Why You Need to Feed Digestible Enzymes to Your Cows

Posted: February 2, 2022 | Written By: Dayane Da Silva, Ph.D., Form-A-Feed

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Working to get your cows to reach their full potential? Feeding digestible enzymes can help you do just that. Enzymes have become a top-rated tool our nutritionists use to improve cows’ nutrition by increasing their diet digestibility, which means more energy will be available for milk production. Plus, enzymes can reduce the need for expensive supplements like grain or protein meals because more nutrients are absorbed by the animal instead of passing through undigested and unused.

The phrase “digestibility is key for profitability” has become a common slogan in animal nutrition. While we already know that digestibility is essential, there is much room for improvement to maximize diet utilization, and money is frequently left on the table. Take starch and fiber. The non-structural carbohydrates comprise about 30% of the diet lactation diets, with the majority of this in the form of starch. A recent Dairyland Laboratory survey from 1,117 samples found that around 30% of the samples had fecal starch averaged 5%. Each 1% of fecal starch represents 0.5 lb. of corn that did not get utilized and went to the manure pit. With corn projections at $5.45/bushel, we cannot afford to let the corn pass through the cow without considering starch digestibility’s financial impact. Moreover, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found a 1% unit increase in fecal starch was equivalent to 0.72 lb. of lost milk. The loss of milk will not be added to your bottom line! In addition, not only starch but Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), also important on total diet digestibility, makes up 30-70% of the fiber portion in diets. However, because of the complex links of the fiber, the NDF digestibility average is less than 50%. Higher NDF digestibility (NDFD) support higher dry matter intake (DMI) because fiber is quickly degraded, and rumen fill is reduced, allowing cows to eat more. A 1 unit rise in NDFD content in the diet results in a .37 lb/day rise in DMI. Michigan studies also have shown that a one percentage unit increase in forage NDF digestibility in vitro has been reported to elicit .55 lb./d increase in 4% fat-corrected milk yield.

Nutritionists have seen some exciting data on how enzymes increase diet digestibility, farm sustainability, and profitability in recent years. The most significant benefit of enzymes in ruminants’ diets is to improve fiber and starch total tract digestibility, which allows animals to utilize more of these nutrients. Each pound of feed that gets used is an additional pound of milk and a profit that goes straight into your pocket.

To ensure your cows reach their full potential, you will need to feed them a ration designed for maximum digestibility and nutrient absorption. But what makes up a complete ration? How do you get cows to eat more? There are a lot of enzymes on the market. Finding the most suitable enzyme can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. However, MultePli is designed explicitly to ruminant diets to increase microbial attachment for optimal starch and fiber digestibility, promoting greater energy release from the diet. MultePli enzyme components have been carefully selected and tested on a multitude of different type of ruminant diets. MultePli increases ADF and NDF digestibility, ruminal microbial biomass growth, and reduces fecal starch output. Rumen fermentation is in better synchrony with the addition of MultePli, leading to better total tract diet digestibility.

There is no time like the present to give enzymes a go! If you manage cattle on a farm, MultePli will have noticeable effects on your profit margins. MultePli improves fiber and starch digestibility in the feed while also improving cows’ health, leading to higher profitability. Return of investment for MultePli has shown to be a 6:1 ROI. Monitor your herd’s health and digestion regularly with fecal or apparent digestibility analysis, supplementing when needed, and adjusting diets if you notice a change in daily performance.

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