Introduction

The cereal grains (corn, oats, barley, and grain sorghum) are the most widely used energy feedstuffs for livestock and poultry rations. However, there is a wide range of nonconventional or alternative energy feedstuffs available that can be utilized for livestock and poultry feeding. With feed representing the largest single cost item in most livestock and poultry operations, alternative feedstuffs can provide needed dietary energy often at a lower cost than traditional energy feedstuffs.

Energy feedstuffs typically are high in carbohydrates and low in protein, less than 20% crude protein on a moisture-free basis. Energy feedstuffs can be divided into two major groups—concentrates and roughages. Concentrates are low in crude fiber concentration (less than 18%) and are suitable for all livestock and poultry. Roughages are high in crude fiber (more than 18% on a moisture-free basis) and are best suited for ruminant animals (cattle, sheep) and horses. Energy is not a nutrient; however, energy feeds are high in carbohydrates (starch, sugar, cellulose, etc.), which are used by the animal to supply energy for various metabolic functions.

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