Today we will be talking about farm animal ethics and this is a continuation of the feeding systems of farm animals we wrote about in one of our articles.
Animal feed is an important input to animal agriculture and is frequently the main cost of raising animals.
Human ethics is common but people hardly talk about animal ethics and it doesn’t make sense. According to bbc, At “its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles.
What is Animal feed?
It is good grown or developed for livestock and poultry, by carefully selecting and blending ingredients to provide highly nutritional diets that both quality of such end products as meat, milk or eggs.
Types of animals:
Herbivore: Animals that eat only plants
Carnivore: Animals that eat only meat
Omnivore: Animals that eat both plants and meat.
Main types of feed: Roughage/Forage or concentrates.
Forage is a plant material [mainly plant leaves and stems] eaten by grazing livestock. Examples includes: Hay(grass or other plants,such as clover or alfalfa,cut and dried for fodder) or Silage,also called ensilage (forage plants such as corn,legumes and grasses that been cut and stored in pits or trenches for use as animal feed).
Methods of feeding farm animals:
- Scheduled feeding: is providing feed to animals at approximately the same time each day. Feeding may be done once,twice , or three times daily.
- Limit feeding: is based on meeting energy requirements through a producer-imposed restriction. Also allows a producer to target weight for breeding.
- Full feeding: to feed (an animal) to the full extent of its need.
- Free access feeding: is a method in which constant access to food is given to animals to eat as often and as much as they desire.
- Supplemental feeding: simply supplying nutrients that are lacking in an animal’s primary diet or additional supply of feed containing energy,protein or vitamins and minerals to animals.
Factors to be considered when preparing feed for farm animals.
- Age of the Animal.
- Animal species.
- Physiological status of the animal .
- Chemical composition of the feedstuff.
- Availability of feed ingredients.
- Price of feedstuff.
Nutrients for animals include: crude protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins,fats and oil and water.
Sources of feed nutrient for farm animals:
Cereal e.g maize,rice , wheat etc
Roots and tubers e.g yam, cassava, potatoes etc
Pasture,fodder,browse plants,Agro-industrial by-product,crop residues.
Farm Animal ethics is a branch of ethics,which examines human-animal relationships,the moral consideration of animals and how non human animals ought to be treated.
This has to do on how humans should treat animals. Animal ethics include animal welfare (feeding, treatment etc),law economics and conservation.
Why is farm Animal ethics important? Animal welfare is important because there are so many animals around the world suffering from being used for entertainment,food, medicine, fashion, scientific advancement as exotic pets.
Every farm animal deserves to have a good life where they enjoy the benefits of the five Domains.
The five Domains are nutrition, environment, health, behavior and mental state.
Ethics and farmers are connected which describe the standards of behavior that govern professional conduct. It is the principle for evaluating the manner in which animals are cared for and treated. We have moral obligations to farm animals.
Study of farm animal ethics is important in order to prevent their undue suffering.