Economic Importance of Animal Husbandry - Specific Benefits of keeping Farm Animals



Economic Importance of Animal Husbandry - Specific Benefits of keeping Farm Animals

Livestock production is the second most important agricultural practice for the production of food and non-food materials to man. Farm animals are kept for many reasons, particularly for food benefits.

In this article, you should be able to discuss economic importance of animal husbandry and specific benefits of keeping farm animals.


Economic Importance of Animal Husbandry

1. Food Benefits of Farm Animals

Farm Animals are kept for the Production of:

· Meat: This is the muscle tissue or flesh and the associated fat, connective tissue of slaughtered animals. Meat presents a source of high quality protein in human diet, which is essential for body building and repairs.

· Milk: This is a white, cream-coloured secretion from the mammary glands of female farm animals, which is produced after parturition (birth of the young animal). It is also a very valuable source of high-quality protein. Food by-products of milk such as ghee, butter and cheese are highly desired sources of protein in human diets.

· Eggs: These are produced by poultry, and they serve as a very good source of protein in man’s diet.

2. Farm Work

Farm animals serve as a good source of power, especially in rural communities where there are no motorable roads. Oxens (cows, bulls, bullocks) can be trained to draw ploughs, harrows, cultivators and carts.

3. Transportation

Donkeys, horses, buffalo, bullocks and mules are used to transport farm inputs, farm workers and loads of farm produces to both farm settlements and markets.

4. Non-Food Benefits of Farm Animals

Livestock species have other uses derived from other products obtainable from them.

These include:

i. Provision of skin and hides for industrial manufacture of leather

ii. Extractions from internal organs of farm animals such parts as liver, pancreas, intestine, gall bladder, etc. used in making drugs in pharmaceutical industries

iii. Provision of animal fats used in making soap, lubricating oil and drugs

iv. Provision of hooves and horns used in industrial production of gelatin, glues, buttons, combs and other kitchen household equipment

v. Provision of manure (e.g. farmyard droppings, excrements) used as alternative fertilizer materials to inorganic fertilizers in crop farms

vi. As a source of household income when livestock and livestock products are sold.

In peri-urban areas and rural settings, livestock farmers keep animals primarily to meet their daily expenditures. Livestock keeping also offers huge employment opportunities. This also has important social benefits.

In conclusion, you have learned that farm animals are primarily kept for food benefits and secondarily for non-food benefits and services. Man derives considerable food and non-food benefits and services, especially as sources of supplementary farm work and transportation.

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