Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.
Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture where animals are reared, bred and raised for meat, fiber, eggs, milk and other food essentials. It refers to livestock raising and selective breeding. A large number of farmers rely on animal husbandry for their livelihood.
Food is necessary for the development and survival of all the organisms. To deal with the need of food with the increasing population, it is necessary to increase food production. There are many technologies which increase yield such as plant breeding, animal husbandry and modern technologies like tissue culture, genetic engineering, embryo transfer.
Types Of Animal Husbandry
Out of many methodologies, there are four major types of animal husbandry practiced in the world today. An elaborated description of the same has been stated under:
Dairy Farming – It is mostly concerned with the long term production of milk, which is then processed to obtain dairy products such as curd, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream and so on and so forth.
Poultry farming – It is concerned with raising and breeding of birds for commercial purposes. The eggs and meat hence produced are a rich source of protein.
Fish farming – It is the process of raising fish in closed tanks or ponds for commercial purposes. Another name one can call it is pisciculture.
Fish farming or pisciculture is of two types, namely:
Extensive aquaculture, based on the local photosynthetic production.
Intensive aquaculture, based on the external food supply given to fishes.
Bee farming – Also known as apiculture, is the practice of maintaining bee colonies by humans in man-made hives.
Role Of Animal Husbandry In Human Welfare
• Animal husbandry is beneficial to human beings in a decent number of ways, one of which is production of dairy products.
• Animals such as cows, goats, sheep are the major source of milk and milk products such as yoghurt, cheese, butter, etc.
• Meat is another very important product yielding via husbandry of animals such as pigs and goats.
• Animals also produce fibres or textiles such as wool and leather. Just as sheep are reared for wool whereas leather can be obtained from camel.
Strategies For Enhancement Of Food Production
An improved variety can be produced by induced mutation and by selecting improved mutants. Genetic engineering is also an option.
Main Steps Required For Developing New Varieties
The first involves collection of variability, genetic variability, being the main reason behind breeding.
Akin to this fact, evaluation and selection of parents certainly becomes equally as essential.
Hybridisation, which is the process of making cross between two genetically diverse parents to obtain a progeny with desired superior traits, is the third and a very important step for developing new varieties.
The fourth step involves selection and testing of superior recombination, which is more or less as the term suggests. It comprises selecting, among the progeny of the hybrids, to be specific, those plants that have the desired character combination.
This is the crucial step for the success of breeding objectives and requires careful scientific evaluation of progeny.