Animal Husbandry

jwblackwell avatar
By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is animal husbandry?

When did the domestication of livestock begin?

Which animals are herbivores?

What is aquaculture?

What is selective breeding?

What are zoonoses?

What is the impact of animal husbandry on the environment?

What are the risks associated with petting farms?

What is the reality of animal husbandry compared to its depiction in culture?


Animal Husbandry: Management, Selective Breeding, and Care of Farm Animals by Humans

  • Animal husbandry is concerned with the day-to-day care, selective breeding, and raising of livestock for meat, fibre, milk, or other products.

  • Domestication of livestock began during the Neolithic Revolution around 13,000 BC, predating farming of the first crops.

  • Major changes took place in the Columbian exchange when Old World livestock were brought to the New World, and in the British Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century when livestock breeds were rapidly improved by agriculturalists to yield more meat, milk, and wool.

  • Insect farming and aquaculture of fish, molluscs, and crustaceans are widespread.

  • Modern animal husbandry relies on production systems adapted to the type of land available, with subsistence farming being superseded by intensive animal farming in more developed parts of the world.

  • Most livestock are herbivores, except for pigs and chickens which are omnivores.

  • Grass is the primary source of food for ruminants like cattle and sheep, while pigs and poultry require high-protein foods.

  • Selective breeding for desired traits was established as a scientific practice by Robert Bakewell during the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century.

  • Animals can be kept extensively or intensively, with intensive systems involving high-density feedlots or climate-controlled buildings.

  • Energy is mainly derived from cereals and cereal by-products, fats and oils, and sugar-rich foods, while protein may come from fish or meat meal, milk products, legumes, and other plant foods.

  • Breeding of farm animals is managed by farmers to encourage desirable traits such as hardiness, fertility, and fast growth rates.

  • Good husbandry, proper feeding, and hygiene are the main contributors to animal health on the farm, with sick animals treated with veterinary medicines by the farmer and the veterinarian.Overview of Animal Husbandry

  • Animal husbandry involves the breeding, care, and management of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and other animals raised for meat, wool, milk, eggs, and other products.

  • Animals may be susceptible to various diseases and conditions, and regulations are imposed on import and export, movement of stock, quarantine restrictions, and reporting of suspected cases.

  • Zoonoses are diseases that humans may acquire from animals, and wild animal populations may harbor diseases that can affect domestic animals.

  • There is no single universally agreed definition of which species are livestock, although widely agreed types include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry.

  • Animals are raised for a wide variety of products, including meat, wool, milk, eggs, and other byproducts such as tallow, isinglass, and rennet.

  • Dairy farming involves the use of animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and camels to produce milk and milk products for human consumption.

  • Meat, mainly from farmed animals, is a major source of dietary protein and essential nutrients around the world, with cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats being the main species involved.

  • Poultry, kept for their eggs and meat, include chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, with the majority of laying birds used for egg production being chickens.

  • Aquaculture involves the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants, and can take place in the sea or in freshwater, and be extensive or intensive.

  • Insects, such as bees, silkworms, crickets, and palm weevil larvae, are also farmed for their products.

  • Animal husbandry has a significant impact on the world environment, including contributing to climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, and species extinction, as well as using large amounts of fresh water and occupying about a third of the Earth's ice-free land.

  • Strategies for mitigating animal husbandry's environmental impact include using biogas from manure, genetic selection, immunization, rumen defaunation, diet modification, and grazing management.

  • Concerns for animal welfare have led to the creation of standards and laws worldwide, and animal rights activists object to long-distance transport of animals and the systemic oppression and enslavement of animals.The Idealized Depiction of Farm Animals in Culture

  • John Bull has represented English national identity since the 18th century and is depicted as practical, down to earth, and anti-intellectual.

  • Books and songs for children often depict happy farm animals free to roam in attractive countryside, which is a completely inaccurate depiction of modern intensive farming.

  • Many children's books depict anthropomorphic animals, dressing farm animals in clothes and having them walk on two legs, live in houses, and perform human activities.

  • Pigs, in particular, are often depicted as "bearers of cheerfulness, good humour and innocence" in children's books, such as Beatrix Potter's "little books," A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories, Dick King-Smith's The Sheep-Pig, and E. B. White's Charlotte's Web.

  • Petting farms attract around five million people a year in Britain, which presents a risk of infection, especially if children handle animals and then fail to wash their hands.

  • An outbreak of E. coli in 2009 infected 93 people who had visited a British interactive farm.

  • Historic farms in the United States offer farmstays and "a carefully curated version of farming to those willing to pay for it," sometimes giving visitors a romanticized image of a pastoral idyll from an unspecified time in the pre-industrial past.

  • Books and songs for children often give children an almost entirely fictitious account of farm life, which is softened, distorted, or idealized.

  • The reality of animal husbandry is often at odds with the idealized depiction of farm life in children's books and songs.

  • The impersonal, mechanized activities involved in modern intensive farming are not depicted in children's books and songs.

  • The depiction of farm animals in culture is often idealized, giving people a false impression of the reality of animal husbandry.

  • The idealized depiction of farm animals in culture is a stark contrast to the extreme suffering that occurs in modern intensive farming.


Test your knowledge of animal husbandry with this quiz! Learn about the day-to-day care, selective breeding, and raising of livestock for meat, fibre, milk, or other products. Discover the major changes that have taken place in animal husbandry over time, including the domestication of livestock and the British Agricultural Revolution. See how animal husbandry impacts the environment and learn about strategies for mitigating its environmental impact. Finally, explore the idealized depiction of farm animals in culture and the reality of animal

Make Your Own Quiz

Transform your notes into a shareable quiz, with AI.

Get started for free

More Quizzes Like This

Pig Breed Identification Quiz
12 questions
Livestock and Farm Management
10 questions
Animal Husbandry Fundamentals
5 questions