The Manure Study

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 05:19 pm

The Manure Study

For the last 2 decades, Riomax® products have been improving cattle digestive efficiency. With a 19-component digestion package, we've been stimulating and feeding the biology, or the bugs in the rumen of a cow.

Feed & Hay Savings

By putting this strong focus on digestion, Riomax® enables ranchers all across the continent to consistently experience 15-30% hay and forage savings. Whether it's reducing the amount of hay fed through winter or getting more days on pasture during summer, the science remains the same. Helping cattle get more out of every mouthful they take will result in them consuming less.

We've also been asked the same sort of questions countless times: how do you know we're not shorting the cows? How do you know we're not achieving these hay savings at the expense of body condition and herd performance?

So we set out on a mission to uncover exactly how much Riomax® is improving nutrient extraction out of that forage, versus how much is going out as waste. It's time to shine the spotlight on the manure.

The 4-week Manure Study

Performed by
: Rio Nutrition LiveLab team Subject of the study: 7 first calf heifers & their manure

Goal of the study: To measure the difference in the manure leftovers manure using Riomax® tubs versus control.

It is important to note that the heifers were on a diet of grass hay for the duration of the trial.

March 29, 2022

The 7 first-calf heifers were split into 2 groups. One group was provided with the Riomax® PG360™ tub.

April 26, 2022

4 weeks after the trial began, we collected 10 pounds of fresh manure from each group.

Then we liquefied the manure and ran it through a 5-gallon pail with an 1/8-inch screen attached to the bottom. 


Riomax® Screened Manure Solids Weight: 3.3 oz

Control Screened Manure Solids Weight: 7.3 oz

That's a 55% decrease in weight!

That means that 55% MORE forage stayed in the cow and was put to good use. Instead of ending up in the manure, it went to cow health and performance; things like body condition, fetal production, milk quality, and more!


The other thing we dug into was the consistency of the manure. Manure is a huge visual that helps us understand what's going on between A and B, the mouth and the hind end. It helps us see what goes on in the rumen. That's why we're so curious about unlocking the mystery of the manure.

As you can see from the pictures of the manure pats below, the Riomax® side has more of a thick pancake batter consistency with a slight divot in the middle, showing that the cow is using up everything she eats. The control side is more firm and stacked up, which shows undigested fibers that didn't get utilized by the cow.


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