Extensive animal husbandry

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
extensive pig production in the Alps near Cimalmotto (Switzerland)

The extensive farming (from Latin .: extendere = "expand") refers to systems of animal production , which by a large-area land use with a low stocking density with less use of other production factors are identified. It is the opposite of intensive animal husbandry .

In most cases, no additional feed is necessary and the cattle are often on pasture all year round. In order to prevent damage from overgrazing , several animal species are often combined, which put different strains on the sward and result in an ecologically sensible grazing pressure . In addition, this is the reason for the previously nomadic forms of remote grazing , which is still the most sensible and most frequent form of use of the sensitive natural pastures in the arid regions of the world. ( see also pastoralism )

More than a quarter of the earth's total land surface is used extensively for agriculture in this way .


An animal husbandry process is extensive if at least one production factor (labor, land, capital) is used extensively, i.e. only marginally. The aim of extensive livestock farming is to still manage mostly low-yield agricultural areas profitably. In the densely populated ecumenism, there is also the preservation of cultivated landscapes in terms of nature conservation.

The unit of measurement for the livestock population is usually the livestock unit (GV or GVE), which stands for a cattle or a camel or, for example, 10 sheep or 12 goats.

(The following values ​​must not be seen in relation to the average values ​​of different countries - as mentioned in the article Stocking cattle - because extensive and intensive systems are included in the calculation.)

Camels are far better adapted to the sparse vegetation of the desert than cattle, so that the cattle-based livestock units basically only allow a rough orientation.
Since the same applies to reindeer as to camels, their stocking is given in numbers.
Extensive stocking of animals to sustainably secure the respective pasture landscapes
Pastureland type  LU 
per 100 ha, from ... to
Subarctic tundras a. Forest tundras   1 to 7 reindeer
(corresponds to 0.3-2.1)
Cold deserts (Asia) 0.5-3 UNI Greifswald
Hot deserts (Africa, Asia) 1.8-3.3 FAO
Cold semi-deserts (Asia) 3-5 Schultz
Dry steppes (Asia) 5-16 Schultz
Hot semi-deserts (Africa, Asia) 6.7-10 Spektrum.de
Dry savannahs (Africa, Asia) 8.3-16 Spektrum.de
Grass steppes (Asia) 16-50 Schultz
Hutewald (Central Europe) 16-30 ABU Soest
Lean grassland (Central Europe) 30-50 ABU Soest
Alpine pastures (Central Europe) 50-80 ABU Soest
Extensive grassland farming 80-150 ABU Soest
z. See intensive animal husbandry 200-600 Schultz
ABU Soest

to form

Sheep herd of the Kuchi nomads of Afghanistan: In the
arid regions of the world, extensive animal husbandry, both for self-sufficiency and for the market, has so far been without an alternative.

The origin of extensive animal husbandry lies with the shepherd nomads of Asia and Africa. All of the resulting systems of so-called "remote grazing" are still extensive today. In contrast, the proportion of traditional self-sufficiency is steadily declining in favor of market-oriented production.

Stationary extensive livestock farming systems are just as old in humid savannah areas as nomadism. They are mainly found in Africa. Modern stationary systems in arid regions with own feed production and low stocking density can be found e.g. B. in the Altiplano , the Cerrado , in the western USA or the Sahel zone .

Intensive animal husbandry is predominantly carried out on the originally artificially created grassland areas in the densely populated areas of Eurasia and America. Here, as a traditional extensive form, there is still alpine farming in the mountains (mainly Alps, Norway, Pyrenees, Carpathians). Due to various problems following the intensive husbandry, an extensive strategy has been established again in the agricultural regions since the last third of the 20th century : modern ecological animal husbandry .

In summary, extensive animal husbandry can essentially be broken down into the following criteria and combinations:

Pasture management Sedentariness Grassland management
(anthropogenic pastures)
(grazing natural open landscapes)
Stationary animal husbandry the animal keepers are sedentary (pastoral shepherds are semi-sedentary ) Organic animal production Ranching
(Mobile) remote grazing at least pet owners are sedentary ( Alpine farming ) Transhumance
semi-sedentary, semi-nomadic or partially nomadic Mobile animal husbandry
all relatives live nomadically Nomadism


Ectoparasites cause great economic damage in large extensively kept herds outside Europe.

Individual evidence

  1. Werner Doppler: Agricultural operating systems in the tropics and subtropics. Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 1991.
  2. A. Rosati, A. Tewolde, C. Mosconi, World Association for Animal Production (ed.): Animal Production and Animal Science Worldwide. Wageningen Academic Pub, 2005.
  3. Erle C Ellis, Navin Ramankutty : Putting people in the map: anthropogenic biomes of the world . (PDF) The Ecological Society of America , Washington DC 2008.
  4. Dagmar Emmert: Cattle farming in organic farming - an animal-friendly and environmentally friendly alternative? Institute for Animal Hygiene, Behavioral Science and Animal Welfare of the Veterinary Faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, 2001.
  5. a b c d e load capacity . In: Spectrum's online lexicon. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  6. Hagen Gottschling: The natural spaces of the Issyk-Kul biosphere reserve in Kyrgyzstan. A landscape-ecological study on transects. In: Greifswalder Geographical Works , Volume 36, Institute for Geography and Geology at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, 2006.
  7. ^ JM Suttie, SG Reynolds, C. Batello: Grasslands of the World. In: Plant Production and Protection. Series 34, FAO, Rome 2005.
  8. a b c d J. Schultz: The ecological zones of the earth . Ulmer, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-1514-9
  9. a b c d e M. Bunzel-Drüke, C. Böhm, G. Finck, R. Kämmer, E. Luick, E. Reisinger, U. Riecken, J. Riedl, M. Scharf, O. Zimball: Wilde Weiden - Practical guide for year-round grazing in nature conservation and landscape development . Working group for biological environmental protection in the Soest district V. (Ed.), Sassendorf-Lohne 2008
  10. Fred Scholz: Nomadism is dead. In Geographische Rundschau , Issue 5, 1999, pp. 248-255
  11. Annegret Nippa et al. Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg (ed.): Small abc of nomadism. Publication for the exhibition “Explosive Encounters. Nomads in a sedentary world. " Hamburg 2011
  12. ^ World Livestock Production Systems. Current status, issues and trends .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 127, 1995.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / ftp.fao.org  
  13. Felix R. Althaus: Textbook of pharmacology and toxicology for veterinary medicine . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8304-1070-6