Domestication of animals has resulted in phenotypic changes by means of natural and human-directed selection. Body composition is important for farm animals because it reflects the status of energy reserves. Thus, there is the possibility that farm animals as providers of food have been more affected by human-directed selection for body composition than laboratory animals. In this study, an analysis was conducted to determine what similarities and differences in body composition occur between farm and laboratory animals using literature data obtained from seven comparative slaughter studies (n = 136 observations). Farm animals from four species (cattle, goats, pigs and sheep) were all castrated males, whereas laboratory animals from three species (dogs, mice and rats) comprised males and/or females. All animals were fed ad libitum. The allometric equation, Y = aXb, was used to determine the influence of species on the accretion rates of chemical components (Y, kg) relative to the growth of the empty body, fat-free empty body or protein weights (X, kg). There were differences between farm and laboratory animals in terms of the allometric growth coefficients for chemical components relative to the empty BW and fat-free empty BW (P < 0.01); farm animals had more rapid accretion rates of fat (P < 0.01) but laboratory animals had more rapid accretion rates of protein, water and ash (P < 0.01). In contrast, there was no difference in terms of the allometric growth coefficients for protein and water within farm animals (P > 0.2). The allometric growth coefficients for ash weight relative to protein weight for six species except sheep were not different from a value of 1 (P > 0.1), whereas that of sheep was smaller than 1 (P < 0.01). When compared at the same fat content of the empty body, the rate of change in water content (%) per unit change in fat content (%) was not different (P > 0.05) across farm animal species and similar ash-to-protein ratios were obtained except for dogs. The fraction of empty body energy gain retained as fat increased in a curvilinear manner, and there was little variation among farm animals at the same fat content of the empty body. These findings may provide the opportunity to develop a general model to predict empty body composition across farm animal species. In contrast, there were considerable differences of chemical body composition between farm and laboratory animals.