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Large Animal Digestion. Worth County Middle School Donald Gilman Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office May, 2004. Introduction. There are two types of digestion systems in large animals ( I.e. Cows, Horses,Hogs) Ruminants and Nonruminants. Topics of Discussion.

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large animal digestion

Large Animal Digestion

Worth County Middle School

Donald Gilman

Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office

May, 2004

  • There are two types of digestion systems in large animals (I.e. Cows, Horses,Hogs)
  • Ruminants and Nonruminants
topics of discussion
Topics of Discussion
  • Ruminants are multi compartment


Their stomachs consist of four compartments.

  • Consist of Cattle, Sheep and Goats
  • They are cud chewers
  • They eat rapidly and through the intake of fiber, they bring their meal back up and chew it again.
  • This process takes place 8 –10 times a day.
  • Usually eat fibrous feeds like hay and pasture
  • Occasionally eat concentrates that are low fiber and high energy like grains and high protein foods
parts of the system
Parts of the System
  • Mouth- entry
  • Esophagus/gullet- tube like passage from the mouth to the stomach
  • Stomach- receives the food,adds chemicals that helps in the process of digestion
  • Small intestine- long folded tube attached to the bottom of the stomach; aids further in the process of digestion
  • Large intestine- Larger in diameter than the S.I. but shorter in length. The end of the L.I. is the rectum
  • Anus- the point of the body where undigested food (feces) leaves the body.
  • NOTE: the stomach of the ruminant is primarily where most of the digestion takes place.
the ruminant stomach
The Ruminant Stomach
  • Rumen- the largest compartment;catches the solid foods.
  • Reticulum-catches liquids and foreign objects( wire and nails).
  • Omasum-Strong muscle that grinds food sent from the rumen
  • Abomasum-this is the true stomach;contains digestive(gastric) juices and works the same as a Nonruminant.
  • Ruminants eat rapidly; the animal then lays down and the food is forced back into the mouth where it is chewed again; this is known as their cud.
non ruminants
Non Ruminants
  • Horses and Hogs
  • All parts are the same as the ruminant EXCEPT the stomach.
  • N.R. stomach is a single compartment -Monogastric
  • When food enters the stomach,gastric juices stat to break down the food.
  • Require a large amount of concentrates in their diet (high protein grains)
  • Gastric juices contain enzymes: Pepsin and rennin
  • Both enzymes work in conjunction with the squeezing action of the stomach to digest the food
  • The small intestine helps to further digest any food left
  • The large intestine completes this process by the process of absorption and passes the fecal matter out to the rectum.
  • Digestion is the breaking down of feed into simple substances that can be absorbed into the blood stream.
  • Ruminants need a lot of roughage
  • Nonruminants need more concentrates .
  • Most digested feed is absorbed in the small intestine.
  • Non absorbed food is passes from the body.