Journal of ISSN: 2377-4312JDVAR

Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research
Public Policy
Volume 4 Issue 1 - 2016
Moderated Starch Feeding for Sustainable Ruminant Agrotechnology
Akbar Nikkhah*
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Zanjan, Iran
Received: October 27, 2016 | Published: November 08, 2016
*Corresponding author: Akbar Nikkhah, Chief Highly Distinguished Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zanjan, Foremost Principal Highly Distinguished Elite-Generating Scientist, National Elite Foundation, Iran, Email:
Citation: Nikkhah A (2016) Moderated Starch Feeding for Sustainable Ruminant Agrotechnology. J Dairy Vet Anim Res 4(1): 00108. DOI: 10.15406/jdvar.2016.04.00108


This article demands a global call on moderated starch feeding to enable optimizing rumen fermentation, nutrient efficiency, ruminant health and economics, and environmental sustainability. The incorrect trend in elevating starch feeding in modern diets need to be stopped. The sustainability of the postmodern ruminant industry lies on moderated feeding of starch from cereals.

Keywords: Starch; Feeding; Ruminant; Efficiency

Philosophy and Discussion

The modern ruminant industry has critical roles in food safety and security [1,2]. However, the growing demands for animal proteins have largely and recklessly led policy-makers, animal raisers and producers to want to increase milk and beef production mostly by unwise and blind increases in starch feeding. Such an absurd policy has kept the global ruminant industry from realizing its optimal health and economic perspectives. Challenges include the increasing losses due to suboptimal longevity, increased costs of treatment and animal removal, and unstable feed, milk and meat markets which have adversely affected the world ruminant industry. Multifaceted health problems including metabolic diseases and disorders (e.g., subacute rumen acidosis and related immune deficiencies), consequently, occur often. Moreover, inter-diet and inter-phase adaptations have become more challenging in the face of such ill-mannered starch nutrition to super ruminants. An enforced global action has been disseminating the issue broadly to critically change the situation through different pragmatic strategies of starch feeding management [3-10]. 

Among notable examples of challenging starch management are dairy cattle periparturient period and feedlot adaptations to high-starch diets. Over-modernization has driven ruminants too far from their natural grazing and feeding behaviours that, in consequence, has created major challenges in the management of such critical phases of production [5,10]. It is by all means unwise to first over-modernize an inherently natural industry and then absurdly search for management strategies to solve the already man-made problems in rumen and ruminant physiology. Such problems could have been well prevented from happening. Thus, the trend is completely drivelling. Production systems (housing, feeding, milking, and treating) need to be adequately close to natural ruminant behaviour and ecology to enable efficacious management of rumen and ruminant transition through such challenging phases of production. This management system would be key to victorious raising that would occur only with moderated starch feeding. The result would be avoidance of back-breaking production peaks and unrestrained tissue mobilization towards superior health, longevity and efficiency. Wisdom is a must in achieving lasting concurrently improved production and health by moderated starch feeding.

Formulating dairy diets with ≥ 35-40% cereal grains of particularly barley and greatly processed corn just makes possible encountering a real tragedy. As far as feedlot production, this suggests that feeding diets made of 80-95% grain should also be revisited from a postmodern standpoint. Despite the many aspects requiring research, it is comprehensible that the world ruminant industry is in need of an action for moderated starch feeding. This is to cease the striking rising trends of animal health issues that harmfully impact food safety and security for humans.


The rising unreasonable trends of health issues in modern ruminant enterprises have, in substantial degree, been resulted from unwise amounts and choices of starch in commercial diets. A global commitment must be made to stop the howler and to moderate starch feeding in high-merit dairy and beef ruminants.   


Thanks to Iran’s Ministry of Science Research and Technology, University of Zanjan, and National Elite Foundation for supporting the author’s global programs of optimizing science edification in the third millennium. 


  1. Nikkhah A (2013) Feeding frequency interfacing tradition and modernity in dairy production: feeding behavior insights. J Anim Poult Sci 2(4): 91-97.
  2. NRC (National Research Council) (2001) Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. (7th rev. edn), National Acad Sci Washington, DC.
  3. Nikkhah A (2015) Gut adaptation to healthy starch assimilation in dairy ruminants: A lifetime development. Adv Dairy Res In Press.
  4. Nikkhah A (2015) Dry or steam rolling of soft grains: Dairy and beef bioprocessing perspectives. J Bioprocess Biotechniq 5: e124.
  5. Nikkhah A (2015) Production curve management of starch nutrition in ruminants: A global biotechnique. J Bioprocess Biotechniq. 5: e123.
  6. Nikkhah A (2015) Bioprocessing of moisturized cereals: Ruminants crave. J Bioprocess Biotechniq. 5: e121.
  7. Nikkhah A (2015) Cereals bond trounces subacute rumen acidosis. Int J Vet Health Sci Res 3(1e): 1-2.
  8. Nikkhah A (2014) Grinding as a most economical healthy bioprocessing biotechnique of cereals for postmodern ruminants. J Bioprocess Biotech 5: e119.
  9. Nikkhah A (2014) Bioprocessing of soft cereals for postmodern ruminants: Ascertaining decades of uncertainty. J Bioprocess Biotechniq 4: e116.
  10. Nikkhah A (2010) Barley grain for ruminants: A global treasure or tragedy. J Anim Sci Biotechnol 3(1): 22-29.
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