It is a true balancing act to provide proper nutrition to high producing dairy cattle while also keeping their digestive systems healthy. Dairy cattle can experience stress at freshening, during environmental changes, with changes in grouping, and when rations change. Stress can trigger digestive problems. Poor intake and inconsistent eating patterns often result in more rumen acidosis.
Higher ration energy density can help cows obtain the energy they need for high milk production. But, high energy diets generally result in more rumen acidosis. In the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the number of sudden deaths on dairy farms, particularly due to haemorrhagic bowel syndrome. This has caused nutritionists and veterinarians to begin focusing more attention on intestinal health as well as rumen health.