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Meanwhile, in South America, the llama and the alpaca had been domesticated, probably before 3, BC, as beasts of burden and for their wool. Neither was strong enough to pull a plough which limited the development of agriculture in the New World. Horses occur naturally on the steppes of Central Asia, and their domestication, around 3, BC in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region, was originally as a source of meat; use as pack animals and for riding followed.

Around the same time, the wild ass was being tamed in Egypt. Camels were domesticated soon after this, [9] with the Bactrian camel in Mongolia and the Arabian camel becoming beasts of burden. In ancient Egypt , cattle were the most important livestock, and sheep, goats, and pigs were also kept; poultry including ducks, geese, and pigeons were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were force-fed with dough to fatten them. The Nile provided a plentiful source of fish.

Honey bees were domesticated from at least the Old Kingdom, providing both honey and wax. In ancient Rome , all the livestock known in ancient Egypt were available. In addition, rabbits were domesticated for food by the first century BC. To help flush them out from their underground burrows, the polecat was domesticated as the ferret , its use described by Pliny the Elder. In northern Europe, agriculture including animal husbandry went into decline when the Roman empire collapsed. Some aspects such as the herding of animals continued throughout the period.

By the 11th century, the economy had recovered and the countryside was again productive. The Domesday Book recorded every parcel of land and every animal in England: "there was not one single hide, nor a yard of land, nay, moreover Woodland for [feeding] 70 pigs. Exploration and colonisation of North and South America resulted in the introduction into Europe of such crops as maize, potatoes, sweet potatoes and manioc, while the principal Old World livestock — cattle, horses, sheep and goats — were introduced into the New World for the first time along with wheat, barley, rice and turnips.

Selective breeding for desired traits was established as a scientific practice by Robert Bakewell during the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century. One of his most important breeding programs was with sheep. Using native stock, he was able to quickly select for large, yet fine-boned sheep, with long, lustrous wool.

The Lincoln Longwool was improved by Bakewell and in turn the Lincoln was used to develop the subsequent breed, named the New or Dishley Leicester.

It was hornless and had a square, meaty body with straight top lines. Under his influence, English farmers began to breed cattle for use primarily as beef.


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Long-horned heifers were crossed with the Westmoreland bull to create the Dishley Longhorn. The semi-natural, unfertilised pastures formed by traditional agricultural methods in Europe were managed by grazing and mowing. As the ecological impact of this land management strategy is similar to the impact of such natural disturbances as a wildfire , this agricultural system shares many beneficial characteristics with a natural habitat, including the promotion of biodiversity.

This strategy is declining in Europe today due to the intensification of agriculture. The mechanized and chemical methods used are causing biodiversity to decline. Traditionally, animal husbandry was part of the subsistence farmer's way of life, producing not only the food needed by the family but also the fuel, fertiliser, clothing, transport and draught power.

Killing the animal for food was a secondary consideration, and wherever possible its products, such as wool, eggs, milk and blood by the Maasai were harvested while the animal was still alive. Animals can be kept extensively or intensively. Extensive systems involve animals roaming at will, or under the supervision of a herdsman, often for their protection from predators.

Ranching in the Western United States involves large herds of cattle grazing widely over public and private lands. Similar cattle stations are found in South America, Australia and other places with large areas of land and low rainfall. Similar ranching systems have been used for sheep , deer , ostrich , emu , llama and alpaca.

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In the uplands of the United Kingdom, sheep are turned out on the fells in spring and graze the abundant mountain grasses untended, being brought to lower altitudes late in the year, with supplementary feeding being provided in winter. At the other extreme, in the more developed parts of the world, animals are often intensively managed ; dairy cows may be kept in zero-grazing conditions with all their forage brought to them; beef cattle may be kept in high density feedlots ; [27] pigs may be housed in climate-controlled buildings and never go outdoors; [28] poultry may be reared in barns and kept in cages as laying birds under lighting-controlled conditions.

In between these two extremes are semi-intensive, often family-run farms where livestock graze outside for much of the year, silage or hay is made to cover the times of year when the grass stops growing, and fertiliser, feed, and other inputs are brought onto the farm from outside. Animals used as livestock are predominantly herbivorous , the main exceptions being the pig and the chicken which are omnivorous.

The herbivores can be divided into "concentrate selectors" which selectively feed on seeds, fruits and highly nutritious young foliage, "grazers" which mainly feed on grass, and "intermediate feeders" which choose their diet from the whole range of available plant material. Cattle, sheep, goats, deer and antelopes are ruminants ; they digest food in two steps, chewing and swallowing in the normal way, and then regurgitating the semidigested cud to chew it again and thus extract the maximum possible food value.

Grasses grow from the base of the leaf-blade, enabling it to thrive even when heavily grazed or cut. In many climates grass growth is seasonal, for example in the temperate summer or tropical rainy season , so some areas of the crop are set aside to be cut and preserved, either as hay dried grass , or as silage fermented grass. Extensively reared animals may subsist entirely on forage, but more intensively kept livestock will require energy and protein-rich foods in addition. Energy is mainly derived from cereals and cereal by-products, fats and oils and sugar-rich foods, while protein may come from fish or meat meal, milk products, legumes and other plant foods, often the by-products of vegetable oil extraction.

The ingredients for the animals' rations can be grown on the farm or can be bought, in the form of pelleted or cubed, compound foodstuffs specially formulated for the different classes of livestock, their growth stages and their specific nutritional requirements. Vitamins and minerals are added to balance the diet.

The breeding of farm animals seldom occurs spontaneously but is managed by farmers with a view to encouraging traits seen as desirable. These include hardiness, fertility, docility, mothering abilities, fast growth rates, low feed consumption per unit of growth, better body proportions, higher yields, and better fibre qualities. Undesirable traits such as health defects and aggressiveness are selected against. Selective breeding has been responsible for large increases in productivity.

For example, in , a typical broiler chicken at eight weeks old was 4. Good husbandry, proper feeding, and hygiene are the main contributors to animal health on the farm, bringing economic benefits through maximised production. When, despite these precautions, animals still become sick, they are treated with veterinary medicines , by the farmer and the veterinarian. In the European Union, when farmers treat their own animals, they are required to follow the guidelines for treatment and to record the treatments given.

Some, like classical swine fever [39] and scrapie [40] are specific to one type of stock, while others, like foot-and-mouth disease affect all cloven-hoofed animals. Where the condition is serious, governments impose regulations on import and export, on the movement of stock, quarantine restrictions and the reporting of suspected cases. Vaccines are available against certain diseases, and antibiotics are widely used where appropriate.

At one time, antibiotics were routinely added to certain compound foodstuffs to promote growth, but this practice is now frowned on in many countries because of the risk that it may lead to antibiotic resistance.

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Animals living under intensive conditions are particularly prone to internal and external parasites; increasing numbers of sea lice are affecting farmed salmon in Scotland. Governments are particularly concerned with zoonoses , diseases that humans may acquire from animals. Wild animal populations may harbour diseases that can affect domestic animals which may acquire them as a result of insufficient biosecurity. An outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia in was traced back to pigs becoming ill after contact with fruit-eating flying foxes , their faeces and urine.

The pigs in turn passed the infection to humans. This virus is easily transmissible to domestic poultry, and to humans living in close proximity with them. Other infectious diseases affecting wild animals, farm animals and humans include rabies , leptospirosis , brucellosis , tuberculosis and trichinosis. There is no single universally agreed definition of which species are livestock. Widely agreed types of livestock include cattle for beef and dairy, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry.

Various other species are sometimes considered livestock, such as horses, [47] while poultry birds are sometimes excluded.

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In some parts of the world, livestock includes species such as buffalo, and the South American camelids, the alpaca and llama. Animals are raised for a wide variety of products, principally meat , wool , milk , and eggs , but also including tallow , isinglass and rennet. Although all mammals produce milk to nourish their young, the cow is predominantly used throughout the world to produce milk and milk products for human consumption.

Other animals used to a lesser extent for this purpose include sheep, goats, camels, buffaloes, yaks, reindeer, horses and donkeys. All these animals have been domesticated over the centuries, being bred for such desirable characteristics as fecundity, productivity, docility and the ability to thrive under the prevailing conditions.

Whereas in the past, cattle had multiple functions, modern dairy cow breeding has resulted in specialised Holstein Friesian-type animals that produce large quantities of milk economically. Artificial insemination is widely available to allow farmers to select for the particular traits that suit their circumstances.

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Whereas in the past, cows were kept in small herds on family farms , grazing pastures and being fed hay in winter, nowadays there is a trend towards larger herds, more intensive systems, the feeding of silage and "zero grazing", a system where grass is cut and brought to the cow, which is housed year-round. In many communities, milk production is only part of the purpose of keeping an animal which may also be used as a beast of burden or to draw a plough, or for the production of fibre, meat and leather, with the dung being used for fuel or for the improvement of soil fertility.

Sheep and goats may be favoured for dairy production in climates and conditions that do not suit dairy cows.

B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred
B Cubed Book Two: Bred B Cubed Book Two: Bred

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