Farm animals are animals that are domesticated for agricultural purposes. Raised for a variety of purposes serving human demands, farm animals are commonly used for commodities such as meat, leather, wool, and the production of milk, eggs, and other natural products. Keeping livestock has been a human activity across the world since humans transitioned to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Farm animals can be differentiated by dairy animals, poultry animals, and transportation animals.
Dairy cows are a type of cattle cow bred specifically for the production of greater quantities of milk used to make a range of common dairy products from cheeses, to yogurts, butters, ice cream, and sour cream. Increasingly specialized from beef cattle, dairy cows are raised in herds on dairy farms where they will spend between 2-4 years producing milk before being marketed for beef. Cattle are farmed for a variety of human products that include milk and beef, but also include leathers, fats, gelatins, and medicinal bi-products.
Knickers is an oversized Holstein steer in Western Australia that gained internet fame for its impressive size. Standing at 6’4” | 1.93 m and weighing an estimated 2,800 pounds | 1,270 kg, Knickers’ size is emphasized by his proximity to surrounding Wagyu cattle that average 4.5’ | 1.37 m tall.
Uses: Milk, meat (beef), leather, gelatin, medical products
Scientific Name: Bos taurus
Diary Cow standing side elevation, side (male farmer), front, side (laying down)
Llamas are domesticated herbivorous members of the camel family (camelids) characterized by their coats of thick wool and their upright posture. An iconic traditional South American animal, llamas have long been kept as useful beasts of burden that serve human needs for transportation of goods as well as for the production of wool and meat. Llamas live collectively with others in herds and are often used as guardians for other livestock because of their keen awareness and intelligence. Often confused with the alpaca, llamas are noticeably larger than alpacas and produce less wool.
Uses: Wool, pack (transport), meat (Peru), guards
Scientific Name: Lama glama
Llamas side elevation (standing), side (Napoleon Dynamite), front, side (laying down)
Donkeys, also known as asses or burros, are members of the horse family (Equidae) that are distinguished from horses by their stockier stature and floppy ears. With variations that include wild, feral, and domestic, donkeys are herd animals found around the world that are most commonly kept as beasts of burden that have assisted in the transportation of goods for thousands of years. On farms, donkeys are often bred as pets and for producing milk but they have also been found to act as guardians that help protect the other livestock. Male donkeys are called jacks, while female donkeys are known as jennies or jennets.
Uses: Milk, pack (transport), guardians
Scientific Name: Equus asinus
Donkey side elevation (standing), side (male farmer), front, side (laying down)
The Alpaca, a member of the camelid family from South America, is a domesticated relative of the Guanaco and the Vicuña who is bred for its luxurious, soft coat. The Alpaca is frequently confused with the llama, but while both domesticated South American camelids, they are two distinct species; the Alpaca being the smaller of the two, and the Llama being larger and used as a pack animal. There two types of Alpacas, the more common Huacayas, identifiable by their fluffy, teddy-bear like appearance, and the Suris, identifiable by their silky fleece that grows in locks. Alpaca fibers can come in as many as 52 natural colors from Peru, but only 12 and 16 are from Australia and the United States, respectively.
Scientific Name: Vicugna pacos
Alpaca side elevation (standing), side (person), front, walking, lying down
Domestic pigs, also referred to as swine or hogs, are stocky bodied hoofed animals that have developed for farming purposes as a subspecies of the wild boar. Raised around the world to provide valuable products for humans, domestic pigs are bred to be much larger than their ancestors in order to produce higher yields of meat (pork), lard, leather, glue, fertilizer, and samples for medical research. Naturally intelligent and social, domestic pigs are among the smartest of all domesticated animals and are often credited as being smarter than dogs.
Uses: Pork, lard, leather, glue, fertilizer, medicines
Scientific Name: Sus domesticus
Domestic Pig side elevation (standing), side (female farmer), front, side (laying down)