DOMESTICATION AND BREEDING

Wild animals were first domesticated by man in the Neolithic.

Later on species were bred according to a range of possible uses, i.e. animals to carry or draw goods, to produce raw material (fur, wool, feathers), or food (meat, milk, eggs). All species also produce manure that is very useful to fertilize the fields.

Initially breeding was based on grazing, the animal feeding itself on rangeland (forest, fallow, common land, pasture).

Agriculture and breeding used to be relatively independent from each other as the animals never fed on cultivated plants that were devoted to man’s usage.

As from the end of the 18 th century, the so-called physiocrats proposed a new agriculture involving more feed, i.e. more animals, i.e. more manure, i.e. more cereals.

During the 20 th century, the decreasing price of cereals and the production of animal feed allowed for industrial breeding to develop, leading the price of meat, pork and poultry in particular to drop.