Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture, concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fiber, milk, eggs, or other products. It is the science of farming animal livestock. It includes caring, breeding, and management of livestock. Animal husbandry is a large-scale business where animals that provide us food are reared, bred, sheltered, and cared for in a farm or region which are specially built for them.
It is the management and care of animals in which the genetic qualities and behavior of animals are further developed for profit. A large number of farmers depend upon animal husbandry for their livelihood. Animals like chicken, duck, ox, goat, pigs, etc. are bred for meat. Other than these domestic animals we have other sources of nutrients as well, they are marine animals. The seafood we eat has very high nutrient values. They are sources of a variety of nutrients like fat, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Types of Animal Husbandry
- Dairy Farming: It involves the management of dairy animals such as cows, buffaloes, sheep, goat, etc. The animals are taken care of against diseases and are inspected regularly by veterinary doctors. A healthy animal is physically, mentally, and socially sound. These animals are milked by hand or by machines. The milk is preserved and converted into dairy products industrially, which are then used for commercial purposes.
- Poultry Farming: Poultry farming is concerned with raising and breeding birds for commercial purposes. Birds like ducks, chickens, geese, pigeons, turkeys, etc. are domesticated for eggs and meat. It is very important to take care of the animals and maintain them in a disease-free environment to obtain healthy food from them. Eggs and meat are a rich source of protein. Sanitation and hygienic conditions need to be maintained. The faeces of birds are used as manure to improve soil fertility. Poultry farming employs a large number of people and helps in improving the economy of the farmers.
- Bee Farming: Bee farming is the practice of maintaining bee colonies by humans in man-made hives. Honey bees are reared on a large scale. The bees are domesticated for honey, wax, and to pollinate flowers. They are also used by other beekeepers for the same purposes. The place where bees are kept is known as an apiary or a bee yard.
- Fish Farming: Fish farming is the process of raising fish in closed tanks or ponds for commercial purposes. There is an increasing demand for fish and fish protein. Fish species such as salmon, catfish, cod, and tilapia are raised in fish farms.
- Dairy Products: Animals such as cows, goats, sheep, etc. are the major source of milk and milk products such as cheese, butter, etc.
- Meat: Animals such as cows, buffaloes, pigs, and goats are reared for their meat. Their meat is a rich source of dietary protein.
- Land Management: The livestock is sometimes grazed to control the growth of weeds on agricultural land. The dry shrubs in the areas that are prone to wildfire are eaten by goats and sheep, which reduces the risk of fire.
- Fiber: Animals also produce fibers or textiles such as wool and leather. For eg, sheep are reared for wool whereas leather can be obtained from a camel.
- Manure: The manure is spread on the fields to increase crop yields and crop production. It is also used as fuel for fires and as plaster for walls and floors.
- It helps in the proper management of animals by providing proper food, shelter, and protection against diseases to domestic animals.
- Provide employment.
- It helps in developing high yielding breeds of animals by crossbreeding. This increases the production of various food products such as milk, eggs, meat, etc.
- It involves the proper disposal of animal waste and promotes a healthy environment.