Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals

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About the Job

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. Includes workers who shear wool from sheep, and collect eggs in hatcheries.

It is also Called

  • Yard Worker
  • Yard Attendant
  • Wrangler
  • Worm Picker
  • Worm Packer
  • Worm Grower
  • Worm Farm Laborer
  • Wool Sacker
  • Wage Hand
  • Vaquero
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What They Do

  • Trim and shear poultry beaks, toes, and wings using debeaking machines, heated hand shears, or hot wires.
  • Protect herds from predators, using trained dogs.
  • Collect, inspect, and place eggs in incubators, operate machines for egg washing, candling, and grading, and pack eggs in cartons.
  • Spray livestock with disinfectants and insecticides, or dip or bathe animals.
  • Groom, clip, trim, or castrate animals, dock ears and tails, or shear coats to collect hair.
  • Maintain growth, feeding, production, and cost records.
  • Patrol grazing lands on horseback or using all-terrain vehicles.
  • Segregate animals according to weight, age, color, and physical condition.
  • Milk animals such as cows and goats, by hand or using milking machines.
  • Perform duties related to livestock reproduction, such as breeding animals within appropriate timeframes, performing artificial inseminations, and helping with animal births.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: R.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $27,430 with most people making between $17,080 and $40,900


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 5,320 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 5,260 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 140 replacement openings for approximately 140 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation

Pennsylvania Department of Education