Maintenance of Health in the Ruminant Digestive Tract – Dr. Brian Aldridge, University of Illinois

Posted: Februar 23, 2021


Dr. Brian Aldridge, University of Illinois

Episode 9: Maintenance of Health in the Ruminant Digestive Tract

Podcast Topic

The crew is gathered at the Real Science Exchange again this week. We feature our guest Dr. Brian Aldridge who works in Rural Animal Health Management at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois. Hosting the discussion is Scott Sorrell, joined by Dr. Clay Zimmerman and Dr. Ken Sanderson from Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health.

Listeners who enjoy the Real Science lecture series heard from Dr. Aldridge earlier this year. You can check out the presentation here:​.


A central theme for the discussion is Dr. Aldridge’s way of thinking; when we see an issue, such as intestinal problems, we think of bugs rather than thinking about the animals themselves. Pathogens very often are the manifestation of poor health rather than the cause of poor health. 0:52

Dr. Aldridge introduces the idea of a healthy phenotype and a resistant phenotype. 5:42

While learning about genetics and discussing various factors, Dr. Aldridge brings it back to the basic formula of phenotype = genetics x environment x time. 9:13

The group discussed natural stressors from a changing environment. Dr. Aldridge dove into research that examines the need to build the relationship between human caretakers and, in the case of the discussion, cattle. 16:35

While the industry often seeks out standard protocols or key performance indicators, KPIs, it’s not always as easy as a set approach to management that works across the industry. 19:10

Diets play a big part in animal health, but Dr. Aldridge discusses how your dietary approach can also support the resistant phenotypes. 36:51

Dr. Aldridge answers questions from the lecturer audience, and the discussion includes diving into the outcome from a disease is determined by the extent and duration of the pathology. 52:36

Additional Notes

If you have questions about maintaining health in the ruminant digestive tract or suggestions for future sessions, feel free to email [email protected].