AS financial pressures within the farming sector increase, the role of the veterinary surgeon on the modern dairy and beef farm is shifting more and more towards preventive medicine and herd health planning. It is becoming particularly important to have at least a working understanding of practical and applied bovine nutrition and its affect on animals on the farm. Many practitioners nowadays attend regular meetings with the farm nutritionist and a good grasp of nutritional principles is an advantage. Practitioners are also expected to identify and flag up any problems or interactions between the health, productivity and welfare of animals and their diet. This article discusses the underlying principles of bovine nutrition and describes how nutritional status may be assessed.
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