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Doubts about rumen activity?

If cows are suspected of having rumen acidosis and / or reduced rumen activity  it is possible to check this out by looking at rumen fluid. It is possible to harvest rumen fluid with a needle and measure the pH of the sample. This is a relatively simple procedure, in which the cow does not need to be anesthetized. As acidosis might be a problem for more cows in the herd it would be good if from about 12 animals samples are taken. If for 3 or more animals a pH below 5.5 is found, the diagnosis is confirmed.
Furthermore, it is still very interesting to look at the number and the activity of the rumen microbes. Low scores may be envisaged to acidosis or poisoning by mycotoxins, a more complex problem... See below the difference between a healthy and a disturbed rumen activity;

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