Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

  • Share of animal resources and fishery in the total agricultural output stands presently at about 26%. In the State, the Livestock Sector contributes 4.41% of the total SDP and 18.6% of the Agricultural SDP.
  • Animal Husbandry practice is a part of household activities in the rural areas mostly for meeting their own requirement for milk, meat and eggs.
  • The ever-growing demand for milk-meat-egg and the potential of income generation, as well as to meet the nutritional needs for one’s well being, has provided impetus to the small and marginal farmers, landless labours & women to take up activities in Animal Husbandry in the backyard on a larger scale.
  • Enterprising youth, unemployed & Self Help Groups are now interested to take up Animal Husbandry activities as an alternative occupation either on a small/ medium scale or commercially.
  • Therefore, it can be said that today “Animal Husbandry” holds the key to the socio-economic development in the rural areas and the targeted population by offering unlimited opportunity for employment generation and income generation.
  • “Backyard‟ animal husbandry activities by the women in the rural areas will also lead to their financial independence and thus facilitate their empowerment.of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal
  • Physically Challenged People can also take up animal husbandry activities
  • Daily production of in-milk cross-bred cattle stands at 5.953 Kg of milk while that of in-milk buffaloes is 4.565 Kg.
  • In-milk indigenous cattle is very poor milk yielder, producing about 1.2 Kg of milk per day. About 49% of milk production of the State is produced by the indigenous cows.
  • As far as the production of eggs is concerned, Commercial fowl contributes only 19% of the total egg production of the State.
  • Egg yield of improved layer fowl is 300 per annum.
  • About 52% of the total eggs of the State are from desi fowl and duck contributes about 29% of total eggs production. Backyard farmers contribute about 81% of the total eggs produced.
  • Egg yield of desi layer fowl and layer duck are 117 and 107 per annum respectively.
  • Meat yield of goat is 7.194 Kg and that of sheep, pig and poultry bird are 8.781 Kg, 26.822 Kg and 1.126 Kg respectively
  • The long term objective of the Department of production of required amount of Milk, Meat and Eggs which are achieved through;
  1. Up-gradation of different livestock and poultry products.
  2. Extension of animal health coverage in rural area.
  3. Production of quality feed and fodder.
  4. Milk procurement and processing through milk cooperatives and dairies.
  5. Reduction ofincome inequalitythrough transfer ofresourcesto poorer people.
  6. Additional income generation to the poorest people through animal husbandry practice.
  7. Introduction of e-governance
  8. Conversion of State Animal Health Centres into Veterinary Polyclinics for providing better diagnosis and treatment
  9. Eradication of PPR and carrying out vaccination programme for other economically important diseases, viz., FMD, HS, BQ, Anthrax, RD, Fowl Pox, DP, Swine Fever etc.
  10. Up-gradation of Central and Regional Laboratories to BSL II/III standard and introduction of GMP & GLP therein.


Animal Resources Development Department, WB

  • Most of the poor people in rural areas of our State are dependent on mixed crop-livestock farming system for their livelihood.
  • Animal Resources Development Department thus plays a major role in supplementing family income and generating gainful employment in the villages, particularly among the landless laborers, small and marginal farmers and especially women.
  • The significance of the livestock sector in the economy of our State can be judged from the fact that it contributes 4.41% of the total SDP & 18.6% of the agricultural SDP.
  • It is pertinent to mention here that employment opportunities in traditional agriculture sector are shrinking rapidly and there is virtually no scope for employment of rural unskilled youths in capital intensive industrial units.
  • On the other hand, demands for milk, meat, egg & other livestock related products are growing exponentially due to population explosion, high GDP growth, growing urbanization and change in the food habits of the middle & upper strata of the society.
  • Animal Husbandry and Dairy sectors therefore have the seminal potential to open up new vistas for large scale employment generation.

Goat Farming of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

  • Goat is known as ‘Poor man’s cow’ in India and is a very important component in dry land farming system.
  • Marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for other types of animals like cow or buffalo, goat is the best alternative.
  • With very low investments goat rearing can be made in to a profitable venture for small and marginal farmers.

Sheep farming of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

  • Few countries in the world have no sheep.
  • They are found in tropical countries and in the arctic, in hot climates and in the cold, on the desert and in humid areas.
  • There are over 800 breeds of sheep in the world, in a variety of sizes, shapes, types and colours.
  • Sheep were domesticated long before the dawn of recorded history.
  • Wool fibres have been found in remains of primitive villages of Switzerland that date back an estimated 20000 years.
  • Egyptian sculpture dating 4000-5000 B.C. portrays the importance of this species to people.
  • Much mention is made in the Bible of flocks, shepherds, sacrificial lambs, and garments made of wool.
  • The Roman empire prized sheep, anointed them with special oils, and combed their fleece to produce fine quality fibres that were woven into fabric for the togas of the elite.
  • Perhaps the first ruminants domesticated by man along with goats, sheep are a very valuable and important asset to mankind.
  • Domesticated sheep : phylum Chordata (backbone), class Mammalia (suckle their young), order Artiodactyla (hooved, even-toed), family Bovidae(ruminants), genus Ovis (domestic and wild sheep), and species Ovisaries

Emu rearing

  • Emus belong to ratite group and have high economic value for their meat, eggs, oil, skin and feathers.
  • These birds are adaptable to varied climatic conditions.
  • Although emu and ostrich were introduced in India, emu farming has gained much importance.
  • Ratite birds have poorly developed wings and include emu, ostrich, rhea, cassowary and kiwi.
  • Emu and ostrich are reared commercially in many parts of the world for their meat, oil, skin and feathers, which are of high economic value.
  • The anatomical and physiological features of these birds appear to be suitable for temperate and tropical climatic conditions.
  • These birds can be well maintained on extensive (ranches) and semi intensive rearing systems with reasonably high fibrous diets.
  • United State, Australia and China are leading in emu farming. Emu birds are well adapted to Indian climatic conditions.

Features of Emu

  • Emu has long neck, relatively small naked head, three toes and body covered with feathers Birds initially have longitudinal stripes on body (0-3 months age) then gradually turn to brown by 4-12 months age.
  • Mature birds have bare blue neck and mottled body feathers. Adult bird height is about 6 feet with a weight of 45-60 kg. Legs are long covered with scaly skin adaptable to hardy and dry soil.
  • Natural food of emu is insects, tender leaves of plant and forages. It also eats different kinds of vegetables and fruits like carrot, cucumber, papaya etc. Female is the larger of the two, especially during breeding season when the male may fast.
  • The female is the dominant member of the pair.
  • Emus live for about 30 years.
  • It may produce eggs for more than 16 years. B
  • irds can be maintained as flock or pair.

Rabbit Farming of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

Why Rabbit Farming?

  • With available small investment and in a small place rabbit farming gives more income
  • Rabbits eat ordinary feed and convert them into a protein rich high quality meat
  • Apart from meat production they can also be reared for hide and fur.

Rabbit Farming is for whom?

  • For landless farmers, uneducated youth and women, rabbit farming gives an additional income as a part time job

Advantages of Rabbit Farming

  • By rabbit rearing one can produce a quality protein rich meat for his own family
  • Rabbits can be fed with easily available leaves, waste vegetables, grains available in the home
  • Growth rate in broiler rabbits is very high. They attain 2 kgs at the age of three months
  • Litter size (Number of young ones born/ kindling) in rabbits is high (around 8-12)
  • When compared to the other meats rabbit meat contain high protein (21%) and less fat (8%). So this meat is suitable for all age groups from adults to children


Quail Farming of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

Advantages of quail farming

  • Requires minimum floor space
  • Needs low investment
  • Quails are comparatively sturdy birds
  • Can be marketed at an early age ie. five weeks
  • Early sexual maturity – starts laying eggs in about six to seven weeks of age
  • High rate of egg laying -280 eggs per year
  • Quail meat is tastier than chicken and has less fat content. It promotes body and brain development in children.
  • Nutritionally, the quail eggs are on par with that of chicken eggs. Moreover, they contain less cholesterol.
  • Quail meat and eggs are a nutritious diet for pregnant and nursing mothers.



Turkey farming of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

Breeds of turkeys in India

The varieties are as follows

  1. Board breasted bronze:The basic plumage color is black and not bronze. The females have black breast feathers with white tips, which help in sex determination as early as 12 weeks of age.
  2. Board breasted white:This is a cross between Board breasted bronze and White Holland with white feathers. White plumage turkeys seems to be suitable Indian-Agro climatic conditions as they have better heat tolerance and also good and clean in appearance after dressing.
  3. Beltsville small white: It closely resembles the Board breasted white in color and shape but smaller in size. Egg production, fertility and hatchability tend to be higher and broodiness tends to be lower than heavy varieties.
  4. Nandanam turkey 1: This variety is a cross between the black desi variety and exotic Beltsville small white variety. It is suited for Tamil Nadu climatic conditions

Marketing of turkeys 

The body weight of adult male and adult female turkey at the 16th week is 7.26 kg and 5.53kg. This is optimum weight for marketing the turkeys.

Turkey egg:

  • The turkey will start lay from the 30th week of age and its production period is 24 weeks from the point of lay.
  • Under proper feeding and artificial lightening management turkey hens lay as much as 60-100 eggs annually.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the eggs will be laid in the afternoon.
  • The turkey eggs are tinted and weigh about 85 gms.
  • Egg is noticeably pointed at one end with strong shell.
  • The protein, lipid carbohydrate and mineral content of turkey egg are 13.1%, 11.8%, 1.7% and 0.8% respectively. The cholesterol is 15.67-23.97 mg/gm of yolk

Turkey meat:

  • People prefer turkey meat because of its leanest nature.
  • The protein, fat, energy value of turkey meat are 24%,6.6%, 162 Calories per 100 gm of meat.
  • Mineral like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc and sodium are present.
  • It is also rich in essential amino acids and vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6 and B12.
  • It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and essential fatty acids and low in cholesterol.
  • A market study shows that a male turkey sold at 24 weeks of age weighing 10 to 20 kg with expenditure of Rs.300 to 450 will give a profit of Rs. 500 to 600.
  • Likewise a female will give a profit of Rs.300 to 400 in a span of 24 weeks time. Besides, the turkey can be reared in scavenging and semi-scavenging conditions also.

PIG FARMING of Animal Husbandry of West Bengal

Advantages of pig rearing

  • Pigs convert inedible feeds, forages, certain grain byproducts obtained from mills, meat by products, damaged feeds and garbage into valuable nutritious meat. Most of these feeds are either not edible or not very palatable to human beings
  • Pig grows fast and is a prolific breeder, farrowing 10 to 12 piglets at a time. It is capable of producing two litters per year under optimal management conditions
  • The carcass return is quite high ie. 60-80 percent of live body weight
  • With a small investment on building and equipment, proper feeding and sound disease control programme the farmer can profitably utilize his time and labour in this subsidiary occupation
  • The faeces of pigs is used as a manure to maintain soil fertility

Pig farming- for whom?

  • Small and landless farmers
  • Part time earning for educated youth having agriculture as occupation
  • Uneducated / Unemployed youth
  • Farm women


The indigenous pig has been the basis used for pig production for a long period of time. It is small in size. Improved breeds are now being used for grading up the form the basis for pig production in the rural areas.


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