Hunter Gatherer Food Chain and Pastoral Farming

The Hunter-Gatherer Food Chain is associated with Pastoral farming, also known as ranching, grazing, or livestock farming. It aimed at livestock production rather than growing plants, crops, etc.

Examples are Raising cows for beef, milk, etc, raising sheep for wool, Goats for mutton, etc.

In a single farm, the livestock and crops are grown simultaneously, which is called Mixed Farming. These crops are grown purely for fodder for their livestock and sometimes the farmer sells them.

This kind of farming is common in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Canada, Western United States, etc. This method is followed by humans for thousands of years for their survival all over the world. Also known as the Pastoral food chain.

Pastoral food chain
Pastorals By Molgreen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Pastoral food chain Levels

Similar to other food chains, this chain basically has two levels. Primary consumers consist of livestock such as Cow, Goat, Sheep, etc. That consumes the fodder cultivated in the farms and feeds to them and also the livestock’s allowed to graze the fields freely.

In this food chain, the secondary and tertiary consumers both are Humans, for most of it. The beef, milk from cows, wool for sheep, meat from goats, etc all are primarily consumed by the Human for his edible purpose and for his industrial purposes. By this, it can be also classified as an Industrial food chain.

Pastoral food chain depended Countries


The Spanish people in 1532 found the open grasslands are good for their cattle and horses to graze. They grew and changed the environment into nutritious and fertile. Then large cattle population was used for economic prosperity.

This made Argentina, a land for pastoral farming. These farms were known as Estancias. Estancias were spread across 200 square kilometres, which supports 20,000 cattle and later in the 19th century, sheep were added to the estancias.

The Grasslands in Argentina are called Pampas, which saw a spike in the livestock population. Today Argentina’s livestock were categorized as Modernized and Communal. Currently, the sheep population is decreasing due to decreasing wool prices.

Most of the beef, milk, lamb produced in Argentina are consumed domestically.


Pastoral farming arrived in Australia in 1836. The sheep and other cattle were brought from New South Wales. As 70% of Australia’s land is arid or semi-arid, the Southern part of Australia is chosen for cattle grazing, since these lands are not suitable for Arable farming such as Wheat Production.

The South Australian farmer focused on Wool Production and succeeded in it. Since Australia is prone to serious droughts, Pastoral Farming was made to technological advancement.

Such as using water pumps and operating them with Wind Power and this water is used to farm crops in arid and semi-arid regions. Also, the area of the grazing land is reduced and the overall productivity is improved.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s pastorals consist of cattle, deer and sheep. In the 1920s, 90% of the country’s exports are pastoral products such as wool, cheese, meat and butter and this trend is continued till today.

Of every other pastoral, beef and sheep farming is the highest in New Zealand. Currently, Dairy production is also seeing its growth.

The dairy sector started in New Zealand in 1814 when two cows and a bull were brought to New Zealand, ever since it had grown rapidly. New Zealand is an excellent example of the Complete Pastoral Food Chain Country.

Hunter gatherer food chain pros and cons


They have a much better diet and healthier bodies than the farmers. This is because they have more food intake and sufficient nutrients in their diets.


Their food sources are not reliable and the Nomadic liver is more difficult. When these people do not find food, they need to stretch their food to survive.

One important one is being killed by animals while hunting.

* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.