A dairy producer approached me with the following question – “All my hay is chopped. If I add hay as the first ingredient in the TMR, I end up overprocessing it. However, if I add it last, it floats and does not mix. What I should do?”
The hay mixing problems described by the dairy producer could be resolved by:
- Decreasing the chopping action of the mixer by taking out some knives. However, if the mixer is used to prepare other rations, this might not be a practical solution.
- Increasing hay‘s density by: 1) soaking it with water or molasses, or 2) pre-mixing it with wetter ingredients like silages.
- Preparing a premix with all the TMR ingredients but hay. Adding hay as the first ingredient and then the premix.
Source: Noelia Silva-del-Río, UCCE Tulare County