30 Apr Fresh Grass? Caution for 2019
With the recent poor growth, almost all fields have been grazed very tightly. Because of this all regrowth will be fresh, leafy, low fibre, highly digestible grass which could cause digestive upsets to cows at a critical time of the year – the breeding season! This grass is so digestible it creates acid conditions in the cow’s stomach – acidosis! This acid will kill off the bacteria in the rumen, starving the cow. Normally high fibre in the grass and the cow chewing the cud will regulate this acid, but if the grass is very lush and leafy with no fibre content there will be problems.
So, as cows are introduced to paddocks of lush grass, have some long fibre, such as straw, silage or hay available – they don’t need a lot, just enough to generate cud chewing!
Also, when purchasing dairy feed, include an acid buffer in the diet to regulate the acidity, e.g. BreederMax.
Symptoms of acidosis:
– Very runny dung, very poorly digested grass
– Coughing up the cud, due to the bitter, acid taste – balls of cud evident in front of cow.
– Low milk protein due to poor digestion – even on good grass!
– Low butterfat content in the milk – fat level may be equal to or lower than the milk protein – due to poor rumen bacteria activity.
– Increased lameness, tender feet (laminitis).
Arrabawn /Dan O’Connor Feeds have a range of buffered dairy concentrate to cater for these conditions. For more information contact your Arrabawn /Dan O’Connor Feeds rep or contact Tom Starr 0876697010