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Raising Animals for Beginners 

Feeding and Nutrition
Hay on field by Nalaka Daundaratne
NANURA Agri by Dona Nalaka Daundaratne. BSc, MAg and Jemegwa M.K

So, now that we chose which animals to breed, its time to develop a plan to feed them healthier, cost effective, specific to production goals, environment-friendly, best for the animal’s wellness and availability. Remember, these concepts and practices can be used with not just raising cattle but also with many other farm animals like pigs, goats, sheep, horses, and chicken with some exceptions that are specific to each kind.

Nalaka Daundaratne - cattle feeding for nutrition
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Cattle Farming Fundamentals

With proper knowledge, planning, and healthy practices, raising cattle alone or preferably with variety of animals can be highly productive, profitable, and beneficial in numerous ways. For example, they provide milk, beef, butter, cheese, leather, fertilizers, helps to plow to prepare ground for cultivation

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NANURA Agri by Dona Nalaka Daundaratne. BSc, MAg and Jemegwa M.K

Proper nutrition is paramount to animal’s health, development, reproduction effectivity, healthy lactation, etc. To explain, they require a sufficient amount of water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals continuously and consistently to maintain optimal growth and function which directly impacts the farming business.

cows grazing for nutrition by Nalaka Daundaratne and Jemegwa Malabe
NANURA Agri by Dona Nalaka Daundaratne. BSc, MAg and Jemegwa M.K

As we all need, water is an essential component that is needed to sustain life as well as all functions. Dehydrated cattle(animals) would feed less, show developmental issues, would get agitated, present issues with reproduction, and cause poorer lactation. Further, cattle prefer to drink cleaner water. So, it is important to make sure they have access to quality water supply consistently if to improve their water intake. Dona Nalaka Daundaratne and team have noticed that this factor is commonly neglected by some farmers when it comes to risk of poor hydration. Then, the energy required for all cellular and life functions are taken from carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Carbohydrates constitute around 60-70% of all feeding and fresher and young forage is a great source in a sustainable setting. In fact, make sure the hay or forage are not dried-off as they will lose a substantial amount of nutrients. Then again, we need to monitor the quality of intake and supplement the feeds according to deficits and nutritional needs. Today, corn is a great source of energy as well as protein. It can be incorporated to feed as seeds, corn by-products, as well as grazing on corn fields (winter times). We will specifically speak discuss more about feeds and options soon in this series. Protein is essential for growth, milk production, tissue health, reproduction and management of immunity. In addition, minerals are another important part of their nutritional requirement. They help with bone health, growth, development, reproduction, immunity, lactation, and many other biological functions. For example, Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Zn, Mn, and Iron are several we must pay attention and supplement according to their needs.

Sustainable Feed
farm animals grazing on field - Nalaka Daundaratne -NANURA Agriculture
NANURA Agri by Dona Nalaka Daundaratne. BSc, MAg and Jemegwa M.K

Feeding animals counts for the largest proportion of regular cost related to farming. Using pasture or grazing efficiently will lower a significant financial burden and give number of benefits to environment as well. Truly, quality pasture has all the nutritional requirements your livestock need. Grazing is a natural process that protects the environmental balance while keeping animals healthy and growing. Animals consumes grass, manure is spread giving carbon-based and nitrogenous natural fertilizers. This helps to manage optimal soil nutrients. Further, compared environmental hazard around dumping high concentrations of waste to environment and water by factory farms, this distribution of manure widely on a land will prevent such crisis.