Different Types of Livestock

The evolution of market and economy has loosely brought the term “livestock” to common language. Key element in a modern agriculture is animal husbandry, which means raising animals in an agricultural setting. This is because large production of commodities such as food and fiber, which increased profit, necessitated raising domesticated animals in an agricultural setting.

Therefore, livestock is any domesticated animals raised for commercial purposes. Listed below are eight common types of livestock humans today raise for different reasons.


The domesticated pig is generally farmed for meat such as pork, hotdog, sausages, and bacon to name a few. Pigs are rarely used for fiber since most of their species have little hair covering on their skin. An exception is the Mangalitsa pig, which is known for its woolly-coated skin.


The sheep is one of the oldest animals being domesticated for agricultural reasons. Lamb and hogget or mutton are terms referring to meat of a sheep. Aside from that, their milk are drinkable and their wool are prominent than other animals’. In addition, sheep are also raised for fleece.


The domestic goat is closely related to sheep. It also belongs to the oldest domesticated animals. They are raised for meat, milk, skins and hair. Younger goat’s meat is called kid or cabrito and older one’s meat is chevon, or “mutton”.


Cattle has been domesticated since the early Neolithic age. Like sheep and goat, they are raised for meat, milk, and hides. The meat of cattle is called beef. Cattle also serves as draft animals such as pulling carts and plowing the field, although a carabao is mostly used in the latter. Other products of cattle include leather and manure for fertilizer. Some countries like India however, cattle are sacred.


The two species of camel—the one-hump Arabian camel and the two-hump Bactrian camel—are both domesticated to produce meat, dairy products, and hides. The South American camelids such as llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuna are also livestock.


The domesticated dog is known as man’s best friend; it is the domesticated form of a wolf. Dogs are the most common domesticated animal across culture and are helpful to early human subsistence. For example, successful emigration happened because of sled dogs. Aside from this, they serve many purposes to humankind such as hunting, bodyguards, assisting police and military. It is not ordinary but some cultures also consider the dog’s meat as food.


The yak is a common domesticated animal in the Himalayan region. Worth noting however is the existence of a few at risk wild yak population. Domesticated yaks are raised for their meat, dairy products, and fiber. Their dried manure is also a significant fuel source; sometimes it is the only available fuel in the Tibetan plateau.


Donkeys are raised for their durability and vigor. Although donkeys are family of horses, sometimes they are preferred for their more pungent sense of “self preservation.” Donkeys are said to be domesticated around the same time as the horse were. They are kept for their meat, dairy products, and draught reasons.


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