What Do Animals Consume?
Discover how to manage food and nutrition in zoos for pets, farm animals, and wildlife. This course covers animal foods, food components, food evaluation and digestibility for animals, food classification, and ration calculation.
Comment from a student in this course:
“I think it is absolutely brilliant. I have never come across such a friendly, helpful staff and am so enjoying my course. I will definitely recommend ACS to anybody who wants to study over the net.”
There are 10 lessons in this course:
- INTRODUCTION TO ANIMAL FOODS
- Terms and Definitions
- Groups of Foods
- Other Terms That Are Used
- Food Processing Terms
- FOOD COMPONENTS – CARBOHYDRATES AND FATS
- Carbohydrates as a Source Of Energy
- Fats and Oils
- Adipose Tissue Deposits in Animals
- Fat Deposits in Different Animals
- FOOD COMPONENTS – PROTEINS, MINERALS, AND TRACE ELEMENTS
- Composition of Proteins
- The Build Up Of Proteins
- Biological Value of Protein
- Protein Content of Foods
- The Function of Protein
- Feeding Urea to Ruminants
- Major Minerals
- Trace Elements
- EVALUATING FOODS AND DIGESTIBILITY
- Analysis of Feed Stuffs
- Calculating Digestibility
- Protein Value
- Energy Value
- Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods
- CLASSIFYING FOODS PART A
- Cereals and Cereal By-Products
- Brewing By-Products
- Grasses, Legumes and Succulents
- Other Succulent Foods
- Roughage, Hay, Silage and Dried Grass
- CLASSIFYING FOODS PART B
- Oil and Legume Seeds
- Oil Seeds and Their Products
- Legume Seeds
- CLASSIFYING FOODS PART C
- Fodder Trees and Animal Products
- Fodder Trees and Shrubs
- Animal Products
- CALCULATING RATIONS PART A
- The Object of Rationing
- Nutritional Requirements of the Animal
- Calculating a Maintenance Ration
- Cattle at Pasture
- Working Out Rations for a Herd
- CALCULATING RATIONS PART B
- Nutrient Requirements for a Dairy Cow
- Working Out the Total Requirements
- Feeding a Ration to Meet Nutrient Needs
- The Dairy Ration
- CALCULATING RATIONS PART C
- Ready Mix Feeds
- Using Protein Contents
- A Summary of Rationing
- Further Considerations in Rationing
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Using standard industry language, describe the variety of livestock feeds and feeding methods available for animal production.
- Describe the importance of energy foods in animal diets, including their sources and functions.
- Describe the function of the major nutritional groups in animal diets, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
- Describe the on-farm procedures for evaluating feeding, including feed selection and digestibility.
- Assess the nutritional content of pastures, including grasses, grains, and other edible plants, as well as their byproducts for animal feed.
- Discuss the dietary benefit of seeds, including oil seeds, legume seeds, and byproducts, as animal food sources.
- Assess the nutritional value of fodder plants, including trees and shrubs and their byproducts, as a food source in animal production.
- Establish appropriate feed rations for a farm animal maintenance programme.
- Examine the method(s) for determining appropriate feed rations in a farm animal production programme.
- In an animal production programme, assess the dietary value of protein.
- Describe the elements influencing feed ration composition in animal production.
What You Will Do
- Describe the significance of feed quality in cattle production.
- Explain the major dietary groups on which animal foods are based.
- Define at least fifteen words from the animal feed, feeding, and feed processing industries.
- Discuss the significance of water in animal nutrition.
- Explain three commercially available animal feeds, including their composition and appropriate applications.
- List at least five distinct carbohydrates that are important in animal production and their chemical names.
- Examine four different carbohydrates’ involvement in animal metabolism.
- List the major carbohydrate sources for at least four different types of farm animals.
- List at least five distinct fats that are crucial in animal production and their chemical names.
- Examine the patterns of fat deposition in three distinct animals.
- Describe the function of two distinct lipids in animal metabolism.
- List the major sources of fats and lipids in cattle diets.
- Describe the significance of proteins in animal production.
- Explain the chemical structure of naturally occurring proteins.
- List the protein sources that are typically utilised in feeds for two different types of farm animal species.
- Describe how the protein requirements of various animals varies.
- List the five most important vitamins for cattle nutrition.
- List five minerals important in animal nutrition, together with their source foods, required levels, physiological activities, and deficiency symptoms.
- List five trace elements that are important in cattle nutrition, including: *source foods *requirement levels *physiological functions *deficiency symptoms.
- Make a one-page graphic or table that compares the vitamin, mineral, protein, and trace element components of three different commercial animal diets.
- Describe the function and origin of three major commercial cattle nutrient supplements.
- Explain the ingredients of a specific animal feed.
- Differentiate between the ‘protein value’ and ‘energy value’ of two different animal feeds.
- Explain the term “digestibility” in relation to animal feed.
- Explain the methods for calculating the digestibility of animal diets.
- Do a digestibility calculation for a given feed.
- Explain two common approaches for evaluating animal feeding.
- Compare the composition, digestibility, and palatability of five different meals.
- Name at least five cereal and cereal byproduct feeds that are used in animal production.
- Explain the nutritional content of five cereals and cereal by-product feeds used in animal production.
- List at least five grasses and forage crops that are fed to farm animals.
- Explain the dietary value of five forage crops utilised in animal production, including grasses.
- List at least five harvested feed crops, such as hay, roughage, and silage, that are utilised as animal feeds.
- Describe the dietary value features of five harvested feed types utilised in animal production, including hays, roughage, and silage.
- Describe the nutritional value of a growing pasture on a farm you visited and observed.
- Compare the nutritional value of ten different pasture diets to farm animals, including cereals, grasses, hay, and byproducts.
- List four oil seeds (or their byproducts) that are used as animal feed.
- Describe how oil seeds (or their byproducts) are used as animal feed.
- List three legume seeds that are utilised as animal feed.
- As animal feed, assess the nutritional value of three different legume seeds.
- Take three tiny samples of oil seeds and three of legume seeds.
- Contrast the qualities of two separate oil seed species with the characteristics of two different legume seed species. – List five fodder plants (or their byproducts) that are utilised as animal feed.
- Provide advice on how to use three distinct fodder plant types as an animal feed source on a specific farm.
- Compare the nutritional value of three different types of fodder plants.
- Describe the goal of maintenance rationing in two different farm conditions that you have observed.
- Describe the changes in feed rations used to keep the same animal on two different farms.
- Explain the nutritional requirements of two distinct cattle species.
- Determine a’maintenance feed ration’ for a given farm animal.
- Create a maintenance feeding regimen for a herd of cattle or flock of sheep.
- Create three different types of animal feeds/rations, for three defined uses.
- Describe the concept of ‘production rations’ using examples.
- Describe the goal of production rationing in two different farm conditions that you have observed.
- Describe the differences in the production feed rations used to keep the same animal on two separate farms.
- Describe the dietary needs for a specific form of animal production.
- Determine a ‘production feed ration’ for a given farm animal.
- Create a production feeding plan for a herd of milking dairy cows at a specific location.
- Describe how ready-mix feeds can be used as protein supplements for farm animals in two scenarios.
- Determine the protein requirements of a production feed diet for a specific farm animal using two alternative ways.
- Describe the assumptions that go into calculating feed rations for farm animals in a given setting.
- Describe the rationing considerations for three different specific conditions, including food quality and palatability.
- Explain the role of acids in two distinct animal diets.
ANIMAL FEEDING IS NOT ALWAYS A SIMPLE PROCESS.
As with humans, the nutritional requirements of any animal will vary depending on the species, breed, location, daily routine (e.g. degree of exercise), and other factors.
Unless in extreme cases, such as protracted drought, animals in the wild have fewer eating issues than those in captivity. Their bodies adjust to the seasons and reproductive cycles. Domestic animals and animals in captivity, on the other hand, can be prone to eating disorders.
Activity Anorexia nervosa is a human mental health problem with some characteristics to anorexia nervosa. An animal suffering from this illness begins to reduce its food intake while increasing its exercise levels. If rats are provided access to an exercise wheel and food, they will have a healthy diet and exercise schedule. If their food is restricted but they have unfettered access to the exercise wheel, they may tend to eat less and exercise more, resulting in weight loss and, finally, death. This does not happen when the rats have limited access to the wheel and unlimited food supplies.
This type of research implies that the running behaviour is akin to rats’ natural foraging behaviour, thus as the rat begins to starve, its response is to look about for new food, and therefore the exercise wheel behaviour intensifies. This type of behaviour can also be observed in primates. Rhesus monkeys get hyperactive when their food supply is lowered over time.
While eating disorders can occur in humans, recognising an eating disorder in an animal is more difficult. We must identify whether the animal’s maladaptive eating behaviour is caused by a medical problem, medicine, behaviour, or diet.
Overeating – Certain animals will overeat, although this is due to their diet rather than an eating disorder. Owners may mistake a pet’s signals and believe it is asking for food, implying it is hungry. Dogs, on the other hand, may beg for food because it is a natural canine behaviour, not because they are hungry. If the owner continues to give in to the begging, the dog may grow overweight and its health may suffer. Dogs feed opportunistically. They do not stop eating because they are stuffed. Cats are a little bit different. Cats are born hunters. Yet, while they may hunt extensively, they do not typically eat excessively. Cats, on the other hand, can grow obese if they do not have to seek for food or if their food source is abundant.
Overeating can also be caused by medical illnesses such as Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism.
Some animals may undereat as well. It is understandable for a dog to miss a meal here and there, but going longer without eating can be dangerous for cats. Individuals are at risk of developing fatty liver disease or hepatic lipidosis. When this happens, the cat will actually starve to death by refusing more food.
Weight loss is often the first symptom of an illness, but it can also have behavioural causes. For example, if a family member dies, a pet may exhibit signs of grief, such as decreased appetite and social withdrawal.
Pica – some animals will consume “random objects”. This is referred to as pica. Pica behaviour is more common in dogs than in cats, yet cats can exhibit some forms of pica behaviour as well. Certain breeds, such as Siamese cats, are more susceptible to pica than others. Cats have been spotted chewing non-food items such as wool, plastic, and cardboard before consuming them. This is most common during the first two months of a cat’s existence and when they are introduced to a new home. One explanation is that this is a stress response to early weaning and separation from their mother and litter. Chewing wool could be a way for the cat to relax while it adjusts to its new surroundings.
Why Research Animal Nutrition and Feed?
You may need to learn about animal feed and nutrition requirements for a variety of reasons, including:
- To better care for your animal as a farmer or pet owner
- To look after the animals you work with (eg. in animal rescue, animal health care, a zoo, pet shop, etc)
- To produce or sell animal food products
This course can be a very beneficial learning experience for these or any other situation in which you are involved in delivering services or products to support the health and well-being of farm animals, pets, or wildlife.
What Should You Research?
Allow us to assist you in making the best decision for you!
- It is preferable to talk with someone prior to enrolling.
- We can assist you if we understand your interests, abilities, and goals.
- Have a plan to reach your objectives.