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BicarZ for ruminants - sodium bicarbonate for animal nutrition

Acidosis calculator : calculate the risk of acidosis of your cows

Use our online calculator to know the right sodium bicarbonate dosage for your rations

The risks of ruminal acidosis

Rumen acidosis is a disease caused by a metabolic-nutritional disorder mainly due to excessive carbohydrate consumption in cattle. With a diet rich in carbohydrates and concentrates, the metabolic-fermentative activity of the bacteria is combined with reduced chewing and consequent salivary secretion, reducing the endogenous buffering action and altering the maintenance of a correct pH level.

In this situation, there is a risk of an excessive increase in propionic acid production and subsequent production of lactic acid, with a lowering of the ruminal pH that can lead to clinical acidosis. By calculating the daily dose of sodium bicarbonate with an acidosis calculator, the disease can be prevented.

How to calculate sodium bicarbonate dose in metabolic acidosis

The physico-chemical characteristics of the rations (effective fiber, quantity and type of starch, forage-concentrate ratio, presence of silage, temperature, season, etc.) interfere, directly or by combined effects, on the ruminant's ability to regulate and maintain in the physiological range, the pH conditions of the rumen, the intestinal flows of rumen metabolites and the pH of the faeces.

Excess rumen metabolites and the intake of lactic acid with stored foods constitute what is called rumen acidosis which in many cases induces a state of subclinical ruminal acidosis, with a consequent reduction in rumen efficiency, especially during summer.

Metabolic acidosis risk factors during summer

Heat stress is the consequence of the animal's adaptation to an environmental condition that causes an increase in body temperature. Heat stress is most likely to occur when the animals are poorly acclimatized, such as during the first spring or summer heatwaves, or after moving from a cooler area of the farm to a warmer one, or when the increase in temperature is combined with a high percentage of humidity. 

Under normal conditions, cattle are able to maintain a constant body temperature, but when the balance is altered, they are exposed to various effects:

  • decreased feed intake.
  • reduced daily milk production
  • change in milk quality (fat, protein, etc.).
  • worsening of reproductive performance.

Using the acidosis calculator it is possible to measure the integration of Bicar®Z in the daily ration to supply the animal with two essential nutrients: sodium to maintain an adequate electrolyte balance and bicarbonate to stabilize rumen pH.

With 40 years of research and experimentations in feed materials, Bicar®Z continues to be the trusted solution for livestock farmers, zootechnical nutritionists and vets around the world.

Metabolic acidosis calculator

Created in collaboration with the Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences - Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Catholic University of the Sacro Cuore of Piacenza, the acidosis calculator will help you determine the right amount of sodium bicarbonate to add into your ration.

This is a model for calculating the recommended and necessary amount of buffer (sodium bicarbonate) as a function of the adopted rationing parameters. The calculation is based on equations and algorithms derived from specialized bibliography and can therefore be considered a useful tool to monitor the risk of acidosis in order to be able to better manage it, also thanks to the integration of buffer substances. The values entered are standard for Italian food.

The obtained results are based on equations and algorithms taken from the specialized bibliography; It can therefore be considered as a useful tool to calculate the appropriate Bicar®Z dosage for your ration, for the sole purpose of providing a rough indication and without wanting in any way to replace and / or integrate the opinion of the veterinarian.

Check our studies & papers for Ruminants, Poultry and Swine

To find out more, consult the studies and research for Ruminants, Poultry and Pigs that we have conducted in collaboration with experts, researchers and university centers. 

For example, the research Acidosis in beef cattle under intensive feeding systems : causes and prevention strategies, led by Pr. Sergio Calsamiglia, from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Animal Nutrition & Welfare Service, which examines the pathophysiological basis of acidosis, the factors involved in the risk of acidosis and strategies to reduce this risk.

The objective of the trial Sodium Bicarbonate supplementation to prevent ruminal acidosis, on the other hand, was to study the effects of 250 g Bicar®Z supplementation on milk production in three high-yield dairy farms and its importance in preventing ruminal acidosis.