The Importance of Animal Nutrition

Animal nutrition focuses on studying the dietary needs of animals. These dietary needs consist of nutrients, which are the components present in the feed that animals digest and utilize.

The way our livestock animals are fed can affects the growth rate, production capacity and health status of the animal both negatively and positively.

Therefore, knowledge of animal nutrition is key for a profitable and sustainable livestock farm.

Once a commercial feed product is acquired, the nutritional value must appear on the label of the product while the product made from farm produce such as fodder crops, crop residues, grains etc. should be tested to make sure it has an adequate nutritional requirement.

Animals know how to auto-regulate and they stop eating once they feel satisfied. However, if the nutrient content of the a feed is very low, the consumed feed will not be enough to meet their requirements and they can suffer from malnutrition, even if fed ad libitum.

Animals´ nutrient requirements can vary among different species, same species in different status or under different external factors

For example, a dairy cow will need more energy, water, fibre and calcium than a beef cow. Furthermore, the production purpose also plays a role when designing a diet: feedlot, maintenance, organic farming, etc. all of them have different requirements