Monday 18 January 2021Making the Comparison – Moist Co-products vs Dry Concentrates

While dairy and beef farmers always have a lot on their minds, nutrition is a constant preoccupation. Reliable and consistent production of top-quality beef and milk depends on offering a nutritious ration that’s balanced and palatable. But there are other boxes to tick, too, in the form of sustainability, easy management and – of course – cost.

Many beef and dairy operations feed dry concentrates because they’re familiar. But if the turn of a new year has inspired you to make a change, now might be the time to take a look at co-product moist feeds. Traditionally, people may have only thought of co-products being only brewers grains, but there’s a wider range of products available. So how do they stack up against traditional dry straights?

Palatability: moist co-products are observed to be more tempting than dry concentrates, which helps to drive intake, increasing milk yields and daily live weight gains.

Storage: where concentrates need under cover indoor or bin storage, moist co-products can be simply ensiled in the yard and sheeted over.

Sustainability: at a time when making responsible choices is more important than ever, co-products are a compelling option. In most cases, they’ll have a significantly lower carbon footprint than other bought-in feeds. Many moist feeds offer nutritional profiles that are not dissimilar to more expensive, less sustainable dry products.

Value for money: based on nutrient value, contribution to the ration and unit cost, moist feeds typically offer the best value.

Nutrition: When formulating a total mixed ration to achieve the results you want, the nutritional value of every ingredient should, of course, be taken into account. But it’s equally important to consider the role each element plays in the digestive process and what kind of nutrients it delivers. By analysing this, you can create the best environment for rumen fermentation and ensure high productivity. High-quality bypass protein (DUP) and fermentable energy sources are vital for supporting milk yields and cow health. Quickly available sugars and starches, fibrous slow-release energy sources and quality rumen and bypass protein can all be found within the range of moist feeds Duynie has to offer.

Check out the diagram below to see how different feeds act within the cow – this illustrates getting the balance spot on.

Facts and figures – moist feeds and dry straights go head to head

Brewers grains vs soya and rapemeal

  • All of these ingredients are good protein sources for ruminant diets and deliver both rumen and bypass protein
  • Brewers’ grains are relatively rich in bypass protein
  • Brewers’ grains provide similar bypass protein digestibility to rape meal (71%), while proving considerably more palatable
  • Most of the energy in brewers’ grains comes from oil and fibre. Therefore, it’s efficiently digested in the rumen
  • Brewers’ grains result in lower methane gas production than dry feeds, meaning they increase gross energy utilization
  • As an alternative to rape meal or soya meal, brewers’ grains improve digestibility and boost milk production as well as helping to improve microbial efficiency

 

 

Brewer’s Grains

Soya Meal

Rape Meal

Metabolisable energy

11.7 MJ

13.6 MJ

12.1 MJ

Crude protein

24%

55%

38.5%

Rumen protein % inclusion

64.1%

51.5%

72.5%

Bypass protein % inclusion

35.9%

48.5%

27.5%

DM 

24%  89% 88%

 

Potato chips vs barley

  • Potato chips are a starch-rich feed with energy levels that are further boosted by the absorption of oil during cooking
  • Cooked potato products reduce energy wastage through methane production in the rumen – digestion of cereal grain wastes about 10% of the gross energy, while cooked potatoes waste only 3%
  • An easy-to-feed alternative to barley, potato chips increase the energy density of the ration while delivering higher starch digestibility

 

 

Cooked Potato Chips

Wheat

Barley

Metabolisable energy

16 MJ

13.8 MJ

13.2 MJ

Crude protein

6.5%

13%

12.3%

Starch

56%

67%

57%

Oil

12%

2%

2.5%

Digestibility

85%

93.5%

86%

DM 

35% 86% 86% 

 

Bread and Bakery vs Wheat and barley

  • Co-products such as processed bread and biscuit meal are palatable, high-energy alternatives to cereal grains
  • The digestibility of bread is higher than that of whole uncooked wheat but with a lower fibre content
  • Biscuit meal has rapidly fermentable energy in the form of starch, sugars and oil, making it ideal for fattening beef
  • Feeding biscuit meal and processed bread in balanced quantities to dairy cows can help deliver higher milk yields and increased milk protein

 

Bread

Bakery

Wheat

Barley

Metabolisable energy

14.5 MJ

15 MJ

13.8 MJ

13.2 MJ

Crude protein

13%

10%

13%

12.3%

Starch

58%

35%

67%

57%

Neutral detergent fibre 

6%

14%

12%

23.1%

DM

67% 88% 86% 86%

 

Citrus pulp vs sugar beet

  • Citrus pulp offers a good energy source derived from soluble carbohydrates and fibre
  • Proven palatability drives intakes
  • Citrus pulp has a good fibre content that simulates rumination and therefore increases saliva production. This has a buffering effect on the rumen pH
  • Diets containing less digestible forage are improved by citrus pulp as it increases palatability and drives intakes
  • Both citrus and sugar beet have high fibre digestibility (over 80%) due to the low levels of lining in the cell walls
  • Citrus pulp contains similar fibre and sugar levels to sugar beet pulp, making it an effective alternative in a TMR

 

 

Citrus Pulp

Sugar Beet

Metabolisable energy

13.5 MJ

12.5 MJ

Sugar

10%

6%

Neutral detergent fibre 

45%

30.5%

DM 

15% 90%

 

Trafford syrup vs wheat distillers

  • Trafford Syrup is similar in energy and protein to wheat distillers but has improved palatability due to its liquid form
  • Including Trafford syrup in ruminant diets drives intakes, reduces dust and discourages selective feeding
  • Trafford syrup binds the ration and has a pleasant aroma that helps mask less palatable ingredients
  • Yeast fragments in Trafford syrup provide fermentable carbohydrate for rumen microbes and improve digestion of other feeds

 

Trafford Syrup

Wheat Distillers

Maize Distillers

Metabolisable energy

14 MJ

13.7 MJ

14.8 MJ

Crude protein

27.5%

34%

28%

MD 

30% 89% 88%

 

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