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For proper development, growth, health, and economy, food for animals should contain all the necessary components like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins. The lack of any component is manifested by developmental delay, weak growth, and weak immunity. The basic mixture includes different types of cereals, but the most common one used is corn.
Corn contains B-complex vitamins, mostly B6. Corn also boasts its mineral composition. It is rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, copper, iron, and potassium. Corn is a dominating food used for farm animals and in a lot of cases, it is a base food.
In pigs, corn-based food is very well accepted and well consumed. The high acidity of this food contributes to the good health of the animal, without digestive problems caused by diet. The feeding of corn-based foods must be well mastered and coordinated, to meet a diet that meets the needs, without accumulating food that would remain unspent.
There are many mistakes in pig nutrition. The most common mistake is to give pigs extremely irrational and unbalanced meals, most often only with corn. This is most often done under the pretext that corn is enough to meet their needs. Corn provides big amounts of energy and is the bulk of their diet, but pigs need to be fed with balanced meals, enriched with dry food.
The food for pigs must meet their nutritional needs (protein, energy, essential and active substances), specific to the breeding phase. It must maintain intestinal health and support the proper physiological development of the gastrointestinal tract and natural defense mechanisms. Ensure a high level of health and resilience resulting in vital and healthy animals, while reducing the negative impact on the environment.
The use of corn as the main element in the diet effectively covers the high needs of a sow that breast-feed piglets. During calving, the piglets will be stronger, and the longevity of the sow will be improved.
In feeding horses, pasture and meadow grass have the greatest value, but sometimes their meals are composed of various cereals. Depending on the purpose and breed, horses are given smaller amounts of silage, a maximum of 10 kilograms a day, with gradual acclimation. Oats are a traditional cereal in the horse’s diet because they are the best-balanced cereals in terms of proteins, fat, and fibers.
Corn sometimes has a bad reputation as horse food for the right reasons. It is stiffer and heavier than oats, so by direct replacement in scales, it can be too much for the horse. In corn, all the ingredients are not well balanced for the horse. The starch from corn cannot be broken down and digested properly.
Corn can be given gradually to horses during heavy and medium-hard work. It can cause stomach dilatation, so it should not amount to more than 10-15% of meals for light breeds and 40% of meals for heavy breeds. The best way to feed a horse with corn is by crushing it and given in small amounts.
The sheep is known as a modest animal, which can be fed the roughest voluminous food with small amounts of strong fodder. Sheep can be kept in temporary housing, with more or less unfavorable conditions, while being able to produce very high-quality products, primarily meat, milk, and wool.
For sheep, the basic meal is voluminous food, and a smaller part of the meal is concentrated fodder – or mixtures. Of the voluminous feeds in the sheep’s diet, the most used are grass and corn silage. Of the concentrated (strong) feeds in the sheep’s diet, corn kernels, dry, ensiled corn kernels, ensiled corn cobs, barley, and oats are used.
Most farmers can make a mistake by using only corn in sheep’s diet. In addition to corn, it is recommended to give other ground grains, as well as grass.
Like sheep, goats are fed with voluminous food and can consume almost any green plant. An important feature in the diet of goats is that they are suitable for frequent meal changes. This has a beneficial effect on appetite, which increases, and production is higher.
Maize is the main fodder and has a high nutritional value. It contains 60-80% carbohydrates, and 5-8% digestible proteins, and 1 to 1.5% minerals.
Small grains and corn are a great source of energy for goats. But, too many gains can cause digestive disorders, primarily rustic acidosis. Goats must get used to easily digestible carbohydrates from grains for several days, and their amount in the meal should not exceed 35%. The use of corn silage should be done with maximum caution due to the possibility of digestive and metabolic disorders.
To meet the nutritional balance and prevent the risks of digestive pathology, it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount of starch that can be broken down in the cow’s stomach. Cows should be given a complete and balanced meal, in terms of protein-energy ratio.
Whole grain corn can be given when the grain moisture is higher than 30%. The grain must be crushed or comminuted when the moisture content of the grain is less than 30%. Rich in energy, corn is a good addition to meals intended for dairy cows, especially during the grazing period. Cows can consume 2 to 6 kg of corn per day, depending on the other ingredients that go into the meal.
Corn can serve as a supplement in a cow’s diet. Compared to other grains, it is low in protein but high in energy. Before feeding it should be ground, cracked, and rolled. Cows can eat everything, from grains to corn stalks. Because of their digestive system, they help farmers be more economical by eating every part of the plant.
Chickens meet their nutritional needs from concentrated feeds, and it is very important to harmonize the quantitative needs of all important nutrients and their ratio, to maintain great health. Corn is present in poultry food mixtures in the amount of up to 60% because it is the basic energy feed. It is also well digestible.
Corn is very useful because it’s rich in nutrients. It is a concentrated food, which contains all the vitamins and minerals, and other micronutrients that improve the productivity of chickens. Such food should be given to chickens daily.
Yellow corn contains both xanthophyll and carotene, which is very important for the color of egg yolk, skin, and adipose tissue of chickens.
Cereals are a traditional food source, and makeup to 75-80% of a duck’s diet, regardless of the season. The main rate when composing duck meals should be high in carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A high amount of carbohydrates and proteins provide ducks with enough energy.
Of the whole cereal varieties, corn contains little fiber, but easily meets the energy needs of ducks and contains carotene. Complex duck food can contain up to 50% corn kernels. If the mixtures are prepared for young animals, then the corn content is reduced by about 10%.
Corn is a leader in its supply of energy value. It contains a very small percentage of fat (about 2-3%). Preference should be given to yellow varieties with a high proportion of carotene, required for the synthesis of vitamin A. The protein content in corn is around 10%.
When turkeys are fed, their food must be balanced and contain certain nutritional values. Their food must be rich in protein and carbohydrates because they affect their development. Fats are the basis of energy, but their indicator in daily meals should not exceed 7 percent. For eggshell formation, they need to be fed with a moderate amount of calcium and phosphorus.
They need vitamins A, E, B, and C, because they are essential for development, immunity, and disease control. Meals with a lot of fiber improves their digestion. For building tissues, they need small amounts of salt, sugar, and minerals. In summer, turkeys should eat fresh corn, while in the winter they should eat canned corn.