What is feed quality? High-quality animal feed retains its nutritional value and visual appearance from the day it is harvested until the day it is consumed. Maintaining the nutritional value and quality of feed takes more than just proper handling and storage practices. To maintain feed value, producers must look for additional solutions such as fat and oil stabilizers, acid stabilizers for hay, forage inoculants and grain and feed storage enhancers.
Ruminant Feed Quality – Begins with Quality Forages
Harvest and storage losses for hay and silage can represent a significant source of economic loss. Quality roughage should contain the maximum digestible energy and protein available to meet the needs of high producing livestock. Several factors can reduce an ideal forage into an average or fair forage. One of the most frustrating factors resulting in downgraded forage quality are mold and microbes (e.g., fungi and wild yeast).
Excessive microbial growth can cause excessive heating, increasing dry matter loss and producing Maillard reactions, which reduce dry matter and crude protein digestibility. Heating in forages and total mixed rations can further promote oxidation of fats and fat-soluble nutrients, leading to decreased nutrient availability and oxidative stress. To combat these issues, Kemin has developed a full line of organic acid-based solutions for hay, silage and for total mixed rations.