What we think about today methods.

Farming practices

  • Animal husbandry

Farming methods vary considerably worldwide and between forms of animals. Livestock are usually kept in an enclosure, are nourished by human-provided food and are deliberately bred, but some livestock are not restricted/bounded, or are fed by access to natural foodstuffs, or are permitted to breed freely, or any amalgamation thereof. Livestock herding historically was part of a pastoral or nomadic form of material culture. The rearing of reindeer and camels in some parts of the universe remains unconnected with sedentary agriculture. The transhumance type of herding in the Sierra Nevada of California still is incessant, as cattle, goats and sheep are transferred from winter pasture in lower altitude valleys to spring and summer pasture in the foothills and alpine regions, as the seasons continuous. Cattle were herded on the open range on the Pampas of Argentina, in the Western United States and Canada and other prairie and steppe regions of the world.

The enclosure of livestock in barns and pastures is a fairly a new invention in the history of agriculture. When cattle are restricted, the form of ‘enclosure’ may vary from a small crate, a large paddock or fenced pasture. The form of feed may differ from natural growing grass, to artificial animal feed. Animals are typically deliberately bred via artificial insemination or via supervised mating. Indoor production methods are usually used for dairy cattle, poultry and pigs, as well as for dairy goats, veal cattle, and other animals, depending on the place and season. Animals enclosed are usually farmed expansively, as large space needs would make indoor farming unfruitful and impossible. However, enclosed farming methods are challenging due to the odour problems, the waste they churn out, the potential for groundwater contamination and animal welfare concerns. Livestock source corroboration is used to track livestock.

Livestock – particularly the cattle - may be marked to indicate age and ownership, but in recent farming identification is more likely to be designated by means of ear tags and electronic identification than branding. Sheep are also often marked by means of ear marks and/or ear tags. As fears of mad cow disease and other epidemic diseases increase, the employment of implants to examine and trace animals in the food production practice is gradually common, and sometimes required by government rules.