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Details for Farmworkers, Farm and Ranch Animals


Attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weighing, catching, and loading animals. May maintain records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; assist in birth deliveries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides as appropriate. May clean and maintain animal housing areas.


  • Clean stalls, pens, and equipment, using disinfectant solutions, brushes, shovels, water hoses, and/or pumps.
  • Mark livestock to identify ownership and grade, using brands, tags, paint, or tattoos.
  • Drive trucks, tractors, and other equipment to distribute feed to animals.
  • Examine animals to detect illness, injury, or disease, and to check physical characteristics, such as rate of weight gain.
  • Groom, clip, trim, and/or castrate animals; dock ears and tails; and/or shear coats to collect hair.
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures.
  • Milk animals such as cows and goats, by hand or using milking machines.
  • Mix feed, additives, and medicines in prescribed portions.
  • Perform duties related to livestock reproduction, such as breeding animals within appropriate timeframes, performing artificial inseminations, and helping with animal births.
  • Feed and water livestock; and monitor food and water supplies.
  • Provide medical treatment, such as administering medications and vaccinations; or arrange for veterinarians to provide more extensive treatment.
  • Segregate animals according to weight, age, color, and physical condition.
  • Shift animals between grazing areas to ensure that they have sufficient access to food.
  • Spray livestock with disinfectants and insecticides; or dip or bathe animals.
  • Collect, inspect, and place eggs in incubators; operate machines for egg washing, candling, and grading; and pack eggs in cartons.
  • Inspect, maintain, and repair equipment, machinery, buildings, pens, yards, and fences.
  • Maintain growth, feeding, production, and cost records.
  • Move equipment, poultry, or livestock from one location to another, manually or using trucks or carts.
  • Order food for animals, and arrange for its delivery.
  • Patrol grazing lands on horseback or using all-terrain vehicles.
  • Trim and shear poultry beaks, toes, and wings using debeaking machines, heated hand shears, or hot wires.
  • Protect herds from predators, using trained dogs.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
  • Experience - Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.


  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Related Careers

  • Animal Breeders
  • Forest and Conservation Workers
  • Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers
  • Nonfarm Animal Caretakers
  • Nursery Workers
Wages for this career
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