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Livestock - Cows, Sheep And Goats, Pigs, Horse And Donkey, Camels And Llamas, Buffalo - Rabbits

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Linear expansivity to Macrocosm and microcosm

Livestock is a collective term for domesticated animals that are kept, mostly for the production of meat, milk, wool, or other products. The most common species are cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, and chickens. The term is not used in reference to animals that are kept as pets or companions.

Livestock are domesticated species, which have been genetically modified over time through the artificial selection of desirable traits by humans, with a view to increasing the docility of the animals, their size and productivity, their quality as agricultural products, and other culturally desired features. Some species of livestock no longer occur in their original, non-domesticated, free-living form, and they are totally dependent on humans for their continued existence. However, humans are also substantially dependent on their livestock for sustenance and other purposes. Consequently, the symbiotic relationship between humans and their domestic livestock could be termed a mutualism, that is, a mutually beneficial relationship between two species.

Some of the domesticated species of livestock have become enormously abundant in cultivation. The world's population of sheep and goats has been estimated at about 1.7 billion, while there are some 1.3 billion cows, 0.85 billion pigs, 0.12 billion horses, and 0.16 billion camels and water buffalo. Some smaller species of livestock are even more abundant, including an estimated 10-11 billion fowl, mostly chickens. In comparison, the total population of humans is about 5.8 billion individuals. The populations of species of both livestock and humans are growing quite rapidly, in the case of humans at about 1.7% per year or 93 million people per year.


Rabbits

The domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has been derived from the old-world or European rabbit. The domestic rabbit is mostly raised as a source of meat, and for its fur, although the latter is of relatively poor quality.


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