This is an extract of our Dcab Diets document, which we sell as part of our Endocrinology and Integument 2 Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Nottingham students.
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DCAB diets The dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB) is the difference between levels of major cations (Na+ and K+) and anions (Cl- and S2-) in the diet. The dietary cation-anion balance can be calculated by: DCAB = ([Na+] + [K+]) - ([Cl-] + [S2-]) With all measurements in mEg/kg DM. Diets with a low DCAB (<0mEg/kg DM) induce a mild metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis causes?
More vitamin D3 to be activated per unit PTH Target tissues (such as bone) to be more sensitive to PTH and to 1,25(OH)2D3 (inactive vitamin D3).
This means the cow is able to mobilise calcium from body reserves more quickly. This helps prevent milk fever. The full DCAB approach involves the addition of anion salts to decrease DCAB to around -100mEg/kg DM. The urine can be monitored to check for acidification (aim for pH 6.2-6.8, normal is 7-8). However, this method is expensive and the salts are unpalatable, as well as very soluble (so easily washed out in rain). The partial DCAB approach involves manipulating available feeds to decrease DCAB ration to around 0-100mEg/kg DM.
N.B. Grass silage has a high and variable DCAB, which should be measured before feeding.
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