Uttarakhand :Animal Husbandry

The hill farming system is characterised by large number of livestock.

According to the livestock census of 2007,the number were as :-

Livestock population

Cattle 18.9 lakh

Buffaloes 12.1 lakh

Goats 13.3 lakh

Horse 13 thousand

Animals are even reared to produce dung for cultivated land.animals population tends to increase with human population because every land cultivating household attempts to maintain a pair of bullocks for draught purpose , a cow and a buffalo to produce milk and calves for replacement of bullocks.

The landless families also try to rear large number of sheep , goats and buffaloes or cow to get cash income and to augment family food supplies. The productivity level of livestock in the hill is low , the main reason being the degraded condition of the grazing land , the storehouse of livestock fodder.the inadequate availability of nutritious fodder and feeds is the other important factor for low milk production. Livestock subsist mainly on forest floor vegetation. Grazing pressure on an average amounts to 5.67 cattle units per ha which is 2.83 times higher than the carrying capacity of the grazing lands. Overgrazing of forest land is one of the reasons for their degradations.

Bulkocks are the only source of power for agriculture in the hills except , of course , human beings. The power developed during ploughing

operation by a pair of bulkocks is only half of the reported national average.

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