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Minilivestock: from gathering to controlled production

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Many small animals, vertebrates and invertebrates, homoiotherms (endotherms) and poikilotherms (ectotherms), are used by man since he gathers, hunts or collects them in the wild. When bred under controlled conditions in captivity, these animals are called ‘minilivestock’. a term also used for those small species that are little known in animal production. To qualify as minilivestock, animals must have a potential benefit either nutritionally for food or economically for animal-feed or revenue, and currently not being utilized to their full potential. Rodents are eaten in Africa and Latin America. The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is considered a particularly efficient meat source. Giant African snails (Achatina spp) are highly prized as food in West and Central Africa and Asia, and are produced commercially. Annelids living in litter and manure convert vegetable refuse to animal protein which can be used as feed for pigs and poultry. There is a continuous demand for frogs' legs on the international market and also for many species of insect, alive or mounted. The development of minilivestock will contribute to meeting human needs and will also protect the environment from excessive harvesting.

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Hardouin, J. Minilivestock: from gathering to controlled production. Biodivers Conserv 4, 220–232 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00055969

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