The branch of agriculture that deals with the feeding, caring and breeding of domestic animals is called animal husbandry.
It has evolved as a large scale business where animals that provide us food are reared, bred, sheltered and cared in a farm or regions which are specially built for them.
Animal husbandry started with cattle farming in which livestock such as cows, goats, buffalo, sheep, etc. are reared. Later, animal husbandry was extended to poultry farming, fisheries, apiculture, etc. to satisfy the increasing needs of the generations.
In India, cattle are next to land in use for farmers. Indian cattle belongs to two different species:
Bos indicus (cows )
Bubalus bubalis (buffaloes or commonly known as water buffalo)
Cattle farming is done for following two purposes:
Farm labour like irrigation and carting.
Drought Animals: Animals used for milk production are called dairy animals or milch animals and the animals used for farm labour are called drought animals.
COMPONENTS OF CATTLE FEED
Roughage: It largely contains fibres. Roughage includes green fodder, silage, hay (straw of cereals) and legumes (e.g. berseem, lucerne, cow pea and agathi).
Concentrates: It is low in fibre but rich in other nutrients. Concentrates include cotton seeds, oil seeds, grain of maize, barley, oats, jowar, bajra, gram and their byproducts such as wheat barn, rice barn (polish), oil seed cakes, gram husk, and molasses.
The cattle are given a balanced ration of all the nutrients. The dairy animals require certain additive fees, which contain antibiotic, minerals and hormones. These additive feeds promote the growth of the animals, facilitates good yield of milk and protects them from diseases.