Often called the silent thief, subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) often goes undetected in herds. However, cows experiencing SARA do show a few subtle clues, says Jennifer Garrett, nutritionist and technical services manager for Monsanto Dairy Business. These include:
- Cows eating soil or bedding.
- Variable dry matter intakes.
- An increase in displaced abomasums.
- Inverted butterfat and protein tests.
- Loose, variable consistency of manure. (Stacks up to less than 1.5 inches in height.)
- Increased intake of free-choice buffers.
- Lack of rumination (less cud chewing than normal).
- Appearance of hardship grooves on hooves.