9 Common Animal Indicators In Rumen Efficiency
The ruminologists of Lallemand Animal Nutrition have defined a set of indicators to help assess the efficiency of the farm rumen. This tool is called the Rumen Efficiency Survey (REI). Here, we carefully observe 4 of them and explain how supplemental live yeast can benefit the rumen.
The goal of REI is to assist producers and nutritionists in assessing feed efficiency under real-life farm conditions. The REI is a holistic approach based on an assessment of a series of measurable indicators of the farm. A total of nine indicators were selected through the integration of bibliographic reviews, practical dairy farm surveys and international expert opinions, and were verified on-site. And the nine indicators include body condition;rumen fill;ruminating activity;environment;Milk performance and feed efficiency;Manure screening and undigested grains;Manure consistency;.Cleanness;Locomotion.
This integrated approach is an interesting decision tool because it allows the farm team and dietitians to take snapshots of dairy herd status at different points in time and evaluate the impact of changes in nutrition or herd management. Today, this tool has been widely used (in more than 25 countries) for different production systems and farms, and the data collected provide an overview of the global rumen-efficiency situation. The data show that, for example, 69% of farms are at risk of ruminant activities and 72% are in motion.
Focus on 4 indicators:
Let us focus on four REI indicators and see how the results of the Global Rumen Fertility Survey are consistent with the literature:
1、Rumination activity is related to rumen function and health.
It has been shown that the lack of rumination may be due to decreased rumen motility during acidosis (Allen 1997; Grant et al., 1990). Studies have shown that the best ruminating time is between 400-500 minutes/day. 400 minutes a day, this may indicate poor rumen health status and may be SARA. The REI review includes assessing the number of ruminants who lie down at once. According to the literature, a good goal is to have 50-60% of cattle lying on their stalls to ruminate. Rumination does not seem ideal in 69% of audited farms.
2. The link between exercise and rumen health has been established.
Radon action can produce high levels of histamine production and bacterial endotoxin release in the rumen, which is often associated with SARA (Nocek, 1997). Studies have shown that claudication reduces total feeding time, and therefore, milk production declines. In fact, in the entire lactation process, Minmetals is very expensive for farmers, and it has actually measured losses of 270 and 574 kilograms of milk in terms of processing costs and production losses (Huxley, 2013). It looks like 72% of the move is a challenge in the audited farms.
3, Fertilizer consistency assessment (level 1-5) reflects digestive function.
Liquid manure shows poor rumen efficiency due to the increased pass rate, which may come from an unbalanced diet and lower intestinal fermentation. Fertilizer screening is also recommended to measure the presence of undigested particles or grains and assess fiber size. The presence of undigested processed grains in the faeces is also associated with poor rumen efficiency. This is also due to an increase in the rate of passage due to unbalanced or low dietary digestibility. 46% of the fertilizers in the farms examined were not well-conformed.
4, Finally, the milk component yield is the result of rumen efficiency.
In particular, milk fat is directly related to rumen pH and overall function. In many countries, milk prices are driven by milk fat levels. In half of the audited farms, milk fat was less than 3.8%.
The data obtained through the survey is consistent with the published literature, and shows that about half of the farms' audited key rumen-efficiency indicators are not ideal, which is reflected in the dairy product performance. According to different countries, the research report has reported that SARA prevalence is about 20-30%, and other patients are more than 50%.
Benefits of live yeast as a rumen modifier
REI audits can help farmers and their nutritionists better understand the link between animal indicators and performance, revealing that rumen efficiency can be an issue on many farms. To improve rumen efficiency, rumen-specific live yeast can be used. A meta-analysis of Levucell SC data (14 trials, 1,600 dairy cows) showed interesting results. Levucell SC is a rumen-specific live yeast (strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077). In standard conditions (non-stressful), this yeast has shown a consistent and significant improvement of feed efficiency (+3% in FCM/DMI) (De Ondarza, 2010). This improvement can go up to +6 – 9% FCM/DMI under stressful conditions. A few on-farm demonstration trials were conducted with the help of REI, showing improvement of key indicators:
· Locomotion: A farm experiment was conducted in northern Denmark and a non-acid diet was performed on 52 first-time cows. The cows were divided into two groups, the control group and Levucell SC, which received the top of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 live yeast to the control diet. Supplementation of live yeast increased exercise scores: the proportion of cows with good exercise scores increased from 58% to 84%.
· Rumination activity: A review of Japanese dairy farms (high THI) at different points in the summer. After the start of replenishment of live yeast and 3 months, the proportion of ruminant cows increased from 49% to 58%, despite the growing problem of heat stress.
· Management Consistency: Danish tests also showed that when fed live yeast, undigested fiber levels in the feces improved. In the control cows, particles over 5 mm accounted for 5.5% of the weight of the fertilizer and only 1.5% when consuming Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077.
· Milk fat: Recent research trials (Ali Haimoud-Lekhal et al. 2016) showed an increase in milk fat content (from 4.00% to 4.05%), resulting in a significant increase in energy-corrected milk + 6.2% (from 29.1 Kg/day to 30.9) , p < 0.001).
Rumen efficiency is the key to the performance and well-being of ruminants and can be assessed through practical indicators. Global surveys show that about 50% of farms are exposed to rumen-efficiency issues, which is consistent with previous industrial and university studies. Of course, you cannot ignore the regional, environmental or dietary differences. As we continue to get more data, we hope to conduct specific analysis based on the region, environmental conditions (such as heat stress), production systems or animal life stages. Rumen efficiency seems to be less than ideal, and dairy producers and their dieticians should continue to work hard to control SARA and increase dietary digestibility for optimal cow comfort and performance. In nutritional tools that can be used to support rumen efficiency, rumen-specific live yeast is scientifically documented and its benefits to dairy producers produce a high return on investment.