The nutrition of a ruminant is quite unlike the nutrition of monogastrics like humans, pigs, dogs, cats etc. That is because the ruminant has four stomachs, and monogastrics only have one. The first three stomachs of the ruminant comprise the reticulum, the rumen and the omasum, which between them are nothing more than a giant fermentation vat. The first consideration when formulating diets that will aid the ruminant in achieving its performance capability is to ensure that that fermentation is working at peak efficiency. The rumen is a complex micro-biome and, in the case of a dairy cow, can generally produce around two kilos of rumen flora and fauna per day. Imagine that! How many billions of rumen bugs (protozoa and bacteria) must that be? So when you think about it, that rumen is an incredibly productive organ.
This yield of rumen micro-flora and fauna enters the abomasum (fourth stomach), where it is killed and digested by the acids and enzymes present in the hind gut. The quality of all of the protein and nutrients contained within those rumen bugs is incredibly good, and much better than any of the common feedstuffs that we add to the rest of the ration. That is why it is so important to remember that successful ration formulation has to be based on ensuring optimum rumen function.
Over the years our livestock have become more productive, down to the progress of breeding and genetics. This challenge has to be met by good nutrition which needs to maintain animal health status as well as productivity, and all within the rules! Our guides and blueprints are designed to help farmers achieve optimum productivity and health, whilst never deviating from the profit business objective. We hope that you find the content of this website helpful and informative, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch (see contact details).
Ruminant Nutrition Guide
The F1 Dairy Blueprint
The F1 Dairy Blueprint has been designed to explain in fairly non-scientific language a rational system for feeding modern dairy cows. It is comprised of three parts: The F1 Dairy Blueprint, The F1 Dry Cow Blueprint and The F1 Birth to Calving Blueprint. This is a free resource and we hope that you find it helpful!