Animal farms is also known as animal husbandry. Animal husbandry is that branch of agriculture that deals with animals that are raised for meat, milk, fiber, eggs, or other products. It includes basics like day-to-day care of animals, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.
In these animal farms, genetic qualities and behavior of the animals are developed for profit. A large number of farmers are dependent upon animal farms for their livelihood.
According to a 2019 survey, the worldwide cattle population was more than 1 billion. Similarly, the pig population and chicken population was 767 million and 996 million respectively.
Thus, the number of chickens is three times larger than the global human population. Animal source foods like milk, yoghurt, meat, eggs and cheese are an important part of our daily diet. The consumption of these items is likely to go up further in the near future.
Animal Farm and Environment
Animal farms enable the mass production of animal foods at affordable prices. If the livestock systems are poorly managed , it can lead to environmental and health concerns.
Animal farms produce huge amounts of animal waste. This waste may contain pollutants like plant nutrients, and other chemicals.
Many livestock farmers around the world are trying to bring about a change. They are moving away from conventional farming. They are not raising farm animals in restricted systems. Animals with access to outdoors facilities. This enables animals to express their natural behaviors. Modern farmers are raising animals on grassland 365 days in a year on pasture farms.
Many farmers producing 100 percent grass-fed beef, have a preference to raise and finish their cattle on grassland itself.
One important aspect of regenerative agriculture is to carefully plan rotational cattle grazing. This allows the grassland to rest and grow during the dormant period. This process speeds up the storage of atmospheric carbon into the plants and soil.
Over the years, many farmers have switched from industrial to sustainable farm animal production systems. This effort has protected the environment, promoted animal welfare, protected the climate and improved incomes.
Why is There a Need for Animal Farm?
With the exponential rise in population, the demand for food, eggs, milk, eggs, and meat is rising. Hence, it is important to have a process to increase the production of these food items to meet the rising requirements.
Animal husbandry or animal farm are essential for managing gap between the difference in supply and demand.
You must be aware of the two important revolutions in this area. One was Operation Flood that was related to milk production. The second one was the Silver Revolution that was related to egg production.
Modern animal husbandry relies on production adapted to the type of available land.
Subsistence farming is fast replacing the traditional intensive animal farming in the developed parts of the world. Some of the examples include keeping of beef cattle in high-density feedlots, and raising thousands of chickens in broiler houses.
In the highlands, animals are kept more extensively as the regions are poor soil areas. Additionally, the animals are allowed to roam widely, foraging for themselves.
Most livestock are grass eaters, except for the pig that is an omnivore. Sheep and cattle are adapted to feed on grass. They can forage outdoors or maybe fed entirely or in part on rations richer in nutrients, such as pelleted cereals.
Poultry and pigs cannot digest the cellulose in forage and require cereals and other high-energy foods.
Animal Farm with Advanced Technology
In recent years, technological advancement has started the concept of smart livestock. This has led to the application of IoT technologies in various aspects of agriculture.
1 IoT Enabled System for Managing Animal Farm
Many products are being developed for smart animal health monitoring systems based on IoT. This would allow real- time monitoring of the physiological parameters. These parameters include body temperature, heart rate and rumination with surrounding temperature and humidity. All these parameters can be measured in real-time.
Different sensors are mounted on the body of animals This would give the information related to health status. The users can easily access those data using the internet. The systems processes the data sensed by various bio-sensors and displays on the monitor and forwards to the cloud. Users can access the information from anywhere using the internet and a mobile app.
2 Animal Farm and Biosensors
Biosensors have started gaining popularity. Globally, many of these sensors are being produced for animal fitness management. Additionally, they are at various levels of commercialization. IoT based systems are being used in cattle development and welfare.
Precision farm animals farming techniques. including technological advancements in microfluidics are used extensively. The usage of sound analyzers, photograph-detection strategies are also contributing to these techniques..
Integration of all the available sensors have led to development of modern IoT enabled systems. This led to creation of an efficient on-line monitoring gadget that can monitor animal health in real-time.
Some example of biosensors are as follows:
A gadget known as polar sport tester is based on a heart rate monitoring technique for cattle. Another examples the app “Livestock information system (LIS)” has been developed. Real time monitoring of the health of animals is done easily with this app.
In the developed device, smart mobiles use blue-tooth technology for communicating and processing the data of sensors. It also demonstrates the physiological parameters of the animals like heartbeat and temperature in real-time. Besides these there are several other projects that help in collecting real-time data of the animals.
Types of Animal Farm
1 Dairy Farming
It is the most popular global business. Dairy farming is a type of agri-business which involves the production of milk from domestic animals. The dairy animals produce milk in a dairy farm. It is a good source of income for the farmers. Dairy farms also provide a higher source of revenue in the form of value-added products like yoghurt and cheese.
2 Goat Farming
It is another low investment high profitable business in the area of livestock farming. It doesn’t need a big housing area due to its small body size compared to other livestock animals. Additionally, goat farming ensures quick and high ROI depending on the investment amount.
3 Crab Farming
Mud crab farming is widespread in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand etc. The mud crabs have substantial international market demand. It requires very less capital investment and can be quickly started and run as a farming business.
4 Fish Farming
This is another money-making business for the farmers who have ample water bodies. You can also raise fishes on tanks in case you do not have access to water bodies. You can choose from different types of seafood like carp, shrimp, catfish, prawn and salmon. It is essential to do a market analysis to understand the local demand before starting a fish farming business. These days, ornamental fish farming is also gaining popularity.
5 Pearl Farming
Artificially cultured pearls make up almost 100 percent of all the pearls sold in the market nowadays. It is a highly profitable livestock business, although it requires long-term planning.
6 Pig Farming
The annual worldwide consumption of pigs is more than one billion pigs. Pigs are used as human food. Their skin and fat are also used for cosmetics, processed foods, clothing, and medicinal purpose. This makes pig farming a lucrative option.
7 Quail Farming
There are immense benefits of quail farming: rapid growth, early sex maturity, short generation interval, and quick in egg production. Quail is an ideal food for health-conscious people, as it has less fat and fewer calories. Quail meat and eggs are rich sources of vitamins, essential amino acids.
8 Sheep Farming
One can raise sheep for its milk, meat, and fiber. You can choose specific breeds depending on the climatic condition of your region. Some of the important sheep producing countries include mainland China, Australia, India, Iran etc. Before starting a sheep farming business, you must draft a clear business plan that must consist of financial costs & revenue.
9 Duck Farming
There are several duck breeds available all over the world. If you are planning to start a low-cost livestock farming business, then you can opt for duck farming. You can also raise ducks without water. As ducks are hardy birds, they don’t need extra care and management.
10 Poultry Farming
A person can start poultry farming for eggs as well as meat. In general, egg-producing hens are layers & meat-producing hens are broilers. The demand for chicken meat grows day by day. This makes poultry farming a profitable livestock business for farmers. You can quickly start poultry farming on a small-scale or large-scale basis.
Farm animal fitness is a serious global problem that needs prompt medical strategies. This makes it important to have modern systems using biosensors for animal fitness control.
These sensors are in use at various stages in an animal farm. They are slowly making their way into the practical use.
These progressive technologies are now in practice for farm animal’s development and welfare. Precision livestock farming strategies consisting of a long list technologies.
In addition, superior technologies like sound analyzers, image detection strategies are in use.
However, there’s a need to combine all of the available sensors. There is a need to create an efficient online tracking system. This allows real-time monitoring of the farm animals.