Characteristics of Digestion Dynamics of Rice and Oat Straw Relating to Microbial Digestion in the Rumen of Sheep Given High-Concentrate Diets

  • Goto, M. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Morio, T. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Kojima, E. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Nagano, Y. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Yamada, Y. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Horigane, A. (National Agricultural Research Center) ;
  • Yamada, H. (Animal Husbandary Experimental Station of Mie Prefecture, Ureshino-cho)
  • Received : 1999.09.16
  • Accepted : 2000.03.02
  • Published : 2000.09.01


Rumination behavior, in vivo digestibility of cell wall constituents, particle size reduction in the rumen, and retention time in the digestive tract of sheep were examined using rice and oat straw as roughage sources. The in sacco digestibility, rumen fermentation, and microbial population and internal adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) content were also determined under feeding conditions of high-roughage and high-concentrate diets. Chewing number and time in rumination behavior were higher with rice straw than with oat straw, while the in sacco and in vivo DMD of rice straw were consistently lower than those of oat straw. Rice straw also showed higher frequency of thinner and longer particles in the rumen contents and lower retention time in the whole digestive tract as compared to those of oat straw. Rice straw was more effective to maintain the ruminal pH than oat straw, being reflected in higher internal ATP content of large-type protozoa on the high- concentrate diet. Changes in the ruminal microflora by shifting from the low- to the high- concentrate diet were also different between rice and oat straw.


Supported by : Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan