Animal feed needs to meet the requirements of the animal.
For cattle, it must contain a certain structure to keep the stomach healthy, and for all animals, it must contain dry matter, various groups of nutrients, minerals, and trace elements. The feeds should not be moldy or mixed with dirt and soil nor contain poisonous ingredients (for example, pesticides or herbicides on crop residues).
The composition of feeds in a ratio depends on the type of animals being fed and their stage of production.
Cattle and goats, being ruminants, are better equipped to digest crude fiber than pigs or chickens. Young animals need more protein than adult animals, while animals in milk need a higher protein content ratio than non-lactating animals.
Generally, animals must have a ratio containing:
- Energy (from carbohydrates and fats) to maintain the body and produce (milk, meat, work). The carbohydrates and fats not needed for production are converted to fat and stored in the body.
- Protein is needed for body-building (growth) and maintenance as well as milk production. Without protein, there would be nobody to gain weight or milk production. Excess protein is converted to urea and fat
- Minerals help in bodybuilding as well as in the biological regulation of growth and reproduction. They are also a major source of nutrients in milk.
- Vitamins help regulate the biological processes in the body and become a source of nutrients in milk
- Water helps all over in bodybuilding, heat regulation, biological processes as well as a large constituent of milk production as well as eggs.