Why High Quality Feed is So Important for Livestock
The livestock industry is one of the biggest industries in existence today, one that does not only play a significant role in the world economy but also allows provides a better lifestyle for people. There are several million farms around the world including poultry, cattle and equine farms dedicated to raising the ever demanded pedigree horses. For all of these farms, the foremost goal is the production for optimal yields. Increasing livestock population depends on a steady and sufficient supply of livestock nutrition.
Livestock nutrition broken down
There are six food groups that constitute livestock nutrition and each of these nutrients plays an important role in maintaining the overall health of the animal.
- Proteins: These are important nitrogen-containing macronutrients that equip the rumen microorganism with their nutritional needs so they help digest food. They also serve as a source of energy.
- Carbohydrates: Provides a main source of energy.
- Water: Responsible for hydration and maintaining the water content in the body to ensure normal physiological and biochemical conditions.
- Fats: Rich source of energy with a high ratio of calories per unit of weight when compared to carbohydrates and proteins.
- Vitamins: These micronutrients serve an important function by increasing the animal’s resistance to diseases and serving as co-factors for enzymes.
- Minerals: Inorganic elements that play an important part in the reproduction and growth of the animal.
The impact of high-quality feed
When it comes to animal production, the biggest expense is the cost of feeds. However, compromising the quality of the livestock feed to save some extra bucks is a terrible idea because there is a lot at stake that you don’t realize. The quality of feed has a direct effect on the production capacity of the farm, on the health and the growth rate of the animals. Therefore, if you want to run a successful farm, all your strategies will be incomplete without sound knowledge of livestock nutrition.
If the dietary requirements of the livestock are fulfilled using high-quality feed that contains the aforementioned important nutrients, then you can be almost certain that the productivity of the animal along with its health is in good status. The quality of feed is also closely tied to the safety of the food chain. Foodborne pathogens like Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter enter the food chain through livestock feed, eventually making their way into our diet. Additionally, if there are any pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals present in the feed, product quality as well as human health is at risk. In the past, contamination in livestock feed has cost the livestock industry millions of dollars.
The environmental angle
Between 50-90% of the elements that livestock consumes through their feed are excreted back out into the environment and can have detrimental effects on the ecology and atmosphere. Livestock is responsible for producing sizable volumes of methane that destroy the ozone layer. A balanced diet ensures that the level of excretion of feed nutrients are decreased and high-quality feeds are the only safe way provide your animals with a balanced diet on a large scale.