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.
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.
Cows use energy to function.
Energy is a crucial requirement for milk production.
Energy determines milk yield and composition.
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.
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.
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.
Minerals are needed for teeth and bone formation, enzyme, nerve, muscle function, milk production, efficient utilisation of energy and protein.