P8 is a lactose product which is a by-product of cheese manufacturing. Lactose is often referred to as whey permeate, which is the watery part of the milk.
P8 is high in sugar and low in protein and can complement the diets of cows during the entirety of lactation.
P8 contains approximately 75 - 85% lactose (sugar) on a dry matter basis.
Because of the lactose content, P8 has an energy rating of greater than 13MJME/kg DM. Lactose is one of the slower fermentable sugars making it safe for feeding to ruminants.
P8 can be fed to cows at 5-10 litres per cow per day.
Because lactose is a “milk sugar” and is easily fermented in the rumen, it is important to adapt the animal slowly to P8 to avoid rumen acidity, bloat and diarrhea. Usually, cattle offered P8 tend to adapt themselves slowly and normally several weeks introduction are required before the animals achieve good intakes.
Start by feeding around 5 – 6 litres/cow/day for several days and build up to around 11 - 13 litres/cow/day (approximately 2.0 – 2.3 kg DM).
IMPORTANT: Because of the high potassium (K) levels, care should be taken not to feed lactose to cows in late gestation (3-4 weeks pre-calving).
P8 can be fed safely any time outside this period.
While not as sweet as sugar, P8 increases the palatability of feeds like palm kernel and dry maize silage. P8 can be fed with many other feeds including by-products or fed on its own in troughs.