Continuous and Long-Term Measurement of Reticuloruminal pH in Grazing Dairy Cows by an Indwelling and Wireless Data Transmitting Unit

Vet Med Int. 2012;2012:236956. doi: 10.1155/2012/236956. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was the continuous measurement of ruminal pH in grazing dairy cows to monitor the diets effects on ruminal pH value. A novel indwelling pH-measurement and data transmitting system was given to 6 multiparous cows orally. Ruminal pH was measured every 600 sec over a 40 d period. After barn feeding and changeover to pasture, the following 3 treatments (2 cows/treatment) were included in the measurement period: continuous grazing (G), continuous grazing plus 4 kg/d of hay fed twice daily (GH), and continuous grazing plus 4 kg/d of concentrate (GC). Ruminal pH decreased significantly (P < 0.05) from 6.58 ± 0.15 to pH 6.19 ± 0.19 during feed changeover to pasture. Mean ruminal pH for G, GH, and GC was 6.36, 6.56, and 6.01. Mean 24-h minimum pH was 5.95, 6.20 and, 5.58. The time pH was below 6.3, 6.0, 5.8, and 5.5, for G it was 583, 91, 26, and 3 min/d, for GH it was 97, 12, 0, and 0 min/d and for GC it was 1126, 621, 347, and 101 min/d, respectively. Results were significantly influenced by the diet. The indwelling pH-measurement and data transmitting system is a very useful and proper tool for long-term measurement of ruminal pH in cows.