Animal Feeding

Introduction :
Around 8000-9000 years ago B.C in Mesopotamia (today’s Southeast Turkey, near Syria) and Northeast Africa (today Sudan); Everything started humans intention to take 1-2 kilos of milk of a cow that produces for its baby. Sheep goats and other animals started to get domesticated after cattle.

Animal Breeding
Civilization has used many methods in order to achieve milk yield increase reaching to 40-50 kg per day and to increase the live weight gain 2-3 kg per day.
The most known methods of these are; various breeding methods such as pure breeding, inbreeding, crossbreeding, healing crossbreeding, combination crossbreeding, etc…

Importance of animal feeding;
In order to achieve such high yields (meat, milk, fleece, power, etc.) from animals, nutritional and maintenance conditions as well as animal breeding methods need to be improved.
One kg of extra milk produced, one kilogram of live weight gain or calf yield increases the nutrient requirement of the animal.

While nutrients are largely met with feed, the requirement for mineral matter is much higher.

Why are trace minerals important for animals?
All living things need minerals and vitamins in order to fulfill vital functions and to keep life alive. Sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals should be found in the animal’s feed for a couple of reason: The synthesis of hormones, the entry into the structure of some enzymes, and the control of their functioning.
In vitamins and mineral deficiencies, the function of the organism is degraded, the systems are delayed, the animals become vulnerable to diseases(white muscle disease, enzootic disease, etc…) appetite diminishes, growth and development deteriorate. Minerals and vitamins must be given to animals in order to protect both the health of the animals and to increase the required yield.


Minerals   Tissues
    Deficiency Limit Value Normal Value
Cobalt Serum vitamin B12 (pmol/l)      
  Sheep <200 200-350 >350
Copper Serum or plasma Cu (µmol/l)      
  Beef <4.5 4.5-9.0 9.5-15.0
  Liver Cu (ppm taze doku)      
  Sheep <16 16-32 32-300
Iodine PII ranges (mg/l)      
  Pregnant Cows <20; very low 21-50 51-79 >80
  Tiroksin T4 (nmol/l)      
  Beef 10 15 >20
Selenium GSHPx (unit /ml PCV @ 370C)      
  All ruminators <18 18.5-39 >40
  Serum or plasma Se (nmol/l)      
  All ruminators <130 130-250 >250
Zinc Serum veya plama Zn (µmol/l)      
  All ruminators <6.1 6.1-9.2 >12.3
Manganese Tam kan (mg/l)      
  All ruminators <20 20-70 >70

Illnesses that occur becacuse of mineral and vitamin deficiency

Task in the body Minerals and vitamins Diseases caused by deficiency
It enters the structure of the bone and teeth. Calcium Bone development deteriorates.
It forms bone tissue along with calcium. It is found in soft tissues and body fluids. Phosphorus Bone growth deteriorates, appetite decreases, yield decreases.
It provides conduction in the nerves and is necessary for enzymes and metabolism. It goes into the structure of bone tissue. Magnesium Meadow tetanus, weak bone texture and nervous related symptoms are seen.
It controls the basal metabolism and the sexual functions. It enters the thyroxine hormone structure. Iodine The reproductive system is adversely affected, deaths in the mother’s womb and goiter occurs.
It works in blood production. It is involved in the transport of oxygen. Iron Anemia and loss of appetite occur.
It enters the structure of many enzymes. It plays an active role in the skin, nail and reproductive system. Zinc Skin, hair (wool), and nail structure deteriorate. Reproduction is adversely affected.
It has an positive effect on muscle development. Selenium White muscle disease, abortions, deficient baby.
It provides the synthesis of vitamin B12, which is very important for digestion. Cobalt Low performance, impaired health, anemia and impaired ovarian function.
The building block of the enzyme. It works in all body tissues. Copper Anemia, diarrhea, developmental problems, paralytic birth in lambs and not showing estrus.
It is involved in the formation of bone tissue, enzyme activation and reproductive system. Manganese Disturbance in bone and muscles, fertility problems (no estrus, no fertilization, offspring, abnormal birth)
It is necessary for blood and other body fluids. It regulates the appetite and releases saliva. Sodium The appetite diminishes, growth slows, milk yield drops
It allows the development and renewal of nerve, bone and skin tissue. Vitamin – A Visual deficiency, deterioration of skin quality, developmental problems.
Provides healthy development of the skeletal system. Vitamin – D In the genes, the disruption of the development of bones (Rachitism), bone erosion in adults.
It has a protective mission in vein wall, blood, and in the tissues. Vitamin – E Muscle development disruption, muscle destruction and liver disorders.

How to calculate the daily nutrient and mineral needs of animals?
The daily nutritional need of animals is calculated by taking into account the following criteria.. 

1) The animal’s share of life: the need for this animal to survive. (In the growth and development of the body – in protecting the body temperature)
2) The yield of the animal is the average of the annual yields of daily, monthly and yearly yields. 
a) Milk yield
b) Meat yield 
c) Wool efficiency
d) Calf yield (The baby’s growing up in the womb.)
e) Extra physical activity yield: Load carrying ox, bulls, etc.
3) Animal wastes: It is the sum of the nutrients extracted from wastes such as Gaita (feces), urine, sweat, and tear.

Content of nutrient value and mineral substances in 1 kg of milk: 
Composition of milk:

Component Amount (g/1 kg)
Water 880,0
Dry matter 120,0
Protein 32
Fat 34
Lactose 47
Mineral substances 7,2

Daily nutrient requirement and mineral substance requirements of a 30-40 kg milk giving cow are apparent above.

What is the daily mineral intake requirements in animals?

The amounts of mineral substances that should be found in the daily diets of cattle and sheep are shown in the table below according to 1 kg feed.

Trace Elements Cattles
Cobalt 0.11 0.11
Copper 12 5-6
Iodine 0,5 in winter 
0.15 in summer
Manganese 40 40
Selenium 0.1 0.05-0.1
Zinc 40 40
Vitamin A 66-220 33-66 (iu/kg LW)
Vitamin D 6-10 6-10 (iu/kg LW)
Vitamin E 15 15

Can the daily mineral matter requirement in animals be covered with brittle and roughage feed?
If these animals were the first animals to be domesticated by humans, they could be. However, today’s animals mineral and vitamin needs are so high that the mineral substances and vitamins cannot be met with roughage and normal feed.

Element Total need


The maximum amount of minerals that a 12.5 kg/day feed eating animal can get
Co 1.375 0.875
Cu 150 100
I 6.25 2.5
Mn 500 625
Se 1.25 0.625
Zn 500 250

Obligation to give additional mineral substances to animals

As seen from the tables, it is not possible to meet the need for minerals simply by giving regular feed.

Live physiology knows what it needs the most.
An example we all know well is that the child with iron deficiency eats soil. Animals that lack minerals in livestock are trying to get rid of this deficiency by eating nylon cloth. Here, live physiology wants to eat the most suitable substance for its own self.

the maintenance methods with licking blocks/buckets: (free Choice) 
Many scientific studies have shown that the excess of some minerals can damage animal health as much as the lack of those minerals. If we consider factors such as individual differences among animals in intestinal absorption, it is impossible to estimate the daily mineral requirement. However, with licking blocks, animals intake the required minerals whenever they need it.