Uploaded by matwinkelmolen

Rumen anatomy and rumen function training

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Technical training
session 1
The rumen and the digestive
system
What are you feeding?
Source:
Spurgeon’s Color Atlas
of Large Animal Anatomy
(1999)
Where is the rumen?
The rest of the digestive tract
Source:
Spurgeon’s Color Atlas
of Large Animal Anatomy
(1999)
The Digestive tract
• Mouth
• Rumen & Reticulum
•
•
•
•
Omasum
Abomasum
Small intestine
Large intestine
Saliva
• Added in the mouth during eating and
rumination
• Dairy cow can produce 170 litres a day of
saliva (sheep 10 l)
• Contains Sodium bicarbonate & Phosphate
(pH) and urea (recycling Nitrogen)
Rumen
• Rumen 200 litres in a Dairy cow
• Occupies most of the left handside of the
cow
Rumen
• Food is attacked by microbes, (rumen bugs)
mixed generated by contractions of the
reticulorumen muscle
• Anaerobic fermentation vat
• Function is maximise microbial
fermentation
Calf rumen 6 weeks
old
Rumination/Cudding
• When not eating, approx ever minute,
regurgitation happens
• A large mass of rumen content from the anterior
end of the rumen is pushed back to the mouth, any
liquid is swallowed,
• Coarser material is re-chewed. It can be chewed
40/50 times. Far more than when first eaten
• This reduces particle size & mixes
Rumination/Cudding
• Watch cows for cudding
• 50/60% of cows lying down should be
cudding
• Cudding rate rough 50/60 per minute
• Muck
Rumination
• Ruminant is caused by physical stimulation
of the epithelium of the anterior rumen wall
• Diets with very low fibre will fail to
stimulate rumination
• Need Fibre (NDF)
• A dairy cow will spend about 8 hours a
day ruminating
Rumen
• Temperature ~ 40C
• Anaerobic- no oxygen. Any oxygen
entering will be rapidly used
• pH 5.5-6.5- maintained by buffers and
absorption of nutrients
• Absorbed VFA, Water etc
VFA absorption
• 4kg per day of VFA produced
Abomasum
•
•
•
•
•
DA
The equivalent of a monogastric stomach
Low pH, 1.0-2.0 by secretion of HCl
Kills bacteria
Enzyme secretion, particular pepsin which
starts to digest proteins
The rumen mat
• Keeps solid at the top
• Liquid at the bottom.
• Critical to a healthy rumen (fibre)
The rumen: what are you feeding?
120,00million, million
Good Bacteria
digesting the feed (Fungi,
Yeasts)
Bacteria
• Take 2 to 3 weeks to adapt to dietary
changes
• Different bacteria with different diets
Bacteria Need
• Need consistency
• Need energy and protein to grow
• Need a spread of energy release through the
day
• Need a spread of rumen protein
Bacteria don’t want
• Changes in diets
• Particularly changes in forage types takes 3
weeks to change to forage digestion. Dry
cows
• Changes in feed materials
• Low pH acidosis
Feeds in the Rumen
– Digestion of fibre (forage) to sugars that
bacteria can use. You have to use the forage on
the farm for best advantage
Balanced Ration
Starch
Let the cows tell you!!!
Fibre
New Forage /change of diet
etc
acidosis
Need to ration the cows to balance the ration
Perfect muck?
Acidosis
• Loose muck
• Variable muck
• Presence of feed in the muck
Feeds in the rumen
• Fibre slows down the rumen, increases pH
fermented to acetate for butterfat and milk
and growth
• Starch drives the rumen bugs (feeds)
produces propionate, lowers pH, good for
milk protein and energy milk and growth
• Sugar drives the bugs also to buyrate
Summary
•
•
•
•
•
•
Need to feed the bacteria
Bacteria need consistency
Cows need consistency
Starch for milk yield and growth
Fibre for butterfat and rumen matt and health
Control rumen pH
Balanced Ration
Starch
Let the cows tell you!!!
Fibre
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