Livestock requires a permanent work process and an adequate agricultural procedure to obtain the desired result. For this reason, a great variety of farming practices and techniques to achieve various goals. Two of these practices are intensive and extensive farming.

intensive farming it is a method that uses higher inputs and advanced techniques to increase yield and overall production. On the contrary, the Extensive ranching is one that is carried out in large spaces with many hectares and focuses on caring for the species so that they produce the best quality.

In this article we are going to compare the two techniques to give a clear view of the difference between intensive and extensive farming.. In addition, we will answer questions such as: Is extensive or intensive farming better? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them? So if you are asking yourself any of these questions, you just have to keep reading.

Differences between intensive and extensive livestock

Intensive livestock farming refers to a production method that is based on the intensification and mechanization of livestock practices in a large number of species. The objective of intensive farming is to increase the productivity and profitability of land.

Generally, this increased productivity It is achieved through high-level inputs of different factors that help with yields, such as capital, labor, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, diesel or herbicides, among others. Intensive farming can also include the use of techniques that modify or exploit the animal, sometimes causing the species to suffer. In this way, this type of farming achieves produce more , but with lower quality and deteriorating the environment and the species.

On the other hand, extensive farming is a term used to describe livestock practices that occur on larger farms or parcels, but income, inputs or available labor are the limiting factors in the productivity equation. To implement this technique, the farmer tries to imitate the habitat in which the species normally lives so that, in this way, Its development is as natural as possible.

The objective of extensive farming is that the animals do not have a small and limited space, but that they can move and have freedom. Because of this, ranchers who practice this technique have to charge a higher premium per crop to break even. Therefore, the total cost of production is greater and the product is less , but the quality is better. In addition, it contributes to the environment and treats the species better.

Advantages of intensive and extensive farming

Next, we leave you some of the advantages of both types of livestock so that you can take it into account when choosing which technique you are going to use:

intensive farming

  • It is more efficient , since it achieves greater production with the same level of investment.
  • It is flexible , adapting to the level of consumer demand .
  • The products are more competitively priced.
  • The product is homogeneous , which makes intensive livestock farming more attractive on the market.
  • It is faster , results are obtained sooner.

Extense livestock farming

  • Fewer energy, labor and material resources are required per hectare .
  • They allow the conservation of ecosystems and the diversity of species.
  • Higher quality products are obtained .
  • Animals get better treatment and more ethical and also have higher quality comfort and well-being. For this reason, they suffer fewer illnesses and behavior problems .
  • Less soil disturbance.
  • Conservation of rural grazing areas.
  • Prevention and care of the species.

Disadvantages of intensive and extensive farming

On the other hand, there are also drawbacks that must be taken into account when choosing the technique and then we will review the main ones:

intensive farming

  • Poor living conditions and hygiene for livestock.
  • Excessive use of agrochemicals .
  • Deforestation and alteration of the natural environment.
  • Risks to human health.
  • They increase the risks of cancer or other diseases, in addition to other birth defects .
  • The use of chemical hormones in food .
  • Possibility of poor quality food products .
  • Traditional farmers cannot make enough profits and also get fewer opportunities for job creation.

Extense livestock farming

    • Less food production.
    • It cannot meet the basic needs of the growing population.
    • Food cannot be grown according to need.
    • Less income.
    • Care and constant and particular control of the species.
    • Low wildlife management.
    • Slower to get results.

Intensive farming or extensive farming: which is the best option?

It is true that factory farming has played an important role in the history of ranching, allowing ranchers to feed growing communities around the world. However, the factory farming as we know it today is no longer sustainable or necessary. The methods used have innumerable negative impacts on the environment, human health, animal life and communities, caused by the intensive use of chemicals and the inhumane treatment of animals and workers that are trademarks of modern factory farming.

Fortunately, we can now use extensive livestock farming to respect the environment and the animals that live in it, as well as being able to take measures to reduce our consumption in the mass food production industry that uses unethical and ecosystem-friendly methods. .

Now you know what is the best type of livestock for us, however, you are free to use the one you want and the one that best suits your situation. But keep in mind before deciding all the advantages and disadvantages that we have told you, since sometimes it is better to invest more to increase quality life of the animal and its product. If you want to know more or want to obtain any of our products or services, do not hesitate to contact us through our website !