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What are the Characteristics of Livestock Ranching?

i. Livestock ranching is the commercial grazing of livestock over an extensive area which is associate with a very large land requirement and modest input of capital and human resources (labour a management) per unit area of land.

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ii. The ranches are very large; for example, the average size of sheep stations in Australia; hectares and the cattle ranches are even larger.

iii. The ranches have a continuous vegetative cover. The green pastures are either of the native grasses is renowned with selected grasses or legumes such as alfalfa, lucerne and clovers.

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iv. The major types of livestock are sheep, cattle, goats and horses. They were mostly introduced from! European stock, and at the same time are greatly improved by the adoption of scientific methods breeding.

v. The choice of the animals is done very judiciously. The rancher operator chooses the best quality animal suited to the region. Each region tends to specialise in one particular type of animal and4 livestock products for which it is best suited.

vi. The size of herds and flocks is very large. Ode of the reasons for this is that there is a fear of large stock losses, which often occur due to summer droughts and winter blizzards. The ranchers, therefore, adopt the policy of nomadic herders, i.e., the larger the herd, the greater the chance of survival.

vii. There is little continual movement from one area of pasture to another.

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viii. Ranches are managed and run on scientific lines. Cattle and sheep are guarded by from various diseases by their regular vaccination. Veterinary surgeons regularly attend to the animals.

ix. The animals in the ranches are raised for highly organised markets. The most numerous animals, from commercial viewpoint, are the sheep, which is kept for both mutton and wool. Cattle are even more valuable and are reared for beef, hides and dairy products.

x. Livestock grazing has led to the development of towns, which act as slaughtering, processing and packing centres, and also a moderate or dense network of roads and railways which link the ranching areas with stich towns, and carry the cattle or sheep to the areas where they are fattened before being slaughtered.

Towns like Buenos Aires, Bahia Blanca, Montevideo and Rosario grew into major cities in South America and St. Louis, Kansas and Omaha in North America.

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