Have you considered manufacturing your livestock feed mix? What do you believe are the primary elements in farm animal feed?
If you’re new to rearing livestock, you’ve come to the right place. This post will shed light on the key ingredients of animal feeds and the extra nutrients you can add to enhance your animals’ health.
There are numerous factors to consider when it comes to animal feed ingredients. Aside from the nutritional value, you must also consider the amounts, storage, preparation, and current health status of the animal.
The advantage of raising livestock is that their feed ingredients are readily available. You can easily find these items on your farm or local market. Keep reading this post to learn more about animal feed.
Primary Ingredients of Animal Feeds
The key ingredients in animal feed formulations can be classified into multiple categories to ensure your animals get the nutrients they require in each food group – energy sources, protein, and vitamins.
You will have a complete and well-balanced feed for your livestock if you use animal feed products from each category.
1. Energy Sources
Energy sources are carbohydrate-rich animal feeds that primarily provide energy to your livestock. This major group includes the following feed ingredients:
- Maize grits or corn grits
Maize or corn grits are considered essential elements in farm animal feed, accounting for almost half of the feed composition. Corn is a good source of carbs, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
In the animal feed mix, this type of cereal plays the role of a binding agent. It offers energy to your farm animals and is a modest protein supply.
- Waste noodles
Waste noodles are a less expensive alternative as they are close to being leftovers. You can find them from a noodle factory or from your previous night’s leftover meals. Either way, they provide significant calories and protein to your animals. Noodles are versatile, making them a good fit with different feed options.
2. Protein Sources
These protein foods aid in the growth and repair of bodily tissues. This essential group of animal feed ingredients mainly includes meat and protein-rich vegetables.
Protein is a necessary nutrient, particularly for young poultry and cattle. Their egg and meat productivity will be affected by the amount they consume.
Here are some protein sources to consider for your animal feed:
- Synthetic amino acids
These ingredients provide a balanced source of amino acids for your animals. The most popular synthetic amino acids are feed-grade Lysine and Methionine. So, you can incorporate these protein sources into your present cattle feed. Also, they aid in chick growth, egg size, body fat reduction, and muscular development.
One of the reasons why some farmers do not use synthetic amino acids as the primary element in farm animal feed is that they are costly. To get the most out of it, blend them with other meat sources in the animal feed.
- Fish meat
This has been a consistent protein source, particularly for cattle feed. It is high in amino acids, which give your animals energy and make their bodies robust and healthy.
The disadvantage of using fish meat is its scarcity and high cost. Besides being expensive, you also need a good storage space to keep the fish meat fresh.
- Soya beans
This is a plant-based protein substitute. As previously said, fish meat is difficult to store and costly. Therefore, obtaining protein-rich plants that are easily accessible for your animal diet is preferable.
Soya beans, frequently used as the main element in farm animal feed, have become a good source of protein and amino acids. However, other farmers regard it as a supplement rather than the main course. Nonetheless, its low cost and plentiful supply have made it an excellent protein source. Soya beans complement foods from other vital groups as well.
3. Vitamin and Mineral Sources
These vital nutrients help to strengthen your livestock’s immune system and restore any cellular damage. They also help to support other organs in the body and improve their general health. They include:
- Bone meal
This is a by-product of phosphorous-rich processing remnants of dead cattle. However, you need to check the animal feed rules because certain European nations have outlawed the use of bone meal in animal feeds.
Salt is a critical component of farm animal feed. It has a significant nutritional value and is required for your poultry’s optimal growth and health.
- Seashells or oysters
These are some of the minerals that are a frequent source of calcium. However, like fish items, they may be challenging or expensive.
Eggshells are crushed and given to animal feed as an alternative. It is also high in calcium and simple to prepare.
Most farmers feed their animals anything they can find on the market, but what exactly is animal feed made of? When it comes to animal feed additives, there are numerous options to consider. You can use natural crops such as maize or grain as animal feed ingredients or opt for synthetic amino acids, supplements, and vitamins.
If you are still unsure about appropriate animal nutrition, you can consult a local vet or expert in your region. They can help you identify which ingredients of livestock feed are ideal for your farm animals.