Merit Badge Workbook Merit Badge History

Animal Science - In-Person Class Notes

Please be courteous and arrive early for registration and instructions PRIOR to your scheduled class start time. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Animal Science Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Things to remember to bring for this merit badge class:

  • Your BSA ID # (not your Scoutbook ID #)
  • If you do not have your BSA ID # (or did not provide it with your online registration) you will need a Merit badge blue card properly filled out and signed off by your Scout Leader
  • Animal Science Merit Badge Pamphlet
  • Scout uniform
  • Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to the Animal Science merit badge, which may also include a merit badge workbook for reference with notes
  • A positive Scouting focus and attitude

If you are unfamiliar with the Blue Card Process, please read and understand the Scoutmaster Bucky Blue Card Process.

Animal Science - Online Class Notes

Scoutmaster Bucky Online Class links will be sent out 12 to 24 hours prior to the class start time. Notification will be sent to the email address provided in the registration, so please make sure your email is correctly entered.

Please be courteous and arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled class start time. Ensure that your internet connection, camera, microphone, and broadcasting environment are working and optimal for class participation. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Animal Science Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Animal Science Merit Badge
Current Scouts BSA Requirements
as of January 25, 2023

Please make sure you read the top portion of this page for general participation expectations in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge class.

Pay careful attention to the action verbs within the requirements. An example to note:

"Tell", "explain", "describe", and "discuss" are commonly used and will require the Scout to perform these actions during the class. When these action verbs are a part of any requirement, Scouts are expected to be prepared to share. Reading responses is not acceptable since it does not fulfill the requirement of showing the Scout's knowledge and understanding.

1.
Name four breeds of livestock in each of the following classifications: horses, dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, hogs, poultry, and goats. Tell their principal uses and merits. Tell where the breeds originated.
Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet and utilize a Merit Badge Workbook when preparing for this requirement. Scouts will find it very helpful to have these notes organized and ready for sharing during the class as they may find it difficult to record this information during the class and fall behind the discussion trying to keep up with taking notes. Having this prepared for ahead of time will ensure completion of this requirement within the class allotted time.
2.
List five diseases that afflict the animals in each of the classifications in requirement 1. Also list five diseases of poultry. Describe the symptoms of each disease and explain how each is contracted and how it could be prevented.
The answers to this requirement can easily be found in the merit badge pamphlet and Scouts should be prepared for discussion on each of the components of this requirement in the class. Some Scouts may find it helpful to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to organize their notes and findings for easier reference during the class and to better ensure completion of this requirement in the class.
3.
Explain the differences in the digestive systems of ruminants, horses, pigs, and poultry. Explain how the differences in structure and function among these types of digestive tracts affect the nutritional management of these species.
As with the previous requirements, the answers for this requirement can easily be found in the merit badge pamphlet. Scouts are encouraged to make notes in their Merit Badge Workbook to be better organized and ready for explanation to the counselor within the class.
4.
Select one type of animal—beef cow, dairy cow, horse, sheep, goat, or hog, or a poultry flock—and tell how you would properly manage it. Include in your discussion nutritional (feeding) concerns, housing, disease prevention, waste control/removal, breeding programs, and biosecurity as appropriate.
This requirement will be covered and managed by the counselor in the class. The counselor will likely focus on only one of these options; naturally biased towards their area of interest and expertise. Scouts however are encouraged to review the merit badge pamphlet with this requirement in mind to familiarize themselves with differences in each of these areas for the different animals. This familiarization will help created a better understanding and discussion in the class with the counselor and other Scouts.
5.
Explain the importance of setting clear goals for any animal breeding program. Tell how purebred lines of animals are produced. Explain the practice of crossbreeding and the value of this practice.
While the merit badge pamphlet can give some perspective on each of the components of this requirement, Scouts are encouraged to consider their own thoughts and come to class prepared to explain and discuss their findings and conclusions. Scouts may find it helpful to make notes in a Merit Badge Workbook for easier reference during the class.
6.
Complete ONE of the following options:

PLEASE NOTE: For Requirement #6 when attending a Scoutmaster Bucky class, the option to prepare for will be noted within the registration information of the class. If you are uncertain which option will be covered within the class, please ask for clarification. Scouts will be expected to have prepared the appropriate components of the Requirement #6 option that is designated for the the class. In-person classes are usually focused specifically on one these options specifically and the counselor may not be serving this merit badge for all options listed.

Some counselors however may be able to accommodate all options, so please pay close attention to the class offering, and ask for clarification if you are uncertain.

Beef Cattle Option

a.
Visit a farm or ranch where beef cattle are produced under any of these systems:
1.
Feeding market cattle for harvest
2.
Cow/calf operation, producing cattle for sale to commercial feeders
3.
Producing purebred cattle for sale as breeding stock to others
Talk with the operator to learn how the cattle were handled, fed, weighed, and shipped. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a cattle ranch or farm, view a video from a breed association, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on beef cattle production. Tell about your findings.
Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the farm or ranch visited. Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.
b.
Sketch a plan of a feedlot to include its forage and grain storage facilities, and loading chute for 30 or more fattening steers; or sketch a corral plan with cutting and loading chutes for handling 50 or more beef cows and their calves at one time.
Scouts may want to consider incorporating this requirement in with their Requirement 6a Beef Cattle Option requirement and Sketch the feedlot and storage facilities found at that farm or ranch. Talking to the operator on what changes might need to be made when adding more cattle to the operations might yield further insight to the changes that this facility might make and assist the Scout in the completion of this requirement.
c.
Make a sketch showing the principal wholesale and retail cuts of beef. Tell about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dual grading system of beef. Tell the basis of each grade in each system.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your sketch as well.
d.
Define the following terms: bull, steer, bullock, cow, heifer, freemartin, heiferette, calf.
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.

Dairying Option

a.
Tell how a cow or a goat converts forage and grain into milk. Explain the differences in feeds typically used for dairy cows versus those fed to beef cows.
Scouts will need to do some research and reading in order to prepare for this requirement. It is recommended that Scouts make notes of their findings to help show the counselor their efforts in preparing for the class. These notes can also serve to help Scouts successfully perform their explanation or discussion elements of this requirement. It will be very difficult for Scouts who do not come prepared for this requirement to successfully complete the requirement in the class.
b.
Make a chart showing the components in cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Chart the amount of each component.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your chart as well.
c.
Explain the requirements for producing grade A milk. Tell how and why milk is pasteurized.
Scouts should be prepared to explain the requirements asked for in this requirement component. While the counselor will help give insight to this requirement component, Scouts will have the greatest possibility of completing this requirement only through having prior knowledge via the information in the merit badge pamphlet to complete this requirement. It is suggested to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of your findings for sharing during the class with your counselor and fellow Scouts.
d.
Tell about the kinds of equipment used for milking and the sanitation standards that must be met on dairy farms.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should still come to the class having reviewed the merit badge pamphlet in preparation for discussion. It is encouraged for Scouts to consider using a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of their findings for use during the class.
e.
Define the following terms: bull, cow, steer, heifer, springer; buck, doe, kid.
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.
f.
Visit a dairy farm or a milk processing plant. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a dairy farm or processing plant, view a video from a breed or dairy association, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on dairying. Tell about your findings.

Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the farm or plant visited.

Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.

Horse Option

a.
Make a sketch of a useful saddle horse barn and exercise yard.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your sketch as well.
b.
Tell about the history of the horse and the benefits it has brought to people. Using the four breeds of horses you chose in requirement 1, discuss the different special uses of each breed.
Scouts will need to do some research and reading in order to prepare for this requirement. It is recommended that Scouts make notes of their findings to help show the counselor their efforts in preparing for the class. These notes can also serve to help Scouts successfully perform their explanation or discussion elements of this requirement. It will be very difficult for Scouts who do not come prepared for this requirement to successfully complete the requirement in the class.
c.
Define the following terms: mare, stallion, gelding, foal, colt, filly; mustang, quarter horse, draft horse, pacer, trotter; pinto, calico, palomino, roan, overo, tobiano.
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.
d.
Visit a horse farm. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a horse farm, view a video from a breed association, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on horses. Tell about your findings.

Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the farm visited.

Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.

e.
Outline the proper feeding of a horse doing light work. Explain why the amount and kind of feed will change according to the kind of horse and the work it does. Describe what colic is, what can cause it, and its symptoms.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should still come to the class having reviewed the merit badge pamphlet in preparation for discussion. It is encouraged for Scouts to consider using a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of their findings for use during the class.

Sheep Option

a.
Make a sketch of a live lamb. Show the location of the various wholesale and retail cuts.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your sketch as well.
b.
Discuss how wools are sorted and graded.
Scout should reference the merit badge pamphlet and prepare their findings for discussion in the class. Many Scouts will find the use of a Merit Badge Workbook to help organize their notes for this requirement to be helpful and increase their chances of completion while aiding them in their discussion during the class.
c.
Do ONE of the following:
1.
Raise a lamb from weaning to market weight. Keep records of feed intake, weight gains, medication, vaccination, and mortality. Present your records to your counselor for review.
If requirement 6c1 is selected, Scouts should bring photos or video to share with the counselor and class showing the raising of their lamb. Bring your records as stated in this requirement to share with the counselor and class.
2.
Visit a farm or ranch where sheep are raised. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a sheep farm or ranch, view a video from a breed association, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on sheep. Tell about your findings.

If choosing Requirement 6c2, Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the farm or ranch visited.

Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.

d.
Describe some differences between the production of purebred and commercial lambs. Then select two breeds that would be appropriate for the production of crossbred market lambs in your region. Identify which breed the ram should be.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. Scouts may find making notes in a Merit Badge Workbook will help them organize their findings for easier sharing during the class.
e.
Define the following terms: wether, ewe, ram, lamb.
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.

Hog Option

a.
Make a sketch showing the principal wholesale and retail cuts of pork. Tell about the recommended USDA grades of pork. Tell the basis for each grade.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your sketch as well.
b.
Outline in writing the proper feeding programs used from the breeding of a gilt or sow through the weaning of the litter. Discuss the feeding programs for the growth and finishing periods.
This requirement component clearly states Scouts will need to put into writing their work. Be prepared to share your writing and discuss this during the class.
c.
Do ONE of the following:
1.
Raise a feeder pig from weaning to market weight. Keep records of feed intake, weight gains, medication, vaccination, and mortality. Present your records to your counselor for review.
If requirement 6c1 is selected, Scouts should bring photos or video to share with the counselor and class showing the raising of your pig. Bring your records as stated in this requirement to share with the counselor and class.
2.
Visit a farm where hogs are produced, or visit a packing plant handling hogs. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a hog production unit or packing plant, view a video from a packer or processor, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on hogs. Tell about your findings.

If choosing Requirement 6c2, Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the farm or plant visited.

Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.

d.
Define the following terms: gilt, sow, barrow, boar.
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.

Avian Option

a.
Make a sketch of a layer house or broiler house showing nests, roosts, feeders, waterers, and means of ventilation. Explain how insulation, ventilation, temperature controls, automatic lights, and other environmental controls are used to protect birds from heat, cold, and bad weather. Explain the importance of light for egg production.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to begin your sketch as well.
b.
Explain why overcrowding is dangerous for poultry flocks.
Scouts can easily find the answer to this requirement when reviewing the merit badge pamphlet. Scouts should review this requirement and be prepared o explain their findings in the class.
c.
Tell about the grading of eggs. Tell how broilers (fryers) are graded. Describe the classes of chicken meat.
While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should still come to the class having reviewed the merit badge pamphlet in preparation for discussion. It is encouraged for Scouts to consider using a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of their findings for use during the class.
d.
Do ONE of the following:
1.
Manage an egg-producing flock for five months. Keep records of feed purchased, eggs sold, medication, vaccination, and mortality. Present your records to your counselor for review.
2.
Raise five chickens from hatching. Keep records of feed intake, weight gains, medication, vaccination, and mortality. Present your records to your counselor for review.
If requirement 6d1 or 6d2 is selected, Scouts should bring photos or video to share with the counselor and class showing their managing of a flock or the raising of chickens. Bring your records as stated in this requirement to class to also share with the counselor and class.
3.
Visit a commercial avian production facility. Describe what you saw and explain what you learned. If you cannot visit a commercial facility, view a video from a poultry association, or research the internet (with your parent’s permission) for information on poultry production. Tell about your findings.

If choosing Requirement 6d3, Scouts should bring proof (a note signed by the host, your parent, teacher, Scoutmaster, or other) to help validate their completion of the visit noted in this requirement. Ideally the note could/should be signed by the operator of the production facility visited.

Scouts choosing to view a video or review information from the internet for this requirement component, will need to be able to share the link(s) with the counselor who will determine whether the resources utilized fulfill the requirement to their satisfaction.

e.
Define the following terms: chick, pullet, hen, cockerel, cock, capon
Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.
7.
Find out about three career opportunities in animal science. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Scouts should review this requirement and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for completion of this requirement.