Module 1. Introduction to animal husbandry

Lesson 1


1.1 Introduction

Historical evidence shows that Veterinary Science was developed during Vedic Era in India and livestock used to play an important role in the society during 3000 B.C, as evidenced from Mohanjadaro and Harappa Civilization. The importance and role of livestock gradually increased and during 2000 B.C, Veterinary profession was a flourishing practice which can be traced from ‘Atharvaveda’ and ‘Rigveda’. Aryans who settled around riverine Northern India around 2400 – 1500 B.C were solely dependent on agriculture and livestock. Cattle were most prized possessions and were symbol of wealth and status. During the rule of Ashoka (300 B.C), hundreds of well equipped hospitals were established and veterinary profession gained much more importance. Vishnupuranam and Matysapuran described the criteria for selection of bulls for breeding purpose.

Primitive man first used the members of family bovidae as a source of food. Domestication began when these animals were used as draft animals. Milking qualities were just sufficient for rearing of young ones. As civilization developed, feed became more abundant, methods of caring livestock improved. Under man’s selection they acquired qualities like rapid growth, better fat storage in body and increased milk production.

The domestic animals reared by the modern man serve the humans by providing food, fibre, manure, pleasures, companionship and service besides nutrient recycling in soil and ecological stability to environment. In recent times the animals are only source of organic farming and in future, will serve as source of supply of inputs to many life saving pharmaceuticals and therapeutic agents for better human health and will be useful as animal models for biomedical research.

1.2 Common Animal Husbandry Terms

Buller or Nymphomaniac: A cow apparently always in heat.

Back crossing: Mating of crossbred back to one of the pure parents used to produce it.

Balanced ration: Ration that contains all the nutrients in right proportions and quantities is called balanced ration.

Bull Calf: A male calf under one year of age.

Bull: It is un castrated sexually matured male of the species.

Bullock: Castrated male Ox.

Calf starter: Concentrate feed offered to the young calves after 2 weeks of age.

Calf: A young animal of bovine species under one year of age.

Casting: It is throwing down the animal and securing the limbs for various purposes like surgical operations, castration, hoof trimming, shearing etc.

Castration: It is the removal of testicles.

Challenge feeding: The practice of feeding higher levels of concentrate to challenge the cow to reach her maximum milk production.

Concentrates: Feeds that contain less than 18% crude fibre are called concentrates such as grains, oilcakes, grain by products etc.

Cow: It is a female of bovine species that has calved at least once.

Crisscrossing or Rotational crossing: Mating of a hybrid to three established breeds in a rotational manner.

Cross breeding: A system of breeding between two established breeds.

Cryptorchid: A male animal in which one or both the testicles fail to descend into the scrotal sac.

Culling: Removal of undesirable or unproductive animals from herd.

Deticking: Removal of the external parasites like ticks, lice, mites present on the body surface of animal.

Deworming: Removal of the internal gastro intestinal parasites from the body.

Disbudding: Removal of the horn buds of the calf by mechanical or chemical methods to arrest growth of horns.

Dry period: The time interval between date of drying off the cow to the date of next calving.

Energy feeds: Feeds containing less than 20% crude protein are called energy feeds.

Free martin: When twin calves of different sexes are born, the bull calf is normal whereas the heifer calf is sterile. The sterile heifer calf is called freemartin.

Gestation period: The period of pregnancy in animals.

Grading up: Systems of breeding in which pure bulls are used for improvement in non descript females for several generations.

Heifer calf: A female calf under one year of age.

Heifer: A female individual that has not yet calved.

Inbreeding: A system of breeding between very closely related animals.

Inheritance: Transmission of genes from parents to the offspring in next generation.

Intercalving period: No of days between two successive calvings.

Lactation Curve: The graphical representation of the rate of milk secretion during lactation is called Lactation Curve.

Lactation length: The time interval between the date of calving to the date of drying the animal expressed in days.

Maintenance ration: A ration given daily to the animal to maintain in resting non production condition with good health.

Open animal: Female animals that have not been bred.

Parturition: Act of delivery in animals.

Pasture: Fodder crops grown on the land for grazing animals.

Pedigree Bull: The bull whose ancestral record is known.

Persistency: Ability of the animal to sustain good daily milk is for a longer period i.e, the slope of descending phase of lactation curve is known as Persist-ency.

Phenotype: The visible character of an individual animal.

Production ration: A portion of the ration given daily in excess of maintenance requirement for purpose of growth, production and work.

Protein supplements: Feeds that contain 20% or more protein are called protein supplements.

Ration: The total amount of feed that an animal is offered during a 24 hour period of time is called ration.

Roughage: Feeds that contain more than 18% crude fiber are called roughage such as hay, silage, fodder etc.

Scrub Bull: It is non-descript type of stray village cattle.

Selection: The process of including certain animals in a population for becoming parents of next generation.

Service period: The period between parturition to successful conception expressed in days.

Silage: Freshly cut green forages cut and offered to the animals.

Stud Bull: Bull that is used for breeding purposes.

Test cross: Mating of a crossbred back to its recessive parent.

Variation: It is a tool to measure differences of character or trait between animals.

Weaning: Separation of the calf from the cow and feeding them artificially.

Last modified: Monday, 1 October 2012, 10:23 AM