A farmer can find more microbes in a dairy cow’s rumen or its first stomach that receives food than the entire population of earth. So imagine what’s happening in a cow’s rumen if one thinks it’s challenging for everyone to work together.
The central part of a rumen’s microbial population consists of bacteria. These microbes digest feedstuff such as silage through fermentation to create energy and protein that the cow needs to produce, milk, calf and maintain health. That’s a lot of work, and it depends on the pH balance in the rumen. Overall, even a small issue in the rumen’s pH balance can put the entire digestive system at risk and take away the ruminant’s health and performance, which can also be life-threatening.
The rumen progress
Dairy animals cannot live without a thoroughly performing rumen. Therefore, it is essential to help them absorb and digest nutrition. Fodder such as silage contains carbohydrates, which are the primary energy source for cattle. They also include fiber, which the rumen slowly digests, and starch along with sugars, which the rumen breaks down fast.
As microbes in the rumen digest carbohydrates, they produce volatile fatty acids, aka VFA, primarily propionate, acetate, and butyrate. VFAs are crucial for cows and provide 60% to 80% of their energy requirements. In addition to being an energy supplement for production, cows heavily assimilate butyrate with the help of their epithelial cells in the rumen, which adds to the growth of rumen papillae that absorb nutrients (rumen papillae are finger-like structures in a cow’s stomach).
However, one rumen acid causes issues, lactate, which mainly influences rumen’s pH balance. Lactic acid does not grow in the rumen under normal conditions, but feeding high-grain feeds to rumen can cause lactate creation. Lactate is 10x more potent than VFAs and heavily affects rumen pH and the rumen microbial group’s health and functionality.
If farmers make the mistake of continuously feeding grain to their cattle, bacteria can create more lactate than the animals can handle, resulting in rumen pH loss. Please note the points regarding this.
- When rumen pH is between 6.2 and 6.8, it usually digests fiber.
- Rumen pH value under 6.2 negatively affects fiber breakdown.
- The warning signal is rumen pH below 5.5 as it produces acidosis, which can cause cattle to eat less, which is terrible for their health.
A rumen microbial improvement: Farmers use various products to improve rumen health and performance, but one of them has the edge over others, silage, preserves lactic acid, and finds that energy source in the rumen. It enables rumen pH regulation, adds to rumen papillae’s growth, and improves the maintenance and progress of a healthy rumen. But the most important of all, it keeps the rumen microbial population functioning.
Silage Agro is the best Silage Seller in Punjab. The silage products they sell to farmers have proper nutritional and pH balance to keep the dairy cows’ rumens healthy.