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Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Farm Animals

Characteristic Features of Some Farm Animals and their Distribution in Nigeria

Factors Affecting the Distribution of Livestock in Nigeria

Classification of Farm Animals based on Size and Habitat

Classification of Animals based on Mode of Reproduction

Classification of Animals based on Stomach Types and Feeding Pattern

Uses of Farm Animals

JSS1 Agricultural Science Second Term Examination (Mock)





  1. Meaning of Farm Animals
  2. Types of Farm Animals
  3. Characteristics of Farm Animals


Meaning of Farm Animals

Farm animals are animals that are reared by man for different purposes such as food supply, income generation, clothing materials, etc. Examples include goats, sheep, rabbits, poultry, cattle, pigs, fish, snails, etc.

Types of Farm Animals

The following are the forms of farm animals:

  1. Work animals
  2. Dairy animals
  3. Guard animals
  4. Poultry
  5. Pets
  6. Aquatic animals

1. Work Animals:

These are animals that are used for work on the farm.

They are used for carrying loads, ploughing, harrowing and ridging e.g cattle, [Sokoto Gudali, White Fulani], (in forms of bull and bullock). Such animals are called draught animals. The normal output of a working bull is about 500W compared to that of a man which is about 75W.

Work animals are also used for transportation and carrying of load e.g. horses, camels and donkeys. Such animals are referred to as beasts of burden. They have the ability to survive or travel long distance without water.

Characteristics of Work Animals

The following are the characteristics of work animals:

  1. They are well built with good body conformation.
  2. They can survive or travel long distance without water.
  3. They are rugged and have very great strength.
  4. They have strong hind limbs.
  5. They are docile and tolerant.

2. Dairy Animals:

These are animals reared purposely for milk production. Examples are cattle [White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, Red Bororo]; Goats [Nubian goats, Jumnapari and Surti of India]. Milk provides protein, vitamins and minerals.

Characteristics of Diary Animals

  1. They are lean and have angular form of body.
  2. They have well developed mammary gland called udder.
  3. They have high food conversion efficiency for production of milk.
  4. They have light weight.
  5. They are easy to handle/less aggressive.

3. Guard Animals:

These are animals domesticated or tamed and used for protecting life and property from danger. Examples are dogs, parrot, cat, geese, guinea fowl, Ilamas etc. Dog is the most commonly used guard animal.

Characteristics of Guard Animals

  1. They are easily controlled.
  2. They are intelligent.
  3. They have natural curiosity.
  4. They can be trained and tamed to suit our purpose e.g security.
  5. They are sensitive to human behaviour.

4. Poultry:

These are domesticated birds raised mainly for food, meat and eggs and other purposes e.g feather and manure. Examples of poultry birds are domestic fowl, guinea fowl, turkey, goose, ducks, ostrich, quails, pigeon etc.



Characteristics of Poultry

  1. Poultry birds have medium body size.
  2. They do not give birth to their young ones alive [they lay eggs].
  3. They have simple stomach.
  4. They are prolific animals, i.e they lay and hatch many eggs into chicks.
  5. Their body is covered with feathers and they have two legs cover with scales.
  6. They are best managed by intensive system.
  7. The mouth is modified to form a beak.
  8. They feed mainly on grains.

5. Pets:

These are animals kept for pleasure and companionship e.g. dog, cat.

They are treated with great care and affection. They are mostly beautiful and attractive in terms of colour, body size, and general appearance.

Other examples are parrots, canaries, pigeon, monkeys, peacock, gold fish (reared in quarium), rabbits e.g. Dutch etc.

Characteristics of Pets

  1. They are easily domesticated.
  2. They are beautiful.
  3. They are loyal and playful.
  4. They live freely with human beings.
  5. They can feed on human food.
  6. They can be trained to be harmless.
  7. They are friendly.

6. Aquatic Animals:

These are animals that live inside water like rivers, lakes, dams, ponds, streams, oceans and seas.

There are two aquatic habitat: fresh water and marine.

Examples are prawn, oysters, lobsters, crabs, periwinkles, turtles, squids, shrimps, fish, frogs etc. Fish is the most commonly domesticated and populous among aquatic animals.

Characteristics of Aquatic Animals

  1. They live, feed and reproduce in water.
  2. Fish possess gills for respiration in water.
  3. Some have smooth skins e.g catfish while some have scales e.g tilapia.
  4. They are cold- blooded i.e unable to maintain and regulate their body temperature.
  5. They lay eggs which later hatched to
  6. Fish has streamlined body for easy movement in water.
  7. A fish uses a special sense organ called the lateralline to detect events in its environment.



  1. Mention threeexamples of the following: (i) Aquatic animals (ii) Poultry
  2. State threecharacteristics of dairy animals.
  3. ………….. is the respiratory organ of fish.

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