Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.
Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onwards, antedating farming of the first crops. By the time of early civilisations such as ancient Egypt, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were being raised on farms.
Major changes took place in the Columbian Exchange when Old World livestock were brought to the New World, and then in the British Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century, when livestock breeds like the Dishley Longhorn cattle and Lincoln Longwool sheep were rapidly improved by agriculturalists such as Robert Bakewell to yield more meat, milk, and wool.
A wide range of other species such as horse, water buffalo, llama, rabbit and guinea pig are used as livestock in some parts of the world. Insect farming, as well as aquaculture of fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, is widespread.
Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, jewellery 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.
In recent years, some organizations have also raised livestock to promote the survival of rare breeds. The breeding, maintenance, and slaughter of these animals, 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