: Animal Husbandry
Animal Husbandry relates to the physical and mental care of animals. Each animal will be approached differently, meaning this skill is heavily knowledge-based and requires extensive amounts of time spent with the animals intended for care in order to grow accustomed to their individual dietary and medicinal needs. Once gained, this information can be used to fine-tune the animal's environment in many ways to produce the intended result, whether this be to produce the most wool from a sheep or to increase a horse's stamina. However, it isn't all necessarily about improving the animal; it can also be used to rehabilitate permanently injured animals, raise them from abandonment, or rehabilitate them in preparation to return them back to the wild.
Although this skill can change the animal's physiology and its psychology to a somewhat limited degree, it cannot train the animals to perform tasks, heed commands or otherwise fall under the control of the user. Other skills that will link into Animal Husbandry include Medicine and Surgery, used to treat any injuries or ailments in their animals; as well as Research, in order to learn required knowledge of their animals.
This covers the care of all creatures used for agricultural purposes. Through increasing their skill and fine-tuning their knowledge, the farmer will be able to produce the highest quality and quantity of product from the animal. Diet will be fine-tuned dependent on the species and the intention - whether this is to collect the most meat after slaughter, the highest quality of fur/hide, or to produce the largest quantity/finest quality of milk/eggs/wool/etc.
Suitable mates will be selected with the best traits, in order to produce offspring that will develop the most desirable traits and remove any unwanted quirks. Specialized breeding techniques are used to ensure that the mating is successful, childbirth survival rates are high, and infant survival rates are high. Medicines and Surgery will be used in both preventative and restorative ways to treat both diseases and injuries. In some cases, dependent on the animal chosen, other specialized techniques may be implemented in order to improve the well-being of the animal, both physically and mentally, boosting the quantity or quality of product.
Fish, such as cod and salmon, also fall into this category. Aquaculture will be much more focused on the environment of the fish, especially the water - ensuring there is a fresh supply of clean water, at correct temperature, with a constant food supply.
This covers all animals used for either riding or for pulling carriages and wagons. Through use of this skill, the handler will be able to increase the mount's endurance, speed and carrying capacity, as well as alter these traits to balance them at will. For example, altering a horse's regular intake of alfalfa can increase the animals muscle mass or improve their cardiovascular performance. Creating exercise regimens to be carried out over time can also help increase their muscle tone and endurance.
Techniques that ensure successful breeding between parent animals with desirable traits can help produce offspring that will be predisposed to the desired abilities. Medicines and healing techniques perfected by the handler will be used at appropriate times, as well as reduce physical and mental strain put on the animal. As the handler excels, they will become more competent in these traditional practices and may find new and unique ways to boost the performance of their chosen animal(s). Jacadon and Voraleon also fall into this category. As these are exotic and specialized animals, their techniques will also be specialized.
This covers all animals intended to be kept as a domesticated animal. These animals, through use of this skill, will reach peak physical condition. Their diet may be altered to improve condition, altering the ingredients and nutrients delivered. Exercise regimens may be implemented to improve stamina. Routines may be put in place to give the pet suitable social interaction to maintain a healthy mental state. Breeding techniques will reduce the chances of complications in the offspring, leading to a new generation of long-lived children with excellent genetics carried from the parents. Medicines and other treatments will be necessary to prevent and treat the pet of any diseases or wounds.
This person probably should not be left alone with animals. Even if they do not intend to hurt their animal, it is entirely possible that they might end up giving it something to eat which is potentially poisonous to them. They might have seen a few animals - if they were lucky, touched one - but they are completely blind to even its less subtle needs.
After spending some time with their chosen animal, they have started to pick up on a general trend. Left alone with an animal for short periods of time, they can comfortably look after it - feeding it, exercising it, and caring for it with all the love and affection it deserves. If it catches an illness, even if that person is adept at crafting medicines, it will be difficult to create and administer one to the chosen animal. And there is no guarantee that it will work. They will also still struggle to care for infant animals if the mother is unable to care for it. However, they can perform somewhat adequately if under the instruction of someone that knows what they are doing.
The handler is now fully able to look after an animal by themselves, and may start altering its diet or exercise regimen if they so wish. With suitable medical knowledge, they will be able to remedy most illnesses and treat most wounds, excluding severe or crippling injury. They may be able to care for infant animals, taking orphaned creatures into care and raising them with only minor issues. They are able to comfortably handle groups of livestock by providing individual care to the animals of their herd(s) if they should need it.
Now the handler has truly begun to excel in their craft. Pets, mounts, and other individual animals under their care are kept at near-peak physical condition, with finely-tuned diets, exercise regimens, and other specialized techniques set out. Even with somewhat poor medical knowledge, they are able to instinctively treat wounds and diseases effectively. Breeding is no longer a thing left to chance; the handler is able to begin using their knowledge of their animals to choose those best-suited for their traits and mate them to produce offspring of better quality than that of their parents. The handler can even replace the mothers of orphaned infants, raise them, then rehabilitate them and return them to the wild with little issue. When taking care of livestock, not only are the individual animals able to be taken care of with greater ease but a herd mentality can be taken by the handler. The handler can tune the group of animals as one to improve output from all animals within that herd.
The most renowned, from the breeders of Uthaldria to the care-givers of Volanta, are envious of the Master. The work animals left in their care reach the peak of their physical capability. Pets they care for are consistently the most beautiful to behold. The mounts that they care for, and those that they breed, are the strongest and fastest, usually immediately purchased by the elite and the renowned. People will flock to taste the meat of their livestock, to create the finest clothes for Barons out of their wool and hide. The animals that produce them are of only the best quality. Whole farms are tuned to the handlers desires in record time. Even those with very little medical knowledge will be able to heal animals of severe wounds and those with extensive knowledge will be able to heal all diseases and even some wounds thought fatal.
Such control, these handlers are said to hold, that Immortals would not hesitate to leave their beloved pets in the care of these people. Those in their care will live to ages well beyond their expected expiration. The materials from their livestock are used to craft the clothes of kings and legends themselves.