due to the medicines failing to fight the bacteria.


Choosing Intensive farming as a major way to get the best productivity in a larger amount is prevailing. Just like any other aspect of modern agriculture development, this farming has its advantages and disadvantages, but it completely depends on how accurately we can fill the food requirement with proper sustainable measures that are good for us and our environment.

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About the Author

I have been raising farm animals for the past 15 years. I will be sharing my knowledge and what I have learned all these years.

Farm Animals Guide

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