Nutrition 101 by Chris Judd

A few observations of an old farmer of how mistakes in basic nutrition affect an animal’s health and performance and may similarly affect humans.
In grade ten agriculture a class taught by Mr. Stones, he told us that animal nutrition could be addressed in three parts; maintenance, production, and reproduction. Maintenance is just providing enough nutrients for the body to maintain its weight and size in a healthy state. Production includes extra nutrition needed for growth to adult size, production of milk, weight gain of beef, pork, poultry, or other animals, and nutrition for ability to run fast or do strenuous hard work.
Once these two needs are met, nutrients needed for reproduction and growth of the fetus must be provided. After a few short years and many mistakes working with animals, I learned that the correct way was the only way to feed animals to become healthy and profitable and that was to provide correct nutrition for whatever stage in growth, temperature, production, and reproduction that the animal was in.
This was where the waters got “muddied up” and maintenance, production, and reproduction needs had to be met for each individual animal and adjusted as their needs changed. Although rations had be balanced for protein, energy, fourteen essential amino acids, 10 different minerals, effective fibre, non-structured carbohydrates, DECAD, moisture, and vitamins; the balance of “effective fibre” and energy became the biggest challenge.

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