Animal nutritionists promote the understanding of how diet affects the health well-being and productivity of animals. Wikepedia.com defines an animal nutritionist as a person who specializes in the dietary needs of agricultural animals zoo animals and pets.
Many are employed by government bodies and serve on agricultural advisory committees. Others work for international development agencies as well as educational and research institutions. They can also be directly involve in agriculture working on farms or they can work in zoos or even for commercial feed companies.
Animal nutrition is considered a science that combines knowledge of chemistry physics biochemistry mathematics animal behavior economics and food processing. It requires expertise in animal welfare as well as skills in business management and communication.
Typical work activities depend upon the specific job position but can include evaluating the chemical and nutritional value of feed formulating healthy diets for animals fish and birds. Additionally they advise farmers veterinarians and government agencies or commercial teams on healthy animal nutrition develop new food products and advise on nutritional disorders that can occur in animals.
To enter this profession individuals need a minimum of a bachelors of science degree in agriculture or biology with courses in metabolism of proteins carbohydrates lipids minerals and vitamins as it affects animal production. Many animal nutritionists also have Masters or even Ph.D. degrees in nutrition science.
The annual salary for animal nutritionists as of November 2010 ranged from $33784 to $67407.