Prediction of intake and digestion in ruminants by a model of rumen kinetics integrating animal size and plant characteristics

Illius, A.W., and Gordon, I.J. (1991) Prediction of intake and digestion in ruminants by a model of rumen kinetics integrating animal size and plant characteristics. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 116 (1). pp. 145-157.

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Abstract

Simulation modelling was used to investigate interactions between forage degradation characteristics, rumen processes and body weight, and to predict the voluntary food intake and digestion of a range of forages. Predicted voluntary intake and digestion agreed well with empirical data, explaining 61 and 70%, respectively, of variance in observed values. Since the data covered a wide range of animal weights and forage qualities, these results suggest that the model is a useful means of integrating the effects of animal and forage variables. Interactions were examined between animal weight and diet quality, as defined by the proportion of potentially digestible cell contents and cell walls and their rates of digestion. Retention time of food in the digestive tract was shown by regression to scale with W⁰·²⁷. The time taken to comminute large fibre particles also scaled with W⁰·²⁷. Longer retention of digesta by large ruminants increases digestive efficiency compared with small animals and would permit them to survive on lower-quality foods. The model showed that maximum intake of metabolizable energy scales with c. W⁰·⁸⁷, greater than the scaling of maintenance with W⁰·⁷³

Item ID: 42641
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-5146
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070204 Animal Nutrition @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060806 Animal Physiological Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830399 Livestock Raising not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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