Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2007
Publication Date: 5/15/2007
Citation: Hall, M. 2007. Carbohydrate nutrition and manure scoring. Part II: Tools for monitoring rumen function in dairy cattle. In: Proceedings of Minnesota Dairy Health Conference, May 15, 2007, St. Paul, Minnesota. p. 81-86.
Technical Abstract: Proper rumen function is essential to support the profitable lactation performance and health of dairy cattle. Excellent cow performance includes high yields of milk and milk components, but encompasses more elements: efficient conversion of consumed nutrients to milk, appropriate maintenance and repletion of body reserves, ease of rebreeding, good health and longevity, among them. Impairment of rumen function can undermine the cow's ability to perform up to her genetic potential, and may lead to her premature exit from the herd as an involuntary cull. A challenge faced by herd managers and advisors is how to determine the state of rumen function in herds. Manure evaluation is an indirect index of rumen function based on evaluation of ruminal particle passage and hindgut fermentation that can be used in context with other information on diet, environment, and management to determine appropriate actions to maintain animal health, production, and efficiency.