Ruminant livestock producers can now squeeze more nutritional value from the fibre fraction of home-grown forages, thanks to the launch of a new feed supplement from Azelis Animal Nutrition.
Available as an innovative combination of dried yeast and enzymatic fermentation extracts, new Fibrase improves feed efficiency by helping ruminants to break down more of the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content of grass, maize and whole-crop silages.
Speaking to visitors at UK Dairy Day today Phil Vernon, ruminant technical sales manager with Azelis Animal Nutrition, explained that use of the supplement within a total mixed ration (TMR) can save farmers money.
“Farmers are being urged to produce more from forage, but faecal sieving typically reveals a significant amount of undigested cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin from the grass or silage that is fed on many ruminant livestock units. Through the feeding of Fibrase, which helps to improve the breakdown of this forage fibre fraction in the rumen, farmers will gain more energy and therefore production output from the forage they do feed,” Vernon said.
Fibrase combines dried yeast with fermentation substrates of Aspergillus fungi, which have proven amylolytic and fibrolytic enzyme activity. The synergistic combination of yeast and enzymes increases the biomass of the important fibre-digesting bacteria in the rumen and reduces the hydrolysis time of the starchy and fibrous components of the ration. It also helps to stabilise rumen pH, which will help cows, in particular, cope with acidic silages.
Mr Vernon added that early farm trial work had been encouraging with a number of both dairy and beef farmers reporting milk and meat gains from the forage being fed, as well as much finer fibre washings when sieving dung samples.
“The conversion of feeds, especially fibrous forages, to milk and meat, is not very efficient. Only 10-35% of the energy intake is captured as net energy by the ruminant animal because 20-70% of fibre components such as cellulose may not be digested. Anything that improves the digestion of forage fibre is well worth considering and we’ve found that there is definitely a ‘one plus one equals three’ effect by combining dried yeast and enzymes together,” Mr Vernon concluded.
Fibrase can be hand tipped into TMR feeds, top dressed or incorporated into rations manufactured at the feed mill. Recommended feed rate for dairy cows is 20g per head per day. The rate for beef cattle is 10g per head per day.