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Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Qvrfullmidwife, Jun 9, 2008.
What is most responsible for rumen development in kids...hay/grass or grain?
milk/alfalfa and hay
Grain I know Ken wrote an excellent piece on this, why kids should be started on grain first and not hay...it's a calf article in Hoards also. It is the exact opposite of what you would think. Vicki
UMM well that shows you what I know
Me, too, Sondra. I've got my kids on browse ASAP as well as hay: I love to watch them fold up the maple leaves in their wee mouths. And we start grain really late (7-8 weeks) since I always seem to have some dietary scours if I start them earlier. Guess I need to chase down Ken's piece. Anyone have a link to it?
Perhaps search rumen written by realdairyman? Vicki
L.A. Is your question coming from a size development (growth thing) thing, or a digestive thing ? I guess maybe you're talking about all points of a healthy active rumen.
Well mine get alfalfa pellets only tho they nibble and don't eat plus their milk and that is it until abt 2 mo old then I introduce grain
this is the link where Ken made his comments.
For whatever reason....I usually get a bale or 2 of alf hay during kidding season. My doe's just seem to like it better after kidding. My kids will usually start nibbling on the flakes of alf. within 2 weeks old. .....and that's mostly what they eat on until the hay is gone.
One thing that I find strange about these babies is this. I have about 3 or 4 old rotten stumps out there in the pen.....I often see these little goats eating the rotten wood off of those stumps. Just little bitty pieces, but have seen them do this often until they are several weeks old. It must be a rumen development thing too. My adults wouldn't eat that rotten junk if you made them. I've worried that the kids will catch some kind of crud off them old stumps, but so far nothing bad has happened.
Off course, my kids are eating alf pellets and some grain by the age of 6 weeks old....and are weaned shortly after that if they are eating well.
My question is largely coming from a necropsy and discussion relating to a doe that we recently lost. The gross necropsy was notable for the fact that her rumen villi was nearly totally eroded--gone. At first the vet proposed that it was possibly a congenital problem--the doe was born that way. Upon histiopathic examination of the tissue samples the vet/pathologist at A&M said that the villi erosion seen was due to chronic rumen acidosis. They further stated that such chronic rumen acidosis is due almost entirely to heavy carb/grain consumption.
Then I was researching online for info on rumen villi development--basically the care and keeping of rumen and ran across an article referencing the same calf study that apparently states that early carb feeding causes STRONG villi growth.
Studied further and got mired in statements by the grass-fed only folk who stated that it is hay or grass (or alfalfa pellets) that would support rumen development.
So...just trying to figure out what is what. Did heavy grain cause good rumen villi development...or kill her by eroding her villi?
L.A. ...so glad that you came back to explain. I'll be looking for some interesting comments from some of these long timers on here. Sounds almost like a K.W. thing to me.
I would also like to hear what some of the more experienced breeders say about this issue. This is something that we have talked about before, especially because of our customer base.
We are talking about several things here that are unrealted. Goats in crisis will loose villi very very quickly and I can't believe that most goats who die in questionable curcumstances like yours did wouldn't have not only villi gone but holes through the rumen also. Maybe I shouldn't have said that outloud. But we know what happened to these does. Villi is readily killed as is bacteria by acidosis and acidosis is part of the death process of the goat. So this finding at necropsy to me isn't uncommon, it would be expected in any kind of metobolic distress. With this we are talking adults.
Now kids.....Starting out the rumen development with grain/carbs makes sense because they are not ruminants who are dependant upon forage yet. They really are single stomached animals to begin with. They also don't have the bacteria or the villi in their rumen to eat long stem forage, of which alfalfa pellets and alfalfa leaves aren't....remember we get talked about this to death!
Although eventually they can convert celulous readily, when first ruminanting they can't. So converting grain carbs to sugars is easier and builds a bigger rumen with more capacity. Then as they age and longer forage is added, they have the capacity to hold more while their new found bacteria grow in numbers to efficently eat it.
Now...post that artcile LeeAnn so we can discuss what others get from reading it I hope it's the same article. Vicki
Well the one article that I was reading only referenced the study and there are other things in th article that we know are not ideal, but...
Ah...here is more...
"Hay and grain are both important in the production of rumen volatile fatty acids (VFAs). These VFAs are by-products of digestion which are utilized for energy and growth. However, grains (concentrate) have been shown to play a more critical role in the formation of rumen papillae, which are finger-like projections in the rumen designed for absorption of nutrients. Diets high in energy value (grains) result in the formation of greater concentrations of butyric and propionic acids. These VFAs have a considerably greater effect than acetate, a by-product of the digestion of hay, on the formation of rumen papillae by stimulating blood flow to the rumen, resulting in increased rumen growth and activity."
"But we know what happened to these does. "
Well we know what happened to one of them. The second necropsy looked very different to the vet than the first even tho she was expecting the same...the one had holes through the obamasum. The other had a fine obamassum, but no villi...
Grain is the most important factor in Rumen Devolepment. Look at it this way...grains has the same nutritional value as chocolate. Hay/grass the same a greens in a salad. What makes you bigger faster?
That was the way that it was told me...and really if you look at a small kids growth, do they need the same requirements as an adult? Dry matter intake goes to three things...1st body maintance and growth...2nd...reproduction...and lastly milk production. The calories will go to the next item till the first has been met. Look at Marathon runners...the skinny little things. Most women who run marathons are sterile, since they can not meet the calories for maintance.
With a growing kid/calf the rumen starts out as nothing...smallest compartment of the stomach system. You as a grower have to kick start the thing, to get any growth within the rumen. Grain does that by giving the animal a higher Calorie diet, and more complete diet. If you look on the tag of a calf starter...the feeding instructions clearly state that you should start feeding grain at an early age. Then read along and it will say to introduce forage later. The Villi in the rumen sole purpose is to digest fiber. If you look at a human or any monogastic(single stomach) mammal you would see very little villi. Now, in a healthy rumen, it should look like the great shag carpets of the 70's. And, about the same puke green in color.
Can you loose Villi? Yes, its not a fast movement though. It takes time and effort. They are like a muscle, you dont use it...you loose it. Any prolonged feeding of high concentrates will cause the rumen to loose the villi. A high level of concentrate....above 65% of the diet. Now, look at alfalfa pellets...then take a look at a protien pellet. They look the same...so alfalfa pellets are digested the same as protien pellets. There is little long stem fiber in any pellet...no matter what they are made of. So, you are going to an acid rumen from feeding a high level of them. That is why you need to always have some type of long stem fiber in the diet. Be it grass, alfalfa hay, straw, something that will make them chew their cud.
Animals with rumen are the most wonderful things when it comes to diets. They can take feed stuffs that no other animal can use and live on them. The sole purpose of a rumen to change fiber in Amino acids for the animal to use. Something we can not even do. That is why, they need a high fiber diet, they is what they was made to do.
Now, holes in the obamassum. That is called hardware, they ate something at sometime in thier life that was metal. Wire, nails, thumbtacks, anything. What happens there is they drop in the obamassum and stay there. Then are some point they will poke their way into the walls. Then it will cause the true diesase, of harware. They will go off feed, run just a slight fever, start building up fuild around the heart and lungs. What happens is a internal infection in the stomachs. They best way to treat hardware is to give some type of antibotic, be it LA200, LARGE doses of penG,or naxel. That is get the fever done and fight the infection. After that, well during that time. A magnet needs to be placed in the stomach. I am sure you have seen that long round magnets at the feed store. Well that is what they are for. Just put on down them. It is very common for large dairies to place a magnet down the cattle at their first freshening. Infact we do it with the goats even. That way if they eat any metal they are safe(kinda of). They dont cost that much and I would say about 60% of the time they help.
KEn in MO