• Jin Gan

Nutrients Supplied By Feeds

When cows consume feeds, the major nutrients they extract from them are water, energy, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. These will have a major influence on cow performance.

1. Water

  • The body of dairy cow is composed of 70 - 75% water.

  • Milk is around 87% of water.

  • Water is not fed as much because it does not provide specific nutrient but it is crucial to regulate body temperature.

  • Water is involved in digestion, nutrient transfer, metabolism and waste removal.

2) Energy

  • Cows use energy to function.

  • Energy is a crucial requirement for milk production.

  • Energy determines milk yield and composition.

3) Protein

  • Protein helps to build and repair body's enzymes and hormones.

  • Protein is needed for basic metabolic process, growth and pregnancy.

  • Protein is also crucial for milk production.

  • Protein is made up of various amino acids which are building blocks for production of protein for milk, tissue growth and development of foetus during pregnancy.

4) Fibre

  • For efficient digestion, the rumen contents must be coarse with an open structure and this is best met by fibre in the diet.

  • Fibre contains most of the indigestible parts of the diets.

  • This will make sure cows chew its cud and salivates enough as saliva helps to buffer the rumen against sudden changes in acidity.

5) Vitamins

  • Vitamins are organic compounds that all animal require in small amounts.

  • At least 15 vitamins are essential for animals.

  • Vitamins are needed for many metabolic processes such as production of enzyme, bone formation, milk production and reproduction.

6) Minerals

  • Minerals are needed for teeth and bone formation, enzyme, nerve, muscle function, milk production, efficient utilisation of energy and protein.

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