Management of Agricultural Animals

Management of Agricultural Animals

 

the measures used in the care of animals, including housing, feeding, the creation of optimal zoohygienic conditions, and the observance of a daily regimen.

Several systems of animal management are in use, depending on the intensity of animal husbandry in a given area and on the area’s natural and economic conditions. In the pasturing system, the animals, primarily ruminants, are pastured the year round—in extensive pasturing only on natural pastures, and in intensive pasturing on cultivated pastures. One variety of extensive pasturing is seasonal pasturage (seeTRANSHUMANCE). In the stable-pasture system, which may be used for cattle, sheep, zebu, buffalo, yaks, deer, and horses, the animals are housed in winter and pastured in summer. This system is most common in temperate regions with limited pastureland. In the stable-lot system, the animals, notably cattle and hogs, are housed in winter and kept in feedlots in summer, when they are fed cut green feed. This system is used primarily in regions without natural pastureland. In the stable system, the animals are kept indoors or in specially outfitted areas the year round. This system is characteristic of large farms and complexes that use industrial technology to produce animal products.

The principal methods of managing agricultural animals indoors are tethered housing (in stalls) and loose housing. Tethered housing, used for cattle and horses, permits more accurate rationing of feed for maximum productivity but requires large outlays of labor to care for the animals. Loose housing may be individual housing or group housing. The former is used for purebred horses kept in individual stalls; sows confined during insemination, farrowing, and lactation; and newborn calves kept in pens. The latter may be used for groups of various sizes kept in a single building or in pens. Cattle raising makes use of loose housing, without individual resting places, or box housing, with common feed bunks and individual resting stalls; the latter system is characteristic of large farms with industrial production technology. In poultry husbandry, the birds are reared on the floor or in cages of one or more tiers.

The animal-management regimen determines the order and timing of production processes, such as feeding, cleaning of the premises, exercise, and milking. The principles of zootechny call for the establishment of certain zoohygienic conditions in housing. Mechanization and electrification of the principal production processes make it easier to maintain a proper regimen and zoo-technical conditions of animal management.

REFERENCES

Spravochnik zootekhnika, parts 1–2, 3rd ed., 1969.
Alikaev, V. A. Zoogigiena. Moscow, 1970.

A. P. BEGUCHEV

Full browser ?