Livestock Feed manufacturing refers to the process of producing animal feed from raw agricultural products. The Fodder produced by manufacturing is formulated to meet specific animal nutrition requirements for different species of animals at different life stages.
Most livestock farmers have one major goal in mind, and that is raising healthy and fat livestock.
Yes, livestock farmers want their herds to be fat so that they can be attractive to buyers as most livestock are sold based on their weights and how healthy they look. For the animals to be healthy, they must feed on good foods made with the right ingredients like whole wheat, bone meal, palm kernel cake, oyster shells and a lot of other ingredients.
Feed ingredients for livestock diets are selected for the nutrients they can provide, the absence of anti-nutritional or toxic factors, their palatability or effect on voluntary feed intake, and their cost.
The key nutrients that need to be supplied by the dietary ingredients are amino acids contained in proteins, vitamins and minerals. All life functions also require energy, obtained from starches, lipids and proteins.
Feed Raw Materials
Feed raw materials are broadly classified into:-
• Cereal Grains: The term “cereal gains” here includes cereal grains, cereal by-products and distillers dry grains with solubles (DDGS). Cereal grains are used mainly to satisfy the energy requirement of poultry. The dominant feed grain is corn, rice, Sorghum, wheat etc.
• Protein Meals: Protein is provided from both vegetable and animal sources, such as oilseed meals, legumes and abattoir and fish processing by-products. Vegetable protein sources usually come as meal or cake, the by-product of oilseed crops.
The main oilseed crops include soybean, rapeseed/canola, sunflower, palm kernel, copra, linseed peanut and sesame seed. After the oil is extracted, the remaining residue is used as feed ingredient. Oilseed meals make up 20-30% of a poultry diet.
The main animal protein sources used in livestock diets are meat meal, meat and bone meal, fish meal, poultry by-product meal, blood meal and feather meal.
Fats and Oils: Fats and oils, collectedly termed lipids, are regularly used in livestock feed to satisfy the energy need of the animal as lipids have more than twice the amount of ME compared with carbohydrates or proteins per kg weight. Lipids are also an important carrier for fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) as wells for the provision of an essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, in the diet. A variety of fats and oils are used in feed, including lipids of animal origins (usually fats, tallow, lard, except fish oil) and lipids of vegetable origin (usually oils, i.e., soy oil, canola/rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil).
In practical feed formulation, the level of lipids rarely exceeds 4% in compound feed. However, even a small decrease in digestibility can cost dearly in terms of dietary energy.
Minerals: Minerals are vital for normal growth and development in livestock, such as bone formation and body processes such as enzyme activation.
Some minerals such calcium and phosphorus are required in large quantities. For example, laying hens require between 3.5- 4% calcium, 0.3-0.4% available phosphorus and 0.2% sodium in their diets for egg production.
Other minerals, such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc, selenium, cobalt, iodine and molybdenum, are required in milligram quantities but deficiency of these minerals will lead to serious health problems in mild cases and death in severe cases.
Similarly, vitamins are essential for the body systems of poultry. Both fat soluble (A, D, E, K) and water soluble (biotin, choline, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and B12) are needed in the diet to maintain proper health and wellbeing of livestock.
Some vitamins and minerals are provided by most ingredients but the requirements for vitamins and minerals are generally met through premixes added to the diet.
Diets may also contain additives for specific purposes. These are discussed in more detail in the section on feed additives.
• Feed Additives: The diet of animals and humans contain a wide variety of additives. However, in livestock diets these additives are primarily included to improve the efficiency of the animal growth and/or laying capacity in poultry, prevent disease and improve feed utilization.
Any additives used in feed must be approved for use and then used as directed with respect to inclusion levels and duration of feeding. They are also specific for the type and age of animals being fed. Agric Zyme organic Agro inputs has been proven to be one of the best feed additives in livestock farming business.
• Miscellaneous Raw Materials, Such as Roots and Tubers.
There is a business to venture into in Nigeria with the estimation that Nigerian is to be raking in over N800 billion from this sector of Agribusiness as consumption of livestock is increasing daily. At present, the total supply of all the locally produced feedstock does not appear to be sufficient to meet demands. All most all the raw materials are locally sourced.