A swineherd is a person who cares for hogs and pigs. A shepherd is a person who cares for sheep. A goatherd cares for goats. A cowherd cares for cattle. Camels are also cared for in herds.
In more modern times, the cowboys or “vaqueros” of North and South America ride horses and participate in cattle drives to watch over cows and bulls raised primarily for food. In Australia many herds are managed by farmers on motorbikes and in helicopters.
Today, herd managers often oversee thousands of animals and many staff. Farms and ranches may employ breeders, herd health specialists, feeders, and milkers to help care for the animals. Techniques such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer are frequently used, not only as methods to guarantee that females are bred, but to help improve herd genetics.
This may be done by transplanting embryos from stud-quality females, into flock-quality surrogate mothers—freeing up the stud-quality mother to be reimpregnated. This practice vastly increases the number of offspring which may be produced by a small selection of stud-quality parent animals. This in turn improves the ability of the animals to convert feed to meat, milk, or fiber more efficiently and improve the quality of the final product.