Why the feed you’re giving your livestock matters

It’s now even easier to supplement your animals’ diet with the highest quality feed through FeedSafeNZ.

It can be overwhelming taking care of your grazing animals during the winter months. With stock eating higher amounts of grass to keep warm in the cooler weather, it’s essential to make sure they are getting enough nutrition to maintain energy and weight. While you may be providing your animals with winter forage such as hay or silage, it might also be necessary to buy a concentrated supplementary feed, depending on the stock you’re running and their condition.

Certified supplementary feed contains a precise mix of vitamins, minerals, crude proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and has been carefully formulated by highly trained experts to ensure your animals get everything their bodies’ need. Because dairy cows, working horses, pregnant stock and young animals need high amounts of protein and energy, concentrated feed is essential to fill the gap and compensate for any nutrient deficiencies in a foraged diet.

But as any veterinarian or animal nutritionist will tell you, not any old grain mix will do if you’re wanting to keep your cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and even alpacas in the very best condition.
There’s a lot of feed out there that looks legitimate yet contains inadequate nutrition to keep stock and their young healthy. So how can a farmer know what they’re buying is going to provide the best nutrition for their animals? The easiest way is to look for the FeedSafeNZ mark.

The official accreditation programme of New Zealand’s feed manufacturing industry, FeedSafeNZ guarantees the quality of feed by testing the ingredients and processes of New Zealand mills. Facilities, storage and manufacturing are independently audited to ensure every part of the process is functioning at the highest standards. Once accredited, a manufacturer can use the FeedSafeNZ logo on their packaging, assuring animal owners the products they buy are going to help their animals live their best lives.

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“No matter what animals you’re feeding – whether you’re farming cows for a living, or maybe just have some backyard chooks – you want them to live well and be healthy. What you feed them is an essential part of that,” says Te Radar, the face of FeedSafeNZ’s campaign.

“If there’s one thing animal nutritionists agree on it’s that animals do best when they get a diet rich in fibre, essential nutrients and protein.”

For farmers and lifestyle block owners, it’s now even easier to check if a brand is FeedSafeNZ-accredited by going to the website and searching for the feed that’s suitable for their type of animal, which also includes rabbits, chickens, goats and pigs alongside ruminants.

This makes it easier for the farmer to source the correct feed for their stock, rear the best meat and produce the best milk and eggs, while spending less on costly vet bills as a result of poor nutrition.“If we are what we eat, and for many of us that includes animals and what they produce, then what animals eat should also be something we care about,” says Te Radar.

For a full list of FeedSafeNZ manufacturers and brands, visit the website.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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