The encyclopedia of farm animal nutrition

Authors : Fuller M.F. - Benevenga N. J. - Lall S.P. - McCracken K. J. - Omed H. M. - Axford R. F. E. - Phillips C. J. C.
Title : The encyclopedia of farm animal nutrition
Year : 2004

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Preface. An encyclopedia should properly encompass the totality of human knowledge, or at least of some particular sector of it. Not so many years ago it would have been possible to contain all that was known of animal nutrition in a book the size of this, for the science of nutrition is young, but such has been the pace of its growth that that is no longer possible. The nutrition of farm animals is a complex subject, reaching into biochemistry, physiology, pathology, veterinary medicine, animal husbandry and agriculture and even, as evidenced in the following pages, beyond those disciplines. The subject matter of farm animal nutrition is covered in a large number of text books – most are referred to in the entries of this encyclopedia – but their arrangement does not lend itself to the rapid recovery of specific pieces of factual information and it was with that object in view that this encyclopedia was devised and written. Its aims are completeness, accuracy, succinctness and ease of access. The aim of completeness – to include as much factual information as possible – was addressed by embracing all the ramifications of nutrition just mentioned. Yet, no doubt there are omissions. To achieve a high degree of accuracy authors were chosen for their expertise in specialized areas of nutrition. But mistakes there surely are and for those that I have failed to spot I would plead, as that pioneer lexicographer Dr Johnson famously pleaded, when asked by a lady why he had defined ‘pastern’ as ‘the knee of a horse’, ‘Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance’. To encompass the whole of farm animal nutrition in this space obviously requires succinctness and all the contributors were enjoined to be as brief as possible – though some found it harder than others. Finally, ease of access is ensured by the alphabetical arrangement of the entries and the system of cross-references. There is more on this in the note that follows. Although there have been other encyclopedias of nutrition they have been more in the nature of collections of review articles, valuable certainly, but not providing the ready access to specific facts and figures that is the essence of this work. This is the first encyclopedia to be devoted exclusively to the nutrition of farmed animals, including birds and fish. It contains some 2000 entries, written by about 100 specialists and reviewed by an international editorial panel. ...

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