Back to: Jss2 Agricultural Science (PVS)
Topic: Animals Feed and Feeding
WEEK: 1 & 2
Animals Feed and Feeding
Animal feed and feeding are important aspects of animal husbandry, and it refers to the provision of food to domestic animals for their growth, development, and maintenance. Feed composition and quality are critical in ensuring the productivity, health, and well-being of animals.
Animal feeds can be classified into two categories: roughages and concentrates. Roughages are fibrous plant materials such as grasses, hay, and silage. Concentrates are energy and protein-rich feeds such as grains, oilseed meals, and molasses. Both roughages and concentrates should be properly balanced to provide the necessary nutrients for the animal’s growth and development.
Feeding practices can also be classified into two categories: grazing and confinement. Grazing involves allowing the animals to graze freely on pastures and ranges, while confinement involves keeping animals in pens or stalls and providing them with feed.
Factors to Consider in Animal Feeding
Proper feeding practices are essential for the health and productivity of animals. Here are some factors to consider in animal feeding
- Nutrient Requirements: Animals require a balanced diet that meets their specific nutrient requirements. Nutrient requirements vary depending on the species, age, sex, and physiological status of the animal. Proper nutrient balance is critical in promoting growth, health, and productivity.
- Feed Quality: The quality of animal feed is determined by its nutrient content, digestibility, and potential to promote animal growth and productivity. High-quality feed ensures that the animal’s nutrient requirements are met, and it promotes optimal growth and performance.
- Feed Formulation: Feed formulation involves combining different feed ingredients to meet the animal’s nutrient requirements. Proper feed formulation ensures that the animal’s nutrient requirements are met, and it promotes optimal growth and performance.
- Feed Processing: Feed processing involves subjecting the feed to different treatments to improve its quality, digestibility, and palatability. Feed processing methods include grinding, pelleting, and heat treatment. Proper feed processing enhances the digestibility and nutrient utilization of the feed.
- Feeding Frequency: Feeding frequency refers to the number of times the animal is fed per day. The feeding frequency varies depending on the species and age of the animal. Young animals require more frequent feeding than mature animals.
- Water: Water is an essential nutrient for animal growth and development. Adequate water should be provided to animals at all times. Clean and fresh water should be provided to promote optimal animal health and performance.
- Feed Storage: Proper feed storage is critical in preserving the quality of the feed. The feed should be stored in a cool and dry place to prevent spoilage, contamination, and nutrient degradation.
Types of Feed
The classification of animal feeds is based on their digestibility, fibre content, required quantity, and moisture, resulting in four primary groups. The four groups of feeds are;
These are feeds with low proportions of fibre and water content, making them easily digestible by farm animals. Carbohydrate concentrates or basal feed/energy feed contains high proportions of carbohydrates such as maize, guinea corn, cassava, etc. Protein concentrates, on the other hand, contain high proportions of proteins
- Guinea corn
- Sunflower seeds and heads
- Palm kernel
- Meat, blood meal, bone meal, fishmeal, and milk
These feeds are low in protein and carbohydrates but high in fiber, making them difficult for animals to digest. They are usually fed together with concentrate foods for young animals and those kept for milk and meat production.
- Groundnut hulls
- Bean pods
- Maize stover
These feeds have high water content, making them easy to digest. Examples:
- Freshly cut/lush grass
- Legume plants (soilage)
Supplements (minerals and vitamins)
These feeds are required in small quantities, low in energy, protein, and fiber, but high in vitamins and minerals. They aid digestion and increase animal resistance to diseases. They are available in basal and protein concentrate feeds.
- Bone meal
- Oyster shell
- Salt licks
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Feeding Tools and Equipment for Farm Animals
Feeding tools and equipment are essential for ensuring that farm animals receive the appropriate feed and nutrients they need to stay healthy and productive. Here are 20 feeding tools and equipment commonly used on farms:
- Feeders: These are containers used to hold animal feed, such as hay or grain, and can be made of various materials such as wood, metal, or plastic.
- Waterers: These are containers used to hold and dispense clean drinking water for farm animals. They can be automatic or manual, and come in various sizes and materials.
- Troughs: These are long, open containers used for feeding larger animals such as cattle or horses, and can be made of wood, metal, or plastic.
- Buckets: These are used to hold and transport feed, water, and other supplements for farm animals.
- Scoops: These are used for measuring and dispensing feed, supplements, and other ingredients in precise quantities.
- Hay racks: These are used to hold hay for feeding larger animals such as horses or cows.
- Bale feeders: These are used for holding and feeding large bales of hay or straw, and can be stationary or portable.
- Silage choppers: These are machines used to chop and process silage, a fermented feed made from corn or other crops.
- Grain mills: These are machines used to grind and process grains for animal feed, and can be powered by electricity, gas, or diesel.
- Feed mixers: These are machines used to mix and blend different types of feed and supplements for farm animals, and can be stationary or mobile.
- Feeding troughs: These are narrow, elongated containers used for feeding small animals such as pigs or sheep.
- Feeding racks: These are used for holding and dispensing dry feed and supplements for animals such as goats or deer.
- Feeding tubes: These are used for administering feed, supplements, or medication to animals that cannot eat or drink normally.
- Nipple drinkers: These are automatic water dispensers that release water when an animal applies pressure with its mouth.
- Automatic feeders: These are machines that dispense feed and supplements on a pre-set schedule, reducing labour and ensuring consistent feeding.
- Feed bins: These are storage containers used for holding and dispensing large quantities of feed and supplements for farm animals.
- Feed carts: These are mobile carts used to transport feed, supplements, and other equipment around the farm.
- Weigh scales: These are used to measure the weight of animals and determine the appropriate amount of feed and supplements needed.
- Hay elevators: These are machines used for lifting and moving hay bales to higher levels, such as a loft or storage area.
- Bale grabbers: These are machines used for lifting and transporting large bales of hay or straw, and can be attached to a tractor or other farm equipment.