Get your transition cows ready, with Rumen-Ready®
✓ Improved VFA absorption = decreased SARA risk
✓ Improved energy status = improved milk yield
✓ Highly bioavailable magnesium = improved calcium mobilisation
Dairy cow rations – challenges at the start of lactation
Upon calving, the cow immediately requires much more energy and nutrients than she did during the dry period. Unfortunately, the rumen is not immediately able to handle the increased amount and readily fermentable carbohydrate content of the feed. Too aggressive a change in feeding can cause accumulation of volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the rumen, resulting in subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA). Alternatively, too slow a change in feeding can leave the cow with limited energy, leading to lower milk production and increased risk of ketosis. It is a balancing act that can and does go wrong for many cows within a herd.
Rumen redevelopment and butyric acid
During the dry period, the low amount of readily fermentable carbohydrates in the dry cow diet results in decreased VFA production. Due to this lower VFA production, the surface area of the rumen wall decreases. After calving, the higher readily fermentable carbohydrate content of the lactation diet increases VFA production again, but it takes several weeks to redevelop the rumen wall surface area. This limits the ability to absorb VFA during early lactation and increases the risk of energy imbalance, which can result in SARA or ketosis. Scientific research has shown that butyric acid is a strong stimulator of rumen development: increasing rumen wall surface area, blood flow and transport proteins. Butyric acid is a VFA that is naturally produced in the rumen but at low levels, particularly with dry cows that consume diets low in readily fermentable carbohydrate content. With the addition of butyrate at just the right time, the limitation on absorption ability is resolved. This enables the cow to take in sufficient feed and utilise it without problem.
Palital has developed a magnesium butyrate product especially for transition cows, Rumen-Ready®. On top of the butyric acid, Rumen-Ready® is a source of highly bioavailable magnesium. This helps prepare the cow for optimal calcium mobilisation during early lactation. Historically, butyric acid was delivered to the gut only in the forms of calcium- or sodium butyrate. However, functional levels of butyric acid would be accompanied by too high levels of calcium or sodium for the transition phase, which would cause metabolic problems and increase milk fever risk.
Rumen-Ready® delivers butyric acid and magnesium in a matrix encapsulated form. This formulation ensures an optimal release of both ingredients inside the rumen, as well as problem free handling of the product along the supply chain. On top of supporting dairy cow health and performance, Rumen-Ready® improves colostrum quantity and quality which gives calves the best start in life.