ABSTRACT: Four multiparous ruminally fistulated Holstein dairy cows were used in an 8-wk experiment utilizing a repeated measures block design to determine the effects of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) on supplemented water intake. Animals were subjected to SARA, which was induced by replacing 25% of the ad libitum intake of the total mixed ration (dry matter basis) with 50:50 wheat:barley pellets utilizing a grain challenge model. Cows had free choice from 2 water bowls. One bowl contained water with sodium bicarbonate (SB) supplemented at 2.5 g/L. The other bowl contained unsupplemented water. Ruminal pH was monitored continuously during the trial using indwelling pH probes. The induction of SARA reduced daily mean ruminal pH and increased the duration when ruminal pH was below 6. The total mixed ration intake by the cows decreased during the SARA periods. The overall preference for SB-supplemented water did not change, as the preference ratio was similar during the control and SARA periods. During the period of greatest ruminal pH depression, total water intake was higher during the SARA periods than during the control periods. During SARA, there was no difference in the preference of a SB water source to unsupplemented water. During the period of day with the most severe ruminal pH depression, the lactating dairy cows subjected to SARA increased their total water intake.
Journal of Dairy Science 08/2004; 87(7):2248-53. · 2.56 Impact Factor