Livestock farming is raising animals for food or to sell.
Some of these animals might be:
There are other kinds
of livestock animals that you might not think about. These
are: donkeys, mules, and
rabbits. Bees are raised
for their honey. All
kinds of fish are raised on fish farms.
Livestock gives us our meat, eggs and milk.
We also use the skins [leather] and hair of some animals for
blankets, clothing, shoes, and brushes.
Some livestock organs are used for medicines like insulin.
Hoofs and horns are used for buttons, combs, glue and knives.
Manure from these animals will be used to make plants grow
When we talk about livestock, we will
include beef cattle, hogs/pigs,
goats, sheep and horses.
Dairy cows can be found in the Dairy
Farm area and chickens can be found on
the Poultry Farming page.
They were separated because they are a large part of
livestock and needed more space.
We were surprised to see that livestock
farming is well planned. We
didn’t know that farmers ‘design’ their herds of animals by
deciding which characteristics are good ones.
To make it easier to understand, we will use an example.
Let’s say that Ginny is the best cow that the farmer has
because she is from a good family and has given birth to other great
cows. The farmer will
take the best things about Ginny and pair them with Hector, the
bull. Hector will be
chosen because he has other qualities like a good family and good
beef. The combination
will make a calf that has qualities from Ginny and Hector.
The farmer will even have another cow be pregnant with Ginny
and Hector’s calf if
Ginny has had her limit or needs time off from being pregnant.
This is selective breeding.
There is much more planning and thought in cattle production
than we ever knew.
can be mated in three ways:
putting a few males and a few females of one species in a pen
and allowing them to mate with whichever one they want.
mating animals that are closely related.
They pick two that are related and have really good
genes so that the baby will have them, too.
mating unrelated animals.
Sometimes these animals are of different breeds.
Farmers feed livestock with grazing and giving them feed. When
a farmer feeds his livestock, he tries very hard to feed them things
that help them grow. He
adds vitamins, minerals, and protein so that the animals stay
healthy. Farmers will
figure out how much of each ingredient the livestock should have.
Sometimes cereal grains are added so that the livestock
produce better or more beef. Cattle have bodies that can take
grazing food and make it into the protein it needs.
Depending on what kind of livestock it is,
farmers give them places to live.
Sometimes it is in a building that has its temperature
controlled and sometimes it is just a place where they can get out
of the rain. Since
farmers began to ‘design’ their herds, the animals have become a
little weaker and can’t take very bad weather conditions like they
used to years ago.