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.
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.