Annie in OH, or anyone else, goat rumen questiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I am looking for information on the differences in development of a goat's rumen if:
It is forage exclusively, in addition to milk until weaning.
It is fed grain and forage, in addition to milk until weaning.
I think I remember reading somewhere that the rumen villi develop in a more healthy manner when exposed only to grass, hay, and browse forages, as opposed to concentrates (grain), during the growing stages. I believe the same sources said that the rumen capacity is greater in animals that are not fed concentrates. Does anyone know of a source to back up this, or similar, information?
Thanks for any input.
-- Laura Jesnen (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 08, 2000
Offhand, I don't know the source of this information, but it is correct. You might try the Merck Veterinary Manual under Cattle/Goat management and nutrition. The reasoning behind this theory is that the concentrates change the acid/alkaline balance in the rumen, whereas the forage diet keeps the rumen in natural acid/alkaline balance. Grain intake really upsets the natural digestive state of all grazing animals, good quality hay/forage is a much healthier alternative, although you usually have to offer all they will consume, free choice. Rumen capacity is greater in forage fed animals because of the room required to constantly process the large amounts of forage they are taking in all day. Grain fed animals are generally fed the grain because they do not have adequate quality pasture, and the animal is being fed grain to maintain body weight. Hope this helps, Annie in SE OH.
-- Annie Miller (email@example.com), November 08, 2000.