Saturday, September 12, 2020

Feed for cattle

In dairy production, the feeding programme affects profitability more than any other single factor. The costs of feeding make up 60 - 80% of the variable costs of milk production.

Feed formulation is a technique by which different feed ingredients are combined to provide required nutrient to animals for a period of time usually 24 hours at different stages of production.

The nutrients to be supplied in a feeding programme include energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. These should be supplied in their required amounts to meet specific performance targets. Carbohydrates and fats are the major sources of energy.

All feedstuffs consist of water and dry matter. For example, if the water content of a feedstuff is 75%, the dry matter (DM) content is 25 %. Although water is very important for cattle, it plays a vital role in functioning of the body, milk production, and the total intake of food.

The amount of water needed depends on:
*the body weights
*the milk production
*the temperature
*the feeds and the diet

Carbohydrates in feedstuffs comprise of sugars, starches (e.g. derived from cereals, tubers and roots) and substances which are part of the plant cell walls, vessels and woody tissues, mainly hemi-cellulose, pectin, cellulose and lignin. Pectin is found in high levels in beet pulp, citrus pulp and legumes and is the most rapidly fermented portion of the cell wall. When a cow consumes carbohydrates the ruminal microorganism release enzymes that break them down into monosaccharides or simple sugars.

Fat or “ether extract” also provide energy. In fact, a certain amount of fat provides much more energy (+3x) than the same amount of carbohydrates. Fat is very important part of young claves’ diets because of the amount of energy they need to grow. Some vitamins (for instance A, D, E and K) are found in the fat fraction of a feedstuff.

Protein is needed for growth, maintenance, reproduction and production. The material to build up the muscles, fetus and the milk production. In general, every animal needs a certain minimum amount of protein daily in order to stay healthy and productive.

Minerals: They are needed for growth of the bone and the fetus as well as for the milk production. Vitamins: Intervene in the metabolism and the digestion of feeds.

Ration should be palatable, digestible with permissible level of anti-nutritional factors, economical and should have very less adverse environmental effect.
Feed for cattle

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