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Domestication of Animals Domesticate: to adapt the behavior of an animal to fit the needs of people Domestication of animals began when humans had contact with wild animals long ago. Humans then started to confine wild animals to ensure a supply of food and clothing.

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Domestication of Animals

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Domestication of Animals

  • Domesticate: to adapt the behavior of an animal to fit the needs of people


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  • Domestication of animals began when humans had contact with wild animals long ago. Humans then started to confine wild animals to ensure a supply of food and clothing.

  • These animals were bred in captivity. Later humans picked animals with desirable traits to use for breeding.

  • When man started to domesticate animals he began a more settled way of life.


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  • With a more consistent food supply came a higher population, therefore, the labor was divided amongst the tribe.

  • Some historians believe without the domestication of animals the human race may have never become civilized.


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Cattle

  • Bos taurus are domestic cattle that came from either the Aurochs or the Celtic Shorthorn.

  • Bos indicus are the humped cattle found in tropical climates. They are more tolerant to some diseases, parasites, and heat than are cattle that came from Bos taurus.


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  • Early man used cattle for work, meat, and milk. Cattle were also a sign of wealth.

  • Selection and crossbreeding of cattle for different purposes began early in the history of agriculture


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  • Cattle are not native to the US. Cattle were brought to America in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage. The first large numbers of cattle were brought to America by the English with the founding of Jamestown in 1611.


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  • The number of cattle began to grow. The pioneers took them with them as they traveled west. There was a major increase in the Great Plains of large cattle herds because of the plentiful grazing land.


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  • Early pioneers took both dairy cattle and beef cattle with them on their journey west. Before the 1850s, every family had at least one or two dairy cows to provide milk and butter. By the second half of the nineteenth century, however, dairy herds began to become larger because of the increase in the dairy market.


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  • The number of dairy cattle increased until the middle of the 1940s when they reached a peak.. Since then, the dairy cattle population has been steadily declining.


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  • Selection: to identify and use for breeding purposes those animals with traits that are considered by the breeder to be desirable.

  • Crossbreeding: the mating of animals of different breeds.


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Swine

  • American breeds of swine come form two wild stocks: the European wild boar and the East Indian pig.


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  • The first use of pigs for food probably occurred in the Neolithic Age. Chinese were the first people to tame swine. Swine were brought to the US by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage. More swine were brought later by the Spanish explorers.


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  • English settlers brought swine with them also. Herds grew quickly in size and soon production was soon more than the local need.

  • The main expansion in the swine industry occurred in the Corn Belt states because of the available feed for finishing hogs for market.


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Sheep

  • Sheep were one of the first animals tamed by the human race. The ancestry of sheep is not as known as the other domestic animals. There are more than 200 breeds of sheep in the world. All of them are timid, defenseless, and the least intelligent of the tamed animals.


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  • Most of the sheep today probably came from the wild sheep called moufflons and the Asiatic urial.

  • The only sheep native to North America are the Big Horn or Rocky Mountain sheep. The present-day sheep were imported by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage.


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  • Sheep were used by the early colonist mainly for their wool production

  • The Northeastern part of the US was the sheep-producing center of the country by the 1810. The sheep population increased until, by 1840, there were 19 million sheep in the US. The center of the sheep-producing moved west when inexpensive rangeland became available.


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Goats

  • Goats may have been the first tamed animals in Western Asia.

  • Goats are closely related to sheep.


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  • Early goat importations into the US came from Switzerland.

  • Most of the increase in milk goat numbers has occurred since 1900.

  • Milk goats are found all over the US.

  • Many are kept on small farms, and there are few large herds of milk goats.


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Differences Between Goats and Sheep

  • Sheep have stockier bodies than goats.

  • Goats have shorter tails than sheep.

  • Goat horns are long and grow upward, backward, and outward; sheep horns are spirally twisted.


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  • Male goats have beards; male sheep do not.

  • Male goats give off a strong odor in the rutting (breeding) season; male sheep do not.

  • Goats do not have scent glands in the face and feet; sheep do have these scent glands.


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  • Goats are more intelligent than sheep and have a greater ability to fight and fend for themselves than do sheep.

  • Goats can easily return to the wild state; sheep cannot.


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Horses

  • The horse evolved from a tiny four-toed ancestor called Eohippus.

  • Eohippus was about a foot high and lived in swamps about 58 million years ago. The Eohippus grew gradually, and eventually adapted to the prairie.


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  • The horse was more than likely tamed later than other farm animals. The horse was brought to the US by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493.

  • Early colonist brought saddle horses and draft horses to US.


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  • Oxen had been the main draft animal of the colonists

  • Draft animal: animal used to pull loads.

  • Horses served mainly as pack animals and for riding.


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  • The early development of the horse was in the US was mostly associated with riding on plantations.

  • Horse racing developed into a sport in the 1700s and early 1800s.

  • With development of other power sources, the use of the draft horse on farms became less common.

  • Most Horses in US are used for recreation.


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Poultry

  • Chickens were being raised by the Chinese about 1400 B.C.

  • Although poultry and eggs were used for food early in history, poultry raising has only recently become a major commercial enterprise.


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  • In the past, most poultry were raised for the family’s own use.

  • The turkey was probably tamed by the people originally living in America. Most of the American breeds were probable developed from the species found in the United States.


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  • Ducks were tamed at an early date. The wild mallard duck is thought to be the ancestor of all domestic reeds of ducks.

  • The goose was probably tamed shortly after the chicken. It was regarded as a sacred bird in Egypt 4,000 years ago.


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  • Poultry were brought to the New World by the early pioneers and colonists.

  • The American poultry industry grew out o f the small home flocks raised by early settlers. Poultry raising used to be mainly a small enterprise on the farm, however, as the population grew, the demand for poultry products increased.


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  • Today most poultry is raised in large confinement flocks and few small farm flocks remain. Much of the poultry industry is concentrated in the southern part of the United States.


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Consumption of Livestock Products

  • In recent years, there has been a decrease in per capita consumption of red meats, dairy products, and eggs.

  • Per capita consumption of chicken and turkey has increased.


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  • Eating habits have also been influenced by more food consumption away form home and an increase in demand for meals that are quick and easy.

  • Milk and animal fats are a source of cholesterol in the diet.


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  • A greater effort is being made to coordinate meat production among producers, packers, and processors to meet consumer concerns.

  • The meat industry is promoting and marketing meats that will meet the needs of the consumer.


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Animal Identification

  • There are a variety of methods currently used to identify animals. These include ear tags, ear notching, tattoos, electronic collars, electronic ear tags, ear buttons, implants, microchips, and rumen boluses with microchips installed.


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  • The livestock industry is in the process of developing a system of unique identifying numbers that can be utilized with one or more of the methods currently in use of livestock ID and that can be used to establish a database of information about individual animals.


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Food Safety

  • Even though the US has the safest food supply in the world, food safety is becoming a major area of concern among consumers. Much of this concern is fueled by special-interest groups consumer groups, and the news media.


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  • Some of the major issues regarding food safety include:

    *Bacteria contamination

    *Pesticides in food

    *Drug residues in food

    *Irradiation of food

    *Genetic engineering

    *Contamination of food by processors


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  • Consumers are looking for zero health risk in relation to their food.

  • Most of the problems with food-borne illness are caused by bacteria (66%). Other sources include chemical (25%),viral (5%), and parasitic(4%).


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