Anything that is eaten by animals is digested and absorbed in order to be used in fuelling various biological processes and functions. Livestock nutrition refers to the process of animals getting the nutrients they need to fuel their growth and sustain their health.
Just like other living beings, animals also need proper nutrition to function well and live healthily. To make sure that your livestock is healthy, it is important to familiarise yourself with the essential nutrients that they need. More importantly, you should be able to make sure that they get these important nutrients.
In this article, you will find out more about the essential nutrients that animals need to survive and thrive, as well as the main functions of each of these nutrients.
According to our interview with naturalstockcare.ie and naturalstockcare.com, here’s a breakdown of the main nutrients that animals need to thrive and stay healthy:
Considered to be a primary source of energy for animals, carbohydrates fuel the brain, body tissues and cells. Carbohydrates also support milk production in mammals, heat production and also regulate the digestive system, among others.
Animals would grow weak and their organs would be unable to function properly without the right amount of carbohydrate intake. Fortunately, you can find a variety of sources of carbohydrates for livestock. Your livestock can consume fruits, starchy vegetables, grains and bread to meet their carbohydrate requirements.
There are two main types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. The former tends to be less healthy (and should not be taken in high amounts), while the latter is considered to be healthy.
Good examples of complex carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, brown rice, barley, whole grain bread and oats among others.
A half or two thirds of an animal’s daily caloric intake should be made up of carbohydrates. It is worth noting that feeding animals too much carbs can lead to health complications in the long run, including digestive issues.
Proteins are among the most important nutrients that animals need. As a critical component of enzymes, cell structure and muscles, some of the main functions of proteins include supporting the growth, development and repair of skins, muscles, bones, fat and feathers/fur; a source of fuel for cells and tissue when necessary and forming chemicals and antibodies needed to keep the body healthy.
The main building blocks of proteins are amino acids. And, while the body is capable of synthesizing amino acids on its own, their intake through food sources is also necessary. Some of the main sources of proteins for livestock include nuts, soy, eggs, beans, grains, legumes and fish meat. It is worth noting that while adding eggs to poultry food can increase the protein content, it might encourage the chickens to start pecking at their own eggs!
Healthy fats can help livestock in a number of ways including supporting healthy cell growth, improved immune function, muscle movement regulation and enhanced absorption of vitamins and minerals. As you can see, fats and lipids 메이저놀이터 are essential when it comes to promoting the health of your livestock.
Once they are consumed and absorbed into the body, fats also become an important source of energy for animals. Fats belong to a broader food group referred to as lipids; and they play an essential role in enhancing and facilitating the absorption of soluble vitamins like K, E, D and A.
To keep your animals healthy, you should only feed them with healthy fats, rich in omega 3. Good examples of food sources of fat for your livestock include avocado, nuts, vegetable oil, fish and seeds. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid any animal feed that contains high levels of trans-fats and saturated fats.
Primarily consumed by animals from plants, minerals promote proper cellular function and also maintain fluid levels in the body. They also help combat stress and infection, strengthen bones and teeth, support the immune system and transport oxygen around the body.
Zinc, chloride, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium and phosphorous are some of the main minerals that livestock need to thrive and remain healthy. Some of the foods that are known to be rich in these minerals include fruits, egg yolks, nuts and seeds, beans, salt, leafy greens, legumes and whole grains among others.
Vitamins are another essential part of animal nutrition. They provide a variety of health benefits including, maintaining skin health, disease prevention, enhancing metabolism, strengthening bones, supporting brain function, boosting immune function and enhancing egg production, among others.
There are two main types of vitamins, fat and water soluble vitamins. Since fat soluble vitamins are normally stored in the liver, it is recommended that you feed your animals water-soluble vitamins more regularly. The water soluble variety includes vitamins B12, B6, B1 and C.
Some of the functions of common vitamins include improved vision with vitamin A; improved cellular regulation with vitamin B; improved absorption of calcium with vitamin D.
Every animal needs water to function properly and maintain good health. Water helps animals in a variety of ways including preventing constipations, flushing out toxins, improving shock absorption, transporting nutrients into cells and tissues and also lubricating and hydrating various parts of the body. Most importantly, water helps maintain homeostasis in the body of an animal.
Your livestock should have a continuous supply of water at all times – this can be done using an automatic watering system. In fact, your animals should always have access to water, even when you are not as strict with their other nutritional needs. The meat and egg productivity of your animals can be significantly affected by consistent dehydration of livestock.
As you can see, proper nutrition is necessary when it comes to promoting proper functioning and good health in your animals. In addition to ensuring that your animals get all of the above essential nutrients in their meals, it is important to ensure a good balanced mixture of these nutrients. You should also make sure that all nutrients are provided in appropriate quantities. Last but not least, you should avoid changing your livestock feed suddenly.
With the above tips in mind and in practice, you should be able to ensure good livestock nutrition, and with it, reap all the associated benefits.