Animals are multicellular, living organisms in the Kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, all animals eat organic matter, breathe oxygen, can move, reproduce sexually, and have some sort of coordinated behavior. The classification of animals into classes such as mammals, birds, insects, and fishes, is based on the arrangement of their limbs and organs, on the basis of their appearance, on the basis of their feeding habits, and on the principle of their life history. Thus animals are categorized as land animals, freshwater animals, marine animals, and vertebrates.
Livestock production involves the business of raising live stock, usually for consumption as food or for other specified purposes, for sale to a market, or to be kept as livestock. The sale of animal products, such as meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, and fur, as well as the keeping of farm animals, such as goats, sheep, and poultry, forms an important component of the livestock industry. The other parts of the industry include the transportation, storage, and sales of animal products. The study of animal sciences has produced important concepts and methods of animal husbandry and animal care. These concepts and methods have been successfully implemented in different types of industries, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, petrochemical, and horticulture.
The main areas of livestock production are feeding, animal keeping and breeding, and sales of animal products. In modern times, much of the food we consume is animal-based. Livestock are usually fed with corn, alfalfa, grain, hay, or supplements. Some farmers feed their livestock with poultry (such as ducks, geese, swans, and bantams), meats (lambs, pigs, and chickens), and eggs. These animal products are usually used for domestic, as well as public, food services.
Feeding uses the by-product, grain, soybeans, and other feed products derived from animal sources. Animal keeping and breeding businesses usually maintain a large flock of farm stock. They usually sell these animals to meat processors and animal breeders. Livestock production entails maintaining health and welfare of the animals; animal sciences, on the other hand, focuses on disease control, controlling animal overpopulation, controlling pollution, and utilizing animal resources for agricultural, environmental, and other non-food uses.
Disease control involves managing infectious diseases that affect livestock, usually resulting from cross-contamination with other species. Animal health and animal nutrition involve both intensive studies and application of knowledge on nutrition, including production and management of animal feeds. Product development refers to the commercialization of animal products, usually for the human/animal market.
In summary, the key components of animal enterprise are farming, breeding, and product production. These components require the expertise and investment of specialized animal scientists. These animal scientists employ animal sciences training for a wide range of purposes, ranging from traditional dairy and beef production, to dairy and poultry production, fish and marine products, fur and leather, and a wide variety of livestock marketing opportunities. These scientists must have a thorough knowledge of the farm and farming system, and be familiar with a wide variety of animal feeding systems, veterinary practices, veterinary pharmaceuticals, and food safety. The knowledge and skills acquired through the process of animal enterprise research and venture capital can translate into substantial profits for the venture holder.