Feeding has a direct impact on the growth rate, production capacity and health status of the animal. It is key for profitable and sustainable farming.
The cost of feeding has long been recognised as the major cost and the largest cash expense in animal production. It has a direct impact on the growth rate and health status of the animal as well as its product quality. In addition, it also affects the environment.
Therefore, knowledge of animal nutrition is key for profitable and sustainable farming. Here is a summary of the best ways to feed livestock:
Livestock feed must always be stored in a safe place. Make sure that stored feed is protected from vermin, damp and any contamination. Use the FIFO (first-in, first-out) system when taking feed out of storage to feed the goats.
Provided food must be hygienic, and it should be presented hygienically so that every goat can share it. There should be adequate space for all the animals to eat at the same time to ensure your troughs are enough for this and also that the troughs are clean.
The most important part of the diet is good hay/roughage. It’s all about balance!
Make sure that a good percentage of the diet is coming from good quality forage.
Adequate green feed, vitamins, concentrates, minerals and freshwater are key to a balanced diet, which, in turn, is key to the success of livestock breeding.
Any change of feed habit must occur gradually. Do not be stingy on quality feed, as “good nutrition is half your breeding”.
Make sure the kids, calves and lambs consume colostrum without delay after being born. Feed them a good quality creep feed from early on to aid their development.
Availability of pure clean drinking water is a must for livestock always!
To ensure feed for all livestock, instil a routine (with farmworkers) so that no animal abstains from taking feed or gets fed inconsistently. Be time conscious!
A farmer must keep contaminated or soiled feed and water away from livestock and ensure it is disposed of properly.
- Additional information: Agribusiness Media