Handbook of general animal nutrition

Definition of Animal Nutrition:

Animal nutrition is made up of two words i.e. animal and nutrition. Dictionary means of animal is any living thing, other than a human being, that can feel and move or a creature with four legs, as distinct from a bird, a reptile, a fish or an insect. Examples are cattle, sheep, goat, horse, dogs and cat etc. In dictionary terms, nutrition is The series of processes by which an organism takes in and assimilates food for promoting growth and replacing worn or injured tissues.

Therefore, nutrition involves various chemical reactions and physiological processes, which transform foods into body tissues and activities. It involves the ingestion, digestion, and absorption of the various nutrients, their transport to all body cells, and the removal of unusable elements and waste products of metabolism So, animal nutrition is the science of nourishment of animals.

History of Animal Nutrition

Antoine Lavoisier was the foun!1er of the science of nutrition. He was the father of nutrition. He established the chemical basis of nutrition and stated that life is a chpmical process. He introduced the ~alance and thermameter int nu, ition studies and designed a calorimeter with Laplace. At the beginning, it was believed that nutritive value of food resided in a single aliments. But in early nineteen century it was proved wrong. William Prout reported that nutrient constituent of animal body were provided by three principals i.e. saccharine (carbohydrate), oily (lipid) and albuminous (protein).

In mid 19th century Chosset observed that pigeons on low calcium diet had poor bone development. The importance of other minerals like chlorine, magnesium, sodium, potassium and sulphur were also known during this period. In late 19th century Takaki observed that Beri-Beri disease can be prevented by dietary supplementation. All the vitamins were discovered during the period of 1910-1950.

Stephen M. Babcock conducted first feeding experiment with single plants. All the grain and forage were from either corn or wheat plants. It stimulated the use of the purified diet method, which resulted in discovery of vitamins. In 20th century various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and their role had been discovered. Various feeding standards indicating the requirements of various nutrients for various categories of livestock for different functions were established. Various non-conventional feeds were discovered as livestock feed.

Various economical and balanced rations were prepared for different categories of livestock. So a lot of work has been done in 20th century. Even than, there is a great scope for further improvement and new research in the field of animal nutrition in 21st century. For which a lot of research work is on progress at various research centers and dept.

of Animal Nutrition in various College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry throughout the country and abroad, with a hope of further improvement and new research in the field of animal nutrition which will benefit the society in many ways and full fill the objective to provide all essential nutrients in adequate amount and in optimum proportions at least cost of feeding to the animals.

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