Animal Husbandry: Feed Conversion Ratio Explained

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) is a measure of how efficient an animal converts feed mass to desired output. The desired output may be eggs for laying birds, milk for dairy cows and goat, meat for meat animals such as broilers, pigs, rabbits etc, wool for animals like sheep, goats, rabbits etc. FCR is the mass of feed eaten divided by the output over a given period of time.

FCR = Feed Eaten/Output

Farmers desire a low FCR because it means that more output is produced with less feed. Therefore a low FCR means lower feed cost. A FCR of 2 means that to produce 1kg output (live weight gain, milk), the animal will consume 2kg of feed.

Factors Affecting FCR Genetics: Some animals have the natural ability to produce more output from less feed than other animals of the same species. For example, dairy goat breeds can produce much more
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Antibiotic Resistance: How Herbs and Plant Extracts can Help

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic. Before the coming of synthetic antibiotics, animal diseases were treated mainly with herbs and plant extracts. However, the trend seems to be going back to the use of herbs and plant extracts in place of synthetic antibiotics.

Causes & Effects of Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance usually occurs when humans or farm animals are exposed to low dosage of antibiotics. In the US, farm animals account for about 74% of antibiotics use. Majority of these are not used for treatment, but to enhance growth, prevent diseases and compensate for unsanitary conditions in overcrowded farms. This is accomplished by giving the animals low dosage of antibiotics. When human bacteria are constantly exposed to low dosage of antibiotics, they soon develop resistance/immunity to them. These bacteria will also pass this resistance to their future generations. Humans can become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in
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Farm Animals: Antibiotic Withdrawal Period And How It Affects Your Health

When antibiotics are given to animals, part of the antibiotic and its by-products will end up in the flesh and in the product (honey, milk, eggs) of the animal. But after some days, the level gradually decline. Antibiotic withdrawal period is the time that passes between the last dose of an antibiotic given to the animal and the time when the level of antibiotic residues in the animal’s flesh or products fall below the maximum allowable limit (Maximum Residue Limit – MRL). Until the withdrawal period has expired, the animal or its products are not fit for human consumption.

drugs-and-their-withdrawal-periods

While establishing withdrawal periods for antibiotics, a very large margin of safety is used to ensure that even if the withdrawal period is not strictly adhered to, the consumer will not be at risk. In many countries like US, Canada and countries in the European Union, there are
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Chicken Health: Avoiding Antibiotic Abuse through Laboratory Tests

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat diseases caused by bacteria and other micro-organisms, but they’re not effective against viruses. Antibiotic abuse occurs when antibiotic is given to healthy animals in low doses, or when the wrong antibiotic is used in treating disease. There are more than one antibiotic that can kill a particular bacteria, but not all are equally effective. Some antibiotics might be ineffective because the bacteria have developed resistance to them. This is known as antibiotic resistance. When antibiotic-resistant bacteria make your birds sick, treating them with that antibiotic will give no result. You may end up spending a lot of money on drugs and yet the birds won’t respond to treatment.

To avoid spending money unnecessarily while treating sick birds, it is important that you conduct a laboratory test that will help identify the sickness, after which an
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