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What is Animal Husbandry? Definition, Types, Role in Agriculture

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  • Last Updated : 25 May, 2022
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The practice of raising animals and selective breeding is known as animal husbandry. It is the science of animal management and care, in which animals’ genetic features and behavior are developed for the human profit. For many farmers, animal husbandry is their principal source of income. Because animals provide us with a range of high-nutritional food products, they require specific care and attention.

Commercial animal breeding is carried out to address rising food demand. Animal dairy products high in protein, such as those from cows, buffaloes, and goats, are referred to as milch animals. Furthermore, we have alternative nutrient sources in the form of aquatic species. Seafood has a lot of nutrients. They are high in a range of nutrients, including fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

The animal husbandry department oversees animal care, breeding, and administration, among other things. The animals are born, raised, and housed on a farm or in a special area set aside for them. Poultry, dairy farms, apiculture, and aquaculture are all examples of animal husbandry.

Origin of Animal Domestication and Husbandry

Cattle, goats, lambs, and pigs were previously kept on small farms. Agriculturalists rapidly advanced animal husbandry after the 18th century, yielding more meat, wool, and milk every day. Horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, and water buffalo were all used in various parts of the world. Aquaculture of mollusks, crabs, and fish, as well as insect farming, was growing more popular. Thousands of chickens and high-density feedlots are available thanks to modern methods of intensive animal farming, which entails maximum production at the lowest cost. This helps to increase the production per acre of land while requiring a large financial and human investment.

Management  of farms and farm animals

This is a professional approach to traditional farm management procedures that helps increase food output.

  1. Dairy Farm Management: This is the management of the milk-producing animals (milch animals). The goal is to increase quality and quantity of milk production. High producing and disease resistant breeds are kept in a sanitary environment with sufficient housing, adequate water supply, and nutrient-rich fodder for this reason. A good, high-quality yield is obtained with regular inspection and record-keeping.
  2. Poultry Farm Management: The production of meat and eggs from domesticated fowl is known as poultry farming. Chicken, ducks, turkeys, and geese are examples of these birds. Selection of disease-free and acceptable breeds, maintenance of hygienic farm conditions, provision of adequate food and water, and health care are the key goals of poultry farm management, just as they are in dairy farming.

Animal Breeding

Inbreeding is the practice of pairing closely related superior males to superior females within the same breed for 4-6 generations. The progenies of superior men and females are further married in order to generate Mendelian pure lines that are homozygous in nature. Close inbreeding, on the other hand, gradually reduces fertility and productivity, a process known as inbreeding depression.

Out-breeding is the practice of breeding unrelated animals in one of three ways. When two unrelated individuals of the same breed who have not had a common ancestor for the previous 4-6 generations mate, out-crossing occurs. Crossbreeding is the practice of marrying a superior male of one breed with a superior female of another breed to produce children with traits from both breeds. Interspecific hybridization occurs when men and females from different related species mate.

Types of Animal Husbandry

Dairy Farming

Dairy farming is a farming method that concentrates on the long-term production of milk, which is then processed to make dairy products such as curd, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and other dairy products. It comprises caring for dairy animals such as cows, buffaloes, sheep, and goats. The animals are disease-free and regularly inspected by veterinary professionals. A healthy animal whose  physical, mental, and social health are good. These animals are milked by hand or mechanically. Milk is preserved and industrially processed into dairy products that are then sold commercially.

Poultry Farming

Poultry farming is concerned with the commercial raising and breeding of birds. Ducks, chickens, geese, pigeons, turkeys, and other domesticated birds are raised for eggs and meat. To receive healthy food from animals, it is critical to take care of them and keep them in a disease-free environment. Protein is abundant in the eggs and meat. It is necessary to maintain sanitary and hygienic circumstances. To boost soil fertility, bird feces are utilized as manure. Poultry farming employs a huge number of people and contributes to the farmers’ economic well-being.

Fish Farming

Fish farming is the practice of commercially growing fish in regulated tanks or ponds. Fish and fish protein are becoming increasingly popular. Fish farms raise salmon, catfish, cod, and tilapia, among other things.

Bee Farming

Apiculture refers to the practice of raising honey bees. As a result, it requires caring for and managing honey bees in order to produce honey and wax. Honey has incredible medicinal properties and can aid in the treatment of ulcers, blood sugar management, digestive disorders, coughs, and sore throats. Apiculture provides a safe environment for bees to work and live. Bees are necessary for us as well since they pollinate our food sources.

Role of Animal Husbandry in Agriculture

  1. Milk and milk products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are primarily produced by dairy animals such as cows, sheep, and goats.
  2. Because of their great nutritional content, several animals such as chicken, goat, duck, pigs, and buffaloes are utilized for meat.
  3. The dry shrubs that are prone to fire are chewed up by numerous animals, which helps to restrict the spread of weeds on agricultural land. That decreases the risk and injury which can occur in extreme circumstances.
  4. Wool and leather are fiber by-products from sheep and camels, respectively. When these animals are raised in big numbers, the products are readily available.
  5. Animal husbandry is also important since the excreta, bones, and blood of animals can be composted and utilized as manure or fertilizers. These can be strewn throughout fields to boost agricultural yield.
  6. Animals are useful for ploughing fields, performing military duties, and moving products from one location to another.

Conceptual Questions

Question 1: What is poultry?

Answer:

Poultry farming is a sort of animal husbandry that involves producing domesticated livestock such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese for meat and eggs.

Question 2: What is dairy farming?

Answer:

Dairy farming is a mixture of both animal husbandry and agriculture, in which milch animals such as cows and buffaloes are raised for the purpose of producing milk on a regular basis. Milk is subsequently used to make a variety of goods, including yogurt, curd, cheese, paneer, butter, and cream, which are ultimately mass-marketed.

Question 3: What is apiculture?

Answer:

Apiculture is the study and management of honey bees, which produce valuable products such as honey and wax. Apiculture provides a safe environment for bees to work and dwell in.

Question 4: How does sustainable animal husbandry benefit animals?

Answer:

Animal husbandry involves providing safe and hygienic housing for animals when done with their well-being in mind. They are fed nutritious food and are inspected for diseases on a regular basis. It entails seeing them as a part of creation rather than as machines to be milked for human convenience and avarice.

Question 5: How is aquatic farming performed?

Answer:

Aquatic farming is the practice of raising aquatic species such as fish, crabs, and prawns in sanitary water bodies such as nets, cages, open tanks, and ponds so that they can be sold. Intensive aquaculture relies on an external food source for aquatic animals, whereas extensive aquaculture relies on local photosynthetic production.

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