Coconut meal is also known as Copra meal. It is an end-product in the production of coconut oil from copra, which is the dried meat of a coconut. This coconut meal is commonly used as a valuable feed for various animals of cattle, poultry, and other grass-fed animals. It is basically used as a protein supplement that is alone or mixed with other protein sources. The main advantage of using coconut meal as animal fodder; it is abundant and cheap than any other alternatives.
Nutritional Value of Coconut Meal
The coconut meal has amazing nutritive value for feeding animals. It contains high content protein but of low quality, high fiber content, oil residue that is a source of energy, and certain vitamins or minerals. These nutrients are great for the growth, development, and maintenance of animal health.
Characteristics of Coconut Meal
Following are some of the general attributes of coconut meal;
The coconut meal is mainly light to dark brown in color, which is the same, where coconut trees are grown.
It has a slight but pleasant aroma, which is liked by most animals.
Recent research suggests that it is very palatable and gladly accepted by most animals. Although, initially, it takes some time to develop a satisfaction level regarding palatability.
Some research shows that the coconut meal has good digestibility considering the high content of protein.
What are the Key Attributes of Coconut Meal?
Following are three different key attributes of coconut meal that make it chief to other cheap supplementary feeds.
By-pass Protein Level
The by-pass protein level ensures that the useful protein level incorporated within the coconut meal is not degraded in the bolus but is absorbed in the GI tract for a maximum effect.
Secondly, the energy supplied with coconut meal mainly comes from its high oil content rather than carbohydrates as in most other animal feeds. The oil in coconut meal greatly minimizes the metabolic problems that occur when the excessive acid build-up in the gut. It then extends into the large intestines and kills the friendly bacteria population, leading to metabolic problems. So, this coconut meal helps in preventing metabolic issues in animals.
Well-Balanced Nutrition Profile
The well-balanced nutrient profile of coconut meals gives the advantage of being able to be fed alone. Therefore, it is finely befitted to blend with animal fodder. In this way, the high oil and protein content of coconut meal with a high energy level of fodder – both will fulfill the deficiencies of each other.
Applications of Coconut Meal as an Animal Feed in different Life Stages
During the transition period of animals, they are generally low in protein and energy, which makes them weak and susceptible to illness. Moreover, at this stage, the bitter feeding of anionic salt results in appetite loss. The animal mother needs more nutrients like protein to support their fetus in the last month of pregnancy. So, feeding coconut meals with grains can amazingly assist the mother animal. Some research shows that it improves the appetite, masks the taste of anionic salt, increases the protein level, and supplies essential minerals.
In the early lactation stage, where milk production is at its peak. The early milk is quite beneficial for the animal’s child but deprived of protein in their diets. So, to get rid of protein deficiency, this coconut meal is rich in protein can be used in their feed.
Improvement in Fertility and Reproduction
The poor management of animals during the transition stage result in metabolic problems, which causes low milk production and poor reproduction performance. So, in some research, these animals are fed coconut meals several times. After some time, the outcome was reduced metabolic problems, better nutrition, and good fertility activity.
The younger animals tend to gain more weight in the first and second lactation periods. Moreover, it also gains excessive weight during the summertime because of low protein content pasture. Then, the weight is difficult and critical to control at a later stage of life. So, supplementation their diet with coconut meal proves to be valuable for them. Their growth, development, performance, and dietary requirements are met by infusing coconut meals.
What are the Health Benefits of incorporating Coconut Meals into Animal Feed?
Following are some enlisting health benefits of using coconut meal to the beloved animals;
Healthy Coat and Hair Growth
Dull coats and hair falling in animals are very common due to a low nutrition value in their diet. So, feed with coconut meal nourishes the coat and prevents hair from falling to some extent. It enhances the overall look of animals by making them beautiful.
Prevent Body Infections
The coconut meal has some antimicrobial property, which greatly fights off the pathogens in the body.
Improves Skin Texture
The nutritive value of coconut meals greatly improves the skin texture in many animals, thanks to their high protein content.
Boosts Digestive Health
The coconut meal is composed of high protein, fiber, and some minerals, which improves the GI tract functioning by absorbing or digesting food.
When the coconut meal is combined with different animal feeds, it helps in maintaining weight.
Enhances Energy Level
Different research is conducted to determine the energy level in animals by feeding them coconut meals. Then, the outcome indicates that it improves the energy level to a greater extent because of high fiber or high protein.
Work Wonders for Fertility
By using coconut meals in animal feed manages weight, boosts metabolism, and increases energy. These all benefits improve the reproductive health of animals.
What are some Directions for Using Coconut Meals?
Initially, high levels of coconut meal should not be used in the feed of animals. It should be gradually introduced into their diet over a time of 15 days maximum. It can be fed to animals by mixing with grains, chaff, pasture, and other concentrates, to ensure enough fiber, energy, protein, and fullness for a long time. Furthermore, it is suitable for poultry, cattle, pigs, fishes,horses, and animals of all ages.
Coconut Meal is rich in nutritive value that is a great addition to supplementation of animal feed. The great taste, aroma, and palatability make it a forte meal for most animals. Furthermore, it provides the animals with wonderful health benefits both internally and externally by nourishing them. From improving digestive health, fertility, and healthy coat, to weight management, it works phenomenally. Lastly, the coconut meal together with other animal’s forage provides healthy and yet balanced nutrients.