Summary by Kai Yuan, PhD, Senior Research and Technical Advisor
In the field, we usually pay attention only to the particle size of feed offered to the cows, NOT the size of the chewed and ingested particles. An interesting study evaluated the relationship between the particle lengths of feeds compared with respective swallowed bolus particles.
|PARTICLE SIZE OF INGESTED FEED|
|Forage Type||NDF, % of DM||Feed Size, mm||Bolus Size, mm||Chews/g NDF|
|50-mm rye hay||58.6||42.2||9.9||3.5|
|8-mm PSPS hay||59.1||25.1||10.8||1.7|
Schadt et al. 2012 Journal of Dairy Science 95:4707-4720
1. Regardless of the lengths of feeds offered to the cows, the ingested bolus sizes are around 9 to 11 mm, indicating that cows chew the feeds and reduce the particle sizes to a threshold size before swallowing.
2. Evidence showed that long particles not only promote sorting but also take cows longer time to consume and chew. In overstocked or limited bunk space situations, if the diets are too high in peNDF or contain a lot of large particles, cows have reduced dry matter intake due to longer time to chew and limited time to eat at the bunk.
3. According to Miner Institute recommendation, there should be < 5% of feed on the top screen of the Penn State Shaker Box, > 50% of feed on the top mid screen, 10 to 20% on the bottom mid-screen, and 25 to 30% on the pan.
Feeding QLF Supplements help promote consistent intake of TMR, reduce the sorting of long particle forages, and allows for the feeding of diets with higher peNDF content.