Most Profitable Farm Animal
September 11, 2017, 10:21 am
There is a drastic shift in diet patterns and food consumption all over the world towards livestock products. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, developing countries consumption of meat has been growing at a rate of 5% to 6% per annum, while milk and dairy products at 3.4% to 3.8% per annum in the last few decades.
The rise in livestock and meat consumption is being driven by the need to increase protein consumption. For maintenance of good health, we need to eat proteins. Proteins contain amino acids that are vital for human health. These amino acids are c lassified as either essential or non-essential.
Your body can produce non-essential amino acids but it can’t produce essential amino acids. The essential amino acids your body needs is obtained through the food you eat.
Of all the protein food sources available, animal protein is the richest. Animal protein (meat, fish, eggs etc.) tend to contain a good balance of all the amino acids that we need while plant protein (beans, chia seeds, sesame seeds, cashew etc.) don’t. For example, plant protein are often low in methionine and lysine—two amino acids needed by your body for good bone and flesh growth.
Due to the negative side effects (deforestation, effluents pollution) of raising livestock, certain companies like Bitty Foods, Exo Foods and Chapul are trying to get us to eat insects for our animal protein needs. While these efforts are innovative and commendable, it will take some time for this to become acceptable.
In the meantime, people still prefer to eat traditional animal protein, especially as their income increases. That is why rearing profitable farm animal is a key aspect of agriculture.
Animal husbandry is a branch of agriculture and is defined as the art and science of rearing farm animals for human use. Animal husbandry covers feeding, breeding, housing, healthcare, processing and marketing of farm animals for human benefits
Business Opportunities In Animal Husbandry
There are many business and career opportunities in animal husbandry which you can pursue. Some of these opportunities are:
- Breeding and genetics
- Poultry farming
- Livestock farming
- Animal health
- Hatchery engineering
- Quarantine programs
- Marketing and distribution
- Meat processing engineering
- Feed milling
- Pasture production
- Laboratory analysis
- Extension agency
Benefits Of Raising Farm Animals
Farm animals play significant roles in human life and economy. Some of the important benefits that raising profitable farm animals bring are:
- Provision of food: Meat, milk and eggs obtained from farm animals provide protein and nutrients that are necessary for good health
- Manure Source: Faeces, urine and droppings from farm animals can be used to improve soil fertility for crops. Manure is also used to grow earth worms and maggots
- Source of Income: Animals and animal products (meat, milk, skin etc.) are a good source of income. Engaging in the business of trading these items is a viable means of making money
- Provision of raw materials: Animals provide raw material inputs for many agro-allied industries. For example, the leather tanning industry makes use of animal skin and hides, while the dairy and confectionery industry make use of animal milk and eggs
- Entertainment, Sports and Games: Several animals like horses, dogs, bulls etc. are used for sports and entertainment purposes. For example, dog and horse racing are two very big sporting events that attract a lot of attention and patronage
- Festival Activities: Animals are also used in ceremonies and on special occasions. For example, Muslims slaughter rams to mark their religious occasions. Pigeons and doves are released into the air during launches, weddings and celebration of special events
- Medicine: Honey from bees is used in the treatment and healing of wounds and burns. Sinews from animals are also used in surgery
Classes Of Farm Animals
There are many types of profitable farm animals that can be raised and they can be classified into these four categories:
- Livestock: Examples are cattle, horses, sheep, goat, pig, rabbit etc.
- Poultry: Examples here are chicken, guinea fowls, turkey, pigeon, duck etc.
- House pets: Examples are dogs, cats, rabbit, parrots
- Non-traditional animals: Examples include snails, guinea pigs, honey bees, grass cutter etc.
Most Profitable Farm Animal
While there are many profitable farm animals that can be raised for different purposes, you may be thinking to yourself which farm animal offers the highest economic reward or benefit to raise.
Depending on the intended purpose, your level of skill or expertise and infrastructural support, any farm animal you choose to raise can be a very profitable business.
However, in this section, we’ll look at the farm animals in the different categories identified above and highlight the strategic advantages and disadvantages of raising them.
In poultry farming, three types of chicken are raised. These types of chicken are:
Broiler: a type of chicken reared purposely for meat; it’s also called Table Bird
Layer: a type of chicken reared purposely for laying eggs that aren’t fertile hence can’t be incubated to produce chicks (young chickens)
Cockerel: a young male chicken that hasn’t been castrated (usually between 4 to 12 months old)
Advantages of Poultry Farming
- High demand for poultry products (meat, feathers and eggs)
- They are very resilient and adapt well to varying weather conditions
Disadvantages of Poultry Farming
- Disposing of poultry waste can be an issue
- Large spaces are needed to rear them effectively
- They are very noisy animals
- It is capital intensive
- Requires skilled labour
Rabbits are monogastric (having only one stomach) herbivores (they only eat plants). They are very effective at converting food to high quality animal protein
Advantages of Rabbit Farming
- They don’t require much space or land due to their small body size
- They don’t make noise
- They produce white nutritious meat that is low in calorie, sodium, fat and cholesterol
- It doesn’t require highly skilled labour
Disadvantages of Rabbit Farming
- They need regular deworming
- They require a high level of hygiene in their environment
Grass cutter Farming
Grass cutter is a heavy animal species. Although small in size, it is covered with coarse bristly fur. The upper fur is brown while the under fur is light brown. Grass cutter is classified as monogastric herbivore
Advantages of Grass cutter Farming
- They are very easy to rear and manage
- They don’t require highly skilled labour
Disadvantages of Grass cutter Farming
- They are prone to fighting and competitions for space and food among themselves
- Their tail easily fractures and breaks loose if not properly held at the base
Pigs are omnivorous animals which mean they are easy to feed with cereal grains, vegetable, fish, left-over food etc. in addition to formulated feeds.
Advantages of Pig Farming
- They are a very good source of income
- They grow very fast
Disadvantages of Pig Farming
- They are very prone to worm infestation
- Odor and waste management is an issue
- They require large spaces of land to rear them effectively
Goat and Sheep Farming
Sheep and goat belong to the class of small ruminant animals.
Advantages of Goat and Sheep Farming
- High market demand for their meat, skin and wool
- They are very resilient animals—they rarely fall ill
- They are very cheap to manage, especially in feeding
Disadvantages of Goat and Sheep Farming
- Elaborate housing structure is needed to keep them safe from pest and from wandering off
- They require large land for grazing
- They also require vaccination to prevent diseases
Cattle belong to the class of large ruminant animals. There are four types of cattle that can be reared on a farm:
Beef type: These are characterized by the great depth and width of their body i.e. the meat-carrying part of their frame is well developed into a blocky conformation. They are capable of converting a large quantity of easily obtained fodder. They are reared on the farm for meat production.
Dairy type: These type of cattle are characterized by a well formed udder (i.e. with width and depth extending forward) and with a well-developed milk vein. They are reared on the farm for milk production
Dual purpose type: These are intermediate between dairy and beef types in conformation and production
Work of Draft type: These types of cattle have great length, free moving limbs, sound feet as well as a quiet temperament and submission to discipline. They are raised for performing tasks on the farm.
Advantages of Cattle Farming
- They produce many valuable products and industry raw materials (meat, skin, hide, hoofs etc.)
Disadvantages of Cattle Farming
- They produce a lot of waste products and pollution
- They eat up a lot of vegetation
- Proper feed management of cattle is expensive
Honey Bee Farming
Honey bees are social insects and are classified to the order of hymen optera (i.e. membranous wings). Honey is produced by honey bees. Apiculture is the general term used for honey bee production and management.
Advantages of Honey Bee Farming
- They help vegetable garden production due to their pollination effect
- Honey is a very valuable and profitable product in the market
Disadvantages of Honey Bee Farming
- They can attack you if they feel threatened
- Providing the right type of flowers and plants food diet for them may be a challenge
Snail is classified as monogastric but it is generally known to be a micro-livestock. Snail is a nocturnal animal (they are active in the night or in dark places at day time). They are usually found in cool and secluded areas.
Advantages of Snail Farming
- They don’t require too much capital
- Very easy to manage and raise
- They require little land space
- They don’t require highly skilled labour
Disadvantages of Snail Farming
- They are very susceptible to attack from pests
- They can damage other crops on your farm
- Hard to identify when they are in poor health
How To Raise Farm Animals Profitably
Let us know in the comments below if you're raising any animal and how profitable your animal farming business is.
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