Zootechnics: what a professional in that field is and what it does

he word zootechnics was created in 1843 and derives from the Greek zoon = animal and techne = treated on an art, that is, it is a science responsible for the creation, production and handling of domestic and domesticated animals .

In Portuguese-language dictionaries the definition of the word is “art of raising animals”.

The zootechnical professional takes care, treats and manages domestic animals (Photo: depositphotos)

In Brazil, the actions of zootechnical professionals have been growing and advancing in the agricultural sector, making this profession increasingly recognized by society. The function stands out mainly in the areas of veterinary, agricultural and zoology.

What is zootechnics?

The expression zootechnics was initially adopted only by the peoples of Latin and German origin, the English used the nomenclature Animal Science . The other European peoples did not use the term and did not even recognize it.

In the scientific language of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th, the term zootechnics started to be used more intensely, however, still marginally, as an extra class within a group of activities and, almost always, with a uncertain meaning.

However, zootechnics has been used to designate knowledge , practice and industries related to animal husbandry.

What does a zootechnician do?

The zootechnician is also intended to increase the productivity of the derivatives of these animals (Photo: depositphotos)

Working with zootechnics goes beyond simply liking animals, the professional of the area is concerned with the well-being of individuals so that they live in good conditions, with a focus on their food, health, reproduction and increased productivity of their derivatives, like eggs and milk.

In addition, the zootechnician is also attentive to the time of sacrifice or slaughter of the animal, looking for ways to minimize its suffering without harming the quality of the final product, the meat.

The zootechnics course

In Brazil, the first undergraduate course in Zootechnics was founded in 1966 by PUC in Rio Grande do Sul, lasting 4 to 5 years , including supervised internship.

The main disciplines are: Zoology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Genetic Improvement, Animal Production, Plant Production, Fertility and Soil Conservation, Parasitology, Administration and Rural Development, among others.

Labor market

As for the labor market, the Midwest region stands out in the country due to the large concentration of farms and areas for livestock . In the South and Southeast regions, there is a great advance in the field of laboratory research, zoos, export of products of animal origin and slaughterhouses.

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) is a large employer in the area, which selects professionals trained in zootechnics to work with research and projects .

Association of zootechnicians

The creation of the Brazilian Association of Zootechnicians, ABZ, took place in 1988, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at USP, after an assembly.

Professional field

Academic experience cannot be restricted to disciplines. The participation of zootechnicians in scientific research, cultural and extension activities are essential. The fields of activity of zootechnicians are:

  • Agro-industrial meat chain
  • Agro-industrial milk chain
  • Poultry agro-industrial chain
  • Agro-industrial chain of animal fibers, animal feed and other products of zootechnical interest
  • Animal husbandry business chain for leisure and company
  • Agricultural planning, consultancy and assistance
  • Business management and marketing
  • Environmental and sustainable management of agribusiness
  • Agricultural development and policy
  • Teaching, research and extension.

The importance of the zootechnician

The zootechnician works for the growth of a self-sustainable animal production (Photo: depositphotos)

It is of great importance to have professionals with solid knowledge in animal husbandry and management practices, in the management and administration of the business, with a total view of the production chain, who can provide the growth of a self-sustainable animal production .

History of animal domestication

The use of animals for the benefit of man and its domestication process goes back to prehistory, with records in numerous cave paintings.

Animal breeding, as part of the fundamental skills for human survival , is also mentioned in the Old Testament and by several ancient authors, such as Plínio, Estrabo, Paladium, Xenofonte, among others.

During the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian, approximately 2000 years ago, an organizational treaty for agricultural activity was instituted, which included agriculture, animal husbandry and hygiene. It is worth remembering that the use of animals for transportation, war and work has been vital in almost all human history.

With the arrival of the Renaissance era, it was possible to develop new ideas related to agricultural activities with the rational use of animals for work and food production.

The man started to envision the organized production of domestic animals for field work, sports, leisure, feeding on a scale and as an economic factor integral to agricultural activities.

Summary of content

In this text you learned that:

  • Zootechnics is the art of raising animals.
  • A zootechnician is responsible for the creation, production and management of domestic animals.
  • A zootechnician is concerned with animal welfare.
  • A zootechnician studies how to increase the productivity of animal products.
  • The first zootechnics undergraduate course in Brazil was created in 1966.
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