Technical Note: The comparison of pH and redox potential in different locations in the reticulo-rumen of growing beef steers supplemented with different levels of quebracho extract. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rumen acidosis is a common metabolic disorder occurring when organic acid production exceeds clearance capacity, reducing ruminal pH. The occurrence of acidosis has been directly correlated to the ratio of concentrate to forage in the diet. However, rates of substrate fermentation and acid absorption vary at different locations in the reticulo-rumen. The objective of this study was to determine the pH and redox potential (Eh) in different locations of the reticulo-rumen using 16 ruminally cannulated steers (309 43 kg) receiving different supplementation levels of quebracho extract (QT; Schinopsis balansae) within a grower type diet (CP: 13.4%; total digestible nutrients [TDN]: 70.4%; and ME: 2.55 Mcal/kg, dry matter [DM] basis). Animals were randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments: QT at 0%, 1%, 2%, and 3% of DM (QT0, QT1, QT2, and QT3, respectively), containing about 0%, 0.7%, 1.4%, and 2.1% of condensed tannins (CT), DM basis, respectively. Animals were adapted to the basal diet for 12 d before being introduced to predetermined treatments for 4 weeks (wk), with diets provided twice daily to allow ad libitum intake. Weekly measurements of ruminal fluid pH and Eh were taken 4 h post-feeding using a portable pH meter with two probes (pH and redox) in four locations of the reticulo-rumen (reticulum, cranial sac, dorsal sac, and ventral sac). Data were analyzed using a random coefficients model with the pen as a random effect and wk as repeated measures, with DM intake included as a covariate. There was no interaction among treatments, location, and wk (P 0.882) on reticulo-ruminal pH. Overall, ruminal pH was lower for QT0 and QT1 compared to QT3 (P < 0.001). The pH in the reticulum was greater than those of the ventral and dorsal sacs (6.05 vs. 5.94, 5.89, respectively; P 0.001) but similar to cranial sac (6.00). Reticular pH was positively correlated with the ruminal locations (0.78; P < 0.001). The linear equation to estimate ruminal mean pH using reticulum pH had an intercept and slope different from zero (P 0.04), but CT (% DM) was not different from zero (P = 0.15), root mean square error of 0.15, and R2 of 0.778: 0.723 (0.36) + 0.857 (0.059) reticulum pH + 0.033 (0.023) CT. The Eh was lower for QT0 in week 1 than all other treatments (P < 0.001). We concluded that reticulo-ruminal pH differs among locations in the rumen regardless of QT supplementation level and days on feed, with reticular pH being the highest.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Dias Batista, L. F., Norris, A. B., Adams, J. M., Hairgrove, T. B., & Tedeschi, L. O.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Dias Batista, Luiz F||Norris, Aaron B||Adams, Jordan M||Hairgrove, Thomas B||Tedeschi, Luis O

publication date

  • January 2021