Posted 1/13/2021 14:35 (#8748276 - in reply to #8748226) Subject: RE: Two feed test, one feed
Schram Cattle Co - 1/13/2021 14:01
Thanks, that's good stuff to know. When it comes to stems, I recently just talked to a researcher who figured that the difference between a 12 inch and a 4 inch particle size is about a 10% increase in TDN, so chopping feed one way or another seems pretty valuable.
Hmmmmmmmmmm - - - - thinking about what they said - - - - - sounds like he thinks he has a perpetual motion machine.
If you think about it - - - yes you will have less waste, it is likely that the animal will digest somewhat more of the plant.
BUT - - - - how are you improving the base energy that is in the forage?
You're not - - - - there is exactly the same amount of leaf material (unless you used a bale processor - - - - they blow the leaf material away!!!) and the same amount of stem (the only change is that you used energy to process the forage into shorter lengths).
Even worse - - - - if you used a hammer mill kind of thing - - - you created a bunch of dusts - - - yes they might be part of the leaves - - - the good stuff (and also from the stems which aren't wonderful nutritionally) - - - - do you know that those dusts whistle right on through a cow?
The cow doesn't process fine particles well - - - they're just too small - - - - they just whistle on through the ruminant stomach system - - - - so the cow will 'get' less of the energy and/or nutrients that were in that part of the product.
I understand that the researcher thinks that they know what the 'bleep' is going on inside the cow but in my experience most researchers are grain consumption advisor experts (where breaking the grain hard exterior coat means that more of the nutrients are absorbable (there are some other consequences that occur) is usually a good thing) but not really forage consumption experts.
(Yes I've had this kind of discussion with a couple researchers already - - - - that's why I've gone to calling them grain consumption experts (I actually tell them that they think they're feeding monogastrics!) but detailed discussion from here I will do only one on one.)