животные) describes animal husbandry and particularly cattle-raising. From how long ago is it attested?
Well, this kind of terms - I mean, terms for describing some branch of economical activity as a whole - usually came to active usage when economical statistics became a thing.
In Russia, more or less like in the rest of the Europe this happened in the second half of XVIII century. One of the first economic entities in Russian Empire was, to my knowledge, "Free Economic Society" (in Russian, "Императорское Вольное экономическое общество") which published a magazine dedicated to descriptive economic statistics.
In this magazine you won't find
животноводство, but, however you can easily find
скотоводство - this word has been used from the very beginning, as early as in 1765 you can find:
Дѣлать вѣрные опыты, касающееся додомостроительства, земледѣлія, береженія и размноженія лѢсовъ, скотоводства, рыбныхъ и звѣриныхъ промысловъ, горныхъ дѣлъ, мануфактуръ, всякикъ рукодѣлій и прочаго.
Technically the term
скотоводство is narrower than
животноводство since it only about livestock but de-facto
скотоводство was widely used throughout XIXth century (and it's actually still widely used) while
животноводство gradually become more frequently used at the end of XIXth - beginning of XXth century:
There's an article in famous "Энциклопедический Словарь Ф.А.Брокгауза и И.А.Ефрона" about
Зоотехния (there was an attempt to use this word as more scientific but it never became popular - though
зоотехник is still used), in this article we can read:
У нас эти названия переводят словом "животноводство", а несколько десятков лет тому назад, нынешняя З. называлась просто скотоводством (Viehzucht).