|Acidosis in Cows
There are two main forms of Acidosis;
Acute Ruminal Acidosis (ARA) – pH <5.0 -5.2
- Very low pH and Lactic acid is produced
Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) -pH <5.6
- High Volatile Fatty Acid (VFA) Levels, very low – nonexistent levels of Lactic Acid.
Acidosis is a negative shift in the rumens pH, causing the environment to be in an undesirable acidic state. This means the rumen walls are prone to acidic burn causing lesions, ruminal scarring, and the prevention of rumen micro organisms ability to function at full capacity. The feeds rate of passage will also been increased, meaning time of the feed spent in the rumen is reduced. All of which results in uncomfortable cows, loss of appetite, loss of condition and milk fat suppression.
How to Prevent/Treat ARA and SARA
Spring is critically high risk for SARA due to low fiber and low dry matter pastures.It is estimated that majority of NZ pasture based farms will experience SARA during spring.
This rate of passage needs to slow down. The addition of high fibrous feed such as straw and inclusion of rumen buffers, such as Spring Loose Lick, will allow the cow to self medicate and bring her rumen pH back to a comfortable, and efficient state.
How Does Manure Indicate Acidosis?
If your herds manure score is appearing to Score 1,2 or bubbles, then it is safe to assume that your herd may be suffering from acidosis. If Score 1, expect cows to be down, and in need of urgent assistance.