An analysis of the buffer system in the rumen of dairy cattle

Journal of Animal Science
G H CounotteR A Prins


A method is presented for the analysis of buffer systems in the rumen using the first derivation of titration curves. Bicarbonate and volatile fatty acids (VFA) are the main components of the buffering system in the rumen fluid of dairy cattle under widely different feeding conditions. Phosphate from saliva is of little importance as a buffer, but neutralizes acids produced in the rumen. After studying five cows during the peripartal period a spontaneous and transient increase in the concentrations of VFA and a soluble marker (PEG) as well as a drop in pH and in the bicarbonate concentrations not related to feeding was observed in two animals that were sampled several hours before parturition. The potential risk of provoking rumen disturbances upon feeding animals close to the time of parturition, when buffering capacity may be minimal, is stressed.


May 1, 1986·Veterinary Research Communications·H Brugere
Dec 1, 1981·Veterinary Research Communications·G H Counotte, R A Prins
Jan 1, 1986·Zentralblatt für Veterinärmedizin. Reihe A·P GálfiF Kutas
Jun 1, 2005·Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology·S BilkG Gäbel

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