Research-Article| Volume 31, ISSUE 12, P1051-1054, December 1948

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The Influence of the Ratio of Grain to Hay in the Ration of Dairy Calves on Certain Rumen Microorganisms1

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      A total of 35 rumen samples from 19 calves between the ages of 1 and 4.5 months were examined microscopically. The calves received rations of alfalfa hay or grain alone, or various proportions of these. Most of them had received rumen inoculations and the remainder had been exposed to usual rumen micro-organisms in a natural manner.
      Moderate numbers of protozoa and flora of varieties observed to associate with hay ingestion accompanied the ingestion of hay without grain.
      Masses of protozoa along with fairly numerous flora of the 2 hay groups were associated with the consumption of hay and moderate quantities of grain.
      Similar concentrations of protozoa, accompanied by rather limited numbers of organisms of the hay groups and fairly numerous bacteria of the varieties observed to associate with grain consumption, accompanied the ingestion of approximately equal quantities of hay and grain.
      Limited numbers of protozoa accompanied by great numbers of bacteria of the grain groups, but no organisms of the hay groups, were present when the ration consisted of almost all grain.
      Protozoa and organisms of the varieties associated with hay ingestion generally were absent entirely in samples from calves on strictly grain rations.


        • Pounden W.D.
        • Hibbs J.W.
        The Influence of the Ration and Rumen Inoculation on the Establishment of Certain Microorganisms in the Rumens of Young Calves.
        J. Dairy Sci., 31. 1948; 12: 1041-1050
        • Phillipson A.T.
        The Physiology of Digestion in the Ruminant.
        Vet. Record. 1946; 58: 81-87