Farming has been practiced for thousand of years. Several management systems developed in many societies to better adapt to different needs and conditions.
Are we raising animals the right way?
We hear everyday in the news that there are production problems and that food security is not for everybody. Large, sometimes intangible, external factors such as climate changes, political instability, wars they all play a role, but inexperience and lack of knowledge also affects the work farmers do. How can we limit the damages and increase farming production?
Understanding the different livestock management systems is the first step to develop a good strategy. Management systems have a direct impact on production and diseases, this highlights their relevance.
According to FAO there are three main livestock management systems :
- mixed production
- intensive farming systems “landless”
- extensive production system
Mixed production – it includes both agriculture and livestock and it can be either intensive or extensive. These systems are used for exploitation of both irrigated or non-irrigated land and they are common in some parts of America, Europe and Asia.
Intensive farming – it is mainly used for livestock. Intensive breeding farms look more like factories and they are mainly used to breed pigs, chickens, laying hens, cattle and even fish.These farms “landless” are common in north America, Europe and Asia and in heavy populated areas in general, where the demand for meat and proteins is very high.
Extensive farming – it is used on large non-cultivated land where animals can graze freely. Extensive farming is mainly chosen for cattle, to produce meat and milk, sheep and goats. It is more common in Central and South America (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Peru), some Southern Africa countries (South Africa, Namibia and Botswana), Australia, but even in Europe.