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Sources of Animal Feeds

The components of feed that are absorbed and utilized in the bodies of animals after digestion are known as nutrients.

There are six classes of food nutrients which are needed by farm animals for growth and proper development these are

  • carbohydrate
  • protein
  • fat and oil
  • minerals
  • vitamins
  • water


This is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen combined in such a way that there are always twice as many atoms of hydrogen as there are of oxygen. They are energy producers. Carbohydrates are usually grouped into two namely sugars and non-sugar. Examples of sugar include glucose fructose sucrose maltose lactose and raffinose

The non-sugars include polysaccharides such as starch glycogen, cellulose dextrin and complex carbohydrates such as lignin is not a true carbohydrate.


  • Cereal grains like maize guinea corn, millet rice and wheat spent grains.
  • Root and tuber crops like cassava, yam, and potatoes cocoyam
  • Grasses and forages hay, silage molasses, plantain.

The cellulose and hemi-cellulose which are non – sugar constitute the main carbohydrate in grasses and forages. The hemic-cellulose and cellulose cannot be broken by digestive enzymes but are degraded by the micro–organisms e.g bacteria and protozoa; in the rumen, reticulum and caecum of ruminants.


These are complex nitrogenous compounds made up of carbon hydrogen oxygen and nitrogen. Some may contain small quantities of Sulphur, phosphorous and ion. Protein on hydrolysis, yield or broken down into smaller absorbable unit called amino acid. Some amino acids are regarded as essential because they must be supplied to the animals ration.

These includes:

  • Tryptophan
  • Histidine
  • Methionine
  • Arginine
  • Theonine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine
  • Lysine
  • Phenyl–alanine.

These are called essential amino acid. These amino acids cannot be synthesized by non-ruminant animals or produced at an adequate rate for growth or reproduction.

They have to be supplied in the diet for these animals. The non-essential amino acids are those that non-ruminants can synthesize in adequate amounts from other nitrogenous sources and therefore need no dietary supplementation

The non-essential amino acid include: (i) aspartic acid (ii) protein (iii) serine citrine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, glycine, hydroxyl proline, cysteine alanine etc.

In ruminant animals e.g cattle sheep and goats, the issue of essential or non–essential amino acids does not arise because they can synthesize the amino acids from both nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous sources including the microbes in their rumen.


Sources can be grouped into 3:

  1. Plant Protein
  • Toasted soya bean seeds or full fats soya
  • soya bean meal
  • palm kernel cake / meal
  • groundnut cake / meal
  • cashew nut meal
  • cotton seed meal
  • sunflower seed meal
  • Leguminous forage – Centrosema stylosanthes.
  1. Animal Protein

Sources of animal protein: these include fish meal blood meal meat meal and milk, feather meal, poultry offals termites, insects and earthworms.

  1. Synthetic Protein

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