Leveraging the power of plants for feed efficiency in ruminants

It takes a cow around 0.5 to 1.8 kg of dry matter intake to produce one liter milk. A quite big range, with vast potential to optimize feed costs. Isn’t it?


Of course, feed efficiency depends on breed, physiological and lactating stage, age, and type of ration.

In general, ruminant nutrition is trickier, compared to monogastrics. Just because of the existence of the rumen – the reactions occurring, and the rumen flora. More than 50 percent of the feed is used for maintenance and losses in environment, and this makes the selection for feed efficiency more difficult than for pigs and poultry.

“Your benefits of improving feed efficiency are a better control of production costs, improving health and immune status of your animals, while reducing the environmental impact due to less methane and ammonia losses. “

Maurice Gex-Fabry - Regional Technical Manager Ruminant , Delacon

4 ways to boost feed efficiency in ruminants with phytogenic feed additives:

  1. Modulating the microflora to optimize the degradation of the feed in the rumen. Hence, nutrient absorption increases and in turn, feed efficiency.
  2. Improving the fiber digestibility of the roughage for a higher level of available energy
  3. Allowing some components to by-pass the rumen, which increases their availability in the small intestine
  4. Enhancing the physiological status: lower inflammation, or higher antioxidant effects which increases the nutrients utilization

To assess the power of phytogenic feed additives for feed efficiency, Delacon runs lots of in vitro and in vivo trials under different conditions. Plant extracts are carefully selected according to their specific modes of action. They are then tested in different combinations especially on the gas and nutrients produced by the rumen. In scientific trials on animals and in field trials, the products have been tested against other treatments.

Moreover, we recorded several parameters, such as milk production and quality. Since the dry matter intake is known and measured, it is possible to calculate the feed efficiency of cows supplemented with phytogenic feed additives. The results are compared with the control group and show: Phytogenic feed additives boost feed efficiency in ruminants, as well as other indicators.

Interested in more technical insights and trial data?

Katharina Mayrhuber

Katharina Mayrhuber

Katharina loves to learn, discover and tell feed and food stories globally - using Social Media, visual communications and media relations. She is currently not working actively at Delacon.

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