photo of a calf

Calf rumen development may be linked to feed processing

By S.L. Gelsinger, W.K. Coblentz, G.I. Zanton, R.K. Ogden, M.S.Akins

Published on 11/01/2019

Calves undergo a process of rumen development before, during and after weaning. Researchers are still seeking to understand the rumen microbiomeGlossaryView allMicrobiota
A microbiota is the whole of the ecosystem (bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses) living in a specific environment. Intestinal microbiota was previously called “intestinal flora.”
development that happens. It is known rumen pH in calves declines during this time. A study evaluating two starter diets found calves fed a complete pellet diet (42% starch, 13% neutral detergent fiber, NDF) lacked a rumen mat. Whereas calves fed texturized feed (31% starch, 22% NDF) more rapidly increased intake of NDF. In addition, greater proportions of dry matter (DM), NDF and nitrogen were lost from the pelleted diet. Increasing ruminal disappearance occurred while whole-tract digestibilityGlossaryView allDigestibility
Capacity to be digested (difference between intake and fecal output), in %
was decreasing. Researchers theorized this is related to the particle size differences in the diets. Based on these data, there is potential to design specific rations and feed processing methods for calves based on their ability to utilize nutrients.


Read the excerpt here.