Rumen pH values

Best possible Feeding optimisation


Optimised feeding

With the unique, patented smaXtec technology you continuously monitor pH values, enabling you to identify issues related to feeding management. Based on the data you create needs-oriented rations and improve cow health and productivity.

pH values show you how basic or acid the rumen is. Rumen pH values are highly sensitive and directly influenced by feeding. This is why this parameter is the best to assess and optimize feeding.

The goal is to have rumen conditions that are as stable as possible. Because: The more stable the pH values, the better the preconditions for an efficient rumen flora.

Rumen pH is the scientifically recognised gold standard in detection of subacute rumen acidosis (SARA). Depending on the country, research shows that up to 50% of fresh and high lactating cows can suffer from SARA.

In this case, the pH value is at least 300 minutes per day below 5.8. SARA can barely be detected from the outside and thus often passes unnoticed, even though it leads to numerous secondary diseases and problems as well as significant financial losses. With continuous pH measurement, subacute rumen acidosis can be detected precisely and thus can be avoided.

Your benefits

  • Improved feeding efficiency.
  • Higher productivity.
  • Reduced cost.

Which factors influence rumen pH values?

Feeding directly influences rumen pH values, namely two factors: feeding composition and feeding management.
Fressende Holsteinkühe in den USA
Regarding feeding composition, a good mixture of fibres and concentrates is necessary. The richer feeding is in energy, the higher the probability of acidosis. Besides, feeding mistakes do not only affect cow health but also the composition – and thus the quality – of milk.
Fressende Kühe
This is why rations have to be needs-oriented, to enable high productivity while safeguarding animal health. This means animals need to be provided with enough energy. However, concentrates should not negatively impact dry matter intake. The lower the proportion of sugar and starch in the ration, the lower the risk of subacute and acute rumen acidosis.
Kopf einer fressenden Kuh
Not only the composition but also the feeding management has a significant impact on rumen pH values. Cows as well as their rumen microbiota appreciate routines, such as regular feeding times and standardized procedures. It is also vital to animate cows to eat regularly by implementing different measures such as pushing feed regularly. This enables a constant feed intake, and thus a stable pH value.

pH value fluctuations

Find a visualization of how pH values change throughout the day in this graphic. After feed intake, pH value decreases. If a cow doesn’t eat for a longer time, it increases again. These fluctuations are completely normal. The more regular feed intake is, the lower the fluctuations – which is good for the rumen flora and feeding efficiency. Needs-oriented feeding with an appropriate amount of concentrates ensures that pH values don’t drop too low. This way, you avoid subacute rumen acidosis in your herd.

Your benefits

Why you should measure rumen pH

Feeding cost account for up to 70% of cost on a dairy farm, making it even more important to optimise this area. At the same time, rumen health of cows should always be safeguarded. Continuous pH measurement supports you as follows:
  • You detect diseases caused by feeding at an early stage. Continuous pH measurement is the most reliable method to detect subacute rumen acidosis. You will improve herd health and avoid secondary diseases and problems thanks to early detection.
  • Only a healthy herd with needs-oriented rations can produce high milk yields. pH measurement shows you if rations are needs-oriented.
  • In case of changes of feeding, you will see instantly how the new ration affects rumen pH and can react immediately.
  • You can identify unused potentials and use them to increase milk production.
  • You identify mistakes in feeding management and can take corrective action, e.g. related to feed provision, frequency or ration.
  • Based on the data, you will increase feeding efficiency of your cows, reduce cost while increasing productivity, resulting in better outcomes.
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