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What is livestock farming ?

A production activity

Livestock farming is an agricultural production activity. Whatever the final product marketed (meat, milk, eggs...), the activity of breeding includes :

  • the care and maintenance of animals raised and present in the herd or flock (to make them produce, develop, reproduce...)

  • the production of new animals, necessary for all productions, to renew the herd, to incrase it or to export animals outside the farm

The diversity of products from livestock is important : 

  • Meat

  • Milk, eggs

  • Leather, wool

  • Live animals

  • Fertilizer (manure, slurry, dung...)

  • Services, such as

    • Leisure (pets, sport animals as in the case of horse riding)​

    • Work (herding dogs, driving horses...)

    • Maintenance of landscapes, natural areas...

    • Prestige (show animals, racing...)

    • ...

Animal products are either raw or processed (meat, deli, butter, cheese) according to simple to complex processes (cf. food products containing animal protein)

Breeding animals as an activity

The majority of productions require the birth of young animals, whether you sell an animal, its meat or even milk (female cow, sheep or goat, etc must have a baby calf, lamb or kid to produce milk). 

In eggs farm, the hens lay unfertilized eggs that can not give birth to chicks. 

On the other hand, there are farms that specialize in te activity of breeding and raising future laying hens or livestock.

Breeding and production activity can take place on different places. For example, in the pork pig meat) production, some farmers are breeders, some are feeders or both at the same time. In the poultry industry, hatcheries are responsible for producing chicks to supply the farms that will raise them for their meat or eggs. 

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Animal families raised:

Cattles: cow/bull family of animals

Ovines : sheep family of animals

Caprines: goat/goat family of animals

Pigs: family of animals of the sow / pig

Poultry: includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc,


Types of producers:

Nursing: who breastfeeds his young (meat sector)

Dairy: who produces milk


Farmer : who gives birth to young animals

Fattener : who fattens (grows) animals in order to sell them for their meat.


--> Fattening and force-feeding are two different processes!

Producteur laitier

The job of animal farmer

What is it like to be a farmer ? Animals, nature and technology skills are required. 

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