Nutrition Needs of Ruminant Livestock

The nutritional needs of ruminant livestock are biologically potential to utilize forage as the main source of feed ingredients (Parakkasi, 1999). Forage is relatively easier to plant so it is cheaper than other carbohydrate sources.


Intensive breeding systems of ruminant livestock actually have other advantages that can take advantage of food products from various industries.

The more intensive the maintenance system in these animals, the nutritional factors should be increasingly critical to note. It is said that because the cost of feed is the largest part of the total cost of production. If it is not managed properly it can hamper efforts to improve gross efficiency. In such circumstances, adequate ruminant nutrition is essential.

As well as in poultry and monogastric livestock then the nutritional needs of ruminant livestock are:

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Mineral
  • Vitamin
  • Water


Nutrition is the organic substance that the organism needs for the normal functioning of the body system, growth, health maintenance. Nutrients are obtained from food and fluids which are then assimilated by the body.

Eating and drinking are very important for every living thing for its survival. Below are the nutrients needed by the animals to keep them hydrated. Among other carbohydrates are classified into monosaccharides or (one unit of aldehyde or ketone). Proteins are composed of protein-forming elements called amino acids. Which is a carboxyl group and a hydrogen atom and is divided into two essential and non-essential amino acids. Fats and oils are among the groups included in the lipid group. That is organic compounds contained in nature and not soluble in water. But soluble in non-polar organic solvents. Vitamins, an organic molecule in a very small amount compared to the number of essential amino acids and fatty acids required by animals in very large quantities. Minerals, inorganic nutrients, which are generally required in very small quantities.

Essential Nutrition

Essential nutrients are the nutrients needed by every living thing that can not be self-produced. Therefore it must be obtained from its own food. Essential Nutrition consists of:

  • Essential Amino Acids useful for synthesizing proteins
  • Essential Fatty Acids that are useful for synthesizing fats
  • Mono, Oligo, & Poly Saccharides, useful for synthesizing carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

The Need for Forage

In general, the amount of forage given to the animal is 10% of the live weight. While the reinforcing food such as concentrate is given only 1% of the weight of life.

The need for Vitamins

The need for vitamins for lactating cattle is not specific to the lactation process. But vitamins are part of the milk and play a general role in the physiological function of the way the animal metabolizes to produce milk. If the need for vitamins for basic life has been met, then no need additional vitamins. Except to replace the lost vitamins through the secretion of milk and also lost in the process of metabolism. Vitamin B-complex does not cause problems in feeding ruminants. That’s because microbial systems in the rumen can provide enough vitamins. In fresh forage there are many carotenoid substances, especially beta-carotene which is an active provitamin A. In the body, the beta-carotene can be converted into active vitamin A.