Feed Nutrients

Feed Nutrients

Feed nutrients are essential compounds derived from feed that aid in promoting the growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissues. There are approximately 21 chemical elements present in various feed nutrients that are necessary for the proper nutrition of farm animals. The table below illustrates these elements and their corresponding chemical symbols.

Element NameChemical Symbol

Classes of Livestock Feed Nutrient

In order to provide adequate nutrition to livestock, there exist various types of feed nutrients that can be used. It is essential to have a comprehension of the primary categories, as well as the components and functions of animal feeds.

The key feed nutrients consist of:

CarbohydratesNeeded for energy for the body and organs.Yams, cassava, potato, rice, bread
FatsProvides energy for maintaining body temperature.Milk, groundnuts, coconuts, cotton seeds, animal by-products, fish by-products, cereals, roots, and tubers
ProteinsRequired for growth and repair of body tissues and organs.Soybeans, cotton seeds, groundnut, peas, beans, fish, and meat
MineralsNecessary for animal nutrition in small quantities. Macro elements include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, and magnesium. Micro-elements include iron, iodine, copper, cobalt, chromium, fluorine, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium.Forages, animal and fish by-products, roots and tubers, and cereal grains
WaterNeeded for digestion and distribution of food, and regulating body temperature.Contained in feeds and provided as drinking water.
VitaminsEssential for proper and normal functioning of the body in tiny amounts.Water-soluble: Vitamin B and C. Fat-soluble: Vitamin A, D, E, and K.

Factors to Consider Before Deciding on Animal Feed 

Choosing the right animal feed is essential for the health and well-being of livestock. Here are ten factors to consider before deciding on animal feed:

  1. Nutritional content: The nutritional content of the animal feed is critical to the health of livestock. It is essential to choose a feed that provides the necessary nutrients for the specific type of animal being fed, including protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  2. Age of the animal: The age of the animal being fed is a crucial factor to consider. Different animals have different nutritional requirements at different stages of life. Young animals may need more protein and calcium, while older animals may require more fibre and energy.
  3. Purpose of the animal: The purpose of the animal, whether it is for meat, milk, or egg production, affects the type and quality of feed needed. For example, animals being raised for meat production may require feed that promotes weight gain, while dairy cows may require feed that increases milk production.
  4. Quality of the feed: The quality of animal feed is essential for the health of the animals. Feed that is contaminated or spoiled can lead to illness and poor growth.
  5. Availability of the feed: The availability of animal feed can be affected by factors such as location, climate, and season. It is essential to choose a feed that is readily available in the area and at a reasonable price.
  6. Cost of the feed: The cost of animal feed is an important factor to consider. It is essential to choose a feed that provides good value for money while still meeting the nutritional needs of the animals.
  7. Feeding management: The feeding management of livestock, such as feeding frequency and portion size, affects the amount and type of feed needed. It is essential to choose a feed that fits the feeding management plan for the specific animal.
  8. The physical form of the feed: The physical form of animal feed, such as pellets, mash, or cubes, affects how the animals consume the feed. It is essential to choose feed in a form that is appropriate for the animal.
  9. Environmental impact: The production and transportation of animal feed can have environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use. It is essential to choose a feed that has a low environmental impact.
  10. Feed safety: The safety of animal feed is essential to prevent the spread of diseases and contamination. It is essential to choose a feed that is produced and handled according to high safety standards.

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