Research reveals benefits of straw in dairy rations

According to recent research, incorporating straw into the diets of lactating dairy cows can provide a number of benefits:
  1. Helps improve rumen function and fermentability of other feedstuffs in the diet that tend to exit the rumen quickly. 
  2. Encourages cud chewing.
  3. Aids in the proper development of a healthy rumen fiber mat.

Researchers have also found straw to be a valuable feed ingredient for dairy animals at other stages of their lives:

Pre-weaned calves: Higher ADG and starter intake may lead to improved rumen development.
Growing heifers: Dilutes energy density of the diet and helps prevent excessive body weight gain.
One group dry cow: Allows for high consumption without feeding excessive energy.
To learn more, check out the June issue of Ontario Dairy Farmer.

Source: Bill Woodley. “The KING of FIBRES.” Ontario Dairy Farmer. June 2012: 20-23.


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