Subsequently, the dry silage is piled by dragging it by hand or with machines, so as to form a linear stack. Alternatively, the loose straw could be placed in bundles to dry prior to collection. Loose fodder was moved to an area designated for stacking - usually a slightly raised area to drain the water.
Since each feed contains a staggering amount of water, it is first determined by the organic raw material area, the dry matter. This can be done by evaporation of samples just above the boiling point, but also by technical drying. The dry matter is mass fraction remaining after deduction of the water. The proportion of protein, fat and crude fiber (cellulose) is then determined from other components through further analysis.
On some farms the loose feed is stored in a shed or barn, normally after compressing and curing. Straw could be stored on the second floor of a barn, above the animals or in a shed specially designed with little internal structure to provide more space. Internal heat is produced due to bacterial fermentation.
In modern animal husbandry, the function of hay is replaced by grass silage. Grass flowers are also often part of the mix. Plants that are commonly used include Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and ryegrass (L. Perenne), with mixtures of other herbs and clovers (red, white and underground). Oats, barley and wheat may form part of the feed. In many countries, alfalfa-hay is a top quality feed for cattle and horses.
When feeding ruminants and horses, the proportion of crude fiber in dry matter plays an important role, it must not be too high or too low. They also take on basically enough additional water, but they can refuse dry food. Fattening of pigs which are water intensive animals, enough water is always mixed into the feed, so that the nature of feed is largely the same. The availability of nutrients is important in animal feed.
Amino acids available vary depending on the composition in the feed. Ruminants such as cattle can only in certain combinations optimally exploit their complicated digestive system proteins, because the stomach flora consists of bacteria that do not provide optimum performance even if another component is present in abundance.
Hay is a grass or legume, cut and used as animal feed. The regulation of the production, distribution, trade and use of feed are strictly regulated both at EU and national level. This applies to livestock (delivering food animals, horses and other animals). The great diversity of rules that have direct or indirect implications for the food industry, are extremely varied and almost confusing. The primary objective of all provisions is to ensure a supply of food from animal production at the highest level in terms of security and safety.
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