Animal domestication is the result of a long and complicated process that occurred 12,000 years ago. Today, there are over millions of chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep and goats being raised on farms all over the world.
Livestock or domestic animals are of great importance to the welfare of humans all over the globe. They are raised and kept on for various reasons. An essential purpose of having livestock is food production and supply. In this blog post, we will explore some of the importance of farm animals or domestic animals and the reasons benefits of domestic animals to man.
Why do we keep domestic or farm animals?
The most important reasons why animals are raised or kept are as follows:
Meat is the flesh or muscle and the associated fat, and connective tissue of slaughtered animals, e.g., pork, mutton, beef, chevon, etc. Meat is a very good source of animal protein in the diet of man. Moreover, animal protein is necessary for the metabolic processes in the body.
Milk is a white creamy-colored secretion from the mammary glands of female animals, and it is produced after parturition (an act of giving birth). This is also a very valuable source of animal protein. Cattle, sheep, and goats are good sources of milk.
Poultry eggs are products gotten from laying chickens, and they are eaten by humans. Eggs are a source of food for humans and are also used in the production of egg white and egg yolk. The shells are used to make egg cartons. The egg white is a clear liquid that surrounds the yolk of an egg. It is composed of water, proteins, and lipids. The egg yolk is a yellow nutrient-rich tissue that contains proteins, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, and vitamin A.
4. Hides and skin
The hides and skins of slaughtered animals are a valuable by-product. The hides and skins of beef, pork, sheep, goat, etc., provide good sources of raw materials for the leather or tanning industry.
5. Chemical or liquid extractions from the internal organs of animals
The internal organs of animals can be a source of valuable chemical or liquid extractions. Examples are the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, etc., which are all sources of valuable enzymes, hormones, and other biochemical substances.
6. Animal fats
Animal fats are used for cooking and as a source of energy. They are also used in the manufacture of soaps, candles, cosmetics, and other products.
7. Horns and hooves
Horns and hooves are used in the production of gelatin, buttons, glues, buttons, and some other items. They are used for making knife handles, combs, and other articles.
The feces of animals are a very good source of manure. Animal manures are used as a fertilizer in agriculture. They are also used to produce methane gas, which is used as a fuel.
The intangible benefits of keeping livestock are:
- Companionship; animals could serve as pets or companions to humans.
- Income generation; we have people who raise animals to sell when matured.
- Some can be used as draught animals in carrying out farm operations such as plowing and harrowing while they can be used for house chores. Animals in this category are Cattle, Oxen, Horses, Donkeys, and dogs.
- Some animals can be used as beasts of burden to help in carrying heavy loads.
- Some animals are natural weeders around the home.