After an extremely wet winter in most parts of the world, the beginning of the 2014 grazing season could be very challenging for dairy cows. Associating a change of diets and environment to the nutritional specificities of fresh pasture, early grazing represents various risks factors for the animal.  In particular for the rumen and cow metabolism, with negative consequences on cow welfare and performance: acidosis, bloating, alkalosis, which translates into decreased fertility, loss of performances and higher medical costs.

Figure 1: Main risks and consequences of early grazing for the cows rumen function and metabolism.

Figure 1: Main risks and consequences of early grazing for the cows rumen function and metabolism.

Main risks and consequences of early grazing for the cows rumen function and metabolism. In green, some external indicators that can be used at farm level. By monitoring these indicators, the farmer or nutritionist can become aware of early grazing issues and adapt the diet and herd management accordingly.

To help farmers and nutritionists face the challenges or early grazing, Lallemand Animal Nutrition offers a range of natural solutions exerting different, yet complementary beneficial effects in the rumen:

  • The live yeast LEVUCELL®SC (SC I-1077) helps control rumen pH and lactic acid content and enhance dairy production, especially during challenging time for the rumen.
  • AGRISAP, a mix of selected plants rich in specific saponins, has the ability to reduce the production of ammonia in the rumen and thus limit alkalosis.

Thus, when used in addition to adapted herd management practices, the combined use of these solutions offers overall benefits for early grazing cows:

  • Controlled rumen pH
  • Reduced ammonia (-8%) and urea levels, with positive impact on fertility
  • Improved milk yield (over + 2Kg/cow/day in early grazing)
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