Animal Nutrition

Notes from Prof. Araba Abdelilah, Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Rabat Morocco (email: a.araba@iav.ac.ma, a.araba@gmail.com)

prof-araba.jpg

Talking about animal nutrition means that we should consider nutrients provided by feed resources and those needed by the animal. These are: –
– energy
– protein
– minerals
– vitamins
– fiber
– water

The deficiency in any of these nutrients may affect the production (e.g. milk, meat, wool, etc), reproduction (e.g. age at first breeding, time between two consecutive births, etc) and health. That is why it is important to provide all the nutrients in adequate quantities and in a balanced manner.
Prof Dr Araba

The science of nutrition allows us to develop diets that fulfill in an appropriate way the requirements of the animals through the techniques of ration formulation. However, for those producers who are not trained to these technique, they can use the “Body Condition Score” as a tool to manage animal feeding. In this regard, there are five scores (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), where the score “1” is for thin cows and the score “5” for fat cows. These scores need to be used to appreciate at: –
– calving, lambing, etc
– peak of lactation
– mid lactation
– end of lactation
Professor Dr Araba

For example, at calving the cows should have a score of 3.5. This means that the cows should not be fat and should not be thin at the moment of calving.

After calving, the farmers should avoid a big drop in cows condition score. Research showed that a decrese in Body Condition Score higher than 1 score may affect milk production and the cows production. That is why it is important to well manage the transition period (3 weeks) before calving and 2 months after calving.

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One response to this post.

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