What Do Animal Breeders Do?
In order to ensure the breeding of farm animals that possess qualities deemed desirable, someone must have an eye for selecting the ones that display superior characteristics and genealogy. This is where animal breeders come in. It is a breeder’s job to choose which animals are fit to be bred together. Keeping records on growth, offspring, heritage, breeding dates, birthing dates and any other pertinent information could also be required. One will also likely need to know artificial insemination techniques. As with many jobs on a farm, a working knowledge of operating farm equipment may also be needed.
Animal Breeders Skills and Abilities
To be an animal breeder, you must be able to monitor your animals and note any relevant developments that might occur with them. Arm-hand steadiness and near vision are useful during everyday responsibilities concerning the animals. Critical thinking, sound judgment and complex problem solving are needed to help deal with any issues that might arise with the animals you’re working with. Having a strong knowledge of biology will not only help you do your job in general, but will also help inform prudent decisions when problems do come up.
Animal Breeders Duties
If you’re thinking of becoming an animal breeder, remember animal caretaking is a big part of the job description. This means feeding and watering the animals, mucking and sanitizing their stalls or pens, clipping or shearing their hair and keeping an eye on their health through regular examinations. More germane to what the job title implies, animal breeders must also select the animals with superior characteristics and pedigree and breed them. In many cases, this will involve using artificial insemination to move the objective along. This is a long, drawn-out process in which you will need to extract, package and label semen for later use. When needed, you will put the correct amount into an artificial insemination gun and inject it into the female. Marking animals, be it through branding, tagging or identification chips, is also required of animal breeders. As an animal breeder, it may also be your job to dehorn and castrate the animals that need it. Throughout all this, you may very well be taking your animals to exhibits and also arranging to sell some of your animals or their eggs to research centers or food processing plants.
Animal Breeders Tools and Technology
Animal husbandry equipment such as pregnancy tests, dehorners and ovulation prediction monitors are indispensable tools for animal breeders. Branding or ear tagging equipment are just a couple of the animal identification tools you may need for the job. There is a lot of technology that you may need to have a working knowledge of, ranging from basic programs like spreadsheet software all the way to analytical and scientific software.
Education and Training for Animal Breeders
Becoming an animal breeder does not require much schooling. In fact, 25.3 percent of people in this position have only a high school diploma or equivalent, while 57.4 percent have even less. To be hired in this field, most employers require less than five years’ experience. Once hired, there will usually be brief on-the-job training. With minimal schooling and training necessary, getting your foot in the door, with zero experience, will be the biggest hurdle.
Animal Breeders Salary
The median salary for animal breeders nationwide is $40,000. Ten percent make less than $19,000, while the highest 10 percent of salaries exceed $73,100.
Animal Breeders Jobs by Geography
New York, California, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Missouri boast the highest numbers of employed breeders. However, Washington, with a mean salary of $70,630, is the highest paying state for animal breeders. The next four highest paying states are New York, Wisconsin, California and Iowa. Before settling on breeding as a job, look into the cities in your state that have a demand for the job as well as a salary conducive to your lifestyle.