The Importance of Animal Feed in the Livestock Industry in the Philippines
Proper animal nutrition gives your animals the power to grow, develop, and reproduce. In addition, it helps them be immune from infections and diseases. This is why livestock animals need a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients, fluids, minerals, and vitamins, leading to more productive and sustainable agriculture.
This is where the animal feed comes into the picture. Animal feeds are specifically created to provide all the vital nutrients that animals need so their body functions properly, and their health remains in excellent condition.
What is Animal Feed?
Animal feed is a food developed for livestock and poultry. They are produced by carefully selecting and blending ingredients that provide nutrients, which help maintain the health of the animals. In addition, animal feed aids in increasing the quality of such end products as meat, milk, or eggs.
Feeds for farmed livestock must satisfy both the needs of animals and the consumers of these animal products. For example, some animal feeds, such as pasture grasses, cereal grains, hay, and silage crops, are grown only for animals. On the other hand, other animal feeds, like sugar beet pulp and pineapple bran, remain by-products after processing a food crop for human use.
How Animal Feed is Made
Feed nutritionists formulate animal food to offer them the required, balanced nutrients for proper growth, development, and maintenance.
Feed mills have these four components in creating an animal feed:
• Raw Ingredients
More than 900 safe agricultural ingredients and coproducts are approved for utilization in animal feed in the Philippines. These may include corn, barley, cassava, oats, rice middling, wheat, probiotics, milk products, and many more.
Feed mills receive these raw ingredients from trusted suppliers. Upon arrival, they are weighed, tested, and analyzed to ensure their quality and safety.
After reviewing the raw ingredients, nutritionists work side-by-side with scientists to formulate healthy and balanced diets for livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and pets. The process of creating the formula is a complex one. After all, every species has different nutritional requirements.
Once the formula has been determined, the mill combines all these ingredients to create a finished product.
• Lab Testing and Assurance
Once the formula is created, nutritionists run it on a series of lab tests to ensure that products achieve a desired level of quality. The factors that nutritionists take into consideration of the animal feed formula include:
• Moisture content
• Fat quality and quantity
• Crude fiber
• Other nutrients
• Other quality indicators
• Package and Label
Manufacturers carefully determine the best way to ship the finished product. If this product is prepared for retail, it must be bagged with a label, including its purpose, ingredients, and instructions. However, if the product is ready for commercial use, it must be shipped in bulk.
Proper Animal Feeding in The Philippines
Animal feeding is a high priority in the country. Because of this, the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) published the Philippine National Standard (PNS) Code of Good Animal Feeding as per Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order No. 574.
This code is a guide that helps ensure food safety for human consumption through adherence to good animal feeding practices (GAFP) at the farm level.
In addition, the Code of Good Animal Feeding maintains good manufacturing practices (GMPs) during procurement, handling, storage, and distribution of animal feed and feed ingredients for food-producing animals.
The Different Types of Animal Feed in the Philippines
There are various kinds of animal feed. They are classified as follows:
This animal feed consists of dry grasses, which usually add bulk to animal feeds. Roughage is also known as fiber food for animals because it is an indigestible compound that the animal’s body cannot absorb.
This high-fiber animal diet provides various advantages, such as bowel regularity and decreased risk of developing constipation, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
There are three primary forms of roughages:
• Dry roughages. These include hay, straw, and artificially dry forages, which contain about 90% of dry matter.
• Silages. These are created from green forages, such as grass, alfalfa, sorghum, and corn. They are preserved in a silo at dry matter contents of 20% to 50%.
• Pastures. They provide forage with a high-water content and only 20% to 30% of dry matter.
Succulent animal feeds are very high in water content and are easily digested by animals. Most green crops can be utilized as succulent feeds when they are young.
These consist of:
• Roots and tubers, such as yam, cassava, and coconut yam
• Vegetables, including waterleaf and shoko
• Pasture grasses
• Green fresh grass
• Sugar cane molasses