Role of “Hey” in Animals Diet

Introduction- Ruminants are, by design, grazing animals. Their rumen, the largest gastrointestinal compartment, is an environment wherein bacteria anaerobically ferment (digest) forages. Compared to harvest by a grazing animal, hay production is an expensive process, involving fossil fuel, machinery and man-hours. Haying also involves significant soil nutrient relocation when compared to grazing. Protein (nitrogen) and minerals harvested and hauled off the soil of a hay meadow or field must be replaced if optimal hay production is to be maintained. Grazing, on the other hand, is part of a natural cycle. A portion of the nitrogen and minerals from the consumed forage is returned to the soil with urine and feces.

Chemical composition of good quality hey:-

S.No. Contant Value (in %)
1. Water 15.0
2. Ash 7.0
3. Albuminoids 11.7
4. Cruid Fibre 22.0
5. Fat 02.5
6. Extractive matter free from Nitrogen 42.2

The nutrition from hay is vital to keep the animal healthy, and to protect its digestive health. There are different types of hay and forage, including grass, legume and cereal grain hays, as well as mixed hays that contain different proportions of grasses and legumes.

Mr. Brahmanand Bairwa, Assistant Professor, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Science, School of Agricultural Sciences, Career Point University, Kota

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