Characteristics of farm animals


Agricultural Science





First Term




Grade 7  / JSS 1



Previous lesson : 

The pupils have previous knowledge of


Classification of farm animals based on Digestive system-Ruminants and Non-Ruminants.


that was treated in the previous class



TOPIC : Characteristics of farm animals e.g. Cattle, Goat, Sheep, Pig, Poultry, Rabbit.


Behavioural objectives :

At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to

1 say the various behaviour and characteristics of farm animals 



Instructional Materials :

  • Wall charts
  • Pictures
  • Related Online Video
  • Flash Cards

Methods of Teaching :

  • Class Discussion
  • Group Discussion
  • Asking Questions
  • Explanation
  • Role Modelling
  • Role Delegation


Reference Materials :

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum
  • Workbooks




Content :





(1) Farm animals.

(2) Characteristics of Cattle & Sheep.

(3) Breeds of farm animals

Sub-Topic 1: Farm Animals

Farm animals have certain basic features that make them belong to a particular group .These characteristics help to differentiate them from other forms of animals and also enable some of the animals to adapt to their natural habitat .Examples of farm animals include: Cattle,Sheep,Goat,Pig,Poultry,Rabbit,Fish,Snails,Guinea-Pig,Grass-Cutter,Donkey & Horse.

CATTLE: Cattle belong to hoofed mammals. Some are humped (Bos indicus) e.g.Sokoto Gudali, Red bororo &White Fulani while others are humpless (Bos Taurus) e.g. Muturu &N’dama. Cattle is raised mainly for meat and milk.

Characteristics of Cattle:

Cattle are ruminant animals. They are large –bodied animals. They have large udder with four glands .They have four pairs of hoofs on each limb .Beef cattle are lighter than the dairy type .Some cattle are used as work animals e.g.Sokoto Gudali,White Fulani ,N’dama e.t.c. Some are resistance to trypanosomiasis e.g. N’dama, Muturu, etc. Gestation period(pregnancy period ) is 283 days.

SHEEP :They originated from Iran or Iraq in Asia .Sheep is raised in all country of the world for meat (mutton) ,milk and wool .They are important in Tropical Africal countries like Northern Nigeria,Ethiopia,Kenya ,Somalia,Sudan and Tanzania.

Characteristics of Sheep:

Sheep are ruminants mostly raised extensively for meat, milk and wool .They are small bodied ruminants ,hollow-horned and even toed .Only male have horns except Ouda The male are heavily manned . Gestation period is 150 days. Examples of sheep are :Balami,TheFulani (Ouda ), Yankasa (Hausa ), West African Dwarf(WAD) Sheep. .



Sub-Topic 2: Characteristics of Goat and Pig.

GOAT: They are important ruminants that can adapt and maintain themselves in very harsh environment. They can withstand diseases, high temperature and can survive where other animals cannot .Goats are raised for meat, milk and skin. They are small bodied animals .Both sexes have horns .Goats are scavengers and very inquisitive .Gestation period is 150 days. Examples of goats are: Red bororo (Maradi),Fulani (Sahel ),Kano brown,Nubian and WAD goat.

PIG: They are most productive of all farm animals . A sow (matured adult female pig) can produce between 8 and 16 litters at a time .Pigs are raised for meat and lard. They are omnivorous animals .They are good converters of feed into meat. They mature early and can breed anytime of the year. Pig production requires small initial capital with high return .Gestation period is 114 days .Examples of pigs are :Landrace ,Large white(Yorkshire),Duroc Jersey ,Large black ,Poland china ,Chester white e.t.c.




Sub-Topic 3: a. Characteristics of Rabbit.

b. Characteristics of Poultry.

c. Characteristics of Horse.

RABBIT: They are .prolific animals that can produce up to four times in a year. Rabbit are found both in temperate and tropical countries .They are raised for their meat, skin (pelt) and hair (fur). They are easy to house ,handle and manage. They reach maturity weight in about 5-6 months .Rabbit meat is of good quality .They are prone to stress and the rate of cannibalism is high . Examples of rabbit are: California white, California red , Chinchilla, New Zealand white, Flemish giant, Angora Dutch Rabbit, Australia White, West African Rabbit(Giant Rat) etc.

POULTRY: Poultry are birds raised for meat ,eggs or feathers. They are found both in temperate and tropical countries. Types of poultry birds are: Domestic fowl, duck, turkey ,goose ,guinea fowl, pigeon . Fowl is the most popular of all and this makes the discussion on poultry to be centred on domestic fowl .Domestic fowls are grouped into two :Local fowl and Exotic fowl.

The local fowls are light in weight ,hardy ,resistant to diseases ,poor growth rate, low egg production and production of white eggs .

Exotic fowls are grouped into two :Light breeders and heavy breeders

(i) Light Breeders : small sized, body early maturity ,good egg production, production of white shelled eggs e.g. leghorn.

(ii) Heavy breeders: large sized body, slow maturity, poor egg production, production of brown or tainted shelled eggs e.g. Rhode Island Red, Sussex.

HORSE: It is a non-ruminant animal raised mainly for work on the farm , riding for pleasure and sport, transportation of goods and human beings and for traditional ceremonies such as “Durbar festivals” in the Northern states of Nigeria




CONTENT: (1) Breeds of Cattle

(2) Breeds of Sheep and Goats

(3) Breeds of Pigs and Rabbits

Sub-Topic 1: Breeds of Cattle

A .Meaning of Breeds: Breeds refer to kind or variety of animals with hereditary qualities that are developed by people in a controlled way.

B. Breeds of cattle: There are many breeds of cattle these, include: White Fulani ,Red bororo, Jet koram, Shuwa Arab, Yola or Adamawa(These can be used for dairy purpose.), N’dama ,Kuri or Lake Chad, Muturu (WAD),Ghana short horn (These can be used for beef production.)

Terms used for Cattle:

Bull: A matured adult male cattle

Cow: A matured adult female cattle.

Calf: Young one of cattle of either sex.

Heifer: A matured young female cattle not yet producing calves.

Bullock: A castrated bull

Calving: The process of giving birth to young ones by cow.

Beef: Meat of matured cattle.

Herd: Group of cattle.

Veal: Meat of young cattle.

Gestation period: This is the period of pregnancy. (283days)




Sub-Topic 2: Breeds of Sheep and Goats


There are three well known breeds of sheep in West Africa. They are:

(i) The Ouda (The Fulani) – The commonest and the most widespread of all breeds of sheep. .Ouda originated in Egypt. The rams have large ,wide and spiral horns.

(ii) Yankasa (and Balami) –These are commonly found in North Central Nigeria .The rams have long curved horns .Both are white in colour.

(iii) WAD Sheep-This is the smallest breed of sheep found in humid areas of W .Africa.

Terms used for Sheep:

RAM: A matured adult male sheep.

Ewe: A matured adult female sheep.

Lamb: A young sheep of either sex.

Wether: A castrated ram.

Mutton: Meat of sheep.

Lambing: Parturition in ewe.

Flock: Group of adult sheep

Gestation period :150days

BREEDS OF GOAT: They are the earliest domesticated and the most widely distributed animals with high concentration in Africa and India .Goat have ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. The common breeds of goats are : Sokoto red (maradi),Kano brown, Sahel goat, Borno white and WAD goat.

Terms used for goats.

Billy :A matured adult male goat .

Nanny :A matured adult female goat.

Buck :A male goat of breeding age.

Doe : A female goat of breeding stage .

Kid :A young goat of either sex .

Kidding :Parturition in doe.

Chevon : The meat of goat .

Castrate : A castrated male goat .

Herd : Group of goat .

Gestation period : 150days.


Sub-Topic 3: Breeds of Pigs and Rabbits


Pigs are the most prolific (productive) of all farm animals .They are omnivorous and heavy feeders. Pig production is not as popular as goat production because of social, economic and religious reasons.

Breeds of pigs includes:

WAD pigs,

Large white(Yorkshire),

Land race,



Hampshire , large black, Chester White, polar China, Tam Worth e.t.c


Boar: A matured adult male pig.

Sow: A matured adult female pig.

Hog (Barrow): A castrated boar.

Piglet: A young pig of either sex.

Barrowing: Parturition in sow.

Pork: Meat of pig.

Lard: Fat from pig.

Gestation period: 114days

BREEDS OF RABBIT: A productive animals that can produce up to four or five times in a year. It is not a native to tropical Africa but can do well under local tropical conditions . Examples of breeds of rabbit are :Flemish giant ,California rabbit, New Zealand rabbit , Chinchilla ,Checkered giant ,Dutch spotted rabbit etc.


Buck: A matured adult male rabbit .

Doe: A matured adult female rabbit

Kitten: A young rabbit of either sex .

Colony: A group of rabbit.

Kindling: Parturition in doe.

Gestation period : 29 – 30 days






The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The class teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The class teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the needs arise




The class teacher wraps up or conclude the lesson by giving out short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The class teacher also goes round to make sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she does the necessary corrections when and where  the needs arise.



  1. State five farm animals that are raised in Nigeria.
  2. Mention four characteristics each of (i) Cattle and (ii) Sheep.


  1. State four features each of (i) goat) and (ii) pig.
  2. State five breeds of pig we have.


  1. Mention four features of rabbit.
  2. State five types of domesticated birds that were referred to as poultry.
  3. Mention three uses of a horse






  1. Define breeds.
  2. List four breeds of cattle that can serve the following purposes

I dairy ii. beef


(I) The most widespread of sheep is——-

(II) State four breeds of goat you known

  1. Define breed.
  2. State four breeds of (a) cattle (b) sheep (c) goat (d) pig (e) rabbit
  3. Mention four products that can be gotten from cattle ,sheep goat, pig and rabbit.


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