Animal scientists conduct research. They try to develop better animal products and healthier animals.
Animal scientists study animals. Most of their work concerns livestock, such as pigs, cows, and chickens. Some study domestic animals, such as cats and dogs.
Animal scientists may study:
- Animal diets
- Animal production
- Animal management practices
Regardless of the topic they study, animal scientists have many tasks in common. They read articles and attend conferences to learn more about their research area. They determine research questions and design experiments to study those questions. Depending on the type of animal they study, scientists conduct experiments in a lab or at a farm. They may work with the animals themselves, or have research assistants do much of the work for them. If they have assistants, scientists train them to conduct the research and keep records.
Some animal scientists study animals' diets. They try to find the best mix of foods to raise healthy animals. They also try to determine the nutritional needs of animals. Some animals need more vitamins, minerals, or protein than others. This affects the type of food they need. Animal scientists may develop special foods for animals, or just suggest what animals should be fed.
Animal scientists also study topics such as breeding, genetics, production and management, and environmental conditions. They may also try to introduce new characteristics into animals. For example, they may breed chickens that lay more eggs. Animal scientists also try to reduce the cost of raising animals and processing animal products.
Animal management practices
Animal scientists often advise animal producers. They study management decisions, including how animals are fed, housed, and processed, to see how these practices affect production levels. They recommend ways to improve disease control in animals and the quality of animal products.