As mentioned earlier, the nutrient composition of many alternative energy feedstuffs can vary considerably. In fact, the variation is generally greater than that typically encountered for the cereal grains. The best advice is to analyze the feedstuff for its nutrient composition before purchasing and feeding, especially if it is intended to feed a large amount. Published composition tables (e.g., NRC,'4' Feedstuffs Magazine yearly reference issue) can also be utilized, but be aware that these tables report only averages based on information available at the time of their publication. The desirable nutrient information would include contents of energy (DE, ME, TDN, NEm, NEg, and NE[), crude protein (or amino acids for nonruminants), fiber (CF, ADF, and NDF), crude fat, Ca, P, Na, Cl, ash, and moisture. Minimum information would include contents of moisture, and of protein, P, and energy, which are usually the most costly components of a typical livestock ration.
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