Systems Of Farm Animal Husbandry.

Sub – Topic: Systems Of Farm Animal Husbandry.


Definition Of Farm Animal Husbandry

This is the process of managing and keeping of farm animals for the production of meat, milk, egg and other livestock products.

It involves the provision of housing , feeding, hygiene and giving of medical needs to animals. Species of farm animals that are often kept or cared for include cattle, sheep, goat, pig, rabbits, horses, and poultry animals (I.e turkey, domestic fowl, geese, guinea fowl, quail,ducks etc.).

Systems Of Animal Husbandry

There are three systems of animal husbandry/management, which are;

  1. Extensive/free range system
  2. Semi-intensive system
  3. Intensive system.
  4. Extensive system: This is the system whereby farm animals are allowed to roam about looking fr food , water etc over a large area of land. This type of system is also known as the free range system.


  • Capital required for this system is very low
  • Animals are able to exercise their body freely and live naturally.
  • Contagious diseases are not easily spread.
  • The cost of production is very low.
  • It is not labour intensive. I.e., labour required is minimal or very small.


  • Animals are exposed to adverse weather conditions such as rain, cold, flooding, high temperatures etc.
  • Loss of animals through theft, exposure to predators and wandering is very common.
  • Pests and diseases cannot be monitored and controlled.
  • Routine operations such as castration, deworming , vaccination etc is difficult to carry out.
  • Record keeping of farm operations such as finances, cost of production etc may be difficult.
  1. Semi- intensive system: This system is a midway between the intensive system and extensive system. The farmer also provides house for the young, nursing mothers and sick animals. Housing is provided for animals at night.

Feeding is often provided in the morning before the animals are allowed to move out and scavenge for food.


  • The outbreak of infectious disease is easier to isolate and handle.
  • There is protection against adverse weather conditions.
  • The animals are safe from the attacks of predators.
  • It requires less capital investment.


  • It requires some level of labour input.
  • Disease and parasite incidence is slightly high.
  1. Intensive system: This is the system whereby farm animals are confined in a small area of land. Food, water and medical needs are provided to the animals. This system of management is costly but profitable if properly managed,

Examples of this system of management includes deep-litter system and battery cage system commonly practiced in poultry production.


  • Loss of animals to predators and thieves is not common.
  • Animals are not exposed to adverse or extreme weather conditions.
  • Pests and diseases can be easily controlled.
  • Routine operations such as castration, de-worming etc are not difficult to carry out.
  • Record keeping may not be difficult.


  • Start up capital is usually high.
  • Contagious diseases can be easily spread because animals stay close to one another.
  • The animals cannot exercise their body since they are confined.
  • Cost of production or operation is high.
  • It is labour intensive.

Revision questions.

  1. What is farm animal husbandry.
  2. State two advantages and disadvantages of semi intensive system of farm animal husbandry.
  3. State the differences between extensive and intensive system of animal husbandry.