Free assessment to help farmers maximise rumen efficiency this winter


Lallemand Animal Nutrition is offering a free rumen efficiency investigation (REI) to help dairy farmers better understand rumen health and forage digestibility within their herd.

It is recommended that an REI is undertaken either when there is a significant change in the diet such as winter housing transition, or new components are being introduced into a ration, as these changes may cause disruption to rumen function.

“Proactively looking for the warning signs of impaired rumen function allows producers to make informed decisions on whether interventions are required to improve rumen health and feed efficiency,” says Lientjie Colahan, technical sales support at Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

“A rumen efficiency investigation focuses on nine key areas, all of which impact the rumen in different ways, and uses non-invasive techniques to assess the cow’s rumen function. The parameters reviewed include ruminating activity, body condition, rumen fill, locomotion and cleanliness, as well as manure consistency and screening, milk performance and the environment,” explains Mrs Colahan.

Following the on-farm investigation, farmers are given bespoke advice on where improvements and changes can be made to maximise rumen function, improve fibre digestion and ultimately production from forage.

“For example, ensuring cows have sufficient access to clean, fresh water, a consistent, well-balanced ration to maximise dry matter intakes, as well as plenty of feed barrier space, are just some of the improvements farmers can make to increase their rumen efficiency,” she explains.

Sign up for your free REI assessment CLICK HERE to register your interest.​

Top three parameters focused on when carrying out an REI:​

Manure screening​

Examining the manure indicates how well the rumen is working. Mrs Colahan says finding a lot of undigested forage or processed grains in loose manure can be a sign of acidosis, which occurs if rumen pH is too low for too long.


Rumen fill​

Observing the left side of the cow can signal how well she is eating. A moderate rumen fill score is ideal for a lactating cow as a very full rumen suggests the ration may not be high enough in digestibility for optimal milk production. Mrs Colahan explains that to optimise rumen efficiency, cows should eat little and often. Very often feed space is limited on farms leading to binging at the first opportunity or excessively sorting through TMR, increasing the risk of acidosis.

Ruminating activity​

This tells you whether or not the rumen contents are structured in the correct way. Mrs Colahan says good ruminating activity is the sign of a healthy rumen, but if the cow is being fed an imbalanced diet with incorrect particle sizes or a high acid load, this can affect rumen efficiency.

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