Animal Scientist Job Description
An animal scientist is a person who applies scientific knowledge to develop animal farming. Animal scientists study the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth and development of domestic farm animals such as meat and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. They also study companion and recreational animals such as cats, dogs and horses.
An animal scientist should be curious, innovative, methodical, analytical, practical, adaptable and persistent, and have the ability to handle and operate scientific equipment. They should be able to communicate effectively and work well independently and in a team.
Pursue a career in animal science if you have aptitude for science and interest in applying scientific knowledge to advance animal husbandry.
What does an Animal Scientist do?
Animal scientists may do some or all of the following:
- study the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth and development of domestic farm animals
- develop efficient methods for farm animal production and processing
- develop better animal breeds
- formulate improved diets for farm and recreational animals
- inspect farm production facilities and livestock food products
- provide consultancy to farmers and agricultural producers
- supervise animal husbandry projects and manage the budgets
- write research reports and give presentations
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does an Animal Scientist work?
Places of work for animal scientists include:
- Livestock trading and exporting companies
- Animal breeding companies
- Animal products companies
- Animal research companies
- Animal farms and production facilities
- Feeds companies
- Government agencies
- Colleges and universities
- Agricultural banks
- Media houses
Animal scientists usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends to finish projects. They work in offices, laboratories, dairy farms, feedlots, and livestock ranges. They may travel to farming locations and work in all weather conditions.
What is Required to Become an Animal Scientist ?
To become an animal scientist, you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in animal science or a related discipline.
Secondary school students interested in studying animal science should take preparatory subjects such as English, biology, agricultural science, chemistry, physics, and statistics.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Animal behavior
- Animal management
- Genetics and Breeding
- Agricultural Biochemistry
- Nutrition and Feeds
- Techniques in Animal Experimentation
- Animal anatomy and physiology
- Meat science
The fields where an animal scientist can specialize include:
- Animal geneticist
- Animal management
- Animal Nutrition
- Animal reproductive physiology
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Animal scientists need to have:
- manual dexterity
- physical fitness
- accuracy and precision
- creativity and innovation
- good eyesight
- good memory
- good hand-eye coordination
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- time management and organizational skills
- observational skills
- math and computer skills
- the ability to conduct field and laboratory research
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to work well under pressure and concentrate for long periods
- the ability to use scientific knowledge to solve problems
- the ability to work with animals
- knowledge of animal physiology
- knowledge of animal breeding
- knowledge of animal feeding
- knowledge of animal behavior, care and management
- knowledge of animal product processing
- knowledge of animal husbandry equipment and other scientific equipment
Should I be an Animal Scientist ?
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