Corn silage is a type of animal feed that is made from whole corn plants, typically harvested at the milk to dough stage of grain development. It is commonly used to feed livestock, especially cattle and dairy cows. The entire corn plant, including the stalks, leaves, and cobs, is chopped into small pieces and then ensiled, which means it is preserved by fermentation in a silo or other storage structure. This process helps to retain the nutritional value of the corn forage and makes it suitable for feeding to animals. To make corn silage, the corn plants are typically harvested with a forage harvester, which chops the plants into small pieces. These chopped plants are then packed into a silo or storage structure, where anaerobic fermentation takes place. During this fermentation process, lactic acid bacteria break down the plant material, reducing its pH and creating a stable, preserved feed source. Proper packing and sealing are essential to create an anaerobic environment that supports the fermentation process.
Why Use Corn Silage?
- Provides more digestible nutrients than grass, which is typically (65-70)% digestible.
- Here all parts of the grass can be saved.
- Silage is highly palatable and rich in lactic acid.
- It is a source of nutrients and vitamins.
- Silage provides sufficient energy to cattle.
- During the season when there is a shortage of raw grass, silage is the only resource.
- Sufficient amount of fiber which increases rumen efficiency of cattle.