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.
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List of animal feed supplements and additives
There are many different animal feed supplements and additives that can be used to improve the nutritional value of animal feeds and to promote the health and well-being of the animals. Some common examples include:
- Vitamins: Vitamins are essential nutrients that are necessary for the proper functioning of the animal’s body. Common feed additives include vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
- Minerals: Minerals are inorganic substances that are required by the animal’s body for various functions, such as building bones and maintaining muscle function. Common feed additives include calcium, phosphorus, and sodium.
- Amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are necessary for growth and repair in animals. Some common feed additives include lysine, methionine, and threonine.
- Enzymes: Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in the animal’s body and can improve the digestibility of feed. Some common feed additives include proteases, which break down protein, and phytases, which break down phytates in plant-based feeds.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are compounds that protect the animal’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Some common feed additives include vitamin E and selenium.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits to the animal when consumed. They can improve the balance of the animal’s gut microbiome and support immune function.
- Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the animal’s gut. They can help to improve the balance of the animal’s gut microbiome and support immune function.
It’s important to note that animal feed supplements and additives should be used with caution and only as directed by a veterinarian or a livestock nutritionist. Overuse or inappropriate use of feed additives can have negative consequences for the animal’s health
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 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-
- Aspartic Acid
- Glutamic Acid
- Glutamine (Glutamine)
- Valine (Valine)
According to the requirement, animal and bird minerals can be mainly divided into two categories. Macro-minerals and Micro-minerals.
Minerals that chickens require in large amounts are called macro-minerals. These minerals are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, and sulfur.
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.
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 binders are another important feed additive. It destroys all contaminants and germs in feed.
It destroys feed fungi and prevents mold growth in feed. It keeps feeding well for 2-3 months.
Read more: Proteins for animals & fish