Livestock ranching

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Livestock ranching


In the extensive temperate grasslands, once roamed by nomadic herdsmen or by hunters are found permanent ranches where large numbers of cattle sheep, goats and horses are kept.

The green pasture are either of the native grasses or are resown with selected grasses or legumes such as alfalfa, clovers etc. Everywhere the grass is poor as in western USA. There is usually a continuous cover all round the year, and the animals are still well fed. 'Hay' is harvested for winter-feeding or as in some parts of Argentina and Australia, the livestock diet is supplemented by man made feedstuffs, with a balanced content of carbohydrates, proteins and mineral nutrients.

Cattle and sheep ranches are run on modern lines. The best breeds are used to produce high quality beef, mutton or wool and any deficiency in pasture is made up for by cultivating feed stuffs, or by using manufactured feeds. Cattle and sheep are vaccinated or dipped and are guarded against diseases. For example, the estancias in the Pampas of Argentina are modern animal farms with automatic feeding towers, fenced ranches and veterinary surgeons, which attend on the animals regularly. Unlike the pastoral nomads, who subsist on the barest minimum often in precarious living conditions, modern cattle or sheep ranchers are wealthy men.

The animal products such as meat and wool may be produced for export. e.g. New Zealand and Australia or they may serve basically the home market e.g. U.S.A., Russia. The establishment of commercial livestock farming has led to the development of towns which act as slaughtering, processing and packing centres, and of moderate or dense network of roads and railways, which link the ranching areas-with towns and carry the cattle or sheep to the areas where they are fattened before being slaughtered, e.g. Towns like Buenos Aires, Rosario grew into major cities, supporting a thriving population with a high standard of living.

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