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Animal Feed: See, Touch, and Do

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Animal Feed:
See, Touch, and Do
A Hands-On Lesson Plan on the
Basics of Animal Feed and
Animal Nutrition
Animal Feed: See, Touch, and Do
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Exploring animal nutrition and the relationships
between feed ingredients in livestock diets
Pictures courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband,
Kansas State University, Swine Nutrition
and Management
The Role of an Animal Nutritionist
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An animal nutritionist:
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has a passion for animals and is an expert on animal feed and how the
feed is used by animals.
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has specialized training on how to make the best diet for either a
specific species (cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, cows, or horses) or group
of animals (ruminants or monogastric animals).
• Ruminants, such as cows, sheep, and goats, have a complex fourchambered stomach.
• Monogastric animals, such as dogs, chickens, and pigs, have a simple
single-chambered stomach. (People have monogastric stomachs, too.)
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makes sure the diet is balanced and meets the nutritional requirements
of the specific animal species or animal group.
The Role of an Animal Nutritionist
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Many animal nutritionists work with or in feed mills.
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The relationship between the nutritionists and the feed mill
operators and managers is very important.
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Communication between
these individuals is essential
to make sure appropriate
ingredients are selected and
correctly processed to meet
the animals’ nutritional
needs.
Kansas State University Animal Science Feed Mill
Picture courtesy of Dr. Crystal Groesbeck, Center for Veterinary
Medicine, FDA
Education Requirements
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Vary depending on the position
• A bachelor’s degree in animal science or a related field
is usually required.
• Some positions require a master’s degree or doctorate
in animal nutrition or a related field.
Careers Related to Animal Nutrition
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Animal Nutritionist
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formulates diets for pets, livestock, zoo animals and exotic pets, or fish
Laboratory Personnel
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makes sure feed ingredients and finished feed are properly manufactured
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Feed Mill Operator/Manager
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Nutrition Salesperson
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sells specific feed ingredients and finished feed
Animal Nutrition Consultant
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as a private consultant or for a large feed company
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Researcher in animal nutrition or animal science
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Teacher (agriculture, animal nutrition, or animal science)
A Career at a Drug Company
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Some drugs for livestock are given in the animals’ feed – this is
called “medicated feed.”
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Drug companies hire animal nutritionists to work in sales or research.
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Animal nutritionists working at a drug company:
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Research new drugs for making medicated feed;
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Figure out the best way to mix a new drug into animal feed; and
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Design methods to test the quality of new medicated feed products.
A Career in a Regulatory Agency
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes sure
animal feed, including livestock feed, pet food, and pet
treats, is:
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Pure and wholesome;
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Free of harmful substances; and
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Labeled appropriately and truthfully.
A Career in a Regulatory Agency
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For medicated feed for livestock, FDA makes sure:
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The feed is safe and effective for the animals; and
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It’s safe for people to eat food products (such as milk,
meat, and eggs) made from animals that ate the
medicated feed.
Animal nutritionists working at FDA evaluate animal feed
and medicated feed so the agency makes the best
regulatory and scientific decisions about these products.
FDA References on Animal
Feed and Medicated Feed
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FDA 101: Animal Feed
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm164473.htm
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FDA’s Role in Animal Health – Yes! No! Maybe So! – What FDA
Does and Does Not Regulate
FDA Veterinarian Newsletter, Issue 3, 2010
http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/FDAVeterinarianNewslet
ter/ucm235765.htm
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Animal Food & Feeds
http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/default.ht
m
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Animal Feed Regulations
http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiterac
y/ucm191891.htm
Basic Principles of Preparing Feed
for Pigs and Chickens
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Pigs and chickens are:
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Monogastric animals (have a simple single-chambered stomach)
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Eat similar diets
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Basic ingredients in pig and chicken diets are corn and
soybeans (soybean meal).
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Ingredients are processed and manufactured to be similar in
size (although not perfect).
Do You Eat Like a PIG?
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If YES, then you are eating a very healthy and balanced diet,
which contains all the nutrients that your body needs in the
most appropriate amounts to promote energy, growth, and
health.
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Pig diets are:
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Rich in whole grains, vitamins, and minerals; and
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Balanced for protein and energy.
Swine nutritionists formulate perfect pig diets – the pigs will
eat everything their bodies need every time they consume a
meal.
Why don’t we just feed pigs and
chickens whole corn?
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Pigs and chickens can eat whole corn, but grinding the corn is
better because:
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The nutrition within the corn kernel is better utilized (digested) if
ground.
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Mixing appropriately-sized ground corn into the feed prevents “feed
sorting” and ensures that the pigs and chickens eat the correct amount
of all ingredients in their feed.
• “Feed sorting” – if fed whole ingredients, pigs and chickens will pick out the
ingredients they like best and eat those first (like people picking out the
M&Ms in trail mix). Chickens have color preferences and will sort out the
yellow whole corn to eat first. Pigs also sort out their favorite ingredients.
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Ground corn helps produce high quality feed pellets.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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Break into groups of 3 or 4. Each student in the
group has a different cereal.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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Each student adds 1 cup of cereal to mixing
container.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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One student is the mixer – pick up and shake the
container for 15 seconds.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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After mixing, sort cereals back into the original
separate cereals. This is what animals do if
allowed to pick and choose what they want to eat.
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The cereals are fairly easy to sort.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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Take each cereal separately and smash into fine
particles.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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Mix cereals together again.
Activity 1: Particle Size
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Again, sort cereals back into the original separate
cereals.
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This sorting process is increasingly difficult when
the cereals are of similar size.
Do you need to grind all
feed ingredients?
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No, not all ingredients need to be ground.
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Some are already an appropriate size and
will mix nicely into the feed.
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Salt is already small and can be mixed
in “as is”
Feed sample collection
Picture courtesy of Dr. Crystal Groesbeck,
Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA
What size should the
ingredients be ground to?
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Particle size varies some across the animal nutrition industry.
Ideally, all ingredients in pig and chicken feed should be
similar in size to get the best mixture.
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Ingredients in pig and chicken feed
are normally ground to about
700 microns.
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400 microns is very small
(about the size of a piece of fine sand)
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1200 microns is relatively large
(about the size of the eye of a needle)
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700 microns is in the middle
Picture courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband, Kansas State
University, Swine Nutrition and Management
What size should the
ingredients be ground to?
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Why 700 microns?
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Animal nutritionists and feed mill operators chose
700 microns based on the amount of energy (money)
it costs to grind the ingredients and the best particle
size for each ingredient so it is best utilized by the
animal.
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Balance between cost and animal performance
(utilization).
Feed Handling Problems
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Animal nutritionists commonly deal with feed handling problems
when formulating livestock diets.
1)
Feed ingredients are ground too fine (small).
2)
Fat or another liquid product is added to the feed.
1)
When the ingredients are very small, the feed tends to pack
together.
What
2)
Happens
Added fat, which increases the moisture content, causes the
feed to pack together.
Typical
Causes
Packed feed has a hard time moving through the feeding system.
End
Result
Possible “out of feed” occurrence.
Feed Handling Problems –
An Example
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Think of an hourglass minute timer filled with
sand that comes with some board games:
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Timer is turned upside down.
Sand runs from top to bottom in 1 minute.
Sometimes, sand packs together and gets stuck.
Timer must be shaken to restart flow.
When feed packs together, it stops flowing
through the feeding system. The feed lines
or feeders may need to be agitated to restart
the flow.
Feed Handling Problems –
“Out of Feed” Occurrences
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A growing and developing livestock animal
should have constant access to feed.
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Animal nutrition industry wants to prevent all
“out of feed” occurrences.
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Animal nutritionists work hard to formulate diets
that won’t pack together and result in feed
handling problems.
Feed Handling Problems
Feed packing together in
the base of a bulk feed bin
where the feed is stored.
Normally, the feed moves
from the bulk feed bin into
feed lines and then into
feeders.
Picture courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband,
Kansas State University, Swine Nutrition
and Management
Feed Handling Problems
Feed packing together in
the middle of a feeder,
forming holes (like caves)
on the sides. The pigs
struggle to reach the feed.
Picture courtesy of Dr. Crystal Groesbeck,
Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA
How is the feed ground?
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Animal nutrition industry uses either a hammermill
or roller mill to grind feed ingredients.
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Roller mill grinding produces particles that are
more uniform and round in shape.
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Hammermill grinding produces particles that are
more irregular in shape.
Feed Mill Equipment for
Grinding Feed Ingredients
Hammermill
Roller Mill
Kansas State University Grain Science Feed Mill
Pictures courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband, Kansas State University,
Swine Nutrition and Management
Helpful Websites
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http://www.feedmachinery.com
Kansas State University Grain Science and Industry
http://www.grains.ksu.edu/
Feed line moving feed to individual
pig feeders.
Picture courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband, Kansas State
University, Swine Nutrition and Management
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Break into groups of 3 or 4.
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Build a cup-shaped castle with dry (“as is”) sand and
another castle with rocks or marbles.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Sandcastle holds shape better than the rock or
marble castle.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Make a castle with rocks and one with marbles.
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See how the rocks stack together better than the
marbles because of their irregular shapes (not all
rocks are the same shape).
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Because of the uniformly round shape of the
marbles, they don’t pack together. Instead, they
roll off each other.
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Same principle applies to animal feed – the more
uniform and round the ingredients, the less likely
the feed will pack together. This decreases the
chance of feed handling problems.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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For a feed that is fine (small) in particle size, it’s
better to have a more uniform, round shape.
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Tendency of the small particles to pack together (like
sand) is offset by their uniform, round shape which
causes the particles to not pack together and roll off
each other (like marbles).
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Proper balance between size and shape reduces
feed handling problems.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Add a small amount of water to the cup of sand
and the cup of rocks or marbles.
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Make castles again.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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Water makes the sandcastle hold together even
better, while the rocks or marbles still roll off
each other.
Activity 2: Particle Size and Shape
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The sand with water is a perfect example of what
really fine grinding and added fat (moisture) will
do in feed lines and feeders.
Conclusion
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Animal nutritionists use their expert knowledge of particle size
and shape and other properties of the feed ingredients to
formulate livestock diets that:
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Maximize animal health and performance;
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Prevent feed sorting; and
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Prevent feed handling problems.
The perfect pig feeder: a little feed
in the bottom of the pan for the pigs
to eat.
Picture courtesy of Dr. Robert Goodband, Kansas State
University, Swine Nutrition and Management
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