Facts on alternative fibre sources

Dairy Australia

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

For each alternative feed stuff, Dairy Australia give a summary, as well as a list for things to "keep in mind" and "management tips".  

When pasture is limited and supplies of fodder are reduced, you may be forced to consider using alternative fibre options which you may not have used before. Many alternative fibre sources are suitable for feeding to dairy stock provided they are supplemented with high energy feeds and protein sources as part of a balanced diet. They vary widely in nutritive value, digestibility, effective fibre value, and may present risks such as ruminal acidosis, mycotoxins and chemical residues. So you need to be careful.

Widely available alternative fibre sources include:

  • almond hull
  • palm kernel meal
  • cereal straw (barley, oats, triticale, wheat and rice straw)

Almond Hull

  • A good forage extender, with medium effective fibre value when fed whole.
  • Reasonable energy source with very good palatability.
  • Low in protein.
  • Available whole and milled. Whole almond hulls have a higher effective fibre value but a lower bulk density

Palm Kernel Meal

  • A forage extender, not a grain replacer.
  • Medium digestibility, but low effective fibre level due to small particle size.
  • Low in starch and sugars.
  • Oil content: 8–10%.

Cereal straw (barley, oat, triticale, wheat)

  • poor nutritional quality forage, but high effective fibre value.
  • sole purpose in the diet is to help stimulate chewing and saliva production, and maintain a fibre mat in the rumen.
  • Low in energy and protein.

Rice straw

  • A poor nutritional quality forage, but high effective fibre value.
  • sole purpose in the diet is to help stimulate chewing and saliva production, and maintain a fibre mat in the rumen
  • Low in energy and protein.
  • High in silica and low in lignin compared to other straws.
  • Beware palatability and intake issues.

2013 - Australia - Dairy Australia
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