Fermentation patterns of small-bale silage and haylage produced as a feed for horses
The fermentation quality of small-bale silage and haylage for feeding to horses in Sweden, and using a conventional high-density hay baler, was investigated in two experiments. Treatments studied were use of additives (inoculants containing lactic acid bacteria and a chemical additive consisting of hexamethylenetetramine, sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate and sodium propionate), the influence of dry-matter (DM) content of wilted herbage and the effect of number of stretch film layers on fermentation pattern and aerobic stability. All silages and haylages were made from predominantly Timothy swards and were well fermented as indicated by low levels of ammonia and butyric acid. Values of pH were higher and concentrations of organic acids were lower in haylages than in the silages. This was not considered to be indicative of a poor fermentation in the haylage but of a restricted fermentation due to the high DM content of the herbage. The additives enhanced aerobic storage stability because of inhibition of mould growth. The only statistically significant effect of varying the number of stretch film layers was a higher content of CO2 inside the bales when ten layers of stretch film were applied compared with six layers.