It’s a gut feeling: A healthy rumen is a healthy ruminant

Cate Williams

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The ruminant stomach is divided into four chambers, each with specialist functions (Figure 1). The rumen is the second chamber and houses a diverse population of microbes which enable the animal to breakdown plant material and convert it into high-quality nutrients (Figure 1). A healthy rumen is one of the most important factors in determining animal health as well as performance, as this is where the animal’s nutrients come from. A healthy rumen microbial population is dynamic and will adapt to shifts in the diet and the animal’s physiological status, but sudden changes in diet (e.g. weaning), disease, antibiotic use and stress can negatively affect rumen microbes causing problems for the animal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFarming Connect
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2019


  • rumen
  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • protozoa
  • anaerobic
  • nutrition
  • Ruminant
  • Livestock
  • farming
  • cows
  • sheep
  • microbiome
  • diet
  • gut health
  • health
  • production
  • efficiency
  • feeding
  • Behaviour


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