Farming and Animal Husbandry

What is animal husbandry?
Answered by Animal Planet
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  1. Animal husbandry refers to the care of livestock like cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and horses. Taking care of these animals involves feeding and watering them daily, and keeping their living space clean. Breeding and birthing the animals -- for example, helping deliver a baby calf is called calving -- is also a big part of the job. Baby animals must be properly monitored and weaned from their mothers in a timely manner. Another side of animal husbandry includes preparing the livestock for sale or slaughter, and making sure they're ready to go to market. Other necessary tasks include medicating sick animals, monitoring the general health of the animals, herding and branding.

    While animal husbandry is a large part of a ranch handler's job, they also do a lot of other things. While TV and movies make the ranching life seem glamorous, the truth is that ranchers have many responsibilities. The most popular, and thus well known, ranch jobs fall into the fields of wrangling and cowboy or cowgirl work. However, these jobs require a significant level of experience with horses. Wranglers also perform odd jobs around the farm, and serve as guides for the guests. Other caretakers might find jobs as cooks, mechanics or housekeepers. Ranches require a wide number of people with different skills in addition to animal husbandry, and many often offer training courses for their new hires.

    Ranch hands generally work in a rural setting, but animal husbandry also has a place in more urban environments. In-town chicken coops and bee hives -- and even small pens set up for goats -- are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as people try to become more self-sufficient and try to eat local, organic products [source: Lee-St. John].

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