Discussion created on 08/20/2010

Alfalfa Pellets in Dairy Cattle Rations

Forum: Using Alfalfa Pellets in Dairy Cattle Rations

Hi friends,

Has anybody used pelletted alfalfa in their dairy cattle rations. If I have chance I want to use it. But I have doubts because of the particular size of the TMR. If I use the alfalfa pellets instead of hay, the particular size of the TMR will be small. And I think this may cause the acidosis, affect the rumen metabolism. So If there is somebody has used it, share us his experiments, I would be glad.

Thank you.

Duygu Ekin
Agro Engineer Zootechnist
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Karin Keckeis Karin Keckeis
Veterinary Doctor
September 15, 2010

I dont know about the particle size in alfalfa pellets, but I share your worry on rumen health and I want to add concern about the suitability of this product for ruminants if you use it to replace hay in the ration. This could be a health and welfare problem in cows.
Why continue to move away from rations which anyway may be close to the limits of being appropriate to the species (even for dairy cows of high genetic merit susceptible to lots of metablic health disorders) ?

September 16, 2010

We tried using Alfalfa pellets in Middle East but the project was not successful as hay pellets or full feed pellets (combined concentrate and hay pellets) were. Also considerable manufacturing problems were faced in Alfalfa pelleting procedure. therefore we considered offering alfalfa and Rhodes grass in the natural form.


Dr. Eyup Baser Dr. Eyup Baser
Agro Engineer Zootechnist
September 17, 2010
Well, Im from Turkiye. As far as I know, There is a feed manufacturer in Karapýnar, Konya Turkiye. They produce alfa alfa pellets as an animal feed. Im also have been working Bahri Dagdas International Agricultural Research Institute in Konya. You can contact to me or fabric. my contact point is (eyupbaser61@yahoo.com).
September 19, 2010

Dear All,
Why one would try Alfalfa pellets in a commercial dairy operation, surely does the harm rather to do the good, Experimental feeding comparisons clearly proved that using alfalfa pellets has induced a higher proportion of SARA and accompanied Poor hoof health.
When given a choice between Alfalfa pellets and Hay, one should always choose hay as it provides a greater surface area for micobial action rather not to elevate a sudden surge of lactate in the rumen.

Dr Mathan

Fantay Belete Fantay Belete
April 19, 2013

I want to do my thesis in economic significance of alfalfa in developing country. Can you help me preparing table of contents?

Kabir Ahmed Chohan Kabir Ahmed Chohan
January 14, 2015
Hello Dr. RAHUL CHANDRAVANSHI, Please send me your email or whats app number, i need to discuss with you some issues of complete feed pellets please.
Kabir Chohan
Animal Nutritionist
Lahore, Pakistan
Marcio Marcio
March 9, 2015
I have successfully used hay pellet without any metabolólico disorder. Veterinary technician and am a partner in a grasses hay pellets manufacturing company of its kind in Brazil cynodon, we can bypass the long fiber deficiency with a grinding system through cuts, causing the fiber to continue stimulating the rumen. hammer mills systems unravel the fiber making it inefficient. animals confined here in Brazil receive corn grain and soybean meal along with hay pellets, no problem, we are doing tests with weight gain in sheep and horses, all successful to date.

Márcio Dreier
zootecnist - Sustentabio - Brazil
January 29, 2021
I am interested to know if you continue to use alfalfa pellets. We are in the states and very few dairy producers use them. I'm interested in the process you found that works well for you.
March 10, 2015
Indian Dairy animals are not getting enough Dry Fodder. Good quality dry fodder is not available. If any one wants to store , it needs space , being bulky in nature, Is there any technology , can we make pellets with high digestible fibre and use it along with concentrate. this will help to use non conventional fodders and make them palatable
M.Sc ( Animal Nutrition)
Director Rumitech Nutrition Pvt Ltd
Sushil Chandra Sushil Chandra
Master in Poultry Nutrition 1975
March 10, 2015
pelletizing alfa alfa hay commercially a tedious process and unvioable economically.why not to feed chaffed hay ,along with concentrate and chaffed greens as TMR ,which will certainely work.

Dr Chandra
arun jacob thomas arun jacob thomas
Dairy producer
June 16, 2016
If anybody interested to feed Alfalfa pellets as part of their TMR feed for cattle or Poultry. We produce premium quality Alfalfa pellets in Spain and can be shipped anywhere. Minimum order order quantity of 25 metric tonne.
Alfalfa is major part of the Almarai Dairy Farm in Saudi Arabia and produce an average of 40 litres per day.
Arun Jacob Thomas
February 3, 2021


Pelleted alfalfa definitely suffers from too high quality differences among products in the market, so I would recommend you to be very careful and to control your supplier as quality can be really poor.
Good quality pellets are very difficult to find as usually good quality alfalfa is just not pelleted. Do not trust just CP level as any quality indication, it would not be the first time that straw gets urea and some nice green color.

Regarding your concerns about particle size in my experience you are totally right, this product has no effective fiber whatsoever and leaves the rumen very quicky.

February 5, 2021

The greatest and best virtue of alfalfa is the quality of its fiber, the same that is lost by the pelletizing and / or grinding process as it is intended to be used in some places.

Syeedmojtaba Syeedmojtaba
Animal Nutritionist
February 9, 2021
Effective NDF or Potentially degradable NDF is supplied by forages. Pelleted Alfalfa may decrease effective physical factor due to reducing particle size fraction of Alfalfa , followed by less saliva production.and decreased milk fat
Mohammad Salahuddin Mohammad Salahuddin
PhD research fellow (Dairy nutrition)
March 2, 2021

Pelleting of grass is not surely an ideal feeding method, as it turns into very fine and grass lost its special characteristics that mean effective NDF which causes acidosis. lameness, fat depression disturbance of rumen microbial ecosystem. As a result, less production performance of dairy cattle.

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