Chapter 6 livestock nutrition
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Chapter 6 Livestock Nutrition. Vitamins, Feed Additives and Water. Objectives. Describe vitamins and feed additives. List sources of vitamins and feed additives. Describe the functions of vitamins, feed additives, and water.

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Chapter 6 livestock nutrition

Chapter 6 Livestock Nutrition

Vitamins, Feed Additives and Water


  • Describe vitamins and feed additives.

  • List sources of vitamins and feed additives.

  • Describe the functions of vitamins, feed additives, and water.

  • Describe deficiency symptoms caused by lack of vitamin in the ration.

  • Discuss the effects of feed additives in the ration.

  • Discuss regulations on the use of feed additives in the ration.

  • Discuss requirements for vitamins, feed additives and water.

Vitamins defined
Vitamins Defined

  • Vital to health, only needed in small amounts.

  • Required for normal growth and and maintenance of animal life.

  • Only small amounts are needed because they function as catalysts in metabolic processes.


  • There are 16 vitamins in animal nutrition that are essential.

  • They all have different chemical compositions.

  • Different from each other in specific functions, but are grouped together because they are all organic, essential in trace amounts.


  • During early research, they were designated by the letter of the alphabet in which they were discovered.

  • Vitamin B was actually a number of different substances, therefore they started using subscripts.

  • Today they are referred to either by letter designations or chemical names, the latter is used more often.


  • Some are soluble in water and fat.

  • Water soluble include B complex and C.

  • Fat soluble fats include A, D, E and K.

  • The solubility of a vitamin is related to its function in metabolism.

Ration considerations
Ration Considerations

  • Some vitamins can be synthesized in the body, therefore do not need to be added to a diet.

  • Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the animals body, reducing the need for daily supply.

  • Water soluble cannot be stored therefore need to be supplied on a daily basis.

Ration consideration
Ration Consideration

  • Vitamin content of feeds varies with the quality of feed.

  • A feed may contain an essential vitamin but it may have a low availability in metabolism.

  • It is generally recommended that vitamin premixes be used at the appropriate levels in livestock feeding to assure a ready supply of essential vitamins are available.

Ration considerations1
Ration Considerations

  • Specific vitamins have specific functions.

  • Involved in a number of metabolic processes and deficiency symptoms are an indication that basic metabolic processes in the body have been disturbed.

Vitamin a
Vitamin A

  • The product of the conversion in the animal’s body of carotene which is found in feeds.

  • True vitamin A is not found in feeds.

  • Because vitamin A is converted from carotene, the carotene is regarded as a precursor of vitamin A.

  • Beta-carotene is the standard used.

Vitamin a1
Vitamin A

  • Different animal species covert carotene to vitamin A at different rates.

  • When the feed source supplied enough carotene, the animal can usually meet its requirements for vitamin A from the diet.

Vit a functions
Vit A Functions

  • Normal maintenance of the eyes, membrane tissue, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nerve, and bone growth.

Vit a deficiency
Vit A Deficiency

  • Night blindness is a symptom of severe vitamin A.

  • Animals may become permanently blind because of a vitamin A deficiency.

  • Eye infections and constriction in the optic nerves can be less severe symptoms.

  • Excessive watering of eyes. Cornea ulcerations are indications of possible vit A deficiency.

Vitamin a deficiency
Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Keratinization of the epithelial tissue, which causes lowered resistance to infections is common with vitamin A deficiency.

  • Diarrhea, reduced appetite, poor growth and weight loss are also indicators of vit. A deficiency.

  • Reproductive problems, poor conception, reduced fertility in males, shortened gestation, retained placenta and still born can also be indicators.

Vitamin a sources
Vitamin A Sources

  • Carotene is found in good quality, fresh, green forages in amounts generally sufficient to supply the needs of livestock.

  • Green, leafy hays that have been in storage less than one year, legume hays, good qulity grass or legume silages.

  • Dried sun-cured forages contain less carotene.

  • Bleached, low quality forages have little carotene content.

  • Yellow corn is a good source of carotene.

Vitamin a sources1
Vitamin A Sources

  • Carotene content of forages in storage is reduced by exposure to the sun and air, high temperature and long storage times reduce content.

  • Mixing the feeds with oxidizing agents such as some minerals or organic acids will also reduce content.

Vitamin a storage
Vitamin A storage

  • Stored in the liver and fatty tissues of the body.

  • The animal can use this stored vitamin A during periods of feeding when the diet is deficient in carotene.

  • A horse can go for 3-6 months when Vit A is deficient, sheep 200 days.

Vitamin a ration considerations
Vitamin A Ration Considerations

  • May need to supplement when:

  • Poor quality or low levels of forage are available.

  • Limited amounts of colostrum .

  • Fed primarily corn silage and low carotene concentrates.

  • Grazing during drought, rations of cereal grains.

Vitamin a ration considerations1
Vitamin A Ration Considerations

  • Vitamin A, in a stabilized form that is resistant to oxidation may be added to the ration through vitamin premixes.

  • Intramuscular injections of vitamin A may be used.

  • Stress conditions such as low temperature or exposure to infectious bacteria will increase the vit A requirements.

Excess vit a in diet
Excess Vit A in Diet

  • Feeding excessive amount of vit A to horse over along period of time may result in fragile bones, thickening of bony tissue, flaking off of the epithelium.

Vitamin d
Vitamin D

  • Important for calcium absorption, Ca and P metabolism.

  • Fat soluble, stored in the body.

  • Less critical in mature versus younger animals.

  • Most important in animals in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Vitamin d forms
Vitamin D Forms

  • Plant forms of vitamin D is ergocalciferol.

  • Animal forms of vitamin D is cholecalciferol.

  • The liver converts cholecalciferol to 25-hydroxy D3, which is the main form in which the vitamin circulates in the body.

Vitamin d deficiency
Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Development of rickets, because of reduced Ca and P absorption.

  • Indicators are decreased appetite, slower growth, digestive disturbances, stiffness in gait, labored or fast breathing, irritability weakness and sometimes the development of tetany.

  • Symptoms develop more quickly in younger animals.

Vitamin d deficiency1
Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Pregnant animals may give virth to dead, weak or deformed young as a result of a vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin d sources
Vitamin D Sources

  • Diets that include sun-cured forages generally provide sufficient vitamin D.

  • Animals regularly exposed to sunlight or ultrviolet light also will not develop symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

  • Green forages, barn cured hay and silages have some vitamin D.

  • Grains and grain by products have practically no vitamin D.

Vitamin d sources1
Vitamin D Sources

  • Vitamin D is more stable than vitamin A, does oxidize, has poor stability when mixed with minerals, especially calcium carbonate.

  • Rations with adequate levels of Ca and P will require less vitamin D.

Vitamin d toxicity
Vitamin D Toxicity

  • Extremely toxic to poultry and horses.

  • Poultry can withstand 100 times the recommended amounts and horses 50 times.

  • Feeding massive doses in the last weeks of dairy cattle gestation has reduced milk fever.

Vitamin e
Vitamin E

  • Functions as an antioxidant, which helps in the abosorption of storage of vitamin A

  • Vitamin E deficiency results in symptoms similar to selenium, whitemuscle, muscular dystrophy.

  • Whole cereal grains, green forages, good quality hay all have sufficient sources of Vitamin E.

Vitamin k
Vitamin K

  • Necessary for the formation of prothrombin, (material that forms blood clots).

  • Deficiencies of vitamin K rarely occur because it is synthesized in the rumen.

  • Feeding moldy feeds may cause vitamin K deficiency leading to a bleeding syndrome.

  • Green leafy feeds, soybeans, fat soluble, solvent process soybean meal are good sources.

Vitamin c
Vitamin C

  • Necessary for the formation of collagen.

  • Normally they synthesize sufficient amounts.

Feed additives
Feed Additives

  • Products used in animal nutrition that are not nutrients in the usual sense of the word.

  • Promote greater feed efficiency, produce more rapid gains or higher production.

  • Types of feed additives include antibiotics and antibacterials, hormones, anthelmintics and other miscellaneous compounds.

  • Majority are used when growing and/or finishing livestock.

Health concerns
Health Concerns

  • There has been a growing concern in recent ears that the use of some types of additives for livestock feeding may have an imact on human health as well as animal health.

  • Antibiotics and animal byproducts are the two most controversial issues today.


  • Involved in many of the biochemical reactions in digestion and metabolism.

  • Transports nutrients and wastes.

  • Regulates body temperature.

  • Gives the body form by filling cells.

  • Provides lubrication.

  • Milk production.


  • Animals can survive longer without feed than water.

  • Intake of water ranges from three toeight times the intake of dry matter.

  • All feeds contain water, 10% for air dry to more than 80% in fresh green forages.

  • Clean water should be readily available at all times.


  • Temperature of water will effect intake.

  • Animals will drink more water if it is warmed slightly above freezing.

  • High humidity decreases water intake, while high ambient temperatures significantly increase water consumption.

  • Ph levels should be from 6-9.