Animal nutrition is the process by which an animal obtains nutrients necessary for its healthy growth and development.
Table of Contents
IMPORTANCE OF ANIMAL FEEDS
- Animal feeds are needed for growth
- Useful for the repair of worn-out tissue
- It provides energy
- It is useful for the general well-being of the animal.
- It aids animals’ resistance to diseases.
- It influences maturity in animals.
- It aids optimal production in animals.
DEFINITION OF FEED
Feed refers to the food given to animals. They contain nutrient element either alone or in combination with other substances which supports the healthy growth and development of livestock.
CLASSIFICATION OF LIVESTOCK FEEDS
Animal feeds can be classified into four main groups according to the digestibility, quantity of fibre, quantity required and moisture in the feed. The four groups of feeds are;
- Concentrates: They are fed with a low proportion of fibre and water content. They are easily digested by farm animals. Concentrates can be further subdivided into two groups: Those containing a high proportion of carbohydrates are called carbohydrate concentrates/basal feed/energy feed e.g maize, guinea corn, cassava e.t.c while those with a high proportion of proteins are called protein concentrates e.g beans, peas, cottonseed, sunflower seeds and heads, groundnuts, palm kernel and animal products such as meat, blood meal, bone meal, fishmeal and milk.
- Roughages: Roughages are very low in protein and carbohydrates but high in fibre. They are not easily digested by animals, therefore are fed together with concentrate foods for young animals and those kept for milk and meat production. Examples are hay, groundnut hulls, straw, bean pods and maize stover.
- Succulents: These have high water content. They are easy to digest. Examples are freshly cut/lush grass and legume plants (spoilage), pumpkin, silage, melons and most green crops.
- Supplements (minerals and vitamins): they are required in small quantities, low in energy, protein and fibre but high in vitamins and minerals. They aid digestion and increase animals’ resistance to diseases. They are available in basal and protein concentrate feeds. Other sources are bone meal, oyster shells, salt licks etc.
Basal/Energy Feed or Carbohydrate Concentrates
- They are fed with a crude fibre content of less than 18%
- They are high in energy and starchy food e.g. maize and cassava.
- It is high in carbohydrates or fats.
- It is low in proteins.
- Low in fibre.
- It is highly digestible.
- It is low in minerals.
- Their crude fibre content is less than18%
- Protein concentrate is high in protein
- They are low in carbohydrates and fats
- They are low in fibre
- They are highly digestible
- They are low in minerals
Mineral and Vitamin Supplements
- They are required in small quantities in feeds.
- They supplement basal and protein concentrates.
- They are low in energy.
- Low in protein.
- Low in fibre.
- High in vitamins and minerals.
- Necessary for growth and development.
- They aid food digestion.
- They aid resistance to diseases.
- They are feeds which contain crude fibre that is greater than 18%.
- They are high in fibre.
- They are low in digestible carbohydrates.
- They are low in protein.
- They have poor or low digestibility.
- Pasture grasses and legumes form roughages.
- Roughages exist in different forms which are hay, straw, silage and salvage.
Hay: It refers to the aerial part of a young and succulent grass or herbage cut and dried for feeding animals.
Straw: This is the aerial part of grass or harvested crops cut and stored for future use. They are difficult to digest. Both hay and straw are called dry roughages.
Soilage: This refers to the process of cutting fresh or succulent grass or legumes from the field and taking them to the animals in their pens. It is also called zero grazing.
Silage: This refers to the preservation of green and succulent forage crops under anaerobic conditions.
Describe the preparation of silage.
- What is animal nutrition?
- State the classes of animal feed.
ANIMAL FEED INGREDIENTS
These are the raw materials used in the production of animal feeds. These include; blood meal, fish meal, groundnut cake, palm kernel cake, cotton seed meal, bone meal, maize, guinea corn etc.
Explain the method of preparing the ingredients mentioned above.
FOOD NUTRIENTS OF LIVESTOCK
There are six classes of food nutrients. These are.
It is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Maize, guinea corn, cassava, grasses, wheat, potato, rice, millet, yam, hay, silage, potato, rice millet, yam, hay, silage potatoes etc.
FUNCTIONS OF CARBOHYDRATES
Provides energy to farm animals for growth, reproduction, milk production and other activities.
It is composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sometimes Sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorus.
The sources of animal proteins are; fish meal, blood meal, meat meal, milk, earthworms, eggs e.t.c. Plant protein sources are; soybeans meal, groundnut cake, palm kernel cake, cotton seed meal, sunflower seed meal, cashew nut meal and leguminous forage. Synthetic sources of proteins are; methionine, lysine, cysteine
FUNCTIONS OF PROTEIN
- Essential for the growth of young animal tissue
- They are used to repair worn-out tissue
- They are used in the formation of gametes in reproduction
- They are needed for the production of enzymes
- They are necessary for flesh built-up
- Essential for the sustenance of life
- Help to provide raw materials for building protective covering such as hair, nails roof, wool feathers etc.
- They are useful in the production of
3. FATS AND OIL
Fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
These are palm oil, palm kernel cake, groundnut cake, coconut meal, cotton seed cake, milk, lard and fallow.
FUNCTIONS OF FATS AND OIL
- Fats provide more energy than carbohydrates
- Fat supplies essential fatty acids and fat build-up
- They provide fat-soluble vitamins
- They improve the diet
- They help in the maintenance of body temperature
These are essential elements needed by the body but which the body cannot produce. They are grouped into two major classes:
- Structural mineral elements: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen
- Mineral elements are further divided into
- Macro-elements or minerals: These are required by animals in large quantities e.g. calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sulphur, sodium and chlorine
- Trace Elements or microelements: These are required by animals in small quantities e.g. iodine, cobalt, copper, manganese, zinc and fluorine.
These are born meal, oyster shell, limestone and salt licks.
FUNCTIONS OF MINERAL
- It helps to ensure good health and productivity.
- Present in muscles for muscle contractions.
- Constituent of milk, egg and meat.
- Help in the formation of hormones.
- Maintain PH balance of body fluids.
- They prevent diseases.
- Regulate blood clotting.
- Help in bone and teeth formation.
- Prevent tooth decay.
|Calcium||Bone meal, oyster shell, limestone, milk rock calcium phosphate bone||Bone and teeth formation
|Ricket, osteomalacia, soft eggshell.
|Phosphorus||Bone meal, Dicalcium phosphate, fish meal||Bone and teeth formation; Acid-base balance; Eggshell formation||Ricket, Lack of appetite. Osteomalcia|
|Magnesium||Salt licks, wheat germs, forage, grasses||Aid functioning of the nervous system.
Activation of enzymes
|Hyper-irritability, Nervous disorder Called tetrasodium|
|Sodium and Chlorine||Common salt, salt licks, fish meal||Regulates acid-base balance; Maintenance of osmotic pressure, constituents of Hcl Improves the pleasant taste of feed.||Reduced growth and weight; decline in appetite.
|Sulphur||Salt licks, fish meal||Constituent of protein and amino acids like cysteine, methione||Poor growth|
|Iron||Yeast, iron injection, salt licks||Constituent of haemoglobin in the red blood cell. Constituent of protein called myoglobuline||Anaemia e.g. baby pig anaemia of piglets.|
|Iodine||Iodined salts, fish meal||Constituent of a hormone called thyroxine||Goitre|
|Cobalt||Salt licks, Activate some enzymes||Constituents of vitamins B12||General malnutrition|
|Copper||Salt licks||Aids formation of haemoglobin & Iron absorption||Anaemia|
|Flourine||Salt licks, fluorinated water||Prevents tooth decay||Tooth decay.|
There are organic substances also required by animals for proper growth and body development. The types are;
- Fat Soluble Vitamins: These are vitamins which are soluble in fat e.g. A, D, E and K
- Water Soluble Vitamins C and B-Complex. Examples of vitamin B-Complex are; cobalamine, pantothenic acid and folic acid.
|Vitamin A (retinol)||Fish meal, grasses, yellow maize||Proper eyesight (or vision), Epithelial cell formation, Aid reproduction.||Nightblindness|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic) acid||Grasses, vegetables and fruits.||Formation of connective tissues, bone and dentine||Scurvy|
|Vitamin D (Calciferol)||Bone meal, fish meal and sunlight||Aids bone and teeth formation, eggshell formation||Ricket, Osteomalacia, soft shell egg.|
|Vitamin E (Tocopherol)||Vegetables, grasses, synthetic vitamin E||Aids reproduction.
As an antioxidant.
|Reproductive failures like sterility and premature|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||Fish meal, vegetables||Aids blood clotting. Prothrombin||Haemorrhages i.e. the inability of the blood to clot in time.|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||Yeast, cereals, green plants||Co-enzyme in energy metabolism or poor.||Poor appetite, Bere-beri|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||Green herbage and milk products||Co-enzyme in protein and fat metabolism||Slow growth, Dermatitis|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||Fish meal, milk products||As co-enzyme in several biochemical reactions.
Red blood cell formation
|Vitamin B3 Niacin
|Yeast, cereals, grasses||Carbohydrate oxidation||Pellagra|
Water; tap, feed, rain, rivers, pond and fresh fodder.
FUNCTION OF WATER
- Water is provided for drinking purposes.
- It is used for the metabolic and digestion of food.
- For dipping/drenching animals against ectoparasites.
- For washing or cleaning animals.
- For sanitation, cleaning of floor and pens.
- For processing animal products.
- For maintenance of body temperature.
- For irrigation of pasture.
- It helps to get rid of waste products in the body.
- Helps to maintain body turgidity.
FUNCTIONS OF ANTIBIOTICS
- Helps to fight against pathogens.
- Helps to heal sore and wounds in animals.
- They increase the absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract.
- State five functions of proteins.
- What is a macronutrient?
TYPES OF RATION/DIET AND THEIR USES
This is defined as the feed formulated to meet the specific needs of an animal. It is also referred to as the amount of feed regularly given to or consumed by animals. It is formulated to meet specific metabolic or physiological functions such as growth, location, maintenance of pregnancy, reproduction or egg laying.
Ration: the total supply of food given to animals in a twenty-four-hour period.
A balanced ration is a feed containing all essential nutrients in the correct quantity and in adequate proportion for feeding animals.
Types of a balanced ration
- Maintenance Ration: This is given to farm animals just to maintain the normal functioning of the body system.
- Production Ration: This is the type of ration given to farm animals to enable them to produce.