Basics of ruminant animal nutrition

Citation

Loza PL, Miner JL. 2005. Basics of ruminant animal nutrition. In Graffam W, Hellinga D, Maslanka M, Ward A, Eds. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Omaha, NE.

Abstract

Cellulose is the main constituent of plant cell walls and is the most abundant carbohydrate on earth. With exception of some snails and arthropods, animals lack the necessary enzymes for the digestion of cellulose. Bacteria and fungi are the main cellulose digesters. Animals have coevolved with their feeds, and by different strategies, herbivores use plants as source of most nutrients. Ruminant animals exhibit a remarkable cooperation with microorganisms.

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