CATTLE FEED AVAILABLE AT PRESENT
Cattle Feed is primarily two types, Fodder, and Forage. Fodder further is divided into two types, Dry fodder (hay, straw) and Green fodder (legume, cereal, grass, tree). Feeding System for cattle in India primarily comprises of low-nutritive value forage. This kind of feed is not always able to meet the nutritional requirements of animals. Therefore, a balanced mixture of concentrate ingredients, which varies in composition in accordance with the animal type, season, region, etc. is given to cattle in various forms like pellets, mash, cubes, or crumbles. Such a mixture is known as Compound Cattle Feed.
According to NDDB, the livestock feeding systems in India is categorized into six major types:
- Dry Fodder + Compound Feed + Concentrate Feed
- Dry Fodder + Green Fodder + Compound Feed + Concentrate Feed
- Dry Fodder + Homemade Concentrate Mix + Grazing
- Green Fodder + Compound Feed + Concentrate Feed
- Silage + Dry Fodder + Concentrate Feed
- Silage + Compound Feed + Concentrate Feed
Main ingredients of cattle feed are:
- Grains (Maize, Sorghum, Wheat, Rice, Oats, Barley, Ragi, Millets)
- Brans (De-oiled Rice bran, rice polish, wheat, maize bran)
- Protein Meals/Cakes (Rapeseed, Cottonseed, soyabean, groundnut, coconut, palm kernel, sesame, linseed, sunflower, maize germ, maize gluten, safflower, guar)
- Chunnels (Guar, tur, urad, moong, gram & chunnies)
- Agro-industrial (Molasses, babul chunni, tamarind seed powder)
- Minerals & Vitamins (Mineral mixture, calcite powder, common salt, di-calcium phosphate, vitamins A, D & E)
FEED & FODDER PRODUCTION METHOD AT FARM LEVEL
Feed & Fodder production on farm has to be done with utmost care and precision. Basic steps to follow for high quality feed that meets the safety standards is sequenced below:
- Production Plan
- Specification for materials
- Purchase of the materials
- Receipt & Inspection of materials
The following components should be considered wisely:
- Feed Ingredients– It is not possible to produce high quality feed with low quality ingredients. The grains used should be free from both biological and chemical contaminants.
- Formulation– It becomes very important that the feed formulations are accurate. Laboratory assistance for feed grains analysis should be taken, as, this would ensure nutritional value of the feed and would also not hamper animal performance.
- Equipment– The mixing equipment should be clean and should be stored in good conditions. While mixing, proper mixing should be ensured while keeping check on the amount of materials being used. Cross-contamination should be avoided if certain drugs are being used for some batch of feed.
- Adding Ingredients– Batch Processing should be preferred over Continuous Flow. Batch Processing ensures even mixing of the feed.
- Quality Control– Laboratory analysis of the feed should be done timely by sampling and analysis method.
- Labelling and Storage– Labels with Proper Instruction of use should be present. The storage of the feed should be in a clean, dry and well-ventilated place.
- Maintaining Records– Inventory Management plays a pivotal role here. Also the master batch should be maintained properly with mixing instructions.
People involved in the Management should be updated with all technological developments. They should also be well aware of the Industrial Standards and National Regulations.
COMMON FERTILIZERS / INSECTICIDES USED
Some of the Common Fertilizers used are: Urea, Single Super Phosphate, Muriate of Potash (60% K as K2O) and Potash.
Some of the Common Insecticides used are: Carbaryl, Carbofuran, Dimethoate, Malathion, Quinalphos, Metalxyl-M, Sulphur, Zineb, etc.
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF CONTAMINATED FEED & FODDER ON MILK QUALITY OF DAIRY CATTLE
Given below are some of the defects in the milk quality due to microbial contaminants in feed and fodder:
- High Concentration of Free Fatty Acids leading to undesirable flavors- Pseudomonas fragi P. fluorescens
- Fat Destabilization leading to precipitation when milk is added to hot beverages- Bacillus spp.
- Reduces shelf life of Milk and Bitter and soapy flavor- Psychotropic Pseudomonas spp.
HARMFUL EFFECTS ON ANIMAL HEALTH
Some of the harmful effects of contaminated cattle feed on animal health is given below:
- Organophosphates– hyper salivation, vomiting, dyspnea, seizures and severe depression
- Sulphur- Irritation, discomfort, blistering and rare deaths
- Carbamates- Abdominal Cramping, vomiting, diarrhea and even paralysis in worst conditions
- Solvents and Emulsifiers used for preparation of liquid insecticides- Acetone- GI irritation, narcosis, kidney and liver damage Isopropyl Alcohol- GI Pain, vomiting, CNS depressionMethanol- Gastric Pain, reflex hyper excitability, convulsions
SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE CATTLE FEED
- Quality Control– it begins with the purchase of the raw material for feed production, till the consumption of the feed by the cattle.
- Check on contaminant level– preventing feed contamination at source, appropriate use of technology while productions, handling and storage. De-contamination should also be done vigorously if feed is contaminated.
- Quality Standards– there are times where the standard can only be met under laboratory analysis. So, expert help should always be taken.
- Adjusting supplementary feed with water and other fodder should also be taken care of.
- Animal under medicated feed should be identified and proper check should be maintained on what the cattle eats. Contact with toxic plants should be strictly prohibited.
BEST PRACTICES THAT CAN BE FOLLOWED
Elements of the best practices include:
- Feed Production site– Should be studied before starting the feed production
- Fertilizer residue control– Proper information regarding the raw materials should be recognized before purchasing the material. It should meet the safety quality standards.
- Personnel Training– On-farm people should be technologically sound.
- Feed Distribution– Care should be taken for the amount of feed given to each cattle considering its age, health condition and medicinal requirements.
- Health of the Cattle– Unusual health symptoms maybe be directly related to feed. So, one should be vigilant about it.