Most people that keep livestock today do it for business purposes. One of the most critical aspects in maximizing livestock output is ensuring that they are on a healthy diet. Stock feed, otherwise known as animal feed, is food given to livestock. Increased research and technology today has provided farmers with high-quality feed that ensures animals have all the nutrients that they require.
Below are essential components of any kind of stock feed.
Carbohydrates: These are energy-giving foods and should comprise a significant amount of stock feed. Animals require energy to move and generate heat. Carbohydrates may be in the form of starch, sugars or fiber. Corn, oats hay, and barley are examples of carbohydrates.
Protein: Proteins are body-building foods. They are vital in animal growth and in the production of milk.
Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals are essential in body building and the regulation of various biological processes in the body. Further, they improve the nutrition content of output such as milk and eggs. Calcium and phosphorous are basic minerals required in an animal's growth.
Water: Water makes up much of an animal's weight. It is needed for the transport of nutrients and the regulation of body temperature. Metabolic reactions also require water.
Stock feed can be classified as:
Fodder refers to animal feed that is given to animals as opposed to that which they forage. It is mainly composed of plant material such as hay, silage and straw. It has to be of high quality to provide the necessary nutrients for the animal's growth. Low-quality fodder only fills the animal's stomach and does not get digested.
Compound feeds are a combination of various fodder and additives that are blended to suit the nutrition requirements of a certain animal. They come in pellet or crumble form and are a perfect way to supplement the animal's diet. Premixes are a special form of compound feed that contains high amounts of minerals and vitamins. Farmers often mix fodder with compound feeds to make animal meals more nutritious.
Forage refers to plant material consumed by animals through grazing. It is the earliest method of feeding livestock. Legumes such as white clover are a preferred forage since they have high protein content. Grass such as ryegrass, wheat grass, and Bermuda grass are also nutritional.
Healthy stock feed contains minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. A farmer can feed livestock on fodder, compound feeds or forage. A combination of the three ensures that the animal is on a healthy diet.
To learn more about stock feed, contact a company like Mirco Bros.