Developing proper livestock feed is key for the health of your animals and the success of your venture. You should know the general categories or types of food that your flocks or herds might require. Use the following guide and talk to a feed store expert to ensure proper nutrition.
An Introduction to Livestock Feed
Forage is the plant matter that is grown specifically so animals can graze on it throughout the day. It can be a combination of legumes, grasses, corn, oats, alfalfa, clover, and other edible plants.
Roaming and grazing in pastures has many benefits. It is a form of exercise that keeps the animal healthy. Manure left behind also improves soil conditions and vegetation growth.
Even with proper pasture rotation and management, forage may not be enough to fulfill all of an animal’s nutritional needs. It’s often supplemented by one of the other types below.
Fodder is food that could be found in a pasture, but is brought to the animal, so they don’t have to graze.
Fodder can be many different types of livestock feed, including straw, silage, hay, pelleted feed, oils, sprouted grains, and legumes.
Globally, this is the most widely used type of animal feed. It’s used primarily for cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. Sometimes, meat and bone meal are mixed into the fodder, providing essential protein.
3. Compound Feed
Compound feed is the most common type of livestock feed used by commercial farmers in the United States. It’s fodder mixed with additives that are formulated specifically to satisfy the nutritional needs of the specific animal. They can be manufactured as pellets, crumbles, or high-energy liquids. The main ingredients are often corn, soybeans, oats, or barley.
Some of the additives in compound feed include premixes. Sometimes these are already in the feed, or they can be added separately. These can include vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, and chemical preservatives. These additives are intended to make sure the animal is healthy, strong, and good for farming.
Gregg Farm Services in Midway, AR, is the premier livestock feed and farm equipment supply store in the area. Their feed store receives weekly deliveries of raw materials, which their employees mix and flavor to create a custom house blend sold by the pound, bag, or ton. They can help you get the equipment or supplies you need — whether you’re a large commercial farmer or a home gardener. Visit their website to learn more about their feed products or call (870) 481-5165 to learn more.