Silage extrusion and its effect on feed intake, milk production and ingestive behaviour

Forage is the main crop in Sweden, however, its restrictive role in feed intake limits the total amount included in the diet of a dairy cow. This study examined the effect of extrusion on grass silage intake, milk production, ingestive behaviour and rumen pH. Eight Swedish Red dairy cows in mid/late lactation were fed grass silage of early or late harvest, extruded or control, in a 4x4 Latin square design with four periods of three weeks. Diets were supplemented with a mix of soybean meal, compound feed and minerals. Extrusion increased daily silage dry matter (DM) intake by 11% (p<0,001), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) intake by 12% (p<0,001) and total DM intake by 7% (p<0,001). Milk yield increased by 4% (p=0,008), Energy corrected milk (ECM) yield increased by 5% (p=0,004), milk protein content increased by 3% (p<0,001) while total daily fat and protein production increased by 5% (p=0,015) and 7% (p<0,001), respectively. Extrusion decreased average rumen pH by 0,1 units (p=0,008) and increased the time rumen pH was below 5,8 by 151% (p=0,038). Rate of intake of silage DM and NDF was increased by 33% (p<0,001), daily silage eating time decreased by 10% (p=0,006) and daily rumination time decreased by 20% (p<0,001). Daily chewing time decreased by 17% (p<0,001), with rumination and chewing time per kg of silage NDF intake decreasing by 29% and 27% (p<0,001). In conclusion, extrusion increased silage intake, eating rate and milk production but decreased chewing activity.

About me

Marcos Managos Animal Science - Master's programme

I am a veterinarian from Greece and I am interested in animal nutrition and management. I am deeply concerned about environmental and sustainability issues and my goal is to follow a career as a researcher focusing on utilizing nutrition and management as a means for improving the health, welfare and longevity of animals. I am searching for future career opportunities.

Contact information