- Volume 3 Issue 3
Sixteen mature sheep were fed chaffed orchardgrass hay once a day. Jaw movement of the sheep was recorded for 24 hours before slaughter. Four sheep were slaughtered either prior to eating, 2, 8 or 16 hours after the commencement of eating to measure digesta pool size and particle size distribution in the reticulo-rumen. Eating time was restricted to 120 minutes. Rumination time and actual chewing time during rumination increased with time after the meal. Mean dry matter (DM) pool size before and 2 hours after the meal were 1.36 and 2.45 times of DM intake, respectively. The proportion of large particle (>1.18 mm; LP) in the DM ingested during the meal was caculated to be about 70%. The mean DM and LP pool sizes per DM intake and the mean proportion of LP in the DM pool decreased with time after the meal. There were close negative relationships between either DM or LP pool sizes per DM intake and the chewing activities either expressed as time spent rumination, actual chewing time during rumination or total actual chewing time(total of eating time and actual chewing time during rumination). The difference between DM intake and LP pool size were assumed to be LP degradation in the present experiment, and correlated positively with the chewing activities. A large proportion of the digesta load was comprised of small particles, in excess of the daily intake.
Particle Pool Size;Chewing Activity;Reticulo-Rumen;Sheep