Draught animals

Draught animals

Draught animals

Draught animals are animals need for carrying load. From time immemorial a number of animal species have been used for special purposes by humans, utilising their mechanical strength, endurance and speed. These include horse for riding and swift running; elephant for riding, strength and heavy load lifting, camel for riding in sandy desert and ability to survive without water for long duration, donkey and mule (a hybrid of male donkey and female horse) for carrying load. Most of the draught animals are herbivorous and survive on leaves of trees, shrubs and bushes. While raising them, they are also fed on grains, beans, cottonseeds, maize and bran besides dry/ green fodder. In Rajasthan, camel is used for yielding milk also.

Horse The horse has fast movement, great stamina and endurance. Its body is suited for ride, load pulling, mountain climbing and forest travelling. So the horse is an important draught or work animal. They learn fast and can be maintained easily in various climatic conditions. Due to their ability to move swiftly in rough areas, they are still useful in hills and in the deserts. Common Indian breeds and their distribution are as follows-


Besides providing meat, milk and transport, livestock provide many commercially useful products such as fibre, skin and hide. Generally sheep and goat provide fibres for making of products like wollen strings, ropes, carpets, clothing and brushes etc.


This category consists of egg producing animals whose eggs are used as food by mankind to provide proteins. Poultry farming is defined as a term for rearing and keeping of birds such as fowl, duck and hen for egg and meat. Poultry farming has become popular because it is comparatively easy to start and maintain. It gives quick return within one to six month of investments,, is easily manageable and requires less space and labour. Poultry birds and their eggs are a rich source of nutrients.

Common breeds of Poultry birds

Indian poultry breeds provide good quality meat but produces small sized eggs. They have natural immunity against common diseases as compared to exotic varieties bred abroad which require greater protection and immunisation. The chicken is commonly classified on the basis of its origin.

(a) American,

(b) Asiatic,

(c) Mediterranean and

(d) English

1. Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire – American

2. Brahma, Cochin, Langshan – Asiatic

3. Leg horn, Minoxa – Mediterranean

4. Cornish, Australorp – English

Indigenous Breeds

Aseel – Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh

Busra – Gujarat and Maharastra

Chittagong – Eastern India

Karaknath – Madhya Pradesh

(i) Indian Breeds

The Indian breeds of hen include Aseel, Chittagaog, Ghagus and Basra. Their egg laying capacity is around 200 eggs per year.

(ii) Exotic Breeds

These breeds are important from other countries and include White leghorn, Minorca, Rhode Island red. These birds have high egg laying capacity but carry less flesh as compared to Indian birds.

(iii) Upgraded variety

Some improved varieties have been developed in India by hybridisation such as B 77, ILS 82 etc. They grow fast and also have as high an egg laying capacity as the exotic varieties and are better suited to the Indian climate.

Poultry Feed

Depending upon the requirement of meat or egg production, poultry feed mainly consists of maize, rice, wheat bran, ground nut cake, fish meal, lime stones, bone meal, common salt, vitamins and minerals.

The application of laws of animal health and reproduction genetics has contributed towards increase in milk, egg and meat productivity. The increase in egg production brought about the silver revolution in the area of animal husbandry. The methods being widely used are artificial insemination and embryo transplant.

(i) Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination involves collection of semen from a healthy bull of the desired breed, its storage at low temperatures and introduction into the females of cattle of other breeds for bringing about fertilisation using sterilised (germ free) equipment. Advantages of this method are:

(a) Up to 3000 females can be fertilised from semen collected from one bull.

(b) The semen can be stored for a long period and transported over long distances.

(c) Economical and high success rates of fertilisation.

(ii) Embryo transplant

This method of breed improvement has been quite successful in sheep and goat. In this method, embryos (depending on their period of development) from superior breeds are removed during the early stages of pregnancy and are transferred to the other female with inferior characters, in whose body the gestation period is completed. By this technique, quality and productivity in the livestock can be improved. Unlike artificial insemination, this method has low success rate due to greater chances of contamination.

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