Animal feed supplements and additives

Animal feed supplements and additives

Animal feed supplements and additives are important parts of the feed. Animal feed supplements directly increase the nutritional value of the feed. Animal feed additives do not directly increase the nutritional value of the feed but rather increase the quality of the feed.

Animal feed supplements

Ingredients that are used in small amounts in feed preparation and directly increase the nutritional value of the feed are called animal feed supplements. Although feed supplements are used in small amounts in animal feed, their importance is immense.

Useful supplements include various amino acids including methionine and lysine, various minerals including calcium and phosphorus, vitamin supplements, etc.

Amino acids

Amino acids are an important nutrient in animal feed. Animals obtain amino acids from the proteins in their feed. Different amino acid chains join together in peptide bonds to form proteins.

Cows, goats, ducks, chickens, and fish all get protein from their diet. And this protein contains amino acids. Cattle or chicken proteins absorb amino acids into the body. This acid is useful in all production including physical growth.

Not all protein supplements contain equal or balanced amounts of this acid. Protein quality depends on the number of amino acids. The protein which contains more and a balanced amount of amino acids is called the best quality protein. This acid is found in high and balanced levels of cornmeal and soybean.

A total of 20 amino acids are found in proteins. These are-

  1. Alanine
  2. Arginine
  3. Asparagine
  4. Aspartic Acid
  5. Cysteine
  6. Glutamic Acid
  7. Glutamine (Glutamine)
  8. Glycine
  9. Histidine
  10. Isoleucine
  11. Leucine
  12. Lysine
  13. Methionine
  14. Phenylalanine
  15. Proline
  16. Serine
  17. Threonine
  18. Tryptophan
  19. Tyrosine
  20. Valine (Valine)

Mineral supplements

According to the requirement, animal and bird minerals can be mainly divided into two categories. Macro-minerals and Micro-minerals.

Macro minerals

Minerals that chickens require in large amounts are called macro-minerals. These minerals are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, and sulfur.

Micro-minerals

Those minerals or minerals that are required in very small amounts in the chicken’s body are called micro minerals. Micro minerals are Manganese, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, and Selenium.

Animal Feed Additives

Animal feed additives are those ingredients that do not directly increase the nutritional value of the feed but rather increase the quality of the feed.

Some of the notable feed additives used in animal feed are enzymes, toxin binders, anti-oxidants, coccidiostats, etc. They do not directly increase the nutritional value of food. But by using them, the quality of food increases to a great extent.

Enzyme

The use of enzymes in animal feed can make the food easier to digest and provide proper nutrition to the animal. Examples of enzymes are protease, cellulase, phytase, pepsin, etc. All these enzymes are available separately and all together as multi-enzymes in the market.

Toxin binder

Toxin binders are another important feed additive. It destroys all contaminants and germs in feed.

Mold inhibitor

It destroys feed fungi and prevents mold growth in feed. It keeps feeding well for 2-3 months.

Read more: Proteins for animals & fish

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