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Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals

To effectively manage farm animals as a business, it is essential to understand their body structure (Anatomy) and how these structures carry out their functions (physiology).

The organisation of the animal body starts with the smallest unit called the cell. There are different types of cells in the body and they perform different types of function. A group of cells which perform specific functions in the body make up a tissue. Similarly several tissues are put together to form an organ e.g. the nose, tongue, lungs, etc.

Finally when several organs which perform similar specialised functions are put together, they make up a system, e.g. the mouth, oesophagus, intestine, stomach, etc., make up the digestive system.

Cell –> tissue –> organ –> system –> organism

Some of the systems of the animal body include:

(i) Excretory system
(ii) Skeletal system
(iii) Circulatory system
(iv) Respiratory system
(v) Nervous system
(vi) Endocrine system
(vii) Digestive system
(viii) Reproductive system

Anatomy and physiology of farm animals deal with the body structure of farm animals and the functions of these structures.

The various systems in farm animals include excretory system, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, endocrine system, nervous system, skeletal system and the reproductive system.

Digestive system comprises the alimentary canal which consists of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and the anus. Animals are classified into two, based on the structure of their alimentary canal; namely the monogastric (non ruminants) and the polygastric (ruminants) animals.

Reproduction in farm animals guarantees continuity of life. It consists of the male and the female systems. The male organs produce sperm while the female produce ovum (oval) both of which must meet for fertilisation to occur and the embryo
subsequently formed.

Hormones are chemical substances secreted by the ductless glands and exert their actions on other points called the target organs. The male reproductive hormones include the testosteron (Androgen) and the female reproductive hormones are the oestrogen, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LS), placenta hormone, progesterone, oxytocin, relaxin and prolactin.