Humans and animals have been coexisting ever since the start. In a broad classification, animals are either wild or domestic. Wild animals typically live in forests. Domestic animals live with humans and depend on them for food, care, and grooming. We are going to learn about the types of domestic animals here.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Domestic Animals?
- 2 Types of Domestic Animals
- 3 Different Countries with Unique Choices of Pets
- 4 Conclusion of Domestic Animals
What Are Domestic Animals?
Domestic or domesticated animal means any animal that has been trained to the point that humans can use it for a purpose. They are a diverse group of non-wild animals that usually live in close association with humans.
In simple terms, we call them “domestic animals” because humans have domesticated them throughout history. This process of taming and training animals to live with people dates back thousands of years.
Types of Domestic Animals
The classification of domestic animals can be divided into three categories. These are domestic pets, livestock (farm animals), and beasts of burden. We will discuss each one in detail below;
Pets Domestic Animals
Pets are wonderful companions that can provide us with love, loyalty, entertainment, and security. People keep pet animals because they give us a sense of purpose and can help to relieve boredom or loneliness. Owning a pet can also teach us responsibility, patience, and empathy.
The most common companion domestic pet animals are cats, dogs, and rabbits. Most pets do not serve any kind of work purpose, so the only reason to keep them is their attractive appearance and affection-appealing characteristics and looks. Let’s look at the major types of domestic animals based on the pet category;
Domestic cats, also called house cats, are felines that are kept as indoor pets. A cat is habitually nocturnal (active at night) and has a good sense of smell. It tends to be lazy throughout the day. Cats are known for their independent nature and their ability to hunt rodents and other small animals.
While most domestic cats tend to live indoors, some owners like to allow their cats to explore the great outdoors. Cats like to eat flesh, but they are also fond of drinking milk. These cute-looking creatures share their ancestral history with lions and leopards.
Do you have a pet dog? If so, you’re not alone. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that over 69 million households have a pet dog.
Dogs are known for their excellent sense of smell which is supposed to be 40 times better than that of humans.
A dog is a domesticated or tamed descendant of the wolf family, making the wolf the closest living relative of the dog. Humans adore dogs for their faithfulness and loyalty. They have helped us hunt, herd, and protect our homes. Today, they continue to play an important role in our lives. Many people choose dogs as their pets because of the special bond that can form between them and dogs.
A domesticated rabbit is supposed to have a lifespan of 8-12 years and is highly appreciated for its sense of hearing. Rabbits tend to get lonely when kept alone without any companion since they are social animals.
While often thought of as backyard animals or children’s pets, rabbits can actually be quite intelligent and affectionate animals that form strong bonds with their owners. They are always alert, but at the same time, they usually nap during the day and are active at night.
Livestock Domestic Animals
Livestock are animals that are raised by humans for various purposes, including food, fiber, and labor. There are many types of livestock that are raised around the world, including pigs, sheep, goats, cows, horses, and chickens. These animals are typically kept on farms or ranches and are typically allowed to graze on pastureland (grazing lands). In some cases, livestock may also be kept in zoos or other captive environments.
The care and management of livestock animals can vary greatly depending on the animal breed and the purpose for which it is being kept. So, let’s discuss types of domestic animals based on livestock category;
Cow as an animal is often adored for its calm nature. They are raised for their milk which is very nutritious and healthy. Cows are vegetarian and depend on short herbs, various kinds of grass, and some tree leaves for their food. Cows are female and spend 10 hours on average relaxing.
The lifespan of a cow is around 20 years, but this can vary depending on the breed and environment.
Cows are interesting animals with a lot of interesting facts. For example, did you know that cows have four stomachs (technically 4 compartments)? Or that they spend around six hours a day eating?
Pigs are generally raised and bred for their meat. They are known for their good sense of direction and sharp memory. Pigs require a lot of space to roam and explore. They adore the company of their friends and families even while sleeping, and the mother pigs do sing for their newborns just as humans sing lullabies.
Buffaloes are often used as working animals, as they are very strong and can be used for tasks such as ploughing fields or pulling carts.
Buffalo is groomed and raised for its milk and its leather. The milk of buffalo is used to make curd, cheese, and ghee. Similar to cow, buffalo is purely vegetarian and eat greens.
Sheep are raised for their meat and wool. It is the primary product of sheep and can be used to make clothing, blankets, and other textile items.
Sheep always love to be in a herd which shows that they are social animals. It is believed that there are more than 1000 breeds of sheep across the globe. Sheep have an excellent memory and an even better sense of smell.
Goats are a type of livestock domestic animal that are raised for their meat consumption as well as for their milk. Just like the sheep, goats are extremely social and always need a herd to be with. Goats are appreciated for their good mountaineering skills, as they climb very effortlessly.
Always remember that types of goats vary in size, coat color, and dairy production, so it is important to do your research before choosing which goats are right for your farm or ranch.
When raising domestic animals or birds for meat, it is important to consider the animal’s welfare and to follow best practices for humane handling. There are a few basic things you need to know in order to care for them properly. A few examples of this are providing shelter, food and water, and regular health check-ups.
Beasts of Burden Domestic Animals
An animal that is kept by humans and educated to carry out activities rather than being killed to produce animal products is known as a beast of burden.
Beasts of burden are animals that are used to carry heavy loads or perform other labor-intensive tasks. In many cultures, these domestic creatures have been seen as an essential part of life, helping humans to transport goods and supplies over long distances. Horses, donkeys, camels, and elephants have all been used as beasts of burden at one time or another.
A beast of burden is supposed to do various categories of work. For labor and physical work, we tend to go for oxen; for transportation, we humans use horses and camels; donkeys and mules are preferred for carrying the loads. Let us look at different types of domestic animals based on the beasts of burden category.
The primary use of oxen is to plow fields in village areas across the world. They are known for their strength and stamina while plowing the fields.
A horse is usually raised for transportation purposes, generally signifying royalty and class. Rich people keep horses as a status symbol, and grooms at weddings also use horses to travel to the bride’s house on the wedding day.
A popular game of Polo is played while riding a horse or pony. They are known for their quick reflexes and intelligence. Also, they are social creatures. Horses use their mouth for breathing and can sleep even while standing.
Camels are found in desert areas and are used for transportation in hot desert areas full of sand. They can survive for weeks or even months on the 80 pounds of fat that they store in their humps. They can shut their nostrils at a sandstorm. Camels can easily sit in the scorching sand because of the thick pads of skin on their knees and chest. They can drink up to 40 gallons of water in a go.
A donkey is usually raised to carry loads from one place to another. They have an average lifespan of 40-50 years. Contradicting the popular myth, donkeys are quite intelligent and strong.
They are believed to have an incredible memory, but they are stubborn in nature. They are social animals and hate being left alone. Their fur is not waterproof and can cause them health issues if left out in the rain for a prolonged period.
Mules are used to carry loads, mostly sand and construction stuff. They are the offspring of a female horse and a male donkey. Their skin is better resistant to sun and rain in comparison to both horses and donkeys. They are known to be sterile. They are less stubborn in comparison to a donkey. Just like donkeys, mules can live up to a lifespan of 50 years. And they do kick sideways when someone pisses them off.
So next time you see a beast of burden working hard to help someone, take a moment to appreciate all they do for us. They might not be as flashy or exciting as some other animals, but they sure deserve our respect and admiration.
In the above section, we discussed types of domestic animals according to their classification. Let’s take it a step further and learn more about domestic birds.
The domestic bird population consists of a wide range of species, including chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese. These birds are usually raised for their meat or eggs, but some people keep them as pets. Most domestic birds are smaller than their wild counterparts and are friendly and easy to care for. Below are the most common domestic birds;
A chicken is a bird. Chickens are one of the most popular domesticated species in the world. They are usually raised for their eggs, although people also eat chicken meat. Each year, billions of chickens are raised for meat and eggs.
Ducks are aquatic birds, mostly smaller than swans and geese, and may be found in freshwater and seawater. They are often kept as livestock on farms because they are relatively easy to care for and provide a valuable source of meat, eggs, and feathers. While ducks can be food sources, they can also be simply kept as pets. Less common domestic birds include parrots, doves, and quail. These birds are usually kept as pets.
Different Countries with Unique Choices of Pets
Let’s look at some unique categories of pets and domestic animals which people keep for their own reasons.
A pet tortoise can make a great animal companion. They are usually very low maintenance and can live for a long time. Tortoises can live in most climates and are ancient, with an incredible lifespan (up to 150 years). It is a difficult task to figure out a tortoise’s gender. Their shell is made up of bones and is quite complex. They smell with the help of their throats.
Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets, and it’s not hard to see why! They are adorable, relatively low-maintenance, and relatively quiet. Hedgehogs are omnivores, so their diet should consist of both plant and animal matter.
Many countries do not allow to import of hedgehogs (such as Australia), and some require a permit (such as the state of New Jersey) to own a hedgehog as a pet.
They sometimes become slightly allergic to their surroundings and would have pink dots on their body as an allergic reaction. It is mainly kept in cages and can show signs of depression when not provided the range of distance to cover. They feast on insects. In a household, they can eat cooked chicken, pork, and sometimes even a small number of fruits and vegetables.
Raccoons are exotic pets, and many countries, including Japan, the UK, and even India, have banned the import of raccoons as pets. They are known for their high speeds and alertness.
Raccoons have a high intelligence level and can make more than 50 different noises. They are nocturnal animals and acquire skills that make it easier for humans to train them. They can survive in most climates. Raccoons frequently change their mate and do not contribute to raising their offspring. Raccoons are omnivores, so they eat both plants and animals. You’ll need to provide them with a diet that includes both meat and vegetables.
Mini pigs are favorite pets in Mexico and are treated as a status symbol. They usually have poor eyesight. In various parts of the USA, laws are different for different locations for owning a mini pig. They provide a valuable contribution to various types of animal-assisted therapy.
Flying squirrels are kept as pets in some states of the USA. They usually mate in late winter, and the newborns are blind. Still, they eventually grow big eyes for improved night vision as well.
The newborns need a lot of pampering and grooming by their mothers. Their eyes are round and adorable. They mostly feast on seeds, berries, mushrooms, acorns, moths, beetles, small birds, nuts, and small eggs. It is believed that some of the flying squirrels glow at night. They cannot fully fly but only glide and can make a 180-degree turn.
We have learned that many animals are not permitted as a pet. Did you care to wonder why it is so? Why certain places are banning imported pets and making it illegal to own them? We shall dig in for a satisfactory explanation for the same.
We must pay heed to the fact that every animal is not fit for humans to be used as a pet. Some animals love to be in the wild, on their own and they can get highly affected by separation from their surroundings and loved ones or forcefully importing them and keeping them as pets. We should see every living creature as ourselves and should have both sympathy and empathy toward them.
Conclusion of Domestic Animals
People keep different types of domestic animals as pets or livestock. Some common examples include dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, and chickens. Each animal has its own unique set of characteristics and needs, so it’s essential to do your research before deciding which one is right for you. Also, when choosing a domestic animal, it is crucial to consider what type of personality and temperament you are looking for. Do you want an animal that is playful and friendly or one that is more independent? Also, there are so many different breeds of each type of domesticated animal, so be sure to do your research before deciding. Whichever domestic animal you choose, it will surely bring joy into your life.