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Commodities: Field Crops: Forages

Common Terms Used in Animal Feeding and Nutrition

Glossary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Balanced Ration: A 24-hour feed allowance that provides a specific animal species and class with appropriate amounts and proportions of all nutrients required for maintenance and a given level of performance.

Botulism: Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by botulinum toxin, a potent neurotoxin produced mainly by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum and also by a few strains of C. baratii and C. butyricum. Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic (can only grow under anaerobic conditions) bacterium that usually grows when the pH is greater than 4.6.

Botulism can result from the ingestion of the toxin or the growth of C. botulinum on anaerobic food/feed tissues. Seven types of botulinum toxin, designated A through G, have been identified. Types A, B, E and F cause illness in humans. Type C is the most common cause of botulism in animals. Type D is sometimes seen in cattle and dogs, and type B can occur in horses. Types A and E are found occasionally in mink and birds. Type G rarely causes disease, although a few cases have been seen in humans. All types of botulinum toxin produce the same disease; however, the toxin type is important if anti-toxin is used for treatment.

The toxins come from a variety of sources. Decaying vegetable matter (e.g., grass, hay, grain, spoiled silage) and carcasses can cause botulism in animals. Ruminants may inadvertently be fed hay or silage that are contaminated by carcasses of birds or mammals that may contain the toxin. Horses usually ingest the toxin in contaminated forage.

Botulinum toxins are large proteins, which can be easily denatured. Toxins exposed to sunlight are inactivated within 1 to 3 hours. Botulinum can also be inactivated by 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, 0.1 M NaOH, heating to 80°C for 30 minutes or 100°C for 10 minutes. Chlorine and other disinfectants can destroy the toxins in water.

By-pass Protein: The portion of intake protein that has a slow rate of degradability in the rumen. It is fed so that it may escape digestion in the rumen, reach the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract essentially intact, and be digested directly in the small intestine as it would be in nonruminants. This can provide a balance of amino acids unaltered by microbial digestion and synthesis. By-pass protein is also known as undegradable intake protein (UIP), rumen undegradable protein (RUP), or escape protein.