Next Article in Journal
Spread of an Experimental Salmonella Derby Infection in Antibiotic-Treated or Lawsonia intracellularis Vaccinated Piglets
Previous Article in Journal
Effect of Diet Supplementation with Quinoa Seed and/or Linseed on Immune Response, Productivity and Meat Quality in Merinos Derived Lambs
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2018, 8(11), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110205

Effects of a Change from an Indoor-Based Total Mixed Ration to a Rotational Pasture System Combined With a Moderate Concentrate Feed Supply on Rumen Fermentation of Dairy Cows

1
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Clinic for Ruminants and Swine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
3
Institute of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, 30559 Hannover, Germany
4
Institute of Physiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer, 30173 Hannover, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 10 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4161 KB, uploaded 10 November 2018]   |  

Simple Summary

In temperate climate zones, cows are in spring traditionally transitioned from a silage and concentrate- ration to a pasture-based ration. This transition requires complex nutritional and metabolic adaptions for the cow, resulting in a lower feed intake with consequences on energy metabolism. Normally concentrate feed is supplied to support the cows after transition to pasture. Depending on weather influences and growing stage, grass contains high amounts of fast fermentable carbohydrates and low amounts of physical effective fiber. In a previous trial, pasture feeding combined with low amounts of concentrate supply did not prevent an energy shortage after transition to pasture but led to changes in ruminal fermentation patterns indicating a possible risk for rumen health. However, the impact of ration change has not been extensively researched so far when moderate concentrate feed was supplied moderately in order to prevent an energy deficiency. To investigate the influences different rumen variables were documented, using continuous pH measuring devices and weekly diurnal fermentation assessments in rumen fistulated animals. Influence on rumen epithelial morphology was measured by the collection of rumen papillae biopsies and subsequent surface area, as well as histopathological analyses. With the help of this data, a greater understanding of the adaption period of the animals during transition from confinement to pasture is made possible.

Abstract

In spring, transition from a total mixed ration (TMR) to pasture requires rumen adaptions for the cow. It had been shown that transition period does not necessarily mean an increased risk for subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA). After adaption to pasture, however, supplying low amounts of concentrate did indicate increased risk, but caused no adverse effects on rumen morphology and absorption capacity. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of transition, and how a supply of 4.5 kg dry matter concentrate·cow−1 · day−1 during fulltime grazing influenced different rumen parameters. During a 12-week trial eleven rumen-cannulated dairy cows were observed during transition from confinement to pasture (PG; n = 6) and compared to cows fed TMR indoors (CG; n = 5). The CG stayed on a TMR based ration (35% corn silage, 35% grass silage, 30% concentrate; dry matter basis), whereas the PG slowly switched to a pasture-based ration (week 0 and 1 = TMR, week 2 = TMR and 3 h pasture·day−1, week 3 and 4 = TMR and 12 h pasture·day−1, and week 5 to 11 = pasture combined with 4.5 kg DM concentrate · cow−1·day−1). Papillae surface area decreased during transition and increased again during fulltime grazing, while the fractional absorption rate of volatile fatty acids (VFA) was not influenced. This suggests only a limited effect of papillae surface area on VFA absorption rate. Feeding changes resulted in different fermentation profiles of VFA. Changing ratio of starch to sugar during transition to fulltime grazing plus concentrate supply did not lead to lower rumen pH. In conclusion, the concentrate supply combined with high fermentable grass during fulltime grazing increased papillae surface area but did not affect absorption rate or rumen pH, so that risk for SARA was not increased. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy cows; ration change; pasture; confinement; VFA; pH logger; rumen papillae morphology; non-glucogenic to glucogenic VFA ratio dairy cows; ration change; pasture; confinement; VFA; pH logger; rumen papillae morphology; non-glucogenic to glucogenic VFA ratio
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hartwiger, J.; Schären, M.; Potthoff, S.; Hüther, L.; Kersten, S.; von Soosten, D.; Beineke, A.; Meyer, U.; Breves, G.; Dänicke, S. Effects of a Change from an Indoor-Based Total Mixed Ration to a Rotational Pasture System Combined With a Moderate Concentrate Feed Supply on Rumen Fermentation of Dairy Cows. Animals 2018, 8, 205.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top