One of the essential farming requirements for a livestock farmer is stock feed. Animals require the right quality and quantity of stock feed to be fully productive. Below are various types of stock feed that every farmer should consider.
Forage. Forage refers to plant material that animals feed on while grazing. It may include grass, legumes and shrubs available at the grazing fields.
Fodder. This refers to food such as silage, hay and legumes that is fed directly to animals.
Compound feeds. This is fodder that is processed into pellets or crumble. Most manufacturers add supplements to boost the nutritional content of their compound feeds.
One of the primary determinants when selecting stock feed is the type of livestock a farmer keeps. Below are the food requirements for various kinds of animals.
Cows. Cows are ruminants and hence benefit immensely from pasture. Dairy cattle may require supplements including compound feeds, legumes and silage to improve milk production.
Goats. Goats are browsers and grazers. They enjoy feeding on shrubs, herbs and grass. Grain feed, kitchen scraps and hay can help increase the nutrients in the goat's diet.
Horses. Just like cows, horses do well with pasture. Hay and grain feed are also suitable food if pasture is not available.
Pigs. Pigs have a single stomach which makes them unable to digest fibres. They do well with compound feeds or homemade feed. Fruits and vegetables are not only a source of nutrients for pigs, but they also provide roughage.
Chickens. Chicken diet consists of specially formulated compound feeds depending on the chicken's life stage. They also feed on grains, vegetables and shell grit.
Other considerations that a farmer should make when choosing stock feed include:
Quality of stock feed.
You have to ensure that the stock feed is of high quality. Ensure that the company you buy stock feed from has a good reputation among other farmers. Your pasture should consist of grass and legumes with high nutritional value.
Costs are an important consideration since most people practice farming to earn a profit. As a farmer, you have to cut your costs without compromising the quality of stock feed. For instance, you can stock up feed such as silage and hay for use in dry seasons and winter if you think the prices of feed will go up.
The primary considerations farmers make when choosing stock feed are the type of animal to be fed, the quality of stock feed, and the cost of acquiring the feed.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Joe. Growing up on a farm was the perfect life for me as a kid. I loved to run around, spend time quietly, work on equipment and watch the process of plants growing. I even enjoyed helping my mum with the books as I got older. Now, however, I'm not involved in the day-to-day routines of a farm. Instead, I live a pretty "standard" city life, but I still love to write about it and do whatever gardening I can in my small flat. When I'm not writing or pining after moving back to the country, you can find me watching classic films, reading or jogging.