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:
- Helps improve rumen function and fermentability of other feedstuffs in the diet that tend to exit the rumen quickly.
- Encourages cud chewing.
- 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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