Memahami Kambing (Bhg 4)

Development of the Four Stomach Compartments

When a goat kid is born, the rumen is small and the abomasum is the largest of the four stomach compartments. The rumen of a goat kid is about 30 percent of the total stomach area, while the abomasum is about 70 percent. Hence, digestion in the goat kid is like that of a monogastric animal. In the suckling goat kid, closure of the esophageal groove ensures that milk is channeled directly to the abomasum instead of going through the rumen, reticulum, and omasum. Peptic cells in the abomasum of young milk-fed ruminants secrete, in addition to pepsin, the enzyme rennin. This enzyme is responsible for forming milk curdles and digesting milk protein.

When the suckling goat kid starts to eat vegetation during the first or second week after birth, the rumen, reticulum, and omasum gradually develop in size and function. After approximately two months, the four stomach compartments reach their relative adult proportions.

Rumination is defined as the regurgitation, rechewing, and reswallowing of rumen ingesta. During resting, animals with four stomach compartments regurgitate ball-like masses of fibrous and coarse feeds called bolus or the cud. The regurgitated cud is chewed thoroughly for about one minute then swallowed again. Ruminant animals may spend up to 8 hours per day in rumination, depending on the type of feed. This phenomenon affects the amount of feed the goat can eat. Reducing the particle size of the feed through rechewing allows the material to be easily accessible to the microorganisms and to pass out of the rumen.

Digestion in ruminant animals is accomplished via microbial breakdown of feed parts in the rumen and reticulum, enzymatic activity in the abomasum and small intestine, and microbial breakdown in the cecum and large intestine. The simple compounds derived from the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are absorbed mainly from the forestomach and small intestine.

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