Collecting total mixed ration (TMR) samples throughout the day to measure sorting activity of dairy cows may cause changes to the sorting behavior of cows or may make it more difficult to elucidate effects of sorting on TMR particle size distributions. Also, forage particle size research commonly includes analysis of the solid portion of rumen digesta for particle size distribution after digesta has been squeezed through several layers of cheesecloth. Therefore, the first objective of this experiment was to determine if collecting TMR samples throughout the day affected sorting behavior of cows and resulted in a different particle size distribution than when TMR was not artificially altered during the day. The second objective of this experiment was to determine if squeezing rumen digesta samples through cheesecloth changed particle size distribution when analyzed by a wet sieving technique. It was determined that small, significant differences existed in particle size distribution between the 2 sampling methods of TMR for sorting behavior. These differences were more likely to occur at time points later in the day. This resulted in small changes in sorting indices calculated from these data; sampling and mixing TMR throughout the day reduced the degree of sorting. Squeezing rumen digesta through 4 layers of cheesecloth had no effect on particle size distribution of particles >0.15. mm but reduced the amount of rumen fluid-associated dry matter contained in the sample.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology