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Various Kinds Of Farm Animal Feeds

Various Kinds Of Farm Animal Feeds

As long as livestock stays an integral part of the agricultural society, the demand for quality farm animal feed will remain high. The large variety of animals on any farm, whether ducks, horses, chickens, or cows, need different feeds to accommodate their requirements. Each type of feed has its benefits and uses, as per the animals’ nutritional needs.

You can classify animal feeds into two categories, i.e., concentrates and roughages. The former includes:

  • Cereal grains (barley, wheat, and rye).
  • High protein cakes, including oil meals (soybean and peanut).
  • By-products (sugarcane and sugar beets).

The latter includes pasture grasses, straw, and root crops. Keeping this classification in mind, here’s a detailed overview of five different types of animal feeds.

Cereal Grains and The By-Products

In Northern Europe and North America, the farmers use rye, corn, oats, and sorghums almost entirely as animal feed. Only small quantities of it are kept aside for human consumption.

It is essential to remember that such grains’ production is seasonal because of temperature constraints and moisture levels. Thus, the animal farm owner needs to stock a full year’s supply during this limited season and dry them to bring down the moisture such that there is no molding or sprouting. At times, they store more than the annual supply of grains just as a safety net if there are crop failures.

Farm Animals

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High-Protein Oil Meals or Cakes

Vegetable seeds, such as soybeans, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and groundnuts, are produced mainly as the oil source for industrial uses and human food. The seeds get processed to remove the residues and the oil, leaving about five percent or less fat and twenty percent protein, and are popular as a type of animal feed.

Groundnuts and cottonseed contain woody shells and hulls usually removed before their processing. When the shells or hulls remain intact, their by-products become rich in fiber and offer low energy value and protein.

The protein quality of the meals depends on the availability and levels of amino acids present in them. These only need nitrogen or protein sources for the microbial synthesis of amino acids, which is crucial for the animals’ better growth.

By-Products of Sugarcane or Sugar Beet

The sugar beet industry provides beet tops for use either as ensiled or fresh feed for the animals’ farm. Animal feed also includes beet molasses and dried pulp of beet made in the sugar factories. Another necessary feed is cane molasses, a type of residue derived from manufacturing cane sugar.

All of these form high-quality, palatable sources of carbs for the animals. The stalk residue from sugarcane is hard to digest, fibrous, and doesn’t rank too high on the feed value. In parts of Europe, people mainly cultivate some root vegetables like beets as farm animal feed.

Dried citrus pulp and citrus molasses are usually available at a low price as the juice industry’s by-products. These also form high-quality feed for sheep and cattle.

Farm Animals

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Root Crops and Pastures

Most farm owners and farmers do not use root crops as animals feed these days like they used to do in the past, mainly for economic reasons. Turnips, cassava, rutabagas, beets, and even surplus potatoes are also suitable as feed. These are low in protein and dry matter, even though they are good sources of energy.

Legumes and pasture grasses, both cultivated and native, happen to be the most crucial single food source for cattle, goats, sheep, and horses. In the right season, they constitute a significant portion of animal feed because these offer the correct dose of nutrition at a lower cost than processed food. There are hundreds of trees, bushes, legumes, and grasses acceptable as animal feed for the grazing animals.

Hulls and Straw

You can utilize the remaining straw after harvesting rice, barley, oats, and wheat crops; you can utilize the remaining straw as animal feed for cattle, goats, and horses. Hulls and straws are rich in fiber and low in protein, so this digestibility is scarce.

It’s worth noting that straw is only helpful in maintaining mature animals when there is a lack of other feed. Otherwise, these are way too low in nutrients to fulfill the nutritional requirement of animals without different feeds added to the mix.

Treating straw and hulls with alkali can increase the ease of digesting the cellulose, and thus, the value of these as energy sources for the animals is enhanced.

Signing Off

Besides the five types mentioned above, farm owners also use fodder, compound feeds, and forage. Where fodder or plant matter is suitable for all domestic animals, commercial farmers mostly use combination feeds or feedstuff. They make it with various raw materials and additives based on the needs of the particular animals. So, if you have livestock or animals, do not forget to check each product for due diligence.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Ways You Can Assist Farm Animals

Ways You Can Assist Farm Animals

We live in an age where everything has been modernized. However, there are some things that still need to be looked at. And, when it comes to that, farms are one of them. This is one area where modern technologies are yet to enter. Even though some have made their way, the basics are still undone and unknown. That is why we will be focussing on talking about such a topic.

But, this does not end here. On the contrary, farm animals are mistreated. Even though you have been one of the dairy products consumers for decades, it is your responsibility to check if the animals were treated well. So, let’s do a quick rundown to know the subject more closely.

Farm Animals

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1. Eat less dairy, meat, and eggs.

Well, this may read a little off, but isn’t it the truth? We are surrounded by dairy products and forget about the world farm animals live in. More than 9 billion animals get slaughtered for food in the US alone every year. In addition, an average individual consumes more meat than is recommended by experts. When it comes to numbers, an average meat consumer tends to consume a figure of 2500 cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and turkeys, in their lifetime.

Furthermore, less than 1% of farm animals get raised in the pasture with fresh air, space, and sunshine. They do not even get a chance to interact with their species in such a space. Not only would it be possible for them to bear such conditions, but humans also need to realize some of these. That is why people need to consume less dairy, meat, and eggs. And, why is that? Consuming fewer such products is not just good for animals, but it is also the other way around. It can alleviate the risk of several preventable and chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

2. Shop for welfare food

If you did not know, most animal foods in the market come from altered or factory farms, where many animals are restricted to tiny spaces. Just like we emphasize fair trade for human beings, why not get on the hinge of higher welfare food. Another point to remember is that these animals are not usually what’s shown in bucolic pictures shown by corporate operations to support, promote, and advertise their products.

Well, how can you help? You can avoid factory-farmed dairy, meat, and eggs by going to farmers’ markets or purchasing directly through small family farms nearby. And, if you often go to a supermarket, request the manager for some insightful information on farm foods. Ask them to stock free-range animals or pasture-raised products to meet the animal welfare standards. Remember, you can also acknowledge foods and products with the highest standards by looking for the certification logos mentioned in bullets.


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  • Certified Animal Welfare (Approved by AGW)
  • Global Animal Partnership (Steps 4, 5, 5+)
  • Certified Grass Fed by AGW

3. Never consume these foods and products.

Know those specific food products are produced from animals who were slaughtered or raised in an inhumane manner. Unlike foods like pork, eggs, and chicken, which can reach you from welfare farms, these comprise animals that weren’t treated well. Moreover, as already discussed, these animals also live in poor conditions. Speaking of which, these animals are also fed a diet that lacks essential fibers and iron.

Milk-fed veal: White or Milk-fed veal originates from young calves confined to limit their muscle development and exercises.
Frog legs: It is essential to know that frogs that are eaten to extinction are never killed humanely.
Foie gras: Foie in French is “fatty liver.” This recipe is crafted from the geese’s and duck’s liver that has been unnaturally enlarged and grown.

4. Stand against the growth of factory farms.

The breeding and rearing of animals today is dominated by extensive operations that are reckoned as CAFOs or concentrated animal feeding operations. These tend to maximize profits by treating all the farm animals as production units and not sentient creatures. Moreover, these farms do not just mistreat animals but also endanger the well-being and health of residents and workers and pollute the surroundings. They also consume a large number of naturally available resources and lower the property values of the community.

5. Spread the word

Speak Up

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There are several other ways to help farm animals. You can always share what you have learned and educated yourself with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Consider expanding the audience by sharing through social media platforms. Another way of spreading the word is through adopting rescued farm animals or volunteering at farm animal sanctuaries.

You can learn and witness the possible cruelty and neglect and report to the animal care agency, local humane society, or law enforcement official. But, in the end, don’t forget to take value while traveling.

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay