Animal husbandry is an important part of modern agriculture, and because of the constantly evolving economy, the term livestock has become part of our everyday language. The term animal husbandry refers to the raising of animals in a farm or agricultural setting, for the purposes of food or fiber.
Domesticated animals that are raised in an agricultural environment for a commercial purpose are known as livestock, and the most common livestock types are listed and briefly described below:
Sausages, bacon and cuts of pork all come from the pig, which is reared almost exclusively for food, rather than for fiber as these animals have virtually no hair. However, the Mangalitsa pig actually has a thick wooly coat, and for this reason, is often raised for its coat.
Fleece and wool come from sheep, as well as milk, which is often considered something of a delicacy. Sheep are also farmed for a variety of different types of meat, such as mutton, lamb, and hogget and sheep are one of the first types of animal that was raised and farmed for agricultural reasons.
Goats have also been raised for many hundreds of years, as their skin and hair can be used, as well as their meat and their milk. Kid meat or cabrito meat are terms often applied to the meat from younger goats, while chevon or mutton are used to describe the meat from older goats.
The milk, meat, and skin of cattle can also be used, and because of their versatility, cattle have been raised since at least Neolithic times. In addition to cattle meat, some breeds of cattle are also bred for their manure which makes a highly effective fertilizer for plants, and the carabao breed is also raised as a working animal. In India as well as certain other countries, cattle are regarded as sacred animals.
Milk, meat, and hides are also useful products of the camel, which is raised in different areas of the world, including both the Arabian one-humped beast, and the Bactrian two-humped camel. The vicuna, llama, and guanaco are the South American counterpart to the camel.
Dogs may be man’s best friend, although it is believed that the dog evolved over time from the wolf. Although some countries consider dog meat to be a delicacy, in most of the world, dogs are used for protection and security, as with the police and the military. Dogs have long been raised and trained to provide protection, and were once used for pulling sleds too.
In the sparser areas of Tibet, yak dung is used as an important method of fueling homes, although milk, meat, and fiber are all useful products of the yak. The problem of impending extinction is one which affects several varieties of yak today.
The strong and tireless donkey has been raised for many reasons and may have become a domesticated animal when the horse was domesticated. The picture of a donkey carrying baskets or pulling a small cart along a dusty road is familiar to all of us, although donkey meat is still popular in some areas, and donkeys are also an excellent source of milk.