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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 l.jpg

Large Animal Digestion

Worth County Middle School

Donald Gilman

Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office

May, 2004

Introduction l.jpg

  • There are two types of digestion systems in large animals (I.e. Cows, Horses,Hogs)

  • Ruminants and Nonruminants

Topics of discussion l.jpg
Topics of Discussion

  • Ruminants are multi compartment


    Their stomachs consist of four compartments.

Ruminants l.jpg

  • 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.

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  • Usually eat fibrous feeds like hay and pasture

  • Occasionally eat concentrates that are low fiber and high energy like grains and high protein foods

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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

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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)

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  • 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.

Summary l.jpg

  • 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.