Date of this Version
This NebGuide describes what makes fiber unique as a nutrient, how it's measured, and the impact different dietary fiber levels have on milk production and feed intake.
Fiber content of feed or forage affects its feeding value. Understanding fiber and how it is used is necessary to properly feed dairy cows. Each of the following topics will be addressed to better understand fiber nutrition in the dairy cow:
1. What is fiber?
2. How will too little or too much fiber in the diet affect the cow's metabolism and subsequent production?
3. What are optimal levels of fiber in the diets of dairy cows at different production levels and stages of their life cycle?