What can be more essential for your farm than taking care of your animals and their nutrition? Be it chickens, cattle or pigs, with inadequate nutrition, your livestock will not be able to thrive. They will suffer from serious diseases, and their growth and production may be hindered. However, it is easy to provide your livestock proper nutrition by carrying out little research, taking advice from a veterinarian, making use of water and feed tests, and keeping a close eye on what they are being fed.
Every animal species has distinct nutritional requirements; therefore, it is advised to consult with your veterinarian with regards to what diet must be given and what kind of imbalances can occur in their feed.
When choosing the feed for your farm livestock, always go for premium quality. It will never pay off if you try and save your money by buying poor/imbalanced feed. Here are a few things to avoid in the feed:
Mold or Dust: Having dust in the feed can result in severe bronchitis and pneumonia. Also, molds cause diseases related to bleeding problems.
Foul Odors from Diet: Our farm animals tend to get food poisoning from bacteria just like us humans. Foul-smelling diet indicates that the feed is not at par and will probably lack essential minerals and vitamins.
Ergot:It is fungal disease occurring on grass and grains. It can result in sloughing of your animal’s extremities and as you detect this disease in one of your animals, it would not take long until you observe that other animals have been affected too.
Determining Nutritional Imbalance:
The actual indications of nutritional imbalance in livestock are dependent on the nutrient. It is essential to bear in mind that any kind of overdose of minerals or vitamins can do more harm than good to the animals on your farm. Overdose or a deficiency can lead to extreme weakness and even death. The concept of more is not advised or beneficial when it comes to treating deficiency in your livestock.
Indicators of mineral imbalance in animals are unclear and are usually overlooked since they tend to show up slowly and you only come to know about it when your animal is not reproducing, laying eggs, not milking or simply going to die. The most typical symptoms of nutritional imbalances in your animals are:
- Hindered growth
- Inability to reproduce
- Decrease in production
- More prone to diseases
A lot of mineral imbalances in the body of your livestock result in neurological disorders like seizures, stiff muscles, changes in the color of their coat, loss of hair or tremors. Other subtle signs are impacted immunity, infertility, an increase in the number of sick animals on your farm and an increased number of animals having difficulty in getting pregnant.
Don’t Ignore Water:
A lot of farmers overlook the effect of water on their farm animals. Water contains a lot of minerals like molybdenum and sulphates that tend to bind the copper, thereby, thwarting its absorption by the livestock and resulting in copper deficiency. Increased level of sulphates can also lead to thiamin deficiency and ultimately a nervous breakdown. The amounts of minerals found in water vary on a yearly basis, just like they vary in feed and environmental conditions, such as drought can lead to mineral concentrations causing toxicity.
In case you are in doubt, get the water and feed tested. This would help you in saving a lot of money and keep your farm livestock happy, healthy and thriving.
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