A prominent Holstein breeder says symptoms of sub-acute rumen acidosis in cows grazing lush, leafy swards have disappeared since he incorporated a non-antibiotic feed additive in their buffer ration.

Peter Ging, president of the Irish Holstein Friesian Association, says dung was loose after the cows were turned onto pasture this spring – a sign of an excess production of acids in the rumen due to the rapid fermentation of grass.

Highly digestible grazed grass is generally rich in rapidly fermented sugars and low in structural fibre content which can lower rumen pH, significantly impacting on rumen efficiency, herd performance and fertility.

Mr. Ging was introduced to Panatec Rumen Proof by Ray Delaney of Mayo Healthcare.

“The dungs have dried up pretty well and the cows are showing significantly stronger signs of heats,’’ said Mr. Ging, who farms at Portlaoise in Co. Laois, and sources the product from Quinns of Baltinglass.

Panatec Rumen Proof is a first-generation feed supplement for dairy cows that is fast acting and used to reduce the risk of acidosis.

Mr. Ging says the performance of the product is evidenced by competition at the feeding trough.

“We are a bit tight on feeding space and some of the cows aren’t pushy enough; since we have been adding Panatec Rumen Proof we can see that from their dung which ones these are.’’

His 120-cow herd is high yielding, producing an annual average of 9,000kg of milk, and their performance took a knock before the acidosis issue was resolved.

In addition, Peter is seeing clear improvements in both protein and fat constituents; cows are on target to reach 700kg milk solids this year.

His approach is to maximise the utilisation of grazed grass while endeavouring to promote good health and fertility in the all year-round calving herd.

After the evening, milking cows receive a buffer feed of wholecrop and maize and Panatec Rumen Proof is added to this.

“The cows have more shine since we used the product, even after a rough week of rain and poor weather,’’ said Mr. Ging.

Panatec Rumen Proof is now available in a protected form through feed mills.

Further information

For more information on Panatec Rumen Proof, go to: www.mayohealthcare.ie; or just click here