Deprivation of Esophageal Boluses and Dry Forage Intake in Large-type Goats

  • Received : 2010.01.21
  • Accepted : 2010.03.28
  • Published : 2010.09.01


In goats fed on dry forage twice a day, an esophageal fistula was used to investigate the physiological factors present in the marked suppression of dry forage intake that occurs after 40 min of feeding. The animals used in this study were five large-type male esophageal- and ruminal-fistulated goats. Roughly crushed alfalfa hay cubes with any large remaining chunks removed were used as feed for this research. The study was conducted under both normal feeding conditions (NFC) and sham feeding conditions (SFC). In the NFC control, the esophageal fistulae were closed by plugs and the animals ate dry forage in the normal manner. In the SFC treatment, before starting the experiment the plugs for closing the esophageal fistula were removed and the cannulae for collecting boluses were fitted into the fistulae. Therefore, the esophageal boluses were removed via an esophageal fistula before they entered the rumen. In the NFC control, eating rates sharply decreased in the first 40 min of feeding and were subsequently maintained at low levels. However, eating rates in the SFC treatment remained high after 40 min of the feeding period had elapsed and the goats ate continuously during the 2 h feeding period. In comparison with the NFC control ($1,794{\pm}203.80\;g$/2 h), cumulative dry forage intake in the SFC treatment ($3,182{\pm}381.69\;g$/2 h) was 77.4% greater (p<0.05) upon conclusion of the 2 h feeding period. In the SFC treatment, cumulative bolus output ($6,804{\pm}469.92\;g$/2 h) was about twofold the cumulative dry forage intake due to cumulative salivary secretion volume ($3,622{\pm}104.13\;g$/2 h) upon conclusion of the 2 h feeding period. The result indicates that large amounts of secreted saliva during dry forage feeding act in conjunction with consumed feed to form the ruminal load responsible for ruminal distension. The increased plasma total protein concentrations were higher in the SFC treatment than in the NFC control. However, plasma and ruminal fluid osmolalities increased in the NFC control during and after feeding but were mostly unchanged in the SFC treatment. In comparison with the NFC control ($3,440{\pm}548.04\;g$/30 min), thirst level in the SFC treatment ($1,360{\pm}467.02\;g$/30 min) was 60.5% significantly less (p<0.05) upon conclusion of the 30 min drinking period. The results of the present study indicate that In the second hour of the 2 h feeding period, dry forage intake is regulated by factors produced when boluses enter the rumen.


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