Animal husbandry strictly checks animal care, breeding, and management, among other things. Animal husbandry is a vast business. Domesticated animals are born, raised, and housed in a farm or location exclusively developed for them.
Dairy farms, Poultry, aquaculture, apiculture (beekeeping), and other associated activities are part of animal husbandry. Here, we will discuss animal products, roles and advantages, and types of animal husbandry.
What is Animal Husbandry?
Animal Husbandry comprises the controlled cultivation, management, and production of domestic animals. It also seeks to improve the attributes through breeding that humans desire. As the world population grows, so does the demand for animal and plant-based food products. And to meet such a request, the practice of animal husbandry comes into the picture.
Domesticated animals of any breed kept in an agricultural setting are known as livestock. These domesticated animals are kept for the benefit of human beings. The farm practice of raising livestock and breeding is called animal husbandry. It deals with the breeding and care of animals like buffaloes, cows, pigs, horses, sheep, camels, cattle, goats, etc., by humans for various products like milk, meat, wool, etc.
Poultry farming and fisheries are also considered part of animal husbandry. Animal husbandry involves raising livestock and selective breeding. It is the care and management of animals in which their genetic qualities and behavior are further developed for profit.
Animals provide us with various food products with high nutritional values. Consequently, they require a lot of care and attention. A large number of farmers are dependent on animal husbandry for their livelihood.
Role of Animal Husbandry
The animal husbandry department mainly monitors animal care, breeding, and management. Animal husbandry is a large-scale business. The animals are bred, cared for, reared, and sheltered in a farm or region which is specially built for them. Animal husbandry involves poultry, milk farms, apiculture (bee agriculture), aquaculture, etc.
Animals are bred commercially to meet the high demand for food. Dairy products from animals like cows, buffaloes, and goats are rich in protein sources. These animals are known as milch animals as they provide us with milk. Another set of animals that provide nutrient-rich food is hens, geese, ducks, etc. They offer us eggs, which again are rich sources of protein.
Animals like chicken, duck, ox, goat, pigs, etc. are bred for meat. In addition to these domestic animals, the other sources of nutrients are marine animals. The seafood we eat has very high nutrient values. They are sources of various nutrients like fat, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Types of Animal Husbandry
There are four types of practices of animal husbandry depending on the type of animal.
This farming involves caring for cattle like cows, buffaloes, goats, and sheep for milk production or agricultural activities like irrigation, plowing, etc. These animals are managed and reared by mostly farmers to increase their income. The animals providing milk are called milch animals. Milk is used to make several dairy products like curd, cheese, cream, butter, etc.
These products are manufactured industrially and used for commercial purposes. You also get meat from some cattle. Animals on these farms are provided with healthy food, shelter, and regular health check-ups by doctors.
Poultry refers to rearing domesticated birds for their eggs or food (meat), for example, chicken, geese, turkeys, ducks, and some varieties of pigeons. The birds in the poultry reared for meat are called broilers. On the other hand, Layers are the female birds raised for egg production.
Poultry farm has evolved as one of the biggest industries globally, providing good income opportunities for farmers and employment for many others. However, this industry requires regular maintenance of hygiene and sanitation.
Commercial rearing of fish in tanks or ponds is known as fish farming or pisciculture. Fish and a few other marine animals are good sources of protein. Hence, there is a massive demand for these. You can do fishing by two methods, firstly by using natural resources, and secondly by artificial farming.
Natural resources such as lakes, seas, oceans, rivers provide a wide range of fisheries. Fish species like salmon, tuna, prawns, catfish, trout, lobsters, and tilapia are raised in fisheries.
Bee farming involves rearing honey bees in artificial hives to produce honey on a large scale. It is also called apiculture. The area used to keep bees is an apiary or bee yard. Bees are reared for honey and beeswax.
Bees are also used as pollinators for flowers. Additionally, honey is used for many purposes like medicine, food, beauty products, etc. Hence, apiculture is also one of the essential industries.
Some Important Animal Products
Animal husbandry holds great importance due to the products received from these practices. These products fulfill the nutritional requirements of a large population. Additionally, they are used for other purposes like clothing, beauty, medicines, etc.
Some essential animal products that we get from animal husbandry are:
- Milk is considered a complete food. It forms the main diet of small children.
- It is also used to make dairy products like curd, cheese, ice cream, butter, etc., on an industrial scale and for commercial purposes.
- Eggs are a good source of protein and are obtained from poultry birds.
- Meat Animals like poultry, birds, fish, crabs, prawns, and some cattle are reared for their meat as a food product.
- Fiber Camels, sheep, and particular goats provide us with leather and fiber like wool.
Importance of Animal Husbandry
Animal Husbandry is vital in many aspects. Some of these are:
- It increases milk production to fulfill the needs of the growing population.
- It helps to increase the country’s economy by providing employment opportunities and transportation of valuable products.
- It provides a better living environment for humans and animals.
- It helps use animal waste leading to a clean and safe environment.
- It significantly contributes to women’s empowerment. It has increased their income and societal role.
- It is a practical risk mitigation approach for marginal and small farmers, especially across rain-fed regions.
- It is at the center of poverty alleviation programs from equity and livelihood standpoints.
- Livestock productivity has been identified as one of the seven sources of income growth by the Inter-Ministerial Committee under the government’s target of doubling farmers’ income.
Role of Animal Husbandry in Human Welfare
Animal Husbandry is the agricultural practice of raising livestock for human profit differently. It performs a significant role in improving the welfare of humans, for example:
1. It provides many valuable products such as eggs, meat, wool, silk, milk, honey. Therefore, these are very important in our daily life.
2. It aids in increasing the employment rate in the country, especially for farmers.
3. It provides an increase in food production to meet the requirement of a large population.
4. At the commercial level, it provides many earning opportunities to the farmers through exporting their products.
5. Altogether, it strengthens the country’s economy.
Advantages of Animal Husbandry
There are several advantages of animal husbandry for farmers and other people. Some of these are:
1. Animal Husbandry includes the practice of cross-breeding. Consequently, it helps in developing high-yielding breeds.
2. You can obtain milk and milk products such as curd, cheese, yogurt from dairy animals like cows, buffaloes, and goats.
3. Poultry, fish, and prawns are reared for their meat products. Furthermore, these products have high nutritional value.
4. It provides jobs to many people. Consequently, they are helping to improve the economic status of people and the country.
5. It helps dispose of and manage animal waste. Consequently, it leads to a clean and safe environment.
6. It helps produce manure or compost. Subsequently, you can spread in the field to enhance the crop’s yield.
7. Wool and leather are essential by-products from animals such as sheep, and camels. Consequently, there is a massive demand for these products in the market worldwide
8. It is suitable for both humans as well as animals. Animals are provided with shelter, protection against diseases, and feed. Thus , it is a win-win situation for both humans and animals
As the population and living standards increase, there is an increase in the demand for milk, eggs, and meat. There is an urgent need to apply new technologies to improve quality and increase productivity. Consequently, the application of new technologies must be in addition to the conventional practices of animal breeding and care. Animal husbandry involves specific scientific techniques in the management of animal livestock.
Additionally, animal husbandry requires precise planning for a domestic animal shelter, health, disease control, breeding, and proper economic utilization. It also involves various aspects like feeding, breeding, and disease control management that help keep up with the increasing demands for animal products.