Animal Feed Protein

Animal feed protein, an essential supplement for growth and production

Animal feed protein sources include both plant and animal proteins. The plant source of proteins include high-protein vegetable seeds like soybeans, canola, cottonseed, flaxseed (linseed), coconuts, oil palm, wheat, wheat germ, wheat bran, Wet brewer’s grain and peanuts (groundnuts), corn, flaxseed and sunflower seeds. Animal source of proteins, on the other hand have higher protein content and protein percentage and include lean beef, fish, dried liver, dried fish flakes, dried earthworm, earthworms, etc.

The vegetable seeds are first processed to be used as oil for human food and various industrial uses and after this the residues are marketed as animal feeds. It contains 20% to 50% of protein and 5% to less than 1% of fat. In case of peanuts and cottonseeds the shells or woody hulls are eliminated before processing. If these are not removed and left intact, then high fibre and remarkably lower protein and energy value is obtained in the resulting by-product. The protein quality of animal feed protein depends on the availability of amino acids present in it and the levels as well.

Protein is essential for animals for an efficient growth and production. The cereal grains, roughages and other low-protein feeds are animal feed protein sources that are used as supplements for protein and amino acids required by the animal body. The sources of protein for animal feeds are diverse and varied.

Among the plant protein sources soybean is a vital one and for the animal feed manufacture it is a preferred source providing high quality vegetable protein. As a by-product of oil extraction soybean meal is obtained containing 44% to 50% protein content with a balanced amino acid composition. This high-protein, high-energy feed is usually purchased in small lots as only small amounts are enough to meet the protein demands of livestock. Generally, for a single cow 1 to 2 pounds of soybean meal is sufficient to provide on a daily basis. Soybean hulls, the skins which are taken off seeds before processing for oil and meal are medium-protein feed and high-energy. Soy hulls are good as cow feed with no adverse effects.

Cottonseed is high in animal feed protein content. It is high energy as well because of its high fat content. But cottonseed should not be fed too high an amount as the fat present in it can affect the rumen bacteria adversely. For a mature cow up to 7 pounds of cottonseed is safe for a day.

Among the animal feed high protein Wet brewer’s grain is one. It is a medium energy feed. But in spite of being a high-protein grain, the main disadvantage with this crop is as it has a high content of moisture, the transportation cost is higher. There are related troubles of storage and feeding as well. The daily limit of providing Wet brewer’s grain per head is up to 40 pounds per day.

Wheat bran or midds contain moderately high protein and energy. It can be fed up to 8 pounds per head on a daily basis.

The best and most cost-effective animal feed protein supplement is the one that is able to provide all the nutrients required by the animals. Therefore, before choosing a supplement it is important to know the nutrient requirements of the livestock and determine what kind of supplements would serve the purpose the best.

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