Prof. Dr. Kees Plaizier

prof dr kees plaizierFaculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences University of Manitoba, Canada

Presentation title: Enhancing gut health in dairy cows.

Subacute rumen acidosis (SARA) is a nutritional disorder during which the rumen pH of dairy cows is reversibly depressed. It alters the composition and functionality of microbiota of the rumen and the hindgut, and also reduces the absorptive, barrier, and immune functions of the lining of the digestive tract.  This reduction of the barrier function enables the translocation of toxins and microorganism out of the digestive tract, causing inflammation and abscesses. SARA is, therefore, a major challenge to the health, production efficiency and welfare of dairy cows. Effects on milk quality have also been reported. 
Causes of SARA include a combination of dietary, management, environmental and animal factors. As the majority of protein in the small intestine is of microbial origin, a SARA-related reduction in microbial protein synthesis in the rumen may affect the nitrogen efficiency of the dairy cow. 
Strategies to prevent SARA and poor gut health include balancing the diet for starch and coarse fiber and ensuring that the diet ingested by the cows is similar in composition to the formulated diet. Other strategies include the use of pre- and probiotics that enhance the functionality of the rumen and hindgut microbiota. This includes the use of yeasts and yeast culture fermentation products.


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