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From The Feed Trough: Essays and Insights on Livestock Nutrition in a Complex World

FTFT book coverThis book is one-of-a-kind: a fascinating and unique collection of essays about livestock nutrition.

For many years, I’ve written a monthly nutrition column for The Shepherd magazine. I have compiled 89 of these articles into this book. Each article is essentially a short essay about a specific aspect of nutrition: basic principles of nutrients and fiber, practical livestock situations found on farms, nutrient requirements and how they are derived, feed tags and forage reports, and also some current research.

Woven through the chapters is a bit of history and some of my own philosophy. I find history fascinating, and it helps explain why some things are the way they are.

Although many of the field situations in this book are about sheep production (after all, these articles were originally created for The Shepherd magazine. Did you expect a focus on giraffes or musk-oxen?), the nutritional principles apply to all animals — cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and also us humans.

So, please read chapters in any way you like — one at a time or in bunches. No need to read them in order. This is not a textbook; it’s a collection of essays. Read whatever strikes your fancy. In fact, one practical use of this book can be as a secondary text in a nutrition course — these chapters provide superb background for the classroom readings. They add nuance and depth to the sterile principles outlined in a standard textbook. They flesh out concepts so that you really can understand nutritional ideas and enjoy the stories behind those ideas.

Chapters are grouped into nine sections:

(click on each Section to see its Table of Contents with descriptions of each chapter)

The Table of Contents is a bit different than you find in other books. It contains the chapter titles, of course, but these titles may be a bit imprecise or kind of cute (the literary prerogative). So, beneath each title I’ve added a one-line, no-nonsense description of that chapter’s topic. Also, in the back of the book you’ll find a list of abbreviations and an extensive index (I know that I appreciate these items when when I read a technical book).

I’ve tried to fill this book with interesting perspectives, amusing stories, and always, always in-depth science. My goal is simple: if you enjoy reading about a topic, then you may remember it better and possibly use that information when you  make decisions in the future. Knowledge is good, and I’ve tried to share some good knowledge.

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