maintaining ruminal pH in dairy cows

RESEARCH

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3 YEARS OF RESEARCH TO DEVELOP A UNIQUE AND EFFICIENT SOLUTION

The use of magnesium, particularly in the form of oxide, has been extensively studied to neutralize excess rumen acid. However, the effect on ruminal pH, milk production and fat content varies greatly from source to source, depending on origin and industrial processing (Erdman, 1988).

In order to reduce this uncertainty, TIMAB Magnesium’s team, in partnership with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Rennes (INRA) and the BLANCA Experimental Station, has developed a specific formula, combining the most efficient sources of magnesium to obtain a powerful, rapid and long-lasting effect. pHix-up is an innovative formulation that effectively maintains ruminal pH in high-productivity dairy cows.

TIMAB Magnesium has placed research at the heart of the development of pHix-up, combining laboratory (in vitro) and field (in vivo) studies.  This approach allows us to offer a unique product that meets the needs of today’s breeders.

A meta-analysis of 28 in vitro rumen juice trials has made it possible to evaluate the ability of pHix-up and sodium bicarbonate to increase ruminal pH in acidosis (pH 5.5) at different feeding rates. While pHix-up and sodium bicarbonate show a dose-dependent effect on pH increase, only pHix-up combines a powerful, rapid and persistent effect on rumen pH.  With a neutralization capacity 3 times higher than sodium bicarbonate (39 meq/g vs. 12 meq/g) combined with a persistence higher than 96% after 6 hours*.

*Publication 3R: Effect of buffer or alkalinizing solutions on rumen pH in in vitro fermentation, A.Cohard et al

IN-VIVO STUDY IN SPAIN

In June 2017, TIMAB Magnesium conducted an in vivo study at the BLANCA experimental farm, in collaboration with Dr. Alex Bach (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology), to evaluate the efficacy of pHix-up in stabilizing rumen pH under induced sub-acidosis conditions.

During this study, 30 dairy cows (Holstein), divided into 3 treatments: control (no additive), pHix-up (0.5% DM*) and sodium bicarbonate (1% DM) were fed a ration where the concentrate content was progressively increased to create an acidogenic diet.

JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE

The study lasted 30 days. The pHix-up group maintained a higher ruminal pH than the Control group, with the Bicarbonate group showing intermediate values. In addition, cows in the pHix-up group spent less time with a pH below 5.8 than cows in the Control or Bicarbonate group.

Maintaining the optimum ruminal pH stabilized the feed intake of the pHix-up cows, in contrast to the Control or Bicarbonate cows, and resulted in a higher milk production in quantity and quality. The results of this in vivo test were published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

*DM: Dry Matter