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The efficiency of chewing during eating and ruminating in goats and sheep


, : The efficiency of chewing during eating and ruminating in goats and sheep. British Journal of Nutrition 65(3): 355-363

The total amounts of time spent eating and ruminating per 24 h by goats and sheep were determined. The efficiencies of chewing during eating (.ltbbrac.C.EAT.rtbbrac.) and chewing during ruminating (.ltbbrac.C.RUM.rtbbrac.) on the breakdown of feed particles to below the critical size required to leave the rumen (< 1.0 mm) were investigated. All studies were done with the animals fed on a chaffed lucerne (Medicago sativa) hay diet. Goats spent more time eating (+3.1 h; P < 0.01), and less time ruminating (-2.2 h; P < 0.05) per 24 h, than sheep, when fed hourly at ad lib. intake. The efficiency of chewing during eating (.ltbbrac.C.EAT.rtbbrac.) in breaking down feed particles to < 1.0 mm was greater in goats (85%; P < 0.01) than sheep (48%). The process of rumination in sheep served to reduce the feed particles which were > 1.0 mm in the rumen to < 1.0 mm. Sheep tended to be more efficient in this process than goats (59 v. 48%), with the difference not attaining significance (P > 0.1). The greater frequency of chews (number of total jaw movements/min) during eating in goats (P < 0.01), or during ruminating in sheep (P < 0.001), was the major component explaining differences in efficiency between the two species in both the eating and rumination processes. When corrected for the number of chews/min, the differences in .ltbbrac.C.RUM.rtbbrac. and .ltbbrac.C.EAT.rtbbrac. were not significant between goats and sheep. During eating goats had greater apparent rates of total salivary secretion (P < 0.1), and greater apparent rates of salivary nitrogen secretion (P < 0.05) than sheep. The results help explain the grater fibre digestibility and rumen ammonia irreversible loss rates in goats than sheep, when both species were fed on lucerne chaff.


Accession: 002249738

PMID: 1878355

DOI: 10.1079/bjn19910096

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