photo showing the link between the brain and the gut of beef cattle

Behavior and inflammation of the rumen and cecum in Holstein bulls fed high-concentrate diets with different concentrate presentation forms with or without straw supplementation

By M. Devant, G. B. Penner, S. Marti, B. Quintana, F. Fábregas, A. Bach, and A. Arís

Published on 06/10/2016

Do cattle get “hangry” too? For some humans, a lack of satisfying food options can negatively affect their mood and behavior. This study demonstrated a similar effect in cattle. Four groups of cattle were fed a combination of soybean meal or pellets with or without straw. The cattle that didn’t receive straw demonstrated modified behavior. This group also experienced rumen lesions. On the other hand, cattle fed straw had a greater expression of genes involved in gut-brain crosstalk. This study posits that avoiding a low (more acidic) ruminal pH helps improve gut-brain communication.

Read the abstract here.