America’s feed companies are involved in a multi-billion dollar business directly concerned with the nutrition of the nation’s farm animals. Producing top-quality feed not only ensures maximum profitability for every major sector of the agriculture and livestock industries directly connected with animal nutrition but also top-quality food reaching American tables. This effort is a combination of complex scientific research and modern industrial production that supplies every farm from coast to coast with the highest grade stock from which America’s farm animals and poultry are fed.
Different Types Of Feed
Production of feed for livestock, poultry, and fish is governed by both state and federal law to ensure both animal and human safety, nutrition, and production quality. Animal feed falls into one of two broad classifications. The first is concentrates high in energy and composed of cereal grains, high-protein oil meals or by-products from sugar beet and sugarcane processing. The second, roughages, are formed from grasses, hay, silage, byproducts from root crops, straw and stover.
These two types of feeds are usually found in a mixed ration given to livestock to provide a balanced diet, particularly for grazing animals. Livestock kept in feedlots are usually fed with a high concentration of grains for increased energy and accelerated growth. The final composition of the ration varies from farm to farm and depends upon the objective of the particular operation to either maximize quick growth or long-term quality production.
The Manufacturing Process
The production of feedstock begins with grinding down the raw materials composing the feed to particle sizes that are the most digestible to animals. The proportions of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, proteins and additives are determined by the formulation for particular breeds. These ingredients are processed as pellets, homogenized, and further purified to remove any trace contaminants, and then sorted by size, formula, and intended breed before shipment and final packaging.
How Quality Is Maintained
Ultimately, the grade of feed is dependent entirely upon the quality of the raw materials included in the mixture of ingredients. Rigorous scientific and quality-control screening procedures are intended to guarantee that only top-grade material uncontaminated by either chemical or biological contaminants, or dirt or other contaminants, is passed along for production. Ensuring that ingredients remain unadulterated, prepared under proper sanitary conditions, and nutritionally wholesome, is key to the production of the highest quality feed stock going to farm animals.