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Fodder” refers to foods or forages given to the animals (including plants cut and carried to them), rather than that which they forage for themselves.
It includes hay, straw, silage, compressed and pelleted feeds, oils and mixed rations, and sprouted grains and legumes. Feed grains are the most important source of animal feed globally.
The amount of grain used to produce the same unit of meat varies substantially. According to an estimate reported by the BBC in 2008, “Cows and sheep need 8 kg of grain for every 1 kg of meat they produce, pigs about 4 kg.
The most efficient poultry units need a mere 1.6 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of chicken.” Farmed fish can also be fed on grain and use even less than poultry.
The two most important feed grains are maize and soybean, and the United States is by far the largest exporter of both, averaging about half of the global maize trade and 40% of the global soya trade in the years leading up the 2012 drought.
Other feed grains include wheat, oats, barley, and rice, among many others.Traditional sources of animal feed include household food scraps and the of food processing industries such as milling and brewing.
Material remaining from milling oil crops like peanuts, soy, and corn are important sources of fodder. Scraps fed to pigs are called slop, and those fed to chicken are called chicken scratch. Brewer’s spent grain is a byproduct of beer making that is widely used as animal feed.
A pelleted ration designed for horses Compound feed is fodder that is blended from various raw materials and additives.
These blends are formulated according to the specific requirements of the target animal. They are manufactured by feed compounders as meal type, pellets or crumbles.
The main ingredients used in commercially prepared feed are the feed grains, which include corn, soybeans, sorghum, oats, and barley. Compound feed may also include premixes, which may also be sold separately.
Premixes are of microingredients such as vitamins, minerals, chemical preservatives, antibiotics, fermentation products, and other ingredients that are purchased from premix companies, usually in form, for blending into commercial rations.
Because of the availability of these products, farmers who uses their own grain can formulate their own rations and be assured that their animals are getting the recommended levels of minerals and vitamins, although they are still subject to the Veterinary Feed Directive.
According to the American Feed Industry Association, as much as $20 billion worth of feed ingredients are purchased each year. These products range from grain mixes to orange rinds and beet pulps.
The feed industry is one of the most competitive businesses in the agricultural sector and is by far the largest purchaser of U.S. corn, feed grains, and soybean meal.
Tens of thousands of farmers with feed mills on their own farms are able to compete with huge conglomerates with national distribution.
Feed crops generated $23.2 billion in cash receipts on U.S. farms in 2001. At the same time, farmers spent a total of $24.5 billion on feed that year.
The Drug Availability Act 1996, passed during the Clinton era, was the first attempt in that country to regulate the use of medicated feed.
In 1997, in response of spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad disease, the United States and Canada banned a range of animal from cattle feed.
Feed bans in United States (2009) Canada (2007) expanded on this, prohibiting the use of potentially infectious tissue all animal and pet food and fertilizers