Why do I need a rumen buffer?
Rumen buffers are used to prevent acid loading caused by high energy diets. By preventing acid loading you improve rumen function as well as feed efficiency.
Diets that are high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates cause an increase in Volatile Fatty Acids (VFAs) in the rumen. This increase in VFAs lowers the pH and suppresses the growth of other rumen microbes. This leads to even more VFAs and causes the rumen pH to drop even lower. If the pH drops below 6 the cow will be suffering from Sub Actue Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) and when it drops below 5.5, Acute Ruminal Acidosis.
For optimum rumen function the pH should be between 6 and 6.5.
How do rumen buffers work?
Acidic environments contain lots of freely available Hydrogen whereas alkaline environments do not. Rumen buffers attach themselves to the freely available Hydrogen atoms in the rumen, neutralising them, therefore raising the pH.
Are all rumen buffers created equal?
No. Some react instantly while others take time. Some buffer quickly and others more slowly. Some even over buffer and keep buffering beyond a pH of 7.
Rumen microbes, and microbes in general, are extremely sensitive to changes in pH. Therefore a buffer that gets to work instantly but does so slowly and doesn’t over buffer will not only buffer the acid load but do so in a way that is favourable to the other microbes and doesn’t raise the pH beyond 7.
The following graph shows how different rumen buffers work.
Agriton provides two types of rumen buffer, Ostrea® Oyster Flour and Ostrea® Seashell Flour. The Seashell Flour works slightly quicker but the Oyster Flour has a better composition of additional minerals and trace elements.
The benefits of Ostrea®, compared to other buffers, is that it starts buffering instantly but does so slowly and will never over buffer. It is also 100% naturally sourced and therefore sustainable and organic approved. The composition of Ostrea® also means that there is a multitude of soluble minerals and trace elements available to the cow.
“We have noticed an improvement in our milk quality and dung consistency since swapping from bicarb to Ostrea®” Devon Farmer
“The cows seem more content and milk quality has definitely improved since we introduced Ostrea® to the diet. We know that only the acidic cows are being targeted by the Ostrea’s® unique way of working” Cornish Farmer
“Butterfats jumped up by 0.3 in only 72 hours. It is far more cost effective than using a fat product and it also contains organic minerals. Our overall farm mineral input reduced, resulting in great cost savings” Devon Farmer
Ostrea® Seashell flour is a 100% natural, organic and sustainable sourced rumen buffer. It is dug out of the North Sea where there are natural Seashell deposits. It is a very rich source of calcium with a complex structure and large surface area that easily and effectively buffers acidic conditions without over buffering. It is also extremely rich in minerals and trace elements.
Ostrea® Oyster Shell flour is 100% natural, organic and sustainable sourced rumen buffer. It is dug out of the North Sea where there are natural Oyster Shell deposits. It is a very rich source of calcium with a complex honeycomb structure and large surface area that easily and effectively buffers acidic conditions without over buffering. It is also extremely rich in minerals and trace elements.