Back to: Jss1 Agricultural Science (PVS)
Topic: Farm Animals
WEEK: 1 & 2
Farm animals are domesticated animals that are raised or kept on a farm for agricultural purposes. They are typically raised for food, such as meat, milk, or eggs, or for their labour, such as pulling carts or ploughs. Common farm animals include cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, horses, and ducks. These animals are often raised in large numbers on commercial farms, but can also be kept in smaller numbers on family farms or homesteads. The care and management of farm animals are important aspects of agriculture and animal husbandry. These include goats, sheep, rabbits, poultry, cattle, pigs, fish, snails, and more.
Forms of Farm Animals
There are various forms of farm animals, including:
These animals are used for work on the farm, such as carrying loads, ploughing, harrowing, and ridging. Examples include cattle (such as Sokoto Gudali and White Fulani), horses, camels, and donkeys. These animals are known for their great strength, ability to travel long distances without water, and sturdily built.
Characteristics of Working Animals
- Size and Strength: Work animals are generally large and strong, which enables them to pull heavy loads, plough fields, and perform other physically demanding tasks. Examples of work animals include horses, oxen, mules, and donkeys.
- Trainability: Work animals can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, such as pulling carts or ploughs, carrying heavy loads, and working in mines or construction sites. They are often trained using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise.
- Adaptability: Work animals are adaptable to different environments and can perform a variety of tasks in different climates and terrains. For example, camels can survive in hot and arid environments and can carry heavy loads for long distances.
- Endurance: Work animals have good endurance and can work for long periods without getting tired. This makes them ideal for tasks that require sustained physical effort, such as ploughing fields or carrying heavy loads.
- Loyalty: Work animals can form strong bonds with their handlers and are often loyal and affectionate towards them. This bond can be essential for the effective working of the animal.
- Longevity: Work animals are often bred for longevity and can work for many years before being retired. This makes them a cost-effective and sustainable option for many farmers and labourers.
- Versatility: Work animals can perform a variety of tasks, which makes them versatile and valuable assets for many different types of work. For example, horses can be used for ploughing fields, pulling carts, or even as a form of transportation.
Examples of Working Animals
- Horses: Horses are often used for transportation, especially in rural areas where roads may not be suitable for motor vehicles.
- Donkeys: Donkeys are used for carrying heavy loads, especially in rural areas where there may not be good road networks.
- Cows: Cows are used for ploughing fields and as a source of milk and meat.
- Goats: Goats are used for their milk, meat, and their ability to clear weeds in farmlands.
- Pigs: Pigs are used for their meat, and their ability to clear weeds in farmlands.
- Camels: Camels are used for transportation and as a source of milk and meat, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria where the climate is hot and arid.
- Buffalos: Buffalos are used for ploughing fields and for their meat.
- Oxen: Oxen are used for ploughing fields, transportation, and for their meat.
- Dogs: Dogs are used for hunting, security, and as working animals on farms.
- Sheep: Sheep are used for their meat, wool, and their ability to clear weeds in farmlands.
These are animals reared specifically for milk production, such as cattle (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo), and goats (such as Nubian goats, Jumnapari, and Surti of Indian). They have well-developed mammary gland systems, lean and angular body forms, and high food conversion efficiency for milk production.
characteristics of dairy animals
- Milk production: The primary characteristic of dairy animals is that they produce a large quantity of milk. This is achieved through selective breeding and management practices that optimize milk production.
- Nutrient requirements: Dairy animals have higher nutrient requirements compared to other types of livestock. They require a balanced diet that includes a combination of forages, concentrates, and minerals to support milk production.
- Breeding: Dairy animals are bred selectively to improve milk production and other desirable traits such as udder conformation and longevity.
- Milk quality: The quality of milk produced by dairy animals is an important characteristic. It is influenced by factors such as genetics, nutrition, and animal health. Milk quality can be measured by factors such as milk composition, somatic cell count, and bacterial count.
- Reproductive efficiency: Dairy animals are expected to produce milk for multiple lactations. Therefore, reproductive efficiency is an important characteristic. Successful breeding programs focus on improving fertility, reducing the calving interval, and optimizing reproductive performance.
- Health: Dairy animals require careful management to maintain their health and prevent diseases. Good management practices include proper nutrition, hygiene, and regular veterinary care.
- Temperament: Dairy animals with calm and docile temperaments are preferred as they are easier to handle and less likely to cause injury to themselves or their handlers.
Examples of Dairy Animals
- Holstein Friesian cows: This breed of dairy cow is known for its high milk production and is commonly used in commercial dairy farms in Nigeria.
- Jersey cows: Another popular breed of dairy cow in Nigeria, known for producing high fat content milk.
- Sahelian goats: This breed of goat is native to West Africa and is commonly used for milk production in Nigeria.
- West African Dwarf goats: A smaller breed of goat that is also used for milk production in Nigeria.
- Red Sokoto goats: Another breed of goat commonly found in Nigeria, known for its milk production and meat quality.
- Boer goats: Although primarily bred for meat production, Boer goats are also used for milk production in Nigeria.
- Yankasa sheep: A breed of sheep native to Nigeria that is commonly used for milk production.
- Balami sheep: Another breed of sheep commonly found in Nigeria, known for their high milk production.
- Crossbred animals: Many farmers in Nigeria crossbreed different dairy animal breeds to create animals that are better suited to the local climate and conditions.
- Donkeys: Although not commonly thought of as dairy animals, donkeys are used in some parts of Nigeria for milk production.
These animals are domesticated or tamed and used for protecting life and property from danger, such as dogs, parrots, and cats. They are easily controlled, trainable, and sensitive to human behaviour. Here are some characteristics of guard animals
- Alertness: Guard animals are typically alert and responsive to their environment. They have keen senses and are always aware of their surroundings, including any potential threats.
- Loyalty: Guard animals are fiercely loyal to their owners and the animals they are protecting. They form strong bonds with their charges and will do whatever it takes to protect them.
- Aggressiveness: Guard animals are generally aggressive towards perceived threats. They may bark, growl, or even attack to defend their territory or their charges.
- Fearlessness: Guard animals are not easily intimidated by potential threats. They have a high threshold for fear and are willing to confront danger head-on.
- Territoriality: Guard animals are territorial and will defend their territory from intruders. They are particularly protective of their home and their charges.
- Trainability: Guard animals can be trained to recognize and respond to potential threats. They can be taught to identify specific sounds or scents and to alert their owners when danger is present.
- Physical strength: Guard animals are often large and powerful animals that are capable of overpowering potential threats. They can be intimidating to would-be predators or intruders.
Examples of guard animals
- Kangal: Kangal dogs are large, muscular dogs that are bred to protect livestock. They are commonly used to guard sheep and goats in Nigeria.
- Boerboel: Boerboel dogs are another large breed of dog that is commonly used as guard dogs in Nigeria. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature.
- Anatolian Shepherd: Anatolian Shepherds are a breed of dog that was originally bred to protect livestock. They are known for their bravery and loyalty.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a breed of dog that was originally bred for hunting and guarding. They are known for their protective nature and make good guard dogs for homes and farms.
- Rottweiler: Rottweilers are a breed of dog that is commonly used as guard dogs in Nigeria. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature.
- German Shepherd: German Shepherds are a popular breed of dog that is used as guard dogs in Nigeria. They are highly intelligent and trainable.
- Nigerian Shepherd Dog: Nigerian Shepherd Dogs are a breed of dog that was developed in Nigeria specifically for the purpose of guarding livestock. They are known for their protective nature.
- Llamas: Llamas are large, woolly animals that are commonly used as guard animals in Nigeria. They are often used to protect livestock from predators.
- Donkeys: Donkeys are another type of animal that is commonly used as guard animals in Nigeria. They are often used to protect livestock from predators.
- Geese: Geese are a type of bird that is used as a guard animal in Nigeria. They are known for their loud honking and aggressive behaviour towards intruders. They are often used to protect poultry from predators.
Poultry animals are domesticated birds kept by humans for their meat, eggs, or feathers. The most common types of poultry animals include chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and quails. Here are some of the characteristics that are typical of poultry animals:
- Feathered body: Poultry animals are characterized by their feathered body. The feathers provide insulation to protect them from cold weather and protect their skin from the sun.
- Beak: Poultry animals have a beak instead of teeth. The beak is used for pecking and probing the ground, as well as for defence.
- Light body frame: Poultry animals have a light body frame, which makes them easy to handle and transport.
- High metabolism: Poultry animals have a high metabolic rate, which means they require a lot of food and water to sustain their daily activities and growth.
- Rapid growth: Poultry animals grow quickly and reach maturity in a short time. For example, broiler chickens can reach their market weight in as little as 6 to 8 weeks.
- Social animals: Poultry animals are social animals and tend to live in flocks. This helps them to stay warm and protect themselves from predators.
- Egg-laying ability: Many poultry animals, especially chickens, are raised for their egg-laying ability. They can lay eggs daily or every other day.
- Omnivorous: Poultry animals are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal-based food. Their diet typically consists of grains, seeds, insects, and small animals.
- High fecundity: Poultry animals have high fecundity, which means they have the ability to produce many offspring at once. For example, a chicken can lay up to 300 eggs per year.
- Susceptibility to diseases: Poultry animals are susceptible to a range of diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections. This is why proper hygiene and sanitation are essential in their care and management.
Examples of Poultry
- Broiler chickens: These are chickens that are raised specifically for meat production, and are commonly used in commercial poultry farms.
- Layers: These are chickens that are raised for egg production, and can be found in commercial farms, as well as in small backyard flocks.
- Cockerels: These are male chickens that are raised for meat, and are commonly found in small-scale farms and backyard flocks.
- Turkeys: Turkeys are raised for their meat, and are commonly found in commercial farms and some larger backyard flocks.
- Ducks: Ducks are raised for their meat and eggs, and are commonly found in small-scale farms and backyard flocks.
- Geese: Geese are raised for their meat and feathers, and can be found in small-scale farms and some larger commercial farms.
- Guinea fowl: Guinea fowl are raised for their meat, eggs, and feathers, and are commonly found in small-scale farms and some larger commercial farms.
- Quails: Quails are raised for their eggs and meat, and are commonly found in small-scale farms and backyard flocks.
- Pigeons: Pigeons are sometimes raised for their meat, and are commonly found in small-scale farms and backyard flocks.
- Ostriches: Ostriches are raised for their meat, eggs, and feathers, and can be found in some larger commercial farms.
Pets are animals that are kept by humans for companionship or enjoyment. They can provide emotional support, entertainment, and even physical health benefits. Here are some characteristics of pets:
- Domesticated: Pets are animals that have been bred and raised by humans to live with and depend on humans for food, shelter, and care. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and have adapted to living with humans.
- Companionship: Pets provide companionship to their owners. They are loyal and affectionate, and often become members of the family. They can also help reduce stress and loneliness.
- Training: Pets can be trained to follow commands and perform tricks. This not only provides entertainment but also helps pets to feel more secure and confident in their surroundings.
- Socialization: Pets can help their owners socialize and meet new people. For example, dog owners often meet other dog owners at dog parks or on walks.
- Emotional support: Pets can provide emotional support to their owners, particularly those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.
- Health benefits: Pets can provide physical health benefits to their owners. For example, dog owners often get more exercise than non-dog owners, which can lead to improved cardiovascular health.
- Responsibility: Owning a pet requires responsibility and commitment. Pets need to be fed, groomed, exercised, and given regular veterinary care.
Examples of Pets
- Dogs: There are many different breeds of dogs that are popular in Nigeria, including German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers.
- Cats: Domestic cats are also popular pets in Nigeria. They are usually kept indoors and are known for their playful and affectionate nature.
- Birds: Parrots, canaries, and other species of birds are commonly kept as pets in Nigeria. Some species, such as the African Grey Parrot, are highly prized for their intelligence and ability to mimic human speech.
- Fish: Fish are a popular pet in Nigeria, especially in urban areas where space is limited. Aquariums are often used to house various species of fish.
- Guinea pigs: Guinea pigs are a small and friendly pet that is easy to care for. They are often kept indoors and require a cage, food, and water.
- Hamsters: Hamsters are another small and low-maintenance pet that is popular in Nigeria. They are active and entertaining to watch and require a cage, food, and water.
- Snakes: Some Nigerians keep snakes as pets, especially non-venomous species such as corn snakes and ball pythons.
- Rabbits: Rabbits are a popular pet in Nigeria, especially for families with children. They are friendly and docile and can be kept indoors or outdoors.
- Tortoises: Tortoises are a long-lived and low-maintenance pet that is popular in Nigeria. They require a secure outdoor enclosure and a diet of fresh vegetables.
- Monkeys: Although not legal in all areas of Nigeria, some people keep monkeys as pets. They require a large outdoor enclosure and specialized care. It is important to note that primates are not recommended as pets due to their high level of intelligence, social needs, and potential for aggression.
Aquatic animals are those that live in water, either in freshwater or saltwater environments. Here are some common characteristics of aquatic animals:
- Adapted body structure: Aquatic animals have bodies that are specifically adapted for living in the water. For example, fish have streamlined bodies and fins that help them move efficiently through the water.
- Gills or lungs: Aquatic animals have specialized organs that allow them to extract oxygen from water. Fish have gills, which extract oxygen directly from the water, while marine mammals like dolphins and whales have lungs like land animals.
- Hydrodynamic bodies: Aquatic animals have evolved to have a hydrodynamic body shape, which reduces drag and helps them move through the water with greater speed and agility.
- Buoyancy: Aquatic animals have mechanisms for regulating their buoyancy, or the ability to float or sink in the water. For example, sharks have a large liver that helps them stay buoyant, while some deep-sea fish have special adaptations that allow them to maintain neutral buoyancy.
- Camouflage: Many aquatic animals have evolved colouration and patterns that help them blend into their environment, making it easier for them to avoid predators or sneak up on prey.
- Cold-blooded or warm-blooded: Aquatic animals can be either cold-blooded or warm-blooded. Fish and reptiles are generally cold-blooded, while marine mammals like dolphins and whales are warm-blooded.
- Varying sizes: Aquatic animals come in a range of sizes, from tiny plankton to giant whales. Their size often correlates with their position in the food chain and their ecological role in their environment.
Examples of Aquatic Animals
- Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus): The Nile crocodile is a large predatory reptile found in rivers, lakes, and wetlands throughout Nigeria.
- African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis): The African manatee is a large, herbivorous aquatic mammal found in the coastal regions and rivers of Nigeria.
- Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius): The hippopotamus is a large, semi-aquatic herbivorous mammal found in rivers, lakes, and swamps in Nigeria.
- West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis): The West African manatee is a species of manatee found in coastal and freshwater areas of West Africa, including Nigeria.
- African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis): The African clawless otter is a semi-aquatic mammal found in rivers and wetlands throughout Nigeria.
- Nile perch (Lates niloticus): The Nile perch is a large predatory fish found in rivers and lakes throughout Nigeria.
- Electric catfish (Malapterurus electricus): The electric catfish is a freshwater fish found in rivers and lakes throughout Nigeria that is capable of delivering a painful electric shock.
- African lungfish (Protopterus annectens): The African lungfish is a freshwater fish found in rivers and swamps throughout Nigeria that is capable of breathing air.
- Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus): Tilapia is a group of freshwater fish species found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout Nigeria, and is a popular fish for aquaculture.
- African tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus): The African tigerfish is a large predatory fish found in rivers and lakes throughout Nigeria, known for its sharp teeth and aggressive behaviour.