Studies & Degrees in Animal Husbandry
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Animal Husbandry comes in many different names, such as Animal Science, Animal Production, and Stockbreeding. It is another branch of Agriculture that covers the science and practice of breeding, raising, managing, and marketing livestock. Most people misinterpret Animal Husbandry as a field concerning hogs and cattle alone. The truth is it also covers goats, sheep, camels, horses, poultry, shellfish, finfish, and even bees. Regular tasks include feeding, herding, castrating, branding, producing feeds, catching, loading, de-beaking, and weighing animals. This also includes closely monitoring and recording of animal’s status; regular checking of animals to prevent diseases by detecting early symptoms; and attending on animal’s nutritional needs. Good and proper raising of these animals results to production of higher quality meat products, healthier milk to drink, more and bigger eggs, honey, and higher quality of leather and fur products.
Degree programs on this field prepare the students not just in technical aspects of Animal Husbandry, but also in marketing, sales, and management of livestock business. These programs are usually designed with several considerations in mind – (1) that students may end up owning their own ranch or animal farm; (2) that students may end up managing the whole production, sales, and marketing of commercial farms; (3) that students may be future researchers in the line of Animal Husbandry; (4) that students may end up teaching Animal Husbandry courses in universities; and many other possibilities that come along when a person takes up this field. There are various career lines a graduate of this degree can pursue. One may opt to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine or pursue Master’s degree in related field, such as Animal Nutrition, Animal Breeding, Animal Genetics, and Pharmacy degrees focusing on animals. Aside from pursuing further education, one may also opt to work in commercial ranch or farm, as instructor in academe, or even as researcher in related laboratories. The knowledge imparted to students of Animal Husbandry allows them not only to do the mechanical or routine tasks in raising animals but to think of newer, better, and more efficient ways of doing these regular tasks. They may focus on improving nutrition in animals by formulating feeds that would facilitate higher weight conversion. They may come up with designs of animal cage or shelter that would allow animals to maximize growth, etc.
Animal Husbandry is never far behind the latest technologies in view of putting the animal farming industry into competitive and sustainable shape. Artificial insemination and embryo transfer, for instance, are common technological practices in animal farms nowadays. Animal farms are typically found in rural areas (especially in rural areas of developing countries). Of course, people would rally smelling hogs and poultry in the heart of a city!
The demand of human population for livestock products is increasing, continuous, and definitely forever - may it be in food (meat and dairy products), apparel (leather and fur products), or sports and hobbies (horse racing, bullfights, cockfights). This increasing and continuous demand makes this industry one of the most stable.