Nutrition definitions and terms: There are various term and definitions used in animal nutrition which
are described as:
Nutrition: Nutrition involves various chemical reactions and physiological processes, which transform
foods into body tissues and activities.
Animal Nutrition: Science of nourishment of animals.
Nutrient: The chemical substances found in the feed materials are necessary for the maintenance,
production and health of animals. The chief classes of nutrients include- 25 carbohydrates, 15 fatty acids,
20 amino acids, 15 essential and 10 probably essential minerals, 20 vitamins and water or any chemical
compound having specific functions in the nutritive support of animal life.
Nutriment: Any thing that promotes growth or development.
Health: Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence
of disease or infirmity as defined by World Health Organization
Nutritious: Substances that promote growth and participate in repairing tissues of the body.
Proteins: These are complex nitrogenous organic chemical History of Animal Nutrition 11
compounds specially made up of C,H, 0, S and a large but fairly constant amount of nitrogen.
Mineral or Ash or inorganic element: A substance is ashed to the extent that there is no black particle left, the
remaining portion is called mineral or ash.
Non-protein Nitrogenous compounds (NPN): Certain substances that do not contain protein but are rich
in nitrogen content e.g. Urea, amides and ammonium salt.
ForagejRoughage: Poor quality feeds containing lesser amount of total digestible nutrients (TDN) or more than 35
percent cell wall constituents and more than 18 percent of crude fibre (CF).
Concentrate: It contains little amount (less than 18 percent)
Feed (Feed stuff): Food of animals comprising any naturally occurring ingredient or material fed to animals for the
purpose of sustaining growth and development.
Diet: A regulated selection of a feed ingredient or mixture of ingredients including water, which is consumed by
animals on a prescribed schedule.
Ingredients: Any of the feed items that a mixture is made of.
Additives: An ingredient or a combination of ingredients added to the basic feed mixture for specific purposes like
to increase feed ingestion or to alter metabolism.
Ration: A fixed amount of feed for one animal, fed for a definite period, usually for a 24 hour period.
Balanced ration: The ration which provide an animal with the proper amount, proportion and variety of all the
required nutrients to keep the animal in its form to perform best in respect
of production and health.
Complete ration: A single feed mixture, which has all of the dietary essentials except water for a given class of
Purified diet: A mixture of the known essential dietary nutrients in a pure form that is fed to experimental animals in
Fortify: Nutritionally, to add one or more nutrients to a feed.
Limiting amino acid: The essential amino acid of protein that shows the greatest percentage deficit in comparison
with the amino acids contained in the same quantity of another protein selected as standard.
Bran: The pericarp or seed coat of grain removed during processing.
Groat: Grain from which hulls have been removed.
Zein: A protein of low biological value present in maize, deficient in lysine and tryptophane amino acid.
Fodder: Aerial parts with ears, with husks or heads. Stover: Thick solid stem and aerial parts without ears,
husks or heads while harvesting maize, jowar commonly the earheads is removed and the remaining dried portion
can be classed as stovers i.e. jowar and maize stover.
Hull: Outer covering of beans, peas, cotton seeds.
Husk: Dry outer covering of grains i.e. rice husk, gram husk.
Shells: Hard outer covering of nuts e.g. groundnut shell. Corn cobs: After removal of corn grains.
Hay: Hay is the product obtained by drying in the sun or in the shade, tender stemmed leafy plant material in such a
way that they contain not more than 12-14 percent moisture.
Straw: Straw is the by-product of any cereal, millet or legume crop left over after harvesting, threshing and removal
of the grains or pulses.
Bagasse: It is the fibrous material left over in the sugar factories after extraction of all the juice from sugar cane.
Gluten: When flour is washed to remove the starch, a tough viscid, nitrogenous substance remains. This is known as
Germ: It is the embryo of any seed.
Meal: Feed ingredients of which the particle size is larger than flour.
Shorts: A by-product of flour milling consisting of a mixture of small particles of bran and germ, the aleurone layer
and coarse fibre.
Malt sprouts: The radical of the embryo of the grain removed from sprouted and steamed whole grain. These are
obtained as by-products of liquor processing.
Red dog: By product of milling spring wheat consists primarily of the aleurone with small amounts of flour and fine
Alkaloids: Alkaloid constitu tes a large number of the active principles of plants and all possess a powerful
Anatoxin: A toxin rendered harmless by heat or chemical means but capable of stimulating the formation of
Antizymotic: An agent, which inhibits fermentation. Avitaminosis: A condition produced by a deficiency or
lack of a vitamin in the food.
D-value: It is percentage of digestible organic matter in the dry matter of the feed. It describes the digestibility of
In vitro: Literally "in glass" pertaining to biological experiments performed in test tubes or other laboratory vessels.
In vivo: Within the living organisms pertaining to the laboratory testing of agents within living organisms.
Effluent: Liquid waste from an abattoir or slurry.
Gavage: Feeding an animal by means of a stomach tube.
Feed Conversion efficiency (FCE): The gain in weight in Kg or lb, produced by one Kg or one lb of feed. It is
reciprocal of the feed conversion ratio.
Feed conversion ratio (FCR): The amount of feed in Kg or lb necessary to produce one Kg or one lb of weight gain.
Calorie: A unit of measurement used for calculating the amount of energy produced by various foods. It is the
amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of I gram of water by