Using hemp as an ingredient in animal feed is just one of the many uses for hemp currently under exploration. While there are financial and nutritional reasons for researching hemp in animal feed, a study out of Kansas State University has provided some more potential benefits to consider.
Specifically looking at cattle, a study out of the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine notes some observed benefits that can occur all without any cannabinoids building up in a cattle’s blood stream. That means the cows get the positives without any compounds transferring to the meat supply we eat.
For this study in particular, hemp with a high presence of CBDA was evaluated. When taken, the cattle in the study exhibited less stress. This is significant because almost everything puts stress on cattle.
Most cattle stress comes from fear, which is present a lot. Cattle can be afraid of:
- Unfamiliar objects (including shadows)
- Changes in their social structure and herd
- Extreme temperatures
- Limited water
- Low-quality water
They really do get stressed out a lot.
Given the results of the study, the hemp in animal feed could provide a natural option to help cattle through high-stress situations.
Inflammation is an expected thing in cattle. It’s not all bad, but it can negatively impact growth and development. What happens is that a cow’s body naturally directs nutrients to the source of inflammation to deal with it, instead of using those nutrients for other purposes. Short-term, that’s okay, but with chronic inflammation, the process can go on for too long, leading to decreased profitability in the cow.
Another benefit the KSU study noticed was a reduction in inflammation in cattle who had CBDA in their feed. By having a natural way to keep inflammation at a minimum, dairy farmers can ensure a consistent quality in their meat.
Encouraging cattle to lie down
This may not be as obvious of a benefit for having hemp in cattle feed, but cows fed hemp tended to lie down more often. And, good things happen when cattle lie down.
First, it leads to them chewing their cud more and a higher production of saliva. This may help ease their stomachs, which can get agitated.
Additionally, lying down can improve udder function and milk production in cattle, which can increase their profitability.
A little hemp can go a long way
As this one study shows, a little hemp in cattle feed can potentially go a long way to improving the life of the animals. And, it’s all done using a natural compound that won’t linger in cattle muscles and tissue.
More research is still needed, but studies like this highlight both the versatility of hemp and its potential to exceed our expectations as a product.
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