AnS101 Notes Describing ID Feed

AnS101 Notes Describing ID Feed - AnS101 Identifying and...

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AnS101 Identifying and Describing Feeds and Rations NOTES Describing Feeds Our symbiotic relationship with domestic animals is first and foremost affected by what we feed them. The health and well-being is at stake, let alone productivity in the case of producing farm animals. Knowing what feeds work best for what classes of animals is paramount to designing rations that best fit the animal’s needs. Balancing rations for animals involves combining feeds of various types and kinds so that they nutrient needs of the animal are met, but in most cases not exceeded (feed is costly – why waste it?). In the spirit of working with animals, how do we describe, identify and discuss the many types of feeds that are available for use in animal feed? We want to characterize/describe feeds in several basic ways so that we can study them and consider their use in rations. But categorizing feeds is not a clean and easy process. For example, feeds are often described in terms of their use in a particular diet. Corn is by far the most common feed added to the diets of all classes of domestic animals (at least in the USA) because it provides the most cost effective source of energy in the diet. Soybeans are often used to add protein to a diet (because like most legumes it has a high protein content), even though it has high energy content. These are both examples of feeds called “concentrates” because the energy is concentrated in the seed and is more easily digested by most classes of animals. However, if one is feeding ruminants (animals with digestive systems which “ferment” feed with microbes before it digests their products of fermentation enzymatically), then plant-body feeds such as hay, grass or silage can be used to provide the bulk of the animal’s diet and need for energy. But this would not work well when feeding “monogastrics” - animals whose digestive systems are not designed for large amounts of plant body consumption. In such cases, concentrates form the basis of the diet so that enzymatic digestion is most effective. Therefore, describing feeds in general terminology is somewhat subjective, and varies with the circumstances. The following definitions and ideas will be used in our class for the purposes of study, testing and discussion. However, you should realize that other references might use different definitions, although it is doubtful that they will vary too much from the following definitions. To start, the following table provides some categories to describe various feeds. It is a start, and be aware there are many “gray” areas where a feed can fit more than one description or doesn’t seem to fit completely in any single category. It is provided not so much for you to memorize the specific values, but to develop a general sense what the terms/categories mean when discussing feeds and rations. Values are “ballpark” to enable discussions and description. It is recognized that variation can occur from sample
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