What Is Animal Husbandry?

With a degree, you'll be prepared to manage a livestock operation, consult for an agribusiness company, or start your own breeding farm. Read on to find out more about the job requirements and employment opportunities in animal husbandry. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

Animal husbandry refers to the care of livestock animals, says the Oxford Dictionary. Livestock animals include cows, horses, chickens, goats, pigs, or any animal that is raised for meat, wool, or another functional use. If you work in the field of animal husbandry, you'll keep animals safe and healthy as you plan and supervise breeding, care for newborn animals, devise a nutritious diet, and prepare animals for slaughter or sale. If you work in animal husbandry, your duties may include:

  • Keeping the animal's living area sanitary
  • Preparing meals and feeding animals
  • Monitoring animals' health and administering medicine
  • Overseeing animal training, breeding, and butchering
  • Shearing wool
  • Managing facilities and staff

Important Facts About Occupations in Animal Husbandry

Agricultural WorkersFarm Managers and Ranchers
Median Salary (2014) $19,330 $68,050
Entry-level Education Education not required High school diploma or equivalent
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% decline 2% decline
Work Environment Work is outdoors in all types of weather, requires substantial physical laborWork is typically outdoors and can be dangerous, especially when dealing with equipment or chemicals.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Opportunities

Common careers in animal husbandry include animal technician, animal caretaker, breeding supervisor, or even livestock farm manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), you may find animal husbandry job opportunities working for:

  • Large farms
  • Agribusiness companies
  • Livestock operations
  • Meat production plants

Job Requirements

If you would like to work in the animal husbandry field, you should pursue a Bachelor of Science in Animal Husbandry or a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. The College Board (www.collegeboard.com) says that animal husbandry degree programs are available at almost all state colleges. Once you receive your four-year bachelor's degree, you'll be prepared to start your career in animal husbandry right away. As you pursue your animal husbandry degree, you'll learn about:

  • Animal anatomy
  • Animal care
  • Genetics
  • Breeding and artificial insemination
  • Nutrition
  • Business management

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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