Rumen health is generally assessed by its pH value. Lower pH values, below 6, are associated with ruminal acidosis and disturbances in microbial balance and fermentation. Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) comes with no clear clinical signs, making it very difficult to diagnose on dairy farms. SARA is associated with low feed conversion rates, poor fibre digestion, and milk fat depression. It is a common result of diet imbalance and increased levels of nonstructural carbohydrates, seen as starch.
To look further into microbial imbalance, we use another rumen parameter – redox potential (Eh). While pH gives us an idea about acidity in the rumen, Eh shows the activity and growth of ruminal micro-organisms. A disturbance in rumen microbial community is observed when Eh is increasing, and can often be associated with ruminal acidosis and poor-quality feed, a rapid change in the diet, mouldy silage with mycotoxins, etc.
Actisaf® added to the ration of lactating dairy cows increases the relative abundance of fibrolyitic and lactic-acid-utilizing bacteria by strengthening reducing conditions of ruminal environment.