Adding a molasses-based liquid feed to a TMR can be used to decrease feed sorting, enhance dry matter intake and improve milk yield, Canadian researchers have found.

In this month’s Journal of Dairy Science, the researchers tell about an experiment at the University of Guelph in which lactating cows were exposed to two treatment diets: control TMR and control TMR with 4.1 percent dietary dry matter liquid feed added. Each treatment period lasted for 21 days, with sorting and milk yield recorded the last seven days. Dry matter intake was 1.4 kilograms (3.08 pounds) higher when cows were fed the liquid feed diet as compared with the control diet. That, in turn, allowed the liquid feed-supplemented cows to produce 1.9 kilograms (4.18 pounds) more milk per day ― and the results were even more dramatic when the milk was put on a fat-corrected basis. Liquid feed supplementation also cut down on the amount of feed sorting by the cows. The commercially available liquid feed contained cane molasses, corn steep liquor and corn distillers grains with soluble. It was thoroughly mixed with the feed before being delivered to the cows.

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