The feed formulation is the most important part of the feed program. It is designed to supply the nutrients required by the animal as efficiently as possible. A well-balanced ration will give maximum performance, high production, and low cost per pound of gain.

The major nutrients in feed are carbohydrates, protein, fat and minerals, and vitamins. The carbohydrate found in feeds comes from starch and sugars, which are broken down into glucose. Glucose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and used immediately by tissues such as muscle cells for energy production. Protein contains nitrogenous compounds that are essential for growth and reproduction. Fat provides energy but little else; however, it helps to improve the palatability of rations. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and sodium are essential for body metabolism and growth. Vitamins are essential for normal metabolism; however, they can be synthesized by animals if their requirements are not met in their diet.

A low-cost feed formulation could be provided through a combination of ingredients that can provide high-quality nutrition at a low cost per pound of gain.

Feeding is the major cost of livestock production. Farmers need to know how much feed their animals need and when, as well as how to make it stretch further. Feed formulation is the process of creating a mixture of grains, oil seeds, and other ingredients that provides all the nutrients required by an animal at a given stage of life.

Feeding is the major cost of livestock production.

Feeding is the major cost of livestock production. Therefore, it is necessary to develop low-cost feed formulations for livestock animals.

The research was conducted at the Livestock Research Station (LRS), University of Agriculture Peshawar, on low-cost dry concentrate diets for growing beef cattle and buffalo calves with an aim to identify their performance under different levels of crude protein (CP) and dietary metabolizable energy (DE).

The results showed that CP level had no significant effect on weight gain along with body composition except dressing percentage while DE had significant effects on daily live weight gain (DGWG) as well as carcass characteristics such as dressing percentage, yield grade, marbling score, and back fat depth. The highest DGWG was observed when buffalo calves were fed with a 15% CP diet; however, excessive supplementation of DE in diets resulted in lower intake which in turn adversely affected growth performance negatively resulting in a higher mortality rate among steers than buffaloes due to health problems like diarrhea etcetera

Formula feed or mixed feed needs to be balanced in terms of their nutritional content.

The feed needs to be balanced in terms of its nutritional content. The nutrients need to be in the right proportions so that the animals can grow, gain weight and maintain good health. This is especially important if you are feeding young animals or pregnant females because they need more nutrients than other livestock.

Farmers need to know the sources of nutrients available on their farms.

You should know the sources of nutrients available on your farm. Many farms have a mix of crops and pasture, so they need to be able to determine what feed ingredients are available on the farm and how they can be used.

Feed ingredients that are in short supply should be purchased.

  • If livestock producer finds that they need to purchase feed ingredients that are in short supply, they should try to keep the cost as low as possible by buying the ingredient at a time when demand is highest and prices are at their lowest.
  • For example, if you see your local feed store selling corn for $200 per ton and you think it will be hard to find come wintertime, then buy all of their corn now and store it for later use.

Farmers should identify aspects of local feed production and processing that can generate income for farmers and reduce risks associated with market transactions for livestock products.

Farmers should identify aspects of local feed production and processing that can generate income for farmers and reduce risks associated with market transactions for livestock products.

Feed is a necessary input in the production of livestock, poultry, fish, and aquaculture products. However, at present most of the feed required to produce these commodities is imported. In some cases this may be because local varieties are not adapted to production conditions in Zambia; in other cases, it could be due to capacity constraints or a lack of alternatives available locally (e.g., high cost or unavailability). This means that farmers often have limited choice as regards what they purchase from approved suppliers/importers or other sources on their farms. The price paid by farmers for these commodities often does not reflect the full cost of producing them including machinery costs, storage facilities etcetera – resulting in low returns on investment despite high levels

Feed formulation results in a mixture containing all the required nutrients.

Feed formulation is a combination of ingredients that provides an animal with the nutrients it needs. Feed formulation results in a mixture containing all the required nutrients.

The farmer should be able to estimate the number of nutrients required by different classes of animals at different stages of life

It is also important to know the requirements of different classes of animals at different stages of life. For example, young animals require a higher proportion of protein than adults, and dry matter intake increases with age. Thus, it should be possible to estimate the number of nutrients required by different classes of animals at different stages and provide them with feed according to their needs.

Learn how to formulate your feeds to save costs

In order to save money, you need to learn how to formulate your feeds. This is different than just mixing together what you see in the store. You have to know exactly what ingredients are needed and how much of them you should use. To do this, we’ll look at some basic principles that will help us formulate our own mixes:

Forage And Feed Economics

  • Feed costs are a major part of your livestock enterprise. A high-quality diet can help make the difference between profit and loss, or between a good animal and one that is marginal. In fact, it is not uncommon for a poor feed conversion ratio to cost you 10% or more in weight gain per unit of feed consumed (i.e., if you feed 100 pounds of corn to get 50 pounds back on the scale, a 50% conversion, you may actually be losing money). To avoid this fate, maximize your profits by buying high-quality feeds at reasonable prices.
  • Compare prices among local suppliers before placing an order; shipping costs can be substantial due to fuel prices, so try to find a retailer who offers local delivery if possible. Learn how much different brands cost by checking online sources. You may also want to call several companies before placing your order; some vendors offer discounts for quantities over 20 bags (25 lb.), while others have “special” rates based on volume purchased annually rather than monthly orders made through email requests only.”

Major Limiting Nutrients Of Local Feeds

When we are looking for a feed formulation, the major limiting nutrients need to be taken into consideration. These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K).

The N-P-K of local feeds may vary from one location to another depending on soil type, rainfall pattern, and climatic conditions. For example:

  • The N content of maize is low while its P content is high. Thus it can be used as an exogenous source of P by adding dicalcium phosphate (DCP) in the ratio of 1:1. The DCP supplementation increases milk production significantly in dairy animals like cows and buffaloes but not sheep or goats due to their lower requirement for calcium (Ca). It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis in these animals by reducing their requirements for Ca intake.
  • Sorghum has a low N content with moderate amounts of P and K but it contains high levels of phytate which can reduce mineral absorption if fed without pre-treatment such as dehusking or soaking followed by cooking (Fernandez et al., 1998).

More About Limiting Nutrients

Adding other nutrients to a feed, such as vitamins and minerals, is also helpful. While some vitamins do not need to be added to the feed mix because they are synthesized in animals’ bodies during the digestion of certain foods (for example, vitamin B), others must be added because they are not found in sufficient amounts in the livestock’s diet (for example, vitamin E). Minerals also vary based on what you’re feeding your livestock. For example, if you’re feeding cows hay that was grown naturally without fertilizer and pesticides, you will likely not need to add any additional minerals to their diets.

Protein Supplementation

Protein supplementation is important to both dairy and beef cattle. It is a common practice in feedlot diets to increase the amount of protein fed as the animal’s weight increases. This helps to meet their nutritional needs and improve their growth performance. However, it also increases feed costs due to its high cost compared with other ingredients such as energy or minerals.

Protein supplementation should begin when animals reach 125 pounds of live weight at a rate of 0-20% depending on the type of animal (Dairy vs Beef). As an example, if you are feeding dairy cows that weigh about 1000 lbs live weight using a dry matter basis then you should add 1 pound per day for every 25 pounds of body weight up until 1000 lbs live weight then wean off slowly from their so that your final supplement mix would be roughly 80% roughage based products like haylage or silage plus 20% grain-based products such as corn & soybeans along with some minerals etc…

Important Nutrients To Be Aware Of

You may have heard that the cornerstone of good nutrition is a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is true in theory, but there are other factors to consider as well.

  • It’s important to feed your livestock a variety of nutrients so they can cover all their nutritional needs. Soil nutrients vary depending on where you live, which means different soil types will require different amounts of certain minerals. For example: if you’re growing crops in sandy soils with a low pH level (which means they don’t have much acidity), you’ll need more lime than someone who grows plants in loamy soil with a higher pH level (less acidity). The same goes for livestock, if your grazing animals eat only grasses that contain high levels of calcium and potassium, then it won’t be long before their bodies become deficient in other minerals like zinc or iodine. To ensure that all your animals get everything they need from their feed, be sure not only to choose an appropriate ratio between protein/carbohydrates/fats but also to mix up what type of feed you’re offering them over time so it includes all four major plant groups: legumes (beans), cereals (corn or wheat), oilseeds (sunflower seeds) and grasses (alfalfa).

How To Lower The Cost Of Feeding Your Animals

You can reduce the cost of feeding your livestock by following these steps:

  • Know your animal’s nutritional needs.
  • Consider cheaper or alternative feed sources. For example, corn is the most common grain fed to animals and can be found in many different forms, but it may be more expensive than some other grains like barley or oats. In some cases, it may even be cheaper to feed hay instead of grain as a protein source. There are also many different ways to get nutrients into animals’ diets, and they don’t all have to involve commercial supplements like vitamins and minerals. Just think outside the box on this one…

Feed is a substantial part of the cost of raising animals. It makes sense to do what you can to make the feed stretch further.

Feed is a substantial part of the cost of raising animals. It makes sense to do what you can to make the feed stretch further.

When designing your own feed, it’s important to understand that some ingredients are more expensive than others. For example, corn is usually cheaper than soybean meal but it has less protein per pound and will have an adverse effect on the ration if used for more than 50% of its weight in a ration. This is because soybean meal has high levels of protein (40%) and byproducts such as oil and fiber in addition to its high energy content (10%). The same goes for wheat middlings which are made up mostly of hulls and bran; these contain little nutrients other than fiber and energy value so they should not be used alone in rations where their replacement adds nothing except cost.

Development of Feeds and Feeding Standards

As a feed formulator, you should be aware of the nutritional requirements of each animal species. It is important to know what nutrients are required by animals and how much of each nutrient is needed. This will help you formulate feeds with optimum nutrient levels that can meet the needs of animals while minimizing waste and maximizing profitability.

The following section discusses some key nutrients that should be included in feed formulation, along with information on their sources, the amount required per unit weight (lb.) or liter (ml) of diet, cost per lb. and recommended maximum levels for poultry diets.

Cost of Feeding

The cost of feeding livestock is an important factor in determining the profitability of any enterprise. A farmer wants to know how much it will cost to feed his or her animals, then add a profit margin and compare that figure with the price they expect to get for the finished product, such as meat or eggs.

An old rule of thumb is that you should spend 10% of your total expenses on feed costs. Feed costs include ingredients as well as the labor involved in mixing and delivery, so this can be difficult to calculate precisely unless you have records from previous years that show how much was spent on feed each month or quarter (and when). The following are some basic formulas for estimating costs:

  • Cost per pound = Total weight ÷ Number units fed

Feed Formulation Techniques

Here are some general guidelines to follow when developing a low-cost feed formulation:

  • Provide a balanced diet. When feeding high-quality protein sources (such as soybean meal, fish meal, or meat), you need to add other ingredients in order to balance the amino acid content of your final product. Good sources of calcium include limestone, dicalcium phosphate, and molasses. Sugars such as molasses and dried distillers grains with solubles can be used for energy supplements.
  • Consider your local market conditions when designing a low-cost feed program. If you’re working in an area that is not very populated, or far from markets where consumers will buy your goods (like livestock), you’ll probably end up spending more money on transportation costs than if you were selling closer to urban centers where people live and shop for food products regularly, so think about this when developing your feed program.

Raw Materials for Cost-Effective Broiler Feeds in Nigeria

If you want to make cost-effective broiler feeds, there are some raw materials that can be used in their manufacture. These include:

  • Rice bran (Ricebran) – This can be derived from the rice milling process. The extraction of this product involves the removal of the husk or outer layer of the grain. The extracted bran contains some protein and oil, which may be further processed into feed ingredients.
  • Corn gluten meal (CGM) – This is extracted after a pretreatment process where corn flour is fermented with water and enzymes to produce an effluent with high protein content

The rationale for Animal Protein Sources in Broiler Diets

Animal protein sources are used in broiler diets to provide a complete and balanced diet. The sources of animal protein include meat meal, fish meal, blood meal, bone meal, and feather meal. Although these ingredients are expensive, they have been proven to be the best source of protein for broilers.

There are many benefits associated with using animal protein sources in feed formulation such as:

  • High digestibility
  • Higher nitrogen retention
  • Improved growth performance

The rationale for Maize Usage in Broiler Diets

Maize is the main ingredient of poultry diets as it can be used in many ways. Maize has a high nutritional value and its inclusion in broiler diets will help to improve growth performance and feed efficiency. The major benefits of maize include:

  • It improves digestibility which increases nutrient uptake from the diet.
  • It is an excellent source of energy that can replace expensive protein meals in broiler diets.
  • It enhances the palatability of feeds, thus improving the bird’s appetite.

The rationale for Soyabean Meal Usage in Broiler Diets Maize and soybean meal blends

Soybean meal usage in broiler diets has been debated for many years. Soybean meal contains a higher level of crude protein than maize, but the digestibility of soybean meal is lower because of its high fiber content. The reason is that soybean meal contains insoluble fibers that are not digested by the poultry and hence pass through the gut without being absorbed by the animal. In addition to this, some legume seeds such as bean flour and soya flour have a high carbohydrate content (20% – 40%). As a result of these components, soybeans tend to produce more heat when they are being digested by birds compared with other protein sources like poultry offal or fish meal. This explains why soybeans are often used in combination with maize because it helps reduce the heat production caused by feeding large amounts of soybeans alone.

Use of Sorghum as an Alternative to Maize in Broiler Diets in Nigeria

The use of sorghum as an alternative to maize in broiler diets has been the subject of much research over the years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of replacing maize with sorghum on the performance and carcass characteristics of broilers. A total of 240-day-old male Ross 308 chicks were randomly allotted into 8 groups, each containing 30 chicks, at 0 and 5 days after hatching (dah). Each group contained 3 replicates and each replicate contained 10 birds per treatment. The treatments were: T1 – control (maize); T2 – 50% replacement level [50%], i.e., a mixture containing 50% maize and 50% sorghum; T3 – 75% replacement level [75%] i.e., a mixture containing 75% maize and 25% sorghum; T4 – 100% replacement level [100%] i.e., a mixture containing 100 % sorghum only as grain source for feed formulation purposes during the 21-day experimental period at 0 dahs until slaughtering (5 dahs) for carcass evaluation purpose

Cassava or Sweet Potato as an Alternative to Maize in Broiler Diets in Nigeria

You can use cassava or sweet potato as an alternative to maize in broiler diets. These root crops are an excellent source of energy and protein, but they contain less fat than maize.

Feeding cassava can lead to reduced body weight gain, lower carcass yield, and poorer feed efficiency. This is due to its low digestibility compared with other cereal grains such as maize. But it should be noted that the inclusion level of cassava in broiler diets has not been thoroughly studied compared with other root crops such as sweet potatoes.

Nutritional Considerations for Low-cost Layers’ Diets in Nigeria

  • Dietary Protein and Amino acids
  • Dietary Fat
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Calcium, Phosphorus, and Sodium

Designated diets for layer feeds formulated at the lowest cost from local raw materials

Designated diets for layer feeds formulated at the lowest cost from local raw materials

Growing your own feed is one of the most economical ways to save money on your livestock’s diet. If you have the space and inclination, this book can be extremely helpful in guiding you through a range of options such as making your own grain mixes or using sprouts as an alternative source of protein.

Raw Materials for Cost-effective Layer Feeds in Nigeria

The main ingredients for cost-effective layer feeds are:

  • Rice husk: This is a by-product of milling operations and costs very little. However, it is not readily available in most countries.
  • Maize: This can be used as a substitute for rice husk or other bulky materials such as wheat bran, sesame hulls, etc. It has the advantage of being readily available at low cost and also provides a good source of protein when supplemented with fish meals or meat meals (Alamu et al., 1996). In Nigeria maize has been used successfully to replace rice husk in layer feed formulation (Nwankwo et al., 2007). The protein content of this ingredient is lower than that of rice husk but it still provides an adequate level of amino acids required by layers (Alamu et al., 1996).
  • Palm Kernel Cake: This ingredient may be either imported or locally produced from oil palm waste generated in the production mills; however, the latter option requires further processing before use because unprocessed cakes contain a high percentage of moisture content which could affect feed quality (Alamu et al., 1996).

Cassava/Sweet potato or Maize as Starch Sources

Cassava and sweet potato are the most commonly used starch sources in feed formulations for pigs, poultry, and ruminants. Cassava/sweet potato can be processed into different products such as pellets, meals, and flours. Cassava/sweet potato is an excellent source of energy, with approximately 7600-8000 kcal ME/kg on a dry matter basis for pigs and 9800-10300 kcal ME/kg for poultry. The protein content of cassava is very low (5 – 6 % on a dry matter basis) but it contains about 80% digestible starch. The use of cassava has been shown to improve growth performance in growing animals as well as improve weight gain during storage periods due to its high digestibility (Choctaw et al., 2002; Ogude & Oyediran, 2005). In addition, a combination of corn silage with cassava flour appears to be more effective than feeding either alone in terms of average daily weight gain and feed efficiencies in cattle-fed ad libitum diets supplemented with cottonseed cake or soybean meal thus making them useful ingredients when formulated into complete feeds (Nuwagaba et al., 2004).

You can feed your livestock well with locally available resources.

If you are reading this, you are probably in the process of feeding your livestock. You’re probably looking for ways to keep costs low while still ensuring that your animals are getting their nutritional needs met. Well, I have good news: there is no reason why you can’t feed your livestock well with locally available resources. You just need some knowledge and a little creativity.

In Conclusion

Feed formulation is the most cost-effective way to feed livestock. By understanding the nutritional needs of your animals and by using locally available resources, you can meet those needs at a lower cost than buying commercial feeds.

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