Rumen acidosis is the silent killer of our cows.
One third of the cows is not making it. ‘Not making it’, is saying that the average productive lifetime for cows is below 3 lactations, where it can be 5 lactations. When we’re looking at why cows don’t go the distance, we’re quickly faced with disease numbers:
50% bloody soles after calving
50% subclinical milk fever
30% mastitis or much more
x % subclinical rumen acidosis
Let’s look at one disease in particular: rumen acidosis. This disease is hard to recognize for farmers, but will seriously weaken the cow. It starts with nausea and by the time you catch it (or not), the other trouble has already started: mastitis, lameness, low fertility rates and so on. This is what in the end is keeping cows from happily and healthy making it to five lactations. Rumen acidosis is the silent killer of our cows.
For prevention farmers need a good understanding of how the rumen functions and an excellent feeding program. A major issue is feed quality and luckily, most farmers have a good feed advisor for this. What the feed advisor often doesn’t tell the farmer is how management and housing effect feed intake. Without broadening knowledge about feeding to these areas as well, rumen acidosis just will keep happening.
Feeding Signals course focuses on housing and management with regards to feeding and it provides solutions that have proven themselves in practice. Small improvements will make a big difference in feed intake, health and milk production. We have relative cheap solutions for high cost problems.