Farm Animal Breeding

The field of farm animal breeding examines the methods and techniques of breeding livestock like poultry, cattle and horses. Degree programs prepare graduates for opening their own breeding farms or working in large livestock operations. Read on to learn more about education and career options.

Inside Farm Animal Breeding

Farm animal breeding is an exacting job that requires excellent attention to detail and precise record-keeping ability. A farm animal breeder is responsible for selecting and breeding animals based on their knowledge of genetics, genealogies and favorable characteristics. They must examine, treat and exhibit animals. Animal breeders must exercise animals, watch growth patterns and monitor animal diets. An ideal candidate for farm animal breeding should be comfortable working in an environment that is unpredictable and potentially dirty. Additionally, prospective individuals must be capable of doing moderate to strenuous manual labor in some cases.

Farm animal breeding can be an exciting career choice, if you enjoy working with animals and are particularly detail-oriented. Completion of a degree program or on-the-job training could lead you to a wide variety of career titles. Several resources are available through the Study.com that could help you make education and career decisions about farm animal breeding.

Education Information

Animal breeders require more specialized training than the majority of other agricultural laborers. While an animal science or animal husbandry program gives students a good theoretical understanding of the subject, job training provides students with the skills to use specialized equipment, such as animal pregnancy tests, semen collection kits and genealogy tracking databases.

While many animal breeders do not hold a degree, formal education programs could set you apart when on the job hunt. Take a look at the following undergraduate and graduate degree options.

Distance Learning Options

While online options in animal husbandry or science are rare, some schools do offer hybrid programs or online courses. Below are a few examples of distance learning options available if you are interested in farm animal breeding.

Career Options

Animal breeding is a specialized skill that is invaluable in many agricultural settings. There are a handful of careers that value skills in animal breeding techniques.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), animal breeders are expected to see a dramatic decline in job opportunities of roughly 23% in the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). BLS wage data from May 2013 reveals that animal breeders earned a mean annual income of $40,310.

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