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Terminology of Animal Nutrition
Comparative composition of plant and animal cells and tissues
Learn animal nutrition and feeding practices with Braimy – Agriculture
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Ad libitum: Feeding system where animals are given unlimited access to feed. Synonymous terms include full feeding, free choice, self-feeding.

Air- dry basis: Expression of the composition of feedstuffs. This may be actual i.e. referring to feed that is dried by means of natural air movement in the open or assumed dry matter content. Assumed to be 90% dry matter.

Animal Protein: Protein of animal origin derived from slaughterhouses, animal product processing plants that can be used as ingredients in feed mixtures.

Anti-nutrients: Some feed ingredients and potential feeds contain factors that inhibit the digestive process causing reduced growth, diarrhea or pasting. They limit the amount of some feed ingredients that can be added to the final feed. The anti-nutritional factors in some feed materials such as beans can be destroyed by heat treatment (cooking).

Anti-oxidant: A chemical compound that prevents oxidative rancidity of polyunsaturated fats; added to feed ingredients or feed mixtures for protection against oxidation.

Appetite: Desire to eat; could also be used to refer to the weight of feed dry matter consumed as a percentage of live weight.

As fed: refers to feed as normally fed to animals. The term “as collected” is used for materials which are normally not fed to animals i.e. faeces, urine.

Available Nutrient: A nutrient that can be digested, absorbed and used in the body for some useful purpose.

Average Daily Gain (ADG): The mean daily increase in the live weight of an animal.

Aflatoxin: These are group of closely related toxic substances produced by the fungi mostly in stored feedstuffs.

Balanced Daily Ration: A combination of feeds fed at a time or in portions at intervals, as will provide the essential nutrients in such amounts as will properly nourish an animal for a 24-hour period.

Balanced Ration: A combination of feeds that provides the essential nutrients in the proper amounts and proportions to adequately nourish a particular animal.

Biological Value: the usable proportion of the protein of a feed or feed mixture by an animal. It is a measure of protein quality. A protein that has a high biological value is said to be of good quality.

Blend: A mixture, such that, the constituent parts are rendered indistinguishable from one another.

By-product feeds: Secondary products from plant and animal processing and industrial manufacturing that may be used for animal feeding.

Cake (press cake): Material resulting as a by-product from the processing of oil seeds to remove oil using the mechanical or expeller method.

Calorie: amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 C used as a measure of feed energy.

Chaff: Glumes, husks, or other feed covering together with other plant parts, separated from seed in threshing or processing.

Commercial Feeds: Feeds mixed by commercial feed manufacturers that specialize in the business as opposed to home mixing.

Compaction: A condition when feed in the stomach and intestines of an animal becomes closely packed causing constipation and/ or digestive disturbances.

Complete Ration: All feedstuff (forages, grains, processed feeds etc.) combined in one feed mixture that is nutritionally adequate for a specific animal in a specific physiological state.

Concentrate: A class of feedstuff low in fiber (< 18% Crude Fiber)

Creep: An enclosure or feeder used for supplemental feeding of nursing young that excludes their dams.

Crop- residue: Portion of plant growth that remains after harvesting grain or seed crop e.g. Straws, stalks, husks, cobs etc.

Crude Fiber: Also known as dietary fiber, which includes lignin and non-starch polysaccharide and not digested by endogenous secretion.

Crude protein: The total protein including NPN in feed. It is determined by finding N content of feed and multiplied by 6.25.

Deficiency: Lack or shortage of one or more basic nutrients.

Diet: Feed ingredient or mixture of ingredients including water regularly offered to or consumed by an animal.

Digestibility: The proportion of feed that is not excreted in the faeces and, thus, assumed to be absorbed.

Digestion: Process of changing food to a form that can be absorbed from the digestive tract by the body tissues (mainly the intestines).

Diluent: an edible substance used to mix with and reduce the concentration of nutrients and/or additives to make them more acceptable to animals, safer to use and more capable of being mixed uniformly in a feed mixture.

Dry matter basis: an expression of the level of a nutrient contained in a feed on the basis that the material contains no moisture. Synonymous with 100% Dry matter basis, moisture free, Oven dry.

Digestible crude protein:  The amount of protein, which is digested and absorbed by body. Gross protein – faccal protein = DCP.

Digestible energy: Gross energy – Faecal energy

Digestibility co-efficient:  The portion of food, which has been absorbed in animal body and expressed in the percentage. For example, if cattle eat 10 kg hay containing 9 kg DM and excreted 4 kg DM in faceces, the digestibility co-efficient  would be 9-4 = 5/9 x 100 = 55.5%.

Energy feeds: feeds high in energy and low in fiber (< 18% Crude Fiber) e.g. Grains.

Expeller process: A process for the mechanical extraction of oil from oil seeds involving the use of a screw press.

Feed (feedstuff): Any naturally occurring material suitable for feeding animals.

Feed Additives: Non-nutritive products that improve animal performance or preserve feeds.

Feed conversion Efficiency: Measure of the efficiency of feed utilization. It is expressed as units of feed per unit of animal product – meat, milk or eggs.

Feeder’s Margin: Difference between the cost per unit weight of feeder animals and the selling price per unit weight of the same animals when finished.

Feeding Standards: Estimates of nutrient requirements for a specific function in a given environment.

Feedlot: A lot or plot of land on which animals are fed or finished for marketing.

Fibrous Feed: Feed high in cellulose and/ or lignin.9

Finish: To fatten a slaughter animal. The term may also refer to the degree of fatness of such an animal.

Flushing: The practice of feeding breeding animals more generously sometime before mating to improve fertility.

Fodder: Coarse feeds such as corn or Sorghum Stover.

Food: An edible material provide nutrient to the animal body after digestion.

Forage: Vegetative parts of plants fed to livestock in the fresh, dried or ensiled form.

Formula Feed: Feed mixture consisting of ingredients mixed and processed in specific proportions.

Free choice: A feeding system by which animals are given unlimited access to the separate components or groups of components constituting the diet.

Full Feed: A situation where animals are being offered as much feed as they will consume safely without going off-feed.

Gestation ration: Ration given to pregnant animals during the last trimester to provide for the additional nutrients needed for proper growth of the fetus and to keep the mother fit for optimum milk production on calving.

Grits: Coarsely ground grain, from which the bran and germ have been removed, usually screened to uniform particle size.

Gross energy: The total heat of combustion of a material produced in animal body.

Hulls: outer covering of dry grain or other seed, especially when dry.

Ingredient: Constituent feed of a feed mix

Metabolism: The process of utilization of nutrients and excretion of end product in the body. It os of two type:

  1. Catabolism: degradation of complex compound to simple material.
  2. Anabolism: It is the process in which complex compound are synthesized from simple substances.

Metabolizable energy: Digestible energy – energy losses in urine and methane production.

Nutrition: It is the science of food, nutrients and other substances, their action, interaction and balance relationship to health and disease; the process by which an organism assimilates, digest, absorb, transport, utilize and excrete waste product.

Nutrients: These are the components required in diet to permit normal functions of life.

Nitrogen free extract: Relatively soluble carbohydrate includes monosaccharide, disaccharide and some part of hemicelluloses.

Non-ruminant: The animals having single and simple stomach like pig, poultry, etc.

Ration: Supply of diet or food in correct rate for particular purpose.

Ruminant: Are animal having four compartmental stomach i.e. rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum such as cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, etc.

TDN: Refers to total digestible nutrients and indicate the relative energy value of a feed to an animal.

% TDN = A sum of % DCP + %DCF + % DNFE + % DEE x 2.25

Oxalate: It is toxic substance produced in gastro-intestinal tract of animal as insoluble Ca oxalate. Paddy straw and pusa giant Napier rich in oxalate causes Ca deficiency in cattle resulting poor milk production and growth.

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