Are you searching for the answer to What is Animal Husbandry? then you are on the right page to get answers to your question as we will also be information about not only the meaning of animal husbandry but also the history of animal husbandry along with its economic importance to man.
Animal Husbandry, which can also be referred to as livestock production, animal raising, livestock farming, animal culture, animal rearing, stock raising, ranching, farming, and pasturage is the second most important agricultural practice for the production of food and non-food materials to man.
Farm animals are kept for many reasons, particularly for food benefits. Man derives considerable food and non-food benefits and services, especially as sources of supplementary farm work and transportation.
Commercial animal breeding occurs to meet the high demand for food. Dairy products from animals such as cows, buffaloes, and goats are high in protein. These animals are known as milch animals because they give us milk. Hens, ducks, and geese are another group of animals that provide nutrient-rich food.
They provide us with eggs, which are also high in protein. Meat-producing animals include chicken, duck, ox, goat, pigs, and others. Aside from these domestic animals, we have other sources of nutrients, which are marine animals. The nutrients in the seafood we eat are extremely high. They contain a variety of nutrients such as fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Animal care, breeding, management, and so on are closely monitored by the department of animal husbandry. Animal husbandry is a large-scale industry. The animals are bred, cared for, reared, and housed in a farm or region designed specifically for them. Animal husbandry includes poultry, dairy farms, apiculture (bee agriculture), aquaculture, and other related activities.
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History of Animal Husbandry – What Is Animal Husbandry?
Animal husbandry can be defined as the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, or other products.
It is a type of agriculture in which animal farming is practiced. Livestock farming has a long history; animals were first domesticated during the Neolithic revolution. Sheep, pigs, Egypt, and cattle were raised on farms around 13000 BC.
The term husband refers to careful management, and it derives from an ancient meaning of husband. Husbands in the 14th century referred to taking care of the household and ownership. It now refers to the prudent use of resources or the cultivation of animals and plants in agriculture.
Ranchers and farmers raised animals that were considered livestock farming in the past. As technology advances, so does the method of raising animals for food.
Livestock plays a significant role in rural livelihoods and the economies of developing countries. They are providers of income and employment for producers and others working in, sometimes complex, value chains.
They are a crucial asset and safety net for the poor, especially for women and pastoralist groups, and they provide an important source of nourishment for billions of rural and urban households.
These socio-economic roles and others are increasing in importance as the sector grows because of increasing human populations, incomes, and urbanization rates.
The Benefits of Keeping Farm Animals
Below are the general and specific benefits of keeping farm animals;
1. Food Benefits of Farm Animals: Farm Animals are kept for the production of the following foods;
i. Meat: This is the muscle tissue or flesh and the associated fat, connective tissue of slaughtered animals. Meat presents a source of high-quality protein in the human diet, which is essential for bodybuilding and repair.
ii. Milk: This is a white, cream-colored secretion from the mammary glands of female farm animals, which is produced after parturition (birth of the young animal). It is also a very valuable source of high-quality protein.
Food by-products of milk such as ghee, butter, and cheese are highly desired sources of protein in human diets.
iii. Eggs: These are produced by poultry, and they serve as a very good source of protein in man’s diet.
2. Farm Work
Farm animals serve as a good source of power, especially in rural communities where there are no motorable roads. Oxen’s (Cows, bulls, bullocks) can be trained to draw ploughs, harrows, cultivators, and carts.
Donkeys, horses, buffalo, bullocks, and mules are used to transport farm inputs, farm workers, and loads of farm produce to both farm settlements and markets.
Non-Food Benefits of Keeping Farm Animals
Livestock species have other uses derived from other products obtainable. These include;
1. Provision of skin and hides for industrial manufacture of leather
2. Extraction from internal organs of farm animals such parts as liver, pancreas, intestine, gall bladder, etc. used in making drugs in pharmaceutical industries.
3. Provision of animal fats used in making soap, lubricating oil, and drugs.
4. Provision of hooves and horns used in industrial production of gelatin, glues, buttons, combs, and other kitchen household equipment.
5. Provision of manure (e.g. farmyard droppings, excrements) used as alternative fertilizer materials to inorganic fertilizers in crop farms; and
6. As a source of household income when livestock and livestock products are sold. In peri-urban areas and rural settings, livestock farmers keep animals primarily to meet their daily expenditures. Livestock keeping also offers huge employment opportunities. This also has important social benefits.
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