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Understanding the Ruminant Animal Digestive System

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Publication Number: P2503
Updated: December 3, 2015
View as PDF: P2503.pdf

Ruminant livestock include cattle, sheep, and goats. Ruminants are hoofed mammals that have a unique digestive system that allows them to better use energy from fibrous plant material than other herbivores. Unlike monogastrics such as swine and poultry, ruminants have a digestive system designed to ferment feedstuffs and provide precursors for energy for the animal to use. By better understanding how the digestive system of the ruminant works, livestock producers can better understand how to care for and feed ruminant animals.

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Authors

Professor and Head
Beef cattle
Assoc Extension/Research Prof
Beef cattle production and nutrition

Your Extension Experts

Extension Associate III
Small Ruminants/4-H Livestock/Judging Team Coordinator/SARE Associate
Asst Extension/Research Prof
Beef Cattle, Nutrition, Management
Professor and Head
Beef cattle
Assoc Extension/Research Prof
Beef cattle production and nutrition
Extension Instructor
Beef Cattle Production

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