The Proof is in the Poop Pudding

Here is a lesson in bovine scatology. You can tell a lot about animal performance from observing the color, texture, and consistency of manure piles. Back when I was in the research business at the

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4 thoughts on “The Proof is in the Poop Pudding

  1. Adding grain into the diet as is commonly done in dairy production substantially changes the digestion process and the manure output comparison between desirable manure from a grain-fed and pasture-fed animal are quite different. Supplementing with grain reduces fiber digestion in the rumen, hence the manure from a grain supplemented dairy cow is going contain a higher percentage of undigested fiber resulting in a stiffer, taller standing manure pile.

    Dairy cows that have been selected for very high milk production are much more sensitive to the protein:energy ratio than are beef cattle.Yes, the ration was designed to optimize protein:energy balance, but it comes at the cost of reduced forage digestion. With beef cattle on pasture, we rely on the existing protein and energy components and are hoping to maximize fiber digestion, thus higher performance results in manure with lower levels of undigested fiber passing through the nonsupplemented cow.

    The first photo I showed would probably be considered a 2 in the Hutjens system. This consistency of manure does not run as a #1 would.

  2. Don’t forget to look for dung beetles as an indicator of good biological actviity in the soil.

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