Alfalfa pellets in dairy cattle TMP and PMR feeding systems.

In TMR (totally mixed ration) and PMR (partially mixed rations) feeding systems of high production dairy cows, it is required to use protein - fibrous supplements. This demand is satisfied by a varied range of products of vegetable origin, among them the alfalfa pellet which is very little diffused in our country (though in other countries). As well as being a very good palatability product, the alfalfa pellet´s important source of vitamins and minerals is a comparative advantage towards other protein – fibrous products (wheat pellets, sunflower pellets, etc.)

Alfalfa pellets improve the consumption and utilization of low quality forages, due to the higher density of the tablets compared to hay in the form of a roll, since it occupies less ruminal volume besides being an excellent source of non-degradable protein.

We must remember that fiber is a basic nutrient in the rations of dairy cows, fulfilling two key functions:

- As a voluminous element also called "effective fiber" that acts generating adequate ruminal conditions, through stimulation to chewing and insalivation (saliva is the main buffer of acidity of the rumen).

Comparative advantages

Compared to other forms of alfalfa supply:
  • - It does not produce tympanism.
  • - Daily consumption per animal can be regulated more easily.
  • - It can be supplied with other solid supplements.
  • - Great savings in transportation and storage because it has greater weight per unit volume.
  • - Storage is more hygienic, maintains quality and losses are negligible allowing long periods of storage.
  • - 20% more than long hay is used (there is no waste on the ground).
  • Alfalfa pellet is an interesting input for the most demanding dairy cattle production models since it allows the development of very balanced diets with a very strict control of the quantity to be supplied as well as being a prime source of PROTEIN, with an excellent profile of essential amino acids (lysine and methionine) and an ideal balance of soluble and insoluble fibers; not forgetting to mention that it is a raw material free of contaminants (bacteria - mycotoxins - waste). To conclude, it can be affirmed that nowadays the alfalfa pellet tends to be a first item product in dairy cattle diet for all its nutritional benefits and its great cost - benefit ratio.


  • Excellent source of high digestibility proteins.
  • Very good values of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
  • Source of macro and micro minerals of high bioavailability.
  • Great contribution of soluble and insoluble fibers necessary for an excellent ruminal development.
  • Optimal profile of essential amino acids.
  • Ideal balance between protein and energy.


RAW MATERIALS Dairy 13 Dairy 16 Dairy 18 Dairy 20
Ground corn/sorghum 57,552,55049
Dehydrated alfalfa 7,5182633,5
Soy expeller 41 32,52721,515
Premix milk cow 2,52,52,52,5
Total in percentages (%)= 100100100100

NUTRITIONAL VALUES Dairy 13 Dairy 16 Dairy 18 Dairy 20
Gross protein (minimum) 13% 16% 18% 20%
Fatty matter (minimum) 3.4% 4.0% 4.4% 4.8%
Metabolizable Energy R. 2500 kcal 2550 kcal 2600 kcal 2650 kcal
Total gross fiber 9.8% 9.1% 8.3% 7.1%
Total calcium (average) 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7%
Total phosphorus (average) 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Total ash 7% 6.6% 6.3% 6.2%
Total digestive nutrients 83% 85% 86.5% 88%

Bovinos lecheros