What makes an exotic animal exotic

Exotic farm animals - the specialists are coming

Exotic farm animals can do no more than our domestic animals, but they have special properties, which is why their use in this country is worthwhile. The water buffalo, for example, in contrast to our native cattle, likes to wallow in muddy terrain and thus create pools that in turn other animal species use as biotopes. In a swampy nature reserve in Oberneukirchen near Mühldorf am Inn, Bavaria, it preserves the habitat of the highly endangered yellow-bellied toad, for example.

Water buffalo and yaks are animal lawnmowers in difficult to access areas, such as alpine pastures. Yaks, bison, and ostriches make their lean meat interesting. Llamas are suitable as therapy animals because they are more reserved than dogs and not as big as horses.

Are exotic species ousting native livestock breeds?

It is not the exotic animals that displace native livestock. Modern breeding of cattle, pork and chicken has already done that, all of which have been trimmed for top performance. Old domestic breeds such as the Schleswig draft horse, the angler saddle pig or the red (Mangalitza) woolly pig have fallen by the wayside. Many of the endangered livestock breeds are kept in the "Arche Warder" zoo in Schleswig-Holstein. A refuge for old farm animal breeds that is unique in Europe.

Specialists instead of generalists

Exotic farm animals can also be kept in a species-appropriate manner in Germany if farmers find out about their needs. Studio guest Uschi Braun, owner of an ostrich farm, traveled to Zimbabwe several times for several weeks to find out more about ostrich breeding.