Starch is the predominant storage carbohydrate found in plants and is 90% fermentable in the rumen. Cereal grains contain large amounts of starch, however the smooth covering of the seed provides the first barrier to digestion, and a protein ‘matrix’ surrounding the starch granules the second. It is proven that up to 30% of whole grain may pass undigested into the manure. Current recommendations for dietary starch content range from 23 percent to 30 percent on a dry matter (DM) basis, and dairy cows need to consume adequate starch for proper rumen fermentation. The energy derived by starch digestion in the cow is glucose. Glucose is also the only source of energy for the brain and foetus which is why starch content in a dairy ration is important.
Pelletising grains helps to release the starch, and allow for better utilisation and growth of bacteria and protozoa necessary for rumen fermentation. Steam application is unique to the pellet manufacturing process and is the key process that allows pellets to deliver results above other processing methods. The application of steam causes starch in cereal grains to gelatinise, allowing bacteria in the cow’s rumen to have full access to the starch and protein, utilising the full potential. This leads to improved digestibility and utilisation, allowing for more milk production, brain function, foetal growth and improved liveweight gain.
Speak to one of the friendly nutritionists at CopRice to discuss the starch content of your herds ration today on 1800 267 742.