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>> Thursday, January 6, 2011

Assalamualaikum Wrmbth,

Extra information on goats digestive system :)

Goat's Digestive System


Introduction

Mature goats are herbivorous ruminant animals. Their digestive tracts, which are similar to those of cattle, sheep, deer, elk, bison, and giraffes, consist of the mouth, esophagus, four stomach compartments, small intestine, cecum, and large intestine. A brief description of the anatomy and physiology of the mouth and the stomach compartments of goats follows.

Mouth: Like other ruminant animals, goats have no upper incisor or canine teeth. They depend on the rigid dental pad in front of the hard palate, the lower incisor teeth, the lips, and the tongue to take food into their mouths.

Esophagus: This is a tubelike passage from the mouth to the stomach. The esophagus, which opens into the stomach at the junction of the rumen and reticulum, helps transport both gases and cud.

Rumen: This is the largest of the four stomach compartments of ruminant animals. The capacity of the rumen of goats ranges from 3 to 6 gallons depending on the type of feed. It is lined with small fingerlike projections called papillae, which increase the absorptive surface of the rumen. This compartment, also known as the paunch, contains many microorganisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, that supply enzymes to break down fiber and other feed parts. Microbiological activities in the rumen result in the conversion of the starch and fiber of feeds to the volatile fatty acids acetic, propionic, and butyric acids. These volatile fatty acids are absorbed through the rumen wall and provide as much as 80 percent of the animal's total energy requirements. Microbial digestion in the rumen is the reason that ruminant animals effectively use fibrous feeds and are maintained primarily on roughages.

Rumen microorganisms also convert components of the feed to useful products such as essential amino acids, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin K. Afterward, the micro-organisms themselves are digested in the small intestine to free up these nutrients for the ruminant animal's use.

In the process of digesting feeds, rumen microorganisms also produce large amounts of gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide. The animal normally eliminates these gases by eructation (belching). When the gases are produced faster than the animal can eliminate them, a potentially lethal condition known as bloat can result. This condition is often associated with the rapid consumption of large amounts of leguminous vegetation.

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