A new feed supplement from Azelis will help livestock producers get more nutritional value from the fibre fraction of home-grown forages. The company says that Fibrase, a combination of dried yeast and enzymatic fermentation extracts, improves feed efficiency by helping ruminants break down more of the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content of grass, maize and whole-crop silages.

 c.Agriphoto

c.Agriphoto

Phil Vernon, ruminant sales manager at Azelis, says using Fibrase as part of a total mixed ration could save livestock producers money. “Farmers are being urged to produce more from forage, but faecal sieving typically reveals a significant amount of undigested cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin from the grass or silage that is fed on many ruminant livestock units,” he advises. “Through the feeding of Fibrase, which helps to improve the breakdown of this forage fibre fraction in the rumen, farmers will gain more energy and therefore production output from the forage they do feed.”

Fibrase contains dried yeast with fermentation substrates of Aspergillus fungi, which have proven amylolytic and fibrolytic enzyme activity. This combination of yeast and enzymes increases the biomass of fibre-digesting bacteria in the rumen. It also stabilises rumen pH to help cows cope with acidic silages.

Mr Vernon concluded: “The conversion of feeds, especially fibrous forages, to milk and meat is not very efficient. Only 10 to 35% of the energy intake is captured as net energy by the ruminant animal because 20 to 70% of fibre components such as cellulose may not be digested. Anything that improves the digestion of forage fibre is well worth considering and we’ve found that there is definitely a ‘one plus one equals three’ effect by combining dried yeast and enzymes together.”

Fibrase can be tipped into feeds, top dressed or incorporated into rations manufactured at feed mills. The recommended feed rate for dairy cows is 20g per head per day, the rate for beef cattle is 10g per head per day.

For more information, contact Azelis Animal Nutrition on 01928 793090 or e-mail: nutrition@azelis.co.uk.