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Animals are useful to us in many ways - they provide us with food (meat, milk, eggs) and clothing (wool, leather), help us in transportation, and also provide company to us as pets.  Humans started to domesticate animals when they stopped moving around and settled in communities around 10,000 B.C. All domesticated and useful animals are referred to as livestock. The breeding, feeding and caring of livestock for food and other useful purposes is called animal husbandry.

The main objective of animal husbandry is to improve the breeds of domestic animals and to offer them the right nutrition and atmosphere so that the yield of milk, eggs, meat, etc.  may be increased. 

Important Factors in Animal Husbandry

There are four important factors in animal husbandry, which are as follows:


To meet the demands of a growing population we have to keep increasing our production of meat, eggs and milk.  To do this, new varieties of poultry and cattle which are stronger, need less food and are more productive are bred.  This is achieved by selective breeding. This is similar to hybridization in plants.

Some new high milk yielding breeds of cattle produced in this way are Jersey, Karan-Fries, Friesion and Sahiwal.  White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock are breeds of poultry with high egg yields produced by selective breeding.  They lay about 200 eggs per year.


Domesticated animals must be fed with the correct type of food.  The diet also depends on the purpose for which the particular animal is reared, the time of feeding and the manner in which the feed is given varies from animal to animal.


It is uneconomical to go on looking after animals whose yield is too low.  Also, the characteristics of these animals can get passed on to future generations.  The process of eliminating such uneconomical animals is called weeding.


Heeding means taking proper care of animals so that they remain healthy.


All animals must be housed properly.  They must not be left in the open, exposed to rain, cold, heat or predators. Shelters should be:

  • Large enough - e.g. a cow requires 6sq.m, 100 hens need about 30sq.m.

  • They must be clean, well lighted and well ventilated.

  • They must have good drainage and hygienic methods of disposal of excreta.

  • Clean water should be available.

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