Facts about fibre

Fibre is an essential ingredient in the diets of ruminant animals such as cows.

The fact sheet describes:

  • The role of fibre and its components in the animals' diets
  • Neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre and its role in making feeding decisions
  • Some key thoughts and considerations on rumination, rumen pH and the risk of acidosis
  • Recognising the signs of sub-clinical acidosis.  

A ruminal acidosis risk assessment tool is also available for download.

Download the 'Facts about fibre' fact sheet

Key messages

  • Fibre is an essential ingredient in diets of ruminants
  • Fibre length should be greater than 1.5 cm
  • Neutral detergent fibre intake should be approximately 40% of total dry matter intake
  • Feed a long fibre source as soon as possible after grain/ concentrate feeding to help reduce the rumen pH drop
  • Sugarcane forage

    Before feeding sugar cane forages in dairy cattle diets, it is critical that feed-testing is completed, and nutritional advice is sought

    Read more
  • Ruminal acidosis risk assessment

    This tool will help you identify high risk factors for ruminal acidosis on your farm, so you can consider actions that may reduce the risk

    Read more