October 4th is World Farm Animals Day! Things have changed quite a bit since Old MacDonald bought his farm, but farms are still as crucial as they were back then. A local Westminster, MD vet discusses farm animals in this article.
Farm Animals: The Numbers
There are about 70 billion farm animals on the planet. Which is there the most of? Chickens! There are a whopping 22.8 billion chickens. That’s about three for each person. Every type of animal has their own interesting characteristics. That includes farm animals, too! Take the cow, for instance. Every year, Bessie can produce 2500 gallons of milk … and up to 45 gallons of drool. Like many animals, cows respond to love and kindness. Studies show that if you name your cow and treat her kindly, she’ll produce roughly 500 extra pints of milk per year. Then there’s the pig, another fascinating animal. Porky is actually the fourth most intelligent creature on the planet, after chimps, dolphins, and elephants. We can’t forget about goats. Studies have shown that Billy is actually a bit of an optimist. Also, he may have discovered coffee. (Thanks, buddy!)
Choosing Farm Animals
Are you interested in homesteading? Many people are starting micro farms with the aim of becoming more self-sufficient. Some animals—and breeds—are better suited for beginners than others. Some of the easiest ones would include rabbits, Pekin Ducks, Pygmy Goats, Berkshire Pigs, and Babydoll Sheep. Llamas and Alpacas can also be easy keepers, if they’re raised and trained properly. There are also animals that we wouldn’t recommend for first-timers. These include horses, bulls, Nigerian dwarf goats, and many sheep. That said, it really depends on what you want. Do plenty of research before diving in.
Helping Farm Animals
Like most awareness days, Farm Animals Day has a specific goal. In this case, it’s raising awareness about factory farming. Statistics show that as many as 99 percent of farm animals are raised on factory farms. Supporting farms and legislation that promote kinder practices is a great way to honor this day. Another thing you can do to help farm animals? Take in a rescued one. This of course isn’t a good option for someone in an apartment, but if you have the space, it may be a very rewarding experience. You may also be able to adopt one virtually through a charity or rescue.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Westminster, MD animal clinic, today!