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Sodium bicarbonate as a buffer for high yielding dairy

2015, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy

Subject: the buffering effect of sodium bicarbonate on milk production

The aim of the trial was to study the buffering capacity of sodium bicarbonate Bicar®Z on milk yield and quality, health conditions and reproductive performances of high-yielding dairy cows when its dosage is increased.

Conditions of the study: increase the supplementation of Bicar®Z up to 300 g or 400 g during lactation

The trial took place in 2015 (March-August) on 149 free-stall dairy cows.

The animals were grouped in two classes, Control Group and Trial Group. All animals of both groups received the same Bicar®Z supplemented diet, but at a certain point, Bicar®Z dosage was increased in the Trial Group:

  • Control Group (65 dairy cows): 150 gr/cow/day of Bicar®Z
  • Trial Group (84 dairy cows): 300 gr/cow/day of Bicar®Z; dosage was increased further to 400 gr due to high temperatures.


Results: more milk and dry matter

During the lactation period, daily milk yield was recorded every 20 days and the treated animals produced on average 1.6 kg more milk than those belonging to the Control Group (224 kg more milk over a 20-week period).

During the trial period, also dry matter intake was measured on a weekly basis and an average increase of 1.1 kg was recorded.


Conclusions: increased milk output and positive effects on reproductive efficiency

The supplementation of a higher dosage of Bicar®Z during the first 140 days of lactation produced:

  • An increase in milk output (+1.6 kg on average)
  • Beneficial effects on hepatic health parameters
  • Better reproductive efficiency (11% vs. 22% of pregnancy)