Phone: (+234) 704 444 9080 Email:

Ranching: A Safe Practice of Livestock Farming 

Abdulmalik Adetola

Ranching is the system of confining herds of animals on large tracts of land. Animals that are mostly raised in these systems are  grazing animals such as cattle and sheep. 

Also, some ranchers also raise elk, bison, ostriches, emus, and alpacas. The ranching and livestock industry is growing faster than any other agricultural sector in the world.

Corroborating the aforementioned point, ranching systems can either hold both breeding and growing stock or specialize in rearing/fattening animals, according to environmental and economic conditions (Jahnke et al., 1988). 

Although found in all the zones of sub-Saharan Africa, ranching systems are commonest in the arid and semi-arid zones of East and southern Africa and occur only sporadically in the drier parts of West and Central Africa. 

Ranches are also found in the humid zone of Central and West Africa but are not a predominant form of land use there. A few ranches are also found in the highlands.

Nonetheless, this article seeks to explore the ranching system as a  safe practice for livestock farming.

Ranching system is suitable for protecting Livestock

1). In an extensive system, cattle are moved from one location to another by nomadic husbandmen covering long distances in search of pasture. In most cases, this results in a very low level of production (both beef and milk) because the cattle lose weight (average weight of Nigerian breed is 550kg for bulls and 463kg for cows), milk and their maturity is delayed, milking is not carried out regularly and more often than not, there is no record for milk produced by each cow. However, this is not the case for the intensive ranching system, as it is easier to feed livestocks and this results in healthy growth in animals and in case of bulls and cows, it’s going to result in high milk production.

2). It helps in Monitoring Livestock

Ranching helps ranchers to look over the herds and choose your breeding schedule. When the herds are kept in a ranch, you will be able to know when your cows go into estrus and when they are ready to breed and go ahead with breeding. You can pull out the bulls for some time, say 64 to 85 days if you do not want year round breeding and calving. Artificial Insemination can properly be carried out in a ranch farm rather than in an open field. 

3). It helps to maintain orderliness in society

It is inarguably a fact that most communal clashes which have led to the death of many in this country are due to poor livestock systems. This has led to clashes between herders and farmers till date. However, if this system is applied it’s going to pave for peace in the society. There wouldn’t be conflicts between the herders and crop farmers. Farmers-herders clashes are usually as a result of cattle trespassing and destroying farm crops while on open grazing. 

In conclusion, it is imperative to note that the ranching system has its merits and demerits. Nonetheless, we must understand the fact that the merits are more than the disadvantages. Thus, this will help farmers in Nigeria to practice a more refined and better livestock farming and also, it’s going to contribute to enhancing peaceful coexistence in the country. Therefore, ranching is a better system of farming.


The post Ranching: A Safe Practice of Livestock Farming  first appeared on AgroNigeria.

Sourced from Agro Nigeria

Leave a Reply