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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-17709

Hummel, J; Südekum, K H; Bayer, D; Ortmann, S; Streich, W J; Hatt, J M; Clauss, M (2009). Physical characteristics of reticuloruminal contents of oxen in relation to forage type and time after feeding. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 93(2):209-220.

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The stratification of reticulorumen (RR) contents has been described in domestic ruminants, but suspected to be absent in certain wild ruminant species. In order investigate how such stratification could be quantified, we tested variables indicating stratification in three oxen with rumen cannulae, fed once daily for three hours one of three different forages (fresh grass GR, grass hay GH, lucerne hay LH). Ingesta samples from dorsal rumen (DR), ventral rumen (VR) and reticulum (RET) were taken at 0, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h after the last meal and analysed for dry matter (DM) concentration, mean particle size, and proportion of floating/sedimenting particles. Viscosity was measured in centrifuged RR fluid. There was no relevant variation in rumen fluid viscosity over time or with feeding regime. DM content in DR was always higher than in VR or RET, and increased after feeding. On LH and GR, DR always contained larger particles than VR, but not at GH 6 h and GH 12 h. The proportion of floating particles was higher in DR than VR except at GH 6 h and GR 6-12 h. The floating particle fraction mostly contained larger particles, except for GH 3 h in both DR and VR, and for GR 3-12 h in DR. Changes in the distribution of particle size and proportion of floating particles over time comply with the theoretical course of fermentative digestion for different forages, but make these variables unreliable indicators of stratification in less controlled settings, such as investigations in wild ruminants. In contrast, viscosity of rumen fluids appears constant over time and feeding regime and might be used as a species-specific variable. The difference in DM content in DR and VR is a reliable indicator for a RR contents stratification characterised by an oversaturation of the contents with fluid, leading to lower VR DM contents.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:rumen • stratification • viscosity • particle size • density • flotation • sedimentation • dry matter
Deposited On:13 Mar 2009 14:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:10
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2008.00806.x

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