1. The effects of starvation on the consistence of the ruminal ingesta and the
activity of the ruminal flora have been studied.
2. The ruminal contents were found to become progressively more watery
during starvation although there was still a large volume present even after 96
hours without food.
3. Both the fermentation of sugar and the digestion of cellulose were markedly
depressed after 48 hours starvation.
4. On a low protein diet of grass hay the appetite returned to normal
immediately after starvation but on a higher protein diet of lucerne hay the
consumption after starvation was low and only returned to normal after 3 to
5 days. There was evidence to show that the sheep regulated their protein intake
in accordance with the adaptation of the ruminal flora. This did not appear to
apply to the same extent to cattle.
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