Herd

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herd

a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc.

Herd

 

a group of beef cattle.

Animals in a herd are selected according to sex, age, liveweight, and fattiness. Herds are formed during the zootechnical and veterinary examination of the cattle before the beginning of pasturing. The size of the herds in meat sovkhozes is 150–200 head of younger animals, 150–200 head of fattened adult animals in steppe regions, and 100–150 in forest and forest-steppe regions. Each herd is managed by a team of two to four herdsmen.


Herd

 

(1) A group of mammals of the same species with interdependent behavior; that is, they remain close to one another for a significant period of time, behave similarly, often have the same rhythm of activity (for example, the simultaneous diving of whales), and travel in the same direction. Herd formation is characteristic of cetaceans, artiodactyls, perissodactyls, and monkeys. The composition (in terms of age and sex) and size of a herd fluctuate, thereby distinguishing herds from other groups of animals with interdependent behavior, for example, families and harems.

The maximum size of a herd is determined by the possibilities for mutual coordination of behavior. A herd may consist of dozens of individuals among whales and monkeys and 1,500 to 2,000 individuals among ungulates (for example, reindeer, saiga, and gnu). The largest herds are formed during seasonal migrations, after which they break up into smaller groups (families, harems). The animals in a herd orient themselves by the behavior of their neighbors (signals of the presence of food, appearance of a predator). Following the example of its leader, a herd may select a safer route during flight from a predator or during travel toward a watering place or shelter, especially during the migration period. Imitation of nearby individuals predominates in the behavior of many herd members over free decision-making, which is characteristic of solitary animals.

When animals are in a herd they permit man to approach fairly closely and possibly to control them. The patterns of herd behavior are widely used in pasture livestock raising, since domesticated hoofed animals are usually gregarious.

L. M. BASKIN

(2) A group of animals kept together on a farm for maintenance, fattening, or pasturing, for example, a herd of beef cattle or a herd of horses.

(3) The total number of animals of one species on a farm. The composition (sex, age, and production groups of animals), purpose, and periods of use of a herd vary with the organizational and economic conditions of herd reproduction. The necessary composition is maintained by planned rotation of the herd.

herd

[hərd]
(vertebrate zoology)
A number of one kind of wild, semidomesticated, or domesticated animals grouped or kept together under human control.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was assumed that the new building effects greatly influenced performance of animals in 2003 and 2004, during which time herd size increased gradually (Figure 1).
Farm-based risk factors included a larger herd size, farm location in the southern region, an annual peak in calving, having beef cattle on the farm, and the presence of birds in the stable.
But even relatively small changes in herd size can bring a set of new challenges, as one North Wales business is discovering.
China Modern Dairy is the largest dairy farming company in terms of herd size as well as raw milk output in China according to the China Dairy Association.
And yet its new planning application is likely to put the focus firmly back on herd size, potentially undermining one of its most powerful levers.
If producers look at the current situation and decide to reduce their herd size, it could mean that when global supply shortens as predicted, the English supply chain will not be able to fill the shortfall and retailers and consumers will be at the mercy of more expensive imports," added Mr Allen.
MILC makes payments to dairymen when prices fall, but benefits are capped after the first 3 million gallons of milk produced, the annual output of around 200 cows, a figure well below the average herd size in some states.
25 January 2010 - Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources has given the green light for Rosendale Dairy to double its herd size and the amount of land required to spread cow manure.
On average herd size, the net monthly income in Cholistan desert from cattle (for milk), sheep and goats farming (for meat purpose) was Rs 10128, Rs 990 and Rs 508, respectively; for Thal desert the corresponding estimates were Rs 457, Rs 359 and Rs 552, respectively; and for Tharparkar, the corresponding estimates are Rs 918, Rs 3221 and Rs 331, respectively.
Both the average herd size (296 cows) and the average production per cow (20,884 pounds) are the highest of any of the eight herd retirements CWT has carried out, indicating that "these are not just small farms with low-end cows that would have soon been gone anyway," Tillison says.
The only solution may be to reduce herd size, a notion to which some farmers are surprisingly open.