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The Rumen and the (TMR) Wagon part 1


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Not only has gentics and nutrition played a major role in maximizing milk production, but farm management, labor, and facilities all play a role as well. Jaylor's Ruminant Nutritionist, Janet Kleinschmidt, discusses how.

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The Rumen and the (TMR) Wagon part 1

  1. 1. The Rumen & the (TMR) Wagon Part I
  2. 2. The Rumen & the (TMR) Wagon “Feeding Strategies that optimize rumen function also maximize milk production and milk component percentages and yield.” Due to the genetic superiority of our modern- day dairy cow, it has been a race to see how much feed we can get into these animals to allow their genetic make-up to do what it is supposed to do to transform nutrients into milk and components.
  3. 3. The Rumen & the (TMR) Wagon Not only has genetics and nutrition played a major role in maximizing milk production, but farm management practices, labor, and facilities play a role as well.
  4. 4. About The Rumen The rumen accounts for approximately 25% of the total body weight, we are managing a very large fermentation system that has its own ecosystem, efficiencies and processes. The rumen can hold approximately 200 litres of material and fluid. An estimated 150 billion microorganisms per teaspoon (bacteria, protozoa, fungi) are present in its contents.
  5. 5. About The Rumen This type of environment is maintained at a temperature range of 38 to 42’ C. The rumen through its strong musculature allows mixing and churning of digesta, typically 1-2 ruminations/minute. The movement of the rumen mixes the contents, promoting turnover and accessibility of the coarser forage particles for regurgitation, cud chewing, size reduction, and microbial digestion.
  6. 6. About The Rumen Fine forage particles, dense concentrate particles, and materials which have become hydrated tend to congregate near the bottom. Particles tend to move out from the rumen as they are reduced in size through cud chewing and microbial action. The microbes also pass from the rumen for possible digestion in the lower gastrointestinal tract.
  7. 7. About The Rumen Long-hay diets produce contents with a large, less dense, floating layer beneath the gas dome with relatively liquid contents and suspended fiber beneath. The floating mat is composed of the more recently ingested forage.
  8. 8. About The Rumen The function of the rumen as a fermentation vat and the presence of certain bacteria promote the development of gases. These gases are found in the upper part of the rumen with carbon dioxide and methane making up the largest portion. The proportion of these gases is dependent rumen ecology and fermentation balance.
  9. 9. About The Rumen Table 1. Typical composition of rumen gases. COMPONENT AVERAGE % Hydrogen 0.2 Oxygen 0.5 Nitrogen 7.0 Methane 26.8 Carbon dioxide 65.5 Source: Sniffen, C. J. and H. H. Herdt. The Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice, Vol 7, No 2. Philadelphia, Pa.
  10. 10. About The Rumen The objective of feeding dairy cattle nutritionally balanced diets is to provide a rumen environment that maximizes microbial production and growth. When designing rations for ruminants, the needs of both the animal and the rumen microorganisms must be considered.
  11. 11. About The Rumen The microbial population in the rumen consists of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. The majority of the concentration is as bacteria. The methane-producing bacteria are a special class of microorganisms responsible for regulating the overall fermentation in the rumen.
  12. 12. About The Rumen The protozoa are generally found in the rumen when diets of high digestibility are fed. Protozoa actively ingest bacteria as a source of protein; they also appear to be a stabilizing factor for fermentation end products and contribute to fiber digestion. Although their benefit to ruminant animals is still not well defined.
  13. 13. About The Rumen The anaerobic fungi are the most recently recognized group of rumen microbes. When animals are fed a high forage diet, rumen fungi may contribute up to 8 percent of the microbial mass. While it is still unclear whether these fungi are functionally significant they do appear to have a role in fibre digestion.
  14. 14. About The Rumen The rumen provides a site where the rumen microorganisms can digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Through this digestion process, energy or volatile fatty acids (VFA’s) and microbial protein that can be utilized by the animal are produced (Figure 1).
  15. 15. About The Rumen Figure 1. Feed, nutrient flow from the rumen, and milk components. Feed Crude Sugar, Fermentable Fat Protein starch fiber UIP DIP Microbial growth and fermentation Microbial protein NutrientsAmino Propionic Acetic, Fatty acids (glucose) butyric acids Milk Components Milk Protein Milk Lactose Milk Fat
  16. 16. Rumen pH The whole rumen function/maximum feed intake/milk yield and components issue comes down to a two-letter word… pH There is a “comfort zone” in which everything runs healthy and most efficiently. Above or below this comfort zone, inefficiencies begin to occur.
  17. 17. Rumen pH Fiber digesting bacteria growth is favored when rumen pH is between 6. 0 and 6.8 while starch digesting bacteria growth is favored by a pH from 5.5 to 6.0. The high producing cow must maintain a pH near 6.0 for optimal growth of both bacteria populations, resulting in a favorable VFA pattern and yield.
  18. 18. Several factors impact changes in rumen pH : 1. The type of diet can shift pH, with high forage rations favoring a pH over 6. Forages stimulate higher rates of saliva secretion and saliva contains bicarbonate which buffers the rumen and increases acetate production. Forage carbohydrates (primarily cellulose and hemicellulose) are not degraded as rapidly by the rumen microbes as are carbohydrates in concentrates (primarily starch and sugar).
  19. 19. Several factors impact changes in rumen pH : 2. Physical form of feeds (ground, pelleted or chopped) will change the size of the feed particle. If forage particle size is too short, a forage mat in the rumen cannot be maintained, fiber digestion is decreased and rumen pH is lowered. Saliva production is also reduced due to less cud chewing time. Cows will typically spend over 500 minutes of chewing time per day; 50 % of the cows should be chewing their cuds when resting.
  20. 20. Several factors impact changes in rumen pH : 3. If concentrates are ground too fine, starch is exposed to microbial digestion and there is increased degradation: rumen pH drops and propionic acid production increases resulting in a drop in BF% and a rise in MP%. Steam rolling, pelleting or grinding will change starch structure which can be beneficial (increases rumen microbial growth) or negative (increases the risk of rumen acidosis).
  21. 21. Several factors impact changes in rumen pH : 4. Wet rations can reduce rumen pH due to less saliva production to wet the feed for swallowing. If the wet feed is silage, less chewing is needed to reduce particle size, lowering rumination time. Silage can have a pH below 4, increasing acid load. 5. Adding unsaturated fats and oils (e.g. vegetable) can reduce rumen pH and shift VFA patterns. Oils can reduce fiber digestibility, decrease rumen pH, be toxic to fiber digesting bacteria and/or coat fiber particles, reducing fiber digestion.
  22. 22. Several factors impact changes in rumen pH : 6. The method of feeding will change the rumen environment. TMR’s stabilize rumen pH, synchronize degradable protein and fermentable carbohydrate availability, increase dry matter intake and minimize feed selection. If concentrates are fed separately, limit the amount to 2-3 kg DM per meal, avoid high levels of starch-containing grains and evaluate the effect of feed processing.
  23. 23. Rumen pH Effects To summarize this point, the focus of rumen pH as a monitor of healthy rumen function is as important as balancing diets simply for maximum dry matter intake or maximum milk yield. It is suggested, especially during an era of particularly high grain prices, that we allow the genetic superiority of our modern-day dairy cows to drive maximum milk production while the nutritionists and dairy producer focus on maximum rumen health and rumen efficiency.
  24. 24. Dry Matter Intake & Rumen Function The main objective in feeding management is to increase the dry matter intake (DMI) of the cows; with this increase should come higher levels of milk production, milk components and herd fertility. In order for this to happen, close attention to energy, ration digestibility, rumen fill, palatability, temperature, body weight of the animal, feeding conditions, environment, ventilation, frequency of feeding, and water intake and quality are necessary.
  25. 25. Dry Matter Intake & Rumen Function Achieving optimum DMI through nutrition and feeding management involves: 1. Producing the highest quality forages possible 2. Dry and transition cow nutrition and management 3. Monitoring body condition (BCS) 4. Bunk management to maximize dry matter intake 5. Proper protein, energy, vitamin and mineral nutrition 6. Ensuring herd hoof health (Cows who cannot walk do not eat, are more prone to reproductive and metabolic disorders and are likely to be prematurely culled from the herd).