The use of glycerol in feeding

Glycerol (glycerine, glycerin) may be administered in various ways, taking into account the animal’s stage of lactation, the composition of the ration, quality of coarse fodder etc. If the objective is the use of glycerol as so-called medical drink then the best way to administer it is to use a specific drinking fountain, pre-mixing the glycerol with water.

During lactation, the most optimal way is to add glycerol into the full ration mixed feed (FRMF). This way, glycerol replaces a part of grains in FRMF.
Studies conducted abroad claim that glycerol may be fed to dairy cows, replacing the source of starch, a maximum of 15% of the ration of dry matter. In a study conducted in Estonia, middle lactation dairy cows were fed glycerol a maximum of 15% of the ration of dry matter without adversely affecting feed intake or milk production.

In addition to farms that use FRMF in feeding, glycerol can be added to silage or concentrated fodder in farms which keep cows in tether. In case of individual feeding, glycerol can be fed through a milking robot using a special device or from troughs (spraying it on the concentrated fodder).

By using appropriate technology, glycerol can be used in the granulation of concentrated fodder, as it serves as a so-called binder, helping to reduce dusting during the handling of the fodder. When starting to feed crude glycerol, the quantities must be increased by maximum of 0,5 kg during 3-4 days. This gives the micro-organisms living in rumen time to adapt to the changes in the ration. When replacing grains found in the ration with crude glycerol, the optimal amount would be 2 kg per day per animal.