We start this new series, with a health problem that is ever prominent at the present time.


Subclinical or chronic ruminal acidosis is best described as a symptom related to a fermentative disorder of the rumen. Typical problems associated with this symptom can be traced to misfeeding of the ration, highly digestible carbohydrates, underfeeding of fibre or a combination of all of them. With ever increasing milk production, have come increases in subclinical ruminal acidosis within herds. As we strive to meet the animals energy requirements by increasing energy levels in rations, higher levels of cereals and lower levels of forage are becoming normal. Rather than increasing performance, these diets can lead to problems similar to ruminal acidosis. This means reduced milk production, digestive upsets, laminitis and other associated problems that can lead to involuntary culling. With some of these health problems there sometimes is no cure so ruminal acidosis is something to be prevented not repaired.

Typical symptoms are reduced cudding, variation in feed intake, variation in dung within groups, whole grain and fibre showing in the muck and reduced feed efficiency leading to reduced milk production.

This health problem can be stopped even before it has started by getting the correct balance of nutrients matched to your own individual forages. Get yourself good advice from a nutritionist or consultant who knows what he is doing with the back up of a good recognised computer feed programme along with sound practical advice. At GP Feeds we feel we have that expertise with our staff who all have the technical ability to discuss your individual feeding regime. Please speak to your agent or the office for further details.