Enhancing Ruminant Health
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The function of molasses and sugars in the ruminant diet has been studied for many years. Molasses was first extracted from the sugar refining process in the mid-19th century. Since then, refiners have been looking for markets for molasses, and animal feed has been an important component of that.

Like research in many areas, even after a couple of generations, while there are aspects that have become well known, there are others less well known. We still do not understand what form of “sugar” is most beneficial and in what nutritional circumstances.

Included below are a selection of articles and research studies relating to sugar and molasses, from basic considerations to an atomic level view.

5 tips for a successful dry period

The dry period is a stressful time for cows, as they face many challenges in a short period of time.

Published in Progressive Dairy January 2022, written by Sydney Moore and Casey Havekes

How to feed dry cows has become a hot topic in the last decade, with several researchers and industry professionals promoting controlled energy dry cow diets.

It takes a team to ignite the rumen

Through supplemental sugar in the form of molasses or whey permeate, this can kick-start the rumen

by John Goeser

Hoard's Dairyman November 2021 Article 

Whether it’s the celebrated song rooted in tradition coming through the loudspeakers prior to the football stadium, the crack of the bat for a hit with bases loaded in a tightly contested playoff baseball game, a slam-dunk by the superstar during a momentous run in a basketball game, or a golfer sinking a critical putt on the 18th green to win a tournament… each of these situations will ignite a crowd.

Why Sheep and Goats May Need Sugar the Most

The benefits of supplementing Liquid Molasses to small ruminants

Feeding a liquid molasses throughout gestation will encourage DMI, reduce feeding losses, encourage healthy feeding behaviours (i.e., limit feed sorting) and provide ewes and does with enough energy to successfully transition them into lactation, reducing the risk of pregnancy toxemia and ketosis. 

Specific Sugar Types and Sources for Dairy Cows

Published on March 31 2021 Progressive Dairy, contributed by Mary Beth de Ondarza

Supplemental sugars can improve rumen pH. When more sugars are incorporated into the rumen bacteria, less organic matter is converted into fermentation acids.

Improving The Transition Period

Adding Molasses-based liquid feed supplement to a short chopped high-straw dry cow diet

The transition period is a difficult time for many dairy cows. They are uncomfortably pregnant, have to go through the stress of calving, and then need to gear up their entire system for lactation. throw in some diet and pen changes and it's no wonder that cows struggle through this time. Many of the metabolic problems associated with this time have their roots in the dry cow period, and their effects can reach far into lactation.