Inline Reticulorumen pH as an Indicator of Cows Reproduction and Health Status

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Feb 14;20(4):1022. doi: 10.3390/s20041022.


Our study hypothesis is that the interline registered pH of the cow reticulum can be used as an indicator of health and reproductive status. The main objective of this study was to examine the relationship of pH, using the indicators of the automatic milking system (AMS), with some parameters of cow blood components. The following four main groups were used to classify cow health status: 15-30 d postpartum, 1-34 d after insemination, 35 d after insemination (not pregnant), and 35 d (pregnant). Using the reticulum pH assay, the animals were categorized as pH < 6.22 (5.3% of cows), pH 6.22-6.42 (42.1% of cows), pH 2.6-6.62 (21.1% of cows), and pH > 6.62 (10.5% of cows). Using milking robots, milk yield, fat protein, lactose level, somatic cell count, and electron conductivity were registered. Other parameters assessed included the temperature and pH of the contents of reticulorumens. Assessment of the aforementioned parameters was done using specific smaX-tec boluses. Blood gas parameters were assessed using a blood gas analyzer (EPOC (Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen, Germany). The study findings indicated that pregnant cows have a higher pH during insemination than that of non-pregnant ones. It was also noted that cows with a low fat/protein ratio, lactose level, and high SCC had low reticulorumen pH. They also had the lowest blood pH. It was also noted that, with the increase of reticulorumen pH, there was an increased level of blood potassium, a high hematocrit, and low sodium and carbon dioxide saturation.

Keywords: automatic milking system (AMS); blood gas; precision livestock farming (PLF); reticulorumen.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / blood
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Health*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Rumen / physiology*