Comparative Study between Swamp Buffalo and Native Cattle in Feed Digestibility and Potential Transfer of Buffalo Rumen Digesta into Cattle

  • Wanapat, M. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Nontaso, N. (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Yuangklang, C. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wora-anu, S. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Ngarmsang, A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wachirapakorn, C. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Rowlinson, P. (Department of Agriculture, University of Newcastle)
  • Received : 2002.07.22
  • Accepted : 2003.01.02
  • Published : 2003.04.01


Rumen ecology plays an important role in the fermentation process and in providing end-products for ruminants. These studies were carried out to investigate variations in rumen factors namely pH, $NH_3-N$ and microorganisms in cattle and swamp buffaloes. Furthermore, studies on diurnal patterns of rumen fermentation and the effect of rumen digesta transfer from buffalo to cattle was conducted. Based on these studies, diurnal fermentation patterns in both cattle and buffaloes were revealed. It was found that rumen NH3-N was a major limiting factor. Rumen digesta transfer from buffalo to cattle from buffalo to cattle was achievable. Monitoring rumen digesta for 14d after transfer showed an improved rumen ecology in cattle as compared to that of original cattle and buffalo. It is probable that buffalo rumen digesta could be transferred. However, further research should be undertaken in these regards in order to improve rumen ecology especially for buffalo-based rumen.


Swamp Buffalo;Beef Cattle;Rumen Ecology;Rumen Microorganisms;Manipulation;Digesta Transfer;Rice Straw


  1. Nguyen V. T. and T. R. Preston. 1999. Rumen environment and feed degradability in swamp buffaloes fed different supplements. Livestock Res for Rural Dev. 11(3): 11/3/thu 113.htm
  2. Wanapat, M. and O. Pimpa. 1999. Effect of ruminal NH3-N levels on ruminal fermentation purine derivatives, digestibility and rice straw intake in swamp buffaloes. Asian-Aust J. Anim. Sci. 12:904-907.
  3. Wattanachant, C., M. Wanapat, S. Sarangbin, S. Chanthai and C. Wachirap; akorn. 1990. A Comparative stydy on rumen cellulolytic bacteria in swamp buffaloes and cattlel. In Proc. 28th Annual Conference Kasetsart University, Bangkok.
  4. Wanapat, M. 2000. Rumen Manipulation to Increase the Efficient use Local Feed Resources and Productivity of Ruminants in the Tropics. In:Proc. the 9th AAAP Congress. (Eds. G. M. Stone), July 3-7, 2000. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Asian-Aus J. Anim. Sci. 13:59-67.
  5. Boniface, A. N., R. M. Murray and J. P. Hogan. 1986. Optimum level of ammonia in the rumen liquor of cattle fed tropical pasture hay. In: Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Proc. 16:151-154.
  6. Kanjanapruthipong and R. A. Leng. 1998. The effects of dietary urea on microbial populations in the rumen of sheep. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 11:661-667.
  7. Wanapat, M. 1989, Comparative aspects of digestive physiology and nutrition in buffaloes and cattle. In: Proc. Ruminant Physiology and Nutrition in Asia. (Eds. C. Devendra and E. Imaizumi) Jap. Soc. Zootech. Sci. Sendai, pp. 27-43.
  8. Devendra, C. 1985. Comparative nitrogen utilization in Malaysia Swamp buffaloes and Kedah-Kelanton cattle. In: Proc. The 3 rd AAAP Animal science Congress, Seoulk, Korea, Vol 2:873-875.
  9. Hungate, R. E. 1969. A roll tube method for cultivation of strict anaerobes. In: Methods in Microbiology, edited by J. R. Norris and D. W. Ribbons. New York: Academic. 313:117.
  10. Kennedy, P. M. and J. P. Hogan. 1994. Digestion and metabolism in buffaloes and cattle: are there consistent diffences. In: Proc. The 1st Asian buffalo Association Congress. (Eds. M. Wanapat and K. Sommart), Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
  11. Wanapat, M., O. Pimpa, W. Sripuek, T. Puramongkol, A. Petlum, U. Boontao, C. Wachirapakorn and K. Sommart. 1999. Cassava Hay: an Important On-Farm Feed for Ruminants. In: Tannins in Livestock and Human Nutrition. (Eds. J. D. Brooker), May 31 June-2 July, 1999, Adelaide, Australia.
  12. Wanapat, M., O. Pimpa, A. Petlum and C. Wachirapakorn. 2000a. Participation scheme of small holder dairy farmers in the northeast Thailand on improveing feeding systems. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:600-604.
  13. Chanthai, S., M. Wanapat and C. Wachirapakorn. 1989. Rumen ammonia-N and Volatile fatty acid concentrations in cattle and buffalo given rice straw-based diets. In: Proc. 7th AFAR Int. Workshop. (Eds. R. Dixon), IDPD, Canberra, Australia.
  14. Bromner, J. M. and D. R. Keeney. 1965. Steam distillation methods of determination of ammonium, nitrate and nitrite. Anal. Chem. Acta. 32:485.
  15. Wanapat, M., A. Ngarmsang, S. Korkhuntot, N. Nontaso, C. Wachirapakorn, G. Beakes and P. Rowlinson. 2000c. A comparative study on the rumen microbial population of cattle and swamp buffalo raised under traditional village conditions in the northeast of Thailand. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13 (7):918-921.
  16. Wanapat,M., K Sommart., C. Wachirapakorn, S. Uriyapongson, and C.Wattanachant. 1994. Recent advances in swamp buffalo nutrition and feeding. In: Proc.The 1st Asian Buffalo Association Congress. (Eds. M. Wanapat and K.Sommart), Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, January 17-21, 1994, Thailand.
  17. Martin, S. A. 1998. Manipulation of ruminal fermentation with organic acids: A reviews. J. Anim. Sci. 76:3123-3132.
  18. Wanapat, M., T. Puramongkon and W. Siphuak. 2000b. Feeding of cassava hay for lactating cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:478-482.
  19. $\Phi$rskov, E. R. and H. J. Flint. 1989. Manipulation of rumen microbes or feed resources as methods of improving feed utilization. In: Proc. The Biotechnology in Livestock in Developing Countries. (Ed. A.G. Hunter). Rkitchie of Edinburgh Ltd. United Kingdom.
  20. Perdok, H. B. and R. A. Leng. 1989. Effect of supplementation with protein meal on the growth of cattle given a basal diet of untreated ammoniated rice straw. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 3:269.
  21. SAS. 1985. User's Guide: Statistics, Version 5 Edition. SAS. Inst. Cary, N.C.
  22. Samuel, M., S. Sagathewan, J. Thomas and G. Mathen. 1997. An HPLC method for estimation of vollatile fatty acids of ruminal fluid. Indain. J. Anim. Sci. 67:805.

Cited by

  1. Rumen fermentation and degradability in buffalo and cattle using the in vitro gas production technique vol.92, pp.3, 2008,
  2. Eating and rumination behaviour in Brahman grade cattle and crossbred water buffalo fed on high roughage diet vol.81, pp.5, 2010,
  3. Improving rumen ecology and microbial population by dried rumen digesta in beef cattle vol.47, pp.5, 2015,
  4.  OS14, newly isolated from the rumen of swamp buffalo pp.13443941, 2017,
  5. Herbal additives influence in vitro fermentative attributes and methanogenesis differently in cattle and buffalo vol.58, pp.6, 2018,