Livestock at Cypress Creek Ranch
Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States.
The breeding, maintenance, and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture that has been practiced in many cultures since humanity’s transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles.
Animal husbandry practices have varied widely across cultures and time periods.
Originally, livestock was not confined by fences or enclosures, but these practices have largely shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as “factory farming”. Now, over 99% of livestock are raised on factory farms.
These practices increase the yield of the various commercial outputs but have also led to negative impacts on animal welfare and the environment. Livestock production continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous rural communities.